Coalition Report

by Kathleen Logan Smith
Policy Director,
Coalition For The Environment

TPP: Undermining a Healthy Planet

Last month Wikileaks released the draft of the “Environment Chapter” of the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership agreement (TPP). It has to be leaked because the TPP has been crafted by more than 600 corporate lobbyists working in secret with government officials negotiating with foreign governments over the past seven years. And our elected officials have not been permitted to read the TPP.

With all that time and an entire planet in environmental crisis ranging from drought, famine, flooding, ecosystem destruction, dwindling water supplies, deadly air pollution, intensified natural disasters, species loss, oceanic acidification, melting polar ice caps, collapsing fisheries, growing nuclear waste stockpiles, and the world’s largest nuclear power disaster spreading radioactivity across the Pacific ocean – well, you’d think the ‘environment’ section would be longer than 22 pages in a document whose other chapters sprawl over hundreds of pages.

However, you’ll find that even those 22 pages are wasted with trite, meaningless, and vague expressions that fail to grasp the magnitude of the damage done to the biological systems that support human life on the planet.

Of the 29 chapters in the TPP, only five deal with trade. The others seek to undermine democracy and self-determination. Rep. Alan Grayson described it this way in an article in the Huffington Post last summer: “It’s all about tying the hands of democratically elected governments, and shunting authority over to the nonelected for the benefit of multinational corporations,” Grayson said. “It’s an assault on democratic government.” The TPP is particularly insidious because the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and any other country that signs on agrees to conform their domestic policies to TPP rules. This has implications for food labeling, pesticide regulation, toxic chemicals, water quality, food safety, medicine, internet accessibility, privacy, and sovereignty.

Congress must approve trade deals. With so much at stake, scrutinizing the TPP and eliminating the portions that undermine our interests is the minimum we expect from our Congressmen and women.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is pushing hard for a “Fast-Track” bill that would force Congress to vote yes or no on the TPP without debating its provisions, without seeking what is best for America and Americans, without changes and without scrutiny.
Missouri has eight representatives in Congress who will help decide the fate of Fast Track. Please make the call today and ask that everyone of them stands against Fast Track and for you.

For additional information on TPP, trade and corporations please read our article, Should our trade policy ensure greed trumps good? at www.moenviron.org. Missouri Coalition for the Environment, 3115 S. Grand Blvd. Suite 650, Saint Louis, MO 63118.