I know that a new trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors, and possibly being signed into law doesn’t sound exciting, interesting, important or relevant to climate change, and yet, it is all of those things. And these are exactly the reasons that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, almost slipped under everyone’s radar. In fact, TPP has been under negotiation for over a decade, but frantic alarm bells have only been rung for about the last year.
Let’s forget what we now actually KNOW about TPP and Fast Track Authority and just consider this: Anything that has been written by multinational corporations, for their own benefit, with virtually all details kept from the American people and only recently shared (and on a very limited basis) with Congress can’t be a good thing. But it ends up that the reality of TPP is even worse than anyone could have guessed. And this is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Plenty of politicians on both sides of the aisle are extremely opposed to TPP. Unless you are the CEO or a MAJOR shareholder in one of the huge corporations who have written this trade deal, you’re screwed. Being an employee of Halliburton, or Apple or Pfizer will not insulate you from the harmful consequences of a “post TPP America.”
To date, three of the 29 chapters in this massive trade deal have been leaked to the public (via Wikileaks), and make no mistake about it: they are very bad for America and Americans. They are, however, exceedingly GOOD for Monsanto, Dow, Amgen, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, and a laundry list of over 500 other huge multinational corporations. As for you and me, well, Nicki Minaj sums it up nicely…
In fact, the White House really wishes that no one had even noticed TPP. But since they have, and a large part of both sides of Congress are opposed to it, the Obama Administration has ramped up the campaign to “sell” TPP as the greatest thing since caffeinated pacifiers (jk).
The latest repackaging of TPP is being done via a bogus front group called the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs (PCAJ). The important thing to realize here is that there are zero progressive groups that support TPP and Fast Track Authority. Not one real progressive group. Zip. Nada. None. And so, as I have written before (click on TPP at the Tag Cloud on the left of this page to read more about this), completely bogus groups are being created out of thin air so that there is the appearance of mass support for TPP. Common Dreams and OurFuture.org and The Hill, have written about the newest astroturf group, PCAJ, whose website is as dodgy and evasive as you’d expect. If you’re wondering what an “astroturf group” is, here’s a brief description:
These groups simply disappear after an important issue, vote, or controversy has been settled.
Now is the time to voice your opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Media reports indicate that lawmakers will be asked to weigh in, either “for” or “against” TPP and Fast Track Authority, when they return to Washington from Easter break on April 13th.
Thanks entirely to the internet, we Americans have had the opportunity to know about this stinking, rotten deal, which will continue to eat away at our rights, freedoms and choices for many decades to come. Indeed, TPP and Fast Track Authority further cement the corporatocracy that America is truly on a fast track to become. So this is what I am asking you to do. First of all, NO SHARING this post. Just “sharing” is too easy, and often leads to a person thinking that they’ve fulfilled their responsibility. I’ve seen it with my own eyes…people will “share” but not do the actual thing that they’re advocating for. This is too important for that to happen. In the case of having your voice heard, please, please do not share this article until you have spent the 60-90 seconds to accomplish the following:
Click this link, find your state representative and email them about TPP and Fast Track Authority. I tested it out myself, and while every representative has a different way to contact them from their website, it still only took me about 40 seconds. Well worth it. I promise. What should you say? It doesn’t have to be much, really. It’s not like they spend time reading the vast majority of the emails they receive. In fact, there is mostly just a summation by topic (done by their minions) of where constituents “stand” on any given issue. Towards this purpose, in the “subject” of your email, simply write something like:
SUBJ: Please oppose TPP and Fast Track Authority
…and then, in the body of your email, just type something like “I am opposed to TPP and Fast Track Authority and therefore I ask that you also be opposed to it.”
It can literally be THAT simple. And I absolutely promise you that the minute or so spent doing this will be one of the most important things you did today as an American. If you’re watching TV, you can perform your civic duty during a COMMERCIAL break. Please, please do this. I’m begging you. This is really important. And then, once you’ve done that (you’re on the honor system), please share it, if you wish.