In this Washington Post article, David Weigel writes that President Obama said that he would not allow the Democratic Party to oppose the TPP in the party platform. Weigel writes that the White House is “leaning on” key Democrats to prevent their opposition.
This means that the people must “lean on” the Democratic Party platform committee to force them to listen to us.
Here are several events that you can attend to build the pressure:
July 7, 2016 – Protest at Rep. Cummings’ office in Baltimore (the head of the platform committee): Facebook page
July 8 and 9, 2016 – Protests at the platform committee meetings in Orlando: Event page
July 24, 2016 – Stop the TPP Contingent in the Clean Energy March in Philly: Facebook page
Sign up for the No Lame Duck Uprising: Click here.
Obama and Sanders battle over TPP and the Democratic platform
As he faced the press in Ottawa today, flanked by other leaders of NAFTA signatories, President Obama argued that both the right and left were misleading people about the challenges of global trade. It was true, he said that workers left out of economic growth were growing angrier. As they did so, “the social cohesion and political consensus needed for liberal market economies starts breaking down,” as seen in the Brexit vote. But their anger was being misdirected.
“The prescription of withdrawing from trade deals and focusing solely on your local market, that’s the wrong medicine,” he said. “You are right to be concerned about the trends, but what you’re prescribing will not work.”
There was no mystery about who on the right and left Obama was talking to. At a rally in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump said that the president and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were wrong to back the Trans Pacific Partnership. In an op-ed published in today’s New York Times, Sen. Bernie Sanders told readers that Trump was wrong about the solution but right about the threat.
“We need to fundamentally reject our ‘free trade’ policies and move to fair trade,” wrote Sanders. “Americans should not have to compete against workers in low-wage countries who earn pennies an hour. We must defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We must help poor countries develop sustainable economic models.”
With that back-and-forth, Sanders and Obama elevated a debate that has gone on in public and private for years. It has intensified since Sanders began winding down his campaign for president and focusing on changes to the Democratic platform. According to people with knowledge of the platform negotiations, Sanders used his post-primary meeting with the president to say he would push for the party to officially oppose the TPP. The president said he would not allow it. And since then, the White House has leaned on key Democrats to make sure that the platform did not include a rebuke.
That became clear last weekend in St. Louis, when the platform drafting committee — which includes just five Sanders appointees — shot down a TPP plank. According to several committee members, the president personally spoke to the drafting committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and the White House did more outreach to make sure that Clinton appointees who might otherwise oppose TPP did not write that into the platform.