Tikkun Magazine



Say “NO” to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

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We at Tikkun’s Network of Spiritual Progressives are part of the Citizens Trade Campaign coalition of forces that have challenged the Clinton Administration and now the Obama Administration in their proclivity to  create trade policies that are destructive to the environment and to the well being of working people here and around the world. The latest such is the Trans-Pacific Partnership which, while having some positive aspects, would restrict countries from passing important environmental and health care related legislation that might interfere with corporate profits. This latest effort to give multinational corporations powers that supersede the powers of national governments is one more reason we need the ESRA–Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ESRA would, among many other important measures,  overturn any such international agreement that has been approved by the U.S. government or will be approved in the future–please help us get it endorsed after you read it at www.tikkun.org/esra. 

Rabbi Michael Lerner issued the following response about the newly released full version of the TPP:

The TPP agreement violates a basic command of the Bible: that human beings must protect and act as stewards for the earth. Instead, it provides a path for corporations to overturn the most moderate environmental restraints on corporate avarice, much less the far more stringent actions that environmentalists tell us are needed to even begin to reverse climate change and preserve the earth for future generations. This is selfishness and materialism taken to a new height, and every religious communityu should stand up against it.

–Rabbi Michael Lerner  Editor, Tikkun Magazine (winner of the mainstream media Religion Newswriters Association “Best Magazine of the Year” Award in 2014 and again in 2015)

 

Here’s the message we received from the Citizens Trade Campaign which is coordinating this effort:

Text for the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was finally released in the wee hours of this morning, and after years of waiting, we now know why negotiators insisted on keeping it a secret for so long.  This pact is a disaster for the economy, the environment and public health.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW: Please urge your Congress members to vote NO on the TPP.

Here’s just some of what the just-released text confirms about the TPP:

  • If the TPP is approved by Congress, this awful deal would offshore good-paying American jobs and drive down wages in the jobs that are left, increasing inequality by forcing Americans into competition with workers abroad paid less than 65 cents an hour.  The pact is so poorly written, it would also enable products assembled from parts made in “third party” countries that aren’t subject to any TPP obligations to enter the U.S. duty free.  It also includes language that effectively bans “Buy American” and “Buy Local” preferences in many types of government purchasing.
  • The TPP would hand corporate polluters new tools for attacking future climate policies, including controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that enable them to challenge U.S. laws, regulations and court decisions as “regulatory takings” in international tribunals that circumvent the U.S. and any other country’s judicial system.
  • The TPP would also increase health care prices and reduce access to medicine through language designed to delay the introduction of low-cost generic medications and that enables pharmaceutical companies to challenge Medicare, Medicaid and other public health programs’ cost-saving mechanisms.  The TPP actually rolls back some of the hard-fought protections for access to medicine in trade agreements that were secured during the George W. Bush administration.

Unfortunately, this is the all-too-predictable result of negotiating a trade deal in secret with notorious human rights abusers like Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei through a rigged process in which hundreds of corporate lobbyists had privileged access to the texts, while the American people were forbidden from even reviewing what negotiators were proposing in our names.

The bottom line is that, while the TPP is sure to benefit some Wall Street executives and other corporate elites, it would be a disaster for working families in the United States and throughout the world.

The only good news about the TPP is that we can still stop it.  The timing on this beast is actually in our favor.  A Congressional vote on the TPP can’t be scheduled until next year — at which point we’ll be in the heart of election season.  With your help, we can make sure a majority of elected officials listen to constituents rather than the corporate lobbyists on this issue.

TAKE ACTION NOW:  Please contact your Congress members now and urge them to vote against this awful TPP agreement.

 


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tags: Global Capitalism   
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