No, TPP doesn’t stand for Toilet Paper Power.
It’s the Trans Pacific Partnership, until recently a nearly unheard-off super-secret deal in the works between the United States and other countries situated around the Pacific Ocean.
This little-known “partnership” could have profound effects on our economy and environment if the most-worrisome aspects of it come to fruition.
Wikileaks uncorked the genie this week on some of the details this week with a leaked copy of the environment chapter, part of a reportedly 1,000-page document. Late last year the Washington Post published a primer on TPP, but it doesn’t seem to focus on what has environmentalists and unions alarmed: Namely loosening of environmental laws and consumer protection and more loss of American jobs to overseas entities.
Negotiations have largely gone on behind closed doors and Congress is expected to vote on whether to give the Obama administration “fast-track” authority to finish negotiations and send the agreement to Congress for a yea or nay vote without any chance to change or amend anything in it. Take it or leave it but you better take it, seems to be the message.
I have talked to nearly a dozen people about this, and they almost universally think this is a bad idea. So do I.
The plan is reportedly being formulated in consultation with a few hundred corporate big wigs, but small business and consumer and workers’ advocates apparently weren’t invited to the party.
If the Partnership deal is not done properly, we could see more lead-tainted toys from overseas, more imported foods contaminated with e. Coli or salmonella, more inferior products made in sweat shops that pay pitiful wages to exploited workers, maybe even have our environmental and consumer safety laws challenged by foreign entities who don’t have our best interests in mind.
I’ll have more on this in a day or so.