TPP-Free Zone: Model Legislation

Whereas the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated between the US and 12 or more Pacific Rim countries by the US Trade Representative in secret without any consultation with our local government either directly or through the National League of Cities or the US Conference of Mayors or the National Association of Counties; and

Whereas, the text is being drafted with transnational corporations which will benefit greatly from its rules;

Whereas, the TPP text has not been made available to the public or even to our local officials;

Whereas the TPP would have direct, potentially undesirable consequences for our municipality, its people, its local businesses, and its ecological systems on which all life depends;

Whereas the Investment Chapter of the TPP, which was leaked in 2012, would allow foreign corporations to sue the US and its states over any law or regulation which could take away their “right” to future profits and therefore potentially rob our municipality of needed protections for our people, local businesses and environment;

Whereas TPP financial rules would prevent regulation of risky financial products such as “interest rate swaps” thereby threatening the financial stability of our government and more broadly the stability of our overall economy;

Whereas US, state and local food safety rules could be challenged by foreign corporations as “illegal trade barriers” if higher than standards in other TPP countries thus threatening the health of our residents;

Whereas the TPP would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit access to cheaper generic drugs which would impact our residents;

Whereas the US would agree to waive “Buy American” or “Buy Local” requirements aimed at enhancing our local economy and creating local jobs;

Whereas, we would have no right or ability to represent our interests before the foreign tribunals which would have the authority to hear cases brought by corporations under the TPP; and

Whereas such rulings might require taxpayer compensation which could impact the financial health of our
municipality and its residents;

Therefore the City/Town Council of _______________ hereby declares as a matter of law that _______________ is a TPP-Free Zone where we will not recognize the secretly negotiated rules laid down without our consent nor any decisions by any secret tribunals which would in any way diminish our ability to act in the best interest of our residents and our local businesses and to protect our ecological systems on which all life is based.

Further, we will convey our ordinance to our Congressional delegation, to President Obama and to US Trade Representative Michael Froman, with our demand that all text be made public and that all further negotiations cease.

And finally, if despite the harm to our community and our nation, Congress approves the TPP, we will take all necessary measures to ensure that this ordinance is enforced.

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