Green Party: Congress must kill President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. (2-17-16) -- Green Party leaders and candidates called on Congress to vote down the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which poses a grave threat to democratically enacted environmental, labor, public-health, and other legal protections.

The trade deal was formally signed by the U.S. and eleven other countries on Feb. 3 but must be ratified by the signatory nations domestically within the next two years to take effect. In the U.S., the TPP must be confirmed by Congress.

"The TPP, if enacted, would be a coup for corporate oligarchy and a blow to democracy and the public interest," said Arn Menconi, Green candidate for the U.S. Senate in Colorado ( http://arnmenconi.com ). "It was negotiated in secret with the help of 600 'trade advisors' from powerful multinational corporations. It would establish a mechanism to override democratically enacted laws by handing legislative and judicial power to a small panel of corporate lawyers. Through the Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions, the TPP would hijack the U.S. legal system for the benefit of these same multinational corporations."

Sections of the TPP leaked by Wikileaks have confirmed these dangers.

"Congress must kill the TPP now, before a new president and new Congress are inaugurated," said Joe Manchik, Green candidate for the U.S. House in Ohio's 12th Congressional District ( https://manchikforcongress.wordpress.com ). "President Obama used his final State of the Union address on Jan. 13 to promote the TPP, which may prove to be the most damaging legacy of his administration. The next president might be a Republican who favors the TPP. Democrat Hillary Clinton has recently criticized it, but her pre-campaign promotion of the deal as Secretary of State and history of support for trade pacts suggest that she may reverse herself again if elected to the White House."

"In my view, the TPP will sell the American people's sovereignty over our nation down the river to the multinational corporations that own the Democratic-Republican Duopoly Party," said Mr. Manchik.

Greens said that the TPP would undermine laws, regulations, and public projects designed to stop the advance of climate change, especially since the deal reached in Paris during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) is legally nonbinding.

"The TPP would have greater force than the agreement decided on by the nations of the world at COP 21. It creates a legal tool to block measures against global warming that step on the toes of powerful corporations," said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of California. Ms. Everette attended COP 21.

The Sierra Club has warned that the TPP "may allow for significantly increased exports of liquefied natural gas without the careful study or adequate protections necessary to safeguard the American public. This would mean an increase of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the dirty and violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations. It would also likely cause an increase in natural gas and electricity prices, impacting consumers, manufacturers, workers, and increasing the use of dirty coal power." ( http://www.sierraclub.org/Trade/trans-pacific-partnership )

The TPP has been called "NAFTA on steroids" by public-interest and labor groups that compare it to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which enabled corporations to outsource U.S. jobs and created an influx of undocumented workers.

The Green Party also opposes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade-in-Services Agreement (TISA) and has urged renegotiation of existing deals like NAFTA. Greens have called for fair-trade agreements that protect jobs, labor rights, small businesses and farms, the environment, public health, and unrestricted access to the Internet.