Week of Action against Fast Track for the TPP

2014 November 7
by admin

Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice responds to another member organization, the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, with the following Call to Action:

Congress is pushing legislation right now that would “Fast Track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a secretive agreement negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet.

Beginning Saturday, November 8 there will be a concentrated effort nationwide to stop another trade deal larger and worse than NAFTA. Because Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will wield the most power in determining the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we have a special opportunity to be effective.

The TPP is a twelve-nation pact that, if approved, would set rules governing approximately 40% of the global economy-with a built-in mechanism for additional countries to join over time. It covers some 29 separate chapters, handcuffing communities’ ability to make decisions on everything from financial services and intellectual property to the environment and food safety. Yet, the negotiations have taken place in secret, with only corporate and financial representatives invited to participate.light-brigade-tpp-thumb-faded-edges

In addition to intensifying the race to the bottom for jobs and eroding labor, health, and environmental standards, the TPP, like NAFTA, gives corporations the right to sue to invalidate any law that stands in the way of its potential profits. For example, our ban on GMO crops in Jackson County would almost certainly face a costly legal challenge that probably will overturn it.

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Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice is encouraging its members and supporters to jump on the trade justice bandwagon and join in on the nationwide efforts to defeat this devastating trade pact.

Contact U.S. Senator Ron Wyden about Fast Track/Trans-Pacific Partnership. Call Wyden’s office and tell him that you are opposed to any more trade deals like NAFTA that erode environmental and labor protections, cost U.S. jobs, and allow corporations to nullify democratically-enacted laws. Also tell him that his support of Fast Track-ing ratification contradicts his heralded stance for transparency in trade negotiations. Wyden’s contact information:

D.C. office telephone (202) 224-5244

Medford office telephone (541) 858-5122

On-line email form at http://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact

Contact your Congressional Representative: go to www.stopfasttrack.com and enter your phone number to receive instructions and a call back.

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OFTC board member Wes Brain, Robert Doell, President of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 156,  Ron Sanderfer of Occupy Medford,  Ivend Hollen with OFTC, David Meyers of SEIU Local 503 and Renee Sunni Sinjem of SOJWJ met with Senator Wyden reps to present signatures of Oregonians opposed to Fast Track. Photo by Jason Houk of Rogue Valley Community Press

President Obama will be in Beijing November 10 and 11 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, then in Brisbane, Australia for the G-20 summit on November 15 and 16. His main goal is to promote completion of the TPP. Meanwhile, the lame duck session of Congress gets underway, with various Congressional leaders already calling for consideration of Fast Track legislation. Fast Track means that no amendments can be made to a trade pact when it goes to Congress for ratification, and debate is limited.

Obama and McConnell pledge cooperation, will Fast Track top their agenda?

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