Seattle City Council Takes First Step in Opposing Disastrous TPP Trade Pact and Fast Track Legislation
Upcoming full Council vote will deliver a clear call against “Fast Track” legislation and for transparency in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
Seattle, WA – Earlier this week, the Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee passed a resolution opposing Fast Track trade promotion authority for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the still-unresolved massive 12-country trade deal that would encompass 40 percent of global GDP.
While recognizing the important role trade plays in the region, the resolution details many of the threats that the TPP poses to a strong and growing Seattle economy, including “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” provisions that could use unelected foreign trade tribunals to undo local laws, undermining job creation by blocking “Buy American” or “Buy Local” requirements, and weakening environmental, labor, and even food safety standards.
Any resolution voicing opposition by the full Seattle City Council to Fast Track trade promotion authority and the TPP will serve as a national template that other local elected bodies can follow. While local referendums and state lawmakers have expressed their opposition in the past, Seattle’s resolution would deliver a clear message to Washington’s congressional representatives and senators that they need to exercise their constitutional duty and fully debate a trade bill that has been negotiated in secret for more than 10 years.
Highlight from the resolution include:
- Calling for President Obama and Congress to “carry out a fully transparent and inclusive legislative process for consideration of the TPP” because “Fast Track” legislation would “limit our congressional representatives’ ability to adequately review, debate, and amend the TPP and make a determination as to whether the TPP is in the best interests of the American people and our local residents.”
- Since “the City of Seattle is committed to international trade that fosters economic growth and high standards for labor, our environment, and public health,” the resolution “urges President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership to advance the interests of workers, to maintain the sovereignty of local governments, to safeguard our environment, to improve the quality of life in all countries that are signatory to the agreement, and to ensure the absolute sovereignty of U.S. courts and not agree to arbitration outside of the normal judicial process.”
- “If these principles are not adequately addressed in the final Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Seattle City Council will urge our congressional delegation to vote to reject this trade agreement.”