On June 17th, the Green Shadow Cabinet joined the national resistance to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Each day of this week, Cabinet members are sharing in specific detail why they, and people they represent, oppose the TPP. Please see below for statements by Ronnie Cummins, Kevin Zeese, Leah Bolger, David Cobb, Brian Tokar, Mark Dunlea, Jim Goodman, Ray Rogers, Rev. Wright, and more. These statements may be published and distributed with a link back to their original web location.
“FDA warning”: The TPP is a threat to your health and safety
Thursday, June 20, 2013
The role of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is to protect and promote public health by strengthening programs and policies governing both the safety of the U.S. food supply and accessibility to safe and effective medical products, including pharmaceutical drugs. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) threatens to undermine the FDA’s ability to carry out that mission, in a number of important ways, as described here.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a global corporate coup that undermines democracy and makes corporations more powerful than government. It creates a “trade tribunal” system that allows corporations to sue governments for expected lost profits resulting from environmental, labor, health, consumer protection and other laws. The judges in the tribunals will be corporate lawyers on temporary leave from corporate job in order to rule on cases brought by corporations and then returning to their corporate job. This rigged rule of law system will prevent countries from acting in the public interest and for the protection of the planet. The TPP undermines the rule of law.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — just like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and every other so-called “trade agreement” — isn’t really about trade at all.
Whether it is framed as “free trade” as touted by conservatives or “fair trade” as promoted by liberals, the real question is about who gets to make decisions about how goods, services (and now money itself) flows between international borders.
The agriculture section of the Ecology Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as the latest Free Trade Agreement (FTA) assault against food sovereignty, where the profits of multinational companies are placed ahead of the food security needs of individual nations. The TPP seeks to revive the stalled expansion of the World Trade Organization.
U.S. trade pacts must clearly protect the right of workers to organize and form unions to protect their jobs, health and safety and communities in which transnational corporations operate. It is only strong worker protections that can prevent such tragic situations from occurring that we have seen in the Union Carbide factory explosion in Bhopal, India that killed thousands in 1984; the recent tragedies in Bangladesh — the building collapse in April and the fire that killed more than a thousand workers in November, and the untold numbers in the U.S. and worldwide who have been victims of cancer alleys created by the oil, chemical, energy and agribusiness industries.
The desire of the Bush and the Obama administrations to pass the TPP is apparently an effort to create a coalition of nations to match China’s exploding economy and increased military and political influence in the region. On Nov 12, 2011, Obama spoke before the Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and stated that, “… we’ve turned our attention back to the Asia Pacific region.” This is being accomplished through two vehicles: the TPP and the “Pivot to Asia,” meaning a redeployment of American priorities and military forces away from Europe and the Middle East to Asia. Also in the same month, this time speaking before the Australian Parliament, Obama said: “As a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future.” The United States now has 320,000 troops in the Pacific region, and the Pentagon has promised there will be no reductions as troops are drawn down in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.