Opponents Campaign to Defeat Fast Track Trade Authority and Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted Jan. 14, 2015

MP3 Interview with Alisa Simmons, deputy director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, conducted by Scott Harris

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As President Obama begins his last two years in office, one of his administration's legislative priorities is Congressional approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The TPP, as it's known, is a proposed 12-nation trade agreement between the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement would set new rules on trade and non-trade issues such as food safety, Internet freedom, the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, financial regulation and environmental protection.

With TPP negotiations nearing a conclusion, the administration is now pushing for a Congressional vote on fast track Trade Promotion Authority, a mechanism created by Richard Nixon that would force Congress to vote on a trade agreement within 60 to 90 days of receiving it, with only limited debate and no amendments allowed.

A broad coalition of progressive Democrats, labor unions, environmentalists, consumer advocates and human rights activists have come together to oppose fast track, the TPP and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, another proposed multi-trillion dollar free trade agreement being negotiated with the 28-nation European Union. Opponents maintain that these trade agreements, negotiated in almost complete secrecy, will weaken U.S. regulations on labor rights, environmental protections, food safety and medicine prices enhancing corporate power to the detriment of middle-class workers. Some conservative Republicans also oppose fast track, declaring it gives the executive branch too much power. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Alisa Simmons, deputy director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, who talks about the campaign to defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast track authority amid the changed political climate in Washington after the GOP took control of the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

Learn more about the campaign to defeat the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade treaty by visiting citizen.org/tradewatch.

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