TPP and TAFTA: Free Trade at a High Price
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been making “free trade” deals at a hectic speed recently. Though presented to the American public as tools to open foreign markets for U.S. products, these deals generally result in low-cost imports jeopardizing or outright destroying U.S. industries, including many agricultural livelihoods.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) would lead to increased gas exports and imported foods, while weakening our nation’s domestic laws and increasing the financialization of nature. Ten Pacific Rim countries and the United States are currently negotiating the TPP, while TAFTA is between the United States and the European Union. Both are advertised as bold new ways to eliminate tariffs, import quotas and preferences on goods and services. And if put into action, they’ll serve as the models for future global trade deals.
Take action! Urge your congressional representatives to stop President Obama’s plan to “fast track” secret trade deals.
In reality, the TPP and TAFTA are power grabs by corporations and their financers. They would challenge laws that protect the environment, rein in corporate interests, protect food safety, promote renewable energy, and curb risky practices such as fracking.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
In March 2013 Japan announced it would be joining the TPP talks. Because Japan is the world’s largest importer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), this development could incentivize even more fracking for shale gas in the United States With Japan as a free trade partner, the oil and gas industry could work around any legislation built to curb U.S. LNG exports.
The Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA)
TAFTA also will give corporations the upper hand against local laws as well. It will grant them the legal right to challenge local laws and will force states, cities, and counties across the United States to fight those challenges – or change their laws to meet the needs of multinational corporations.