Newly leaked documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door international courts to challenge our domestic laws.
The documents confirm reports that the TPP, as currently drafted, includes the infamous “investor-state dispute settlement” system (ISDS). This system gives multinational companies the right to sue governments, and therefore taxpayers, in international courts. The companies can claim loss of “expected future profit,” and the courts will have the power to overrule national laws and judicial systems.
Even if the laws are designed for legitimate public objectives, such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment, the corporations will still be able to sue. “Buy Local” preferences, energy and environmental policy, financial regulations, consumer labeling and more could be overturned by international courts in the name of corporate profits.
We need to speak up NOW!
Congress is expected to introduce a bill next week to allow the TPP to be “fast-tracked” – in other words, approved by Congress with no amendments and essentially no debate. Not only is this bad policy making, it’s an abandonment of Congress’ constitutional role in international agreements.
Working together with thousands of people from every part of the political spectrum, we stopped Fast Track and the TPP last year. We must do it again.
Please help us stop Fast Track by calling your U.S. Representative and Senators today!
Take Action: Contact Your U.S. Representative AND Your U.S. Senators
Please call or e-mail your U.S. Representative and both your U.S. Senators. You can find who represents you:
Online: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
By Phone: call the Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121
Below is a sample message that you can use. Phone calls will have the most impact. If you send an email, please be sure to personalize your message! Add a couple of sentences at the beginning about who you are and why these issues matter to you — it will make a much bigger impact than a form email.
Sample Message for Calls
My name is ___ and I am a constituent. I am calling to urge Representative/ Senator ____ to vote NO on Fast Track authority for the TPP and other trade agreements because they will harm American workers and consumers.
A true free trade agreement would remove trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas — and it would stop there. But these agreements go far beyond free trade, and they would undermine our domestic laws. The deals will increase the flow of dangerous fish imports from Southeast Asia, lower our consumer product and food safety standards, increase exports of natural gas to Japan, and undermine financial regulations.
Proponents of Fast Track and the TPP claim that exports will help our economy, including our farmers. But these are the same claims that were made during the debates for NAFTA, CAFTA, and the U.S.-Korean Free Trade – and they have been proven false. Instead, a few large companies benefit, while working class Americans have paid the price. Rural communities in particular have suffered increasing rates of poverty and food insecurity.
Fast Track authority leaves the decisions on these agreements in the President’s hands alone. That’s not how Congress is supposed to work. And whether it is called Fast Track or Smart Track, if the bill does not contain enforceable limitations that include the ability for Congress to debate the specific terms of a trade agreement, it’s the wrong road for the United States.
I urge Representative/ Senator ____ to vote NO on Fast Track authority for trade agreements, in order to keep the proper checks and balances in our system.
Last year, over a million Americans spoke out and beat back the Fast Track bill. We have to stand strong again in 2015. By taking action together, we can beat back “Fast Track” now and into the future.
Read the leaked documents at https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter/page-1.html