By Cheryl Distaso.
There were 5 or 6 people (in addition to some of us) that demanded Polis vote no on the TPP. We also handed out the attached opinion piece that I wrote for our local paper a couple of weeks ago. The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center is Boulder is doing remarkable work around this!
Tell Polis to vote no on TPP
After five years of secret negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is headed for an up or down congressional vote. The final text exceeded the greatest fears of consumer watchdogs, representatives of labor, environmental groups, Internet freedom advocates and pro-democracy groups. A last-minute negotiating frenzy stripped the document of the weak language that initially existed to protect the public and the environment.
A broad coalition of state and local groups, including Strength Through Peace, have been telling Congressman Jared Polis that this deal is bad for workers, bad for communities, bad for the environment and bad for democracy. Sadly, Mr. Polis has chosen to ignore the facts and unashamedly parrot U.S. trade office talking points.
More than a trade treaty, the TPP is an international investment agreement that can negate a broad range of U.S. laws, regulations and policies. Foreign investors will be empowered to sue governments in international Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunals whenever their “expected future profits” are threatened. Governments that lose these suits will be forced to modify or repeal national, state and local laws, regulations and policies aimed at protecting public health and the environment or pay unlimited compensation and costly legal fees.
Because necessary health and safety regulations can be determined to reduce foreign profits, the TPP will constrain how governments at all levels can spend tax dollars, limiting their freedom to create jobs, protect communities, build infrastructure, preserve the environment and provide necessary public goods and services.
Here in Colorado, regulations passed to reduce fracking pollution or keep drilling away from homes and schools can be challenged under the TPP, forcing governments to repeal regulations or pay huge fines. TheTPP requires its members to allow the export of liquefied natural gas, thereby increasing fracking activity.
Intellectual property rules will extend monopoly patents for life-saving drugs, allowing patent renewal for minor changes to formulations and delivery methods, delaying the availability of generic drugs, rendering necessary medicines unaffordable for many.
Please tell Polis to vote “no” on TPP. Email his website or call 970-226-1239 and 202-225-2161. To learn more visit http://noconow.co/tppinfo.
Cheryl Distaso works with Strength Through Peace, and can be reached at 970-419-8944 or [email protected]