Elizabeth Warren warns agreement ‘would tilt the playing field even more in favor of big multinational corporations and against working families’
With 12 nations expected to sign the corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand on Thursday, opponents in the U.S. and beyond are renewing their criticisms of the deal’s worst provisions, which they warn pose serious dangers to the climate, working families, and democracy.
The signatures mark the end of the negotiating process, with a broad agreement on the deal having been reached in October. Now, all 12 Pacific Rim countries will be able to begin their respective domestic ratification processes, which in the U.S. means passage by Congress.
“The TPP is a giveaway to big corporations, special interests and all those who want economic rules that benefit the wealthy few. It is no wonder the presidential front-runners from both political parties oppose it.”
—Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
Recent reporting suggests Congress won’t take up the issue until after the November elections—which gives opponents time to hone their arguments against the toxic deal.
“I urge my colleagues to reject the TPP and stop an agreement that would tilt the playing field even more in favor of big multinational corporations and against working families,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on the U.S. Senate floor on Tuesday. Noting that “most of the TPP’s 30 chapters don’t even deal with traditional trade issues,” she argued, “most of TPP is about letting multinational corporations rig the rules on everything from patent protection to food safety standards—all to benefit themselves.”
Warren was one of 38 senators who voted against a bill last year allowing the president to “Fast Track” trade agreements like the TPP through Congress on a simple majority vote, with senators unable to amend the deals or challenge specific provisions.
“A rigged process produces a rigged outcome,” she continued, blasting the composition of advisory committees that were made up of industry executives and the cloak of secrecy that surrounded the negotiations.