TPP Talks Fizzle Again under Broad Opposition
Posted: 25 Feb 2014 06:53 AM PST
Another high-level Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting has fizzled with no deal. The talks have missed a
succession of deadlines due to opposition from negotiating countries to corporate-backed U.S. demands that would
increase the cost of medicines, restrict financial stability measures, and empower corporations to challenge health
and environmental safeguards. Back at home, the administration's attempt to Fast Track the TPP through Congress
suffers from overwhelming congressional and public opposition.
Facing international and domestic resistance, and having already missed deadlines to seal a deal last October and
December, TPP trade ministers refrained from naming another deadline after finishing negotiations in Singapore
today, stating only that they hope for a deal "as soon as possible."
Below are statements from members of Congress, Public Citizen, and the Teamsters on the reasons behind the
mounting opposition to the beleaguered attempt to Fast Track the TPP.
Statement of Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and George Miller (D-CA)
"To borrow terminology being used by the negotiators in Singapore, there is a "considerable gap" between what is
being proposed in the TPP and what the American people and their elected representatives in Congress will allow.
Members of Congress were elected to create and protect jobs – not send them overseas by fast-tracking another
flawed trade agreement. Twenty years and a million lost jobs after NAFTA, members of Congress and their
constituents are skeptical of another trade agreement negotiated in secret that threatens American manufacturing
jobs. Recent polling shows that three out of five Americans oppose granting the administration fast-track authority
to push through new trade deals."
Statement of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, issued the
following statement in response to the Camp, Baucus, Hatch Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) proposal: "The
Trade Promotion Authority Bill introduced by Senators Baucus and Hatch and Representative Camp falls far short
of adequately replacing the failed 2002 TPA model. In 2007, I worked to develop the "May 10 Agreement" which
included the negotiating objectives of labor, environmental and access to medicine provisions. This was not
included in the Baucus, Hatch, and Camp proposal. I will not support their proposal. As the Ranking Member on the
Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, I have expressed my concerns to the Administration and directly to the U.
S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman regarding the outstanding issues, which include labor rights,
environmental protections, access to medicines in developing Countries, currency manipulation, food safety
measures, Japan's agriculture and automotive sector, and state owned enterprises, to name just a few.
Globalization has intensified dramatically; its impact on American businesses and workers has been profound and
major new issues have proliferated. We must develop legislation that addresses these issues, and the proposed
TPA clearly fails to do this."
Statement of Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
"The spotlight on the Japan-U.S. market access deadlock is obscuring the broader reality that deep divides remain
on many TPP chapters while opposition to TPP and Fast Track authority is growing steadily in the U.S. Congress
Other TPP countries remain opposed to outrageous U.S. demands on behalf of corporate interests to extend
medicine patents and other terms that would raise medicine costs, ban the use of capital controls and other
financial safeguards, limit Internet freedom and expand the scope of the investor-state extrajudicial tribunal system
where domestic public interest laws can be attacked by foreign firms. If such terms were included, it would further
increase U.S. public and congressional opposition to TPP.
U.S. proposals for enforceable labor and environmental standards and disciplines on state owned enterprise face
continuing opposition from other TPP nations, but the absence of such terms would make U.S. congressional
approval of the TPP improbable.
U.S. negotiators have not even raised the demand from 60 U.S. Senators and 230 Representatives that TPP must
include enforceable disciplines against currency manipulation, yet a TPP without this will be dead on arrival in
Congress whether or not there is Fast Track."
Statement of James P. Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Latest TPP News Is Nothing to Celebrate for U.S. Workers
Any Agreements Struck Won't Help Save American Jobs, Reduce Trade Deficits
The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the ministerial declaration made
today in the wake of the latest Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meetings concluding in Singapore:
"While negotiators want to tout minor progress made during these latest TPP negotiations, the fact is it's really just
Groundhog Day," Hoffa said. "We've heard this story before, and none of it will help create more Americans jobs,
stop currency manipulation or keep our food and environment safe. Workers would be no better off from the TPP
today than they would've been yesterday.
"If negotiators are actually close to closing the deal on TPP, now would be a good time to release the full text of the
agreement to the media and the public," he continued. "It's time to lay this deal on the table so all can see it."