By Stephanie Buhle
Above photo: Captain Ray Lewis joins TPP protest at trade negotiation meetings at the Sheraton Hotel Jan 26. By StopMotionSolo.
Council Member Helen Rosenthal calls for NYC to be a “TPP-Free Zone”
The “fast tack” authority that President Obama is seeking to approve would remove Congress’ ability to change the agreement after it is finalized and would require them to merely give it an up-or-down vote.
“It is critical that the voices of local and state governments are heard on this potentially dangerous agreement,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “This resolution sends a strong message to the federal government that New York City stands in opposition to this trade agreement and the process through which it is being negotiated, without the scrutiny of the American people.”
“Fast track is wrong for New Yorkers who care about breathing clean air, drinking safe water, and enjoying a clean environment,” said Stephanie Low, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Chair, TPP Task Force. “We are indebted to Council Member Helen Rosenthal for informing New Yorkers on how Fast Track would allow trade agreements to be passed without congressional oversight and how our local ordinances could be challenged by multi-national corporations.”
For information on how to create a TPP-free zone in your community, click on the links below:
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a NAFTA-Style trade agreement that will allow big corporations to skirt our country’s laws, endanger our food supply, and destroy thousands of American jobs. Make no mistake, wealthy and powerful forces want the TPP to sail through Congress without as much as a discussion, because they know that Americans’ oppose the secretive process through which the TPP has been written and the tragic consequences its passage would have for working families,” said Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director of Democracy for America, a national progressive political organization with over one million members across the country. “The only way we’re going to push back and force a discussion about what’s in the TPP and what it would mean for our country is if leaders in the grassroots and government all across the country demand a real debate of the trade agreement, and that’s precisely what Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s bold ‘TPP-free NYC’ resolution will do for the great city of New York,” Chamberlain said.
“Fast Tracking the TPP will outsource more jobs, raise prescription drug prices, eliminate consumer protections from banks, threaten food safety, and allow corporations to sue to overturn our laws and regulations, including New York City laws,” said Pete Sikora, NYS Legislative/Political Director for CWA District One. “It’s time for Congress to derail Fast Track and the TPP.”
“We applaud New York City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal for introducing a Resolution declaring the City of New York a “TPP-Free Zone” and urging Congress not to grant President Obama “fast-track” authority over, or permission to sign, the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement,” said Ling Tsou, Founder and Director of United for Action. “Leaked texts showed that Governments signing TPP must align their national laws and regulations with the terms of the agreement. For example, liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports can freely cross borders of TPP signatory nations and that environmental review of the public impacts is banned. Thus, there would be no means of stopping LNG export terminals from sending fracked gas to Asia, where it commands prices six times higher than in the U.S. Effectively, TPP would foster a fracking shale gas boom. President Obama wants to “Fast Track” the TPP through Congress. Given the total absence of transparency on the TPP, ramming it through Congress this way is an absolute betrayal of democratic process.”
“Among many reasons to oppose the TPP, foremost is this. Now as never before, the voice of the people must direct the course of human events. Corporations must be made servants, not rulers. The TPP aims to wreck this prospect. It will speed the train of history off the rails,” said Rev. Stephen H. Phelps.