By Karen Hansen-Kuhn for Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy. Public opposition to free trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that serve to increase inequality and concentrate corporate power has reached a loud crescendo. We got to this point through years of effort by thousands of civil society groups around the world, reaching out to educate people on the likely impacts of the very specific rules embedded in those documents, as well as defining alternatives for our economies, environments and food systems. That debate was never simply about trade; it was about decisions on the kinds of economies and societies we choose to accept. NAFTA displaced millions of corn producers and the TPP would threaten the interests of Mexican coffee and dairy producers, as well as requiring adherence to intellectual property rules that lock in corporate control over seeds. Removing those obstacles by defeating the TPP is a necessary first step. Building the alternatives through agroecology will be a vital element of a new approach moving forward.
By Paola Casale for Economy In Crisis – Not much is known about the Trade in Services Agreement, otherwise known as TISA. However the little that has been made public, or the little that has been leaked, has caused much concern. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) pales in comparison to TISA and it makes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seem small. It is, however, most similar to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
By Evan Greer of Fight for the Future. Internationally acclaimed hip-hop artist Talib Kweli will perform with a full live band at a free concert at Showbox SoDo in Seattle on August 19th from 6pm – 11:30pm, as part of the nationwide Rock Against the TPP tour, a series of large-scale concerts, teach-ins, and protests mobilizing to raise awareness about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the unpopular, anti-democratic “trade” deal that has been a hot topic in the presidential election. In Portland, the free concert event will be held at Director Park on Saturday, August 20th from 5pm – 10pm. Other high profile participants in the August 19th event include Golden Globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, Ant-Man), comedian Hari Kondabolu, popular punk band Anti-Flag, Hawaiian slack-key guitar legend Makana, Danbert Nobacon of UK sensation Chumbawamba, and buzzworthy bilingual rockers Downtown Boys will appear at both events.
By Adam Behsudi for Politico. Washington, DC – The White House put Congress on notice Friday morning that it will be sending lawmakers a bill to implement President Barack Obama’s landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement — a move intended to infuse new energy into efforts to ratify the flat-lining trade pact. The move establishes a 30-day minimum before the administration can present the legislation, but the White House is unlikely to do so amid the heated rhetoric of a presidential campaign in which both major party nominees have depicted free trade deals as massive job killers. Friday’s notification is the clearest signal yet that the White House is serious about getting Obama’s legacy trade deal — the biggest in U.S. history — passed by the end of the year, as he has vowed to do despite the misgivings of Republican leaders and the outright opposition of a majority of Democrats in Congress.
By John Nichols for The Nation – Trade policy in general—and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in particular—has become a vital concern for Democrats up and down the ballot. Just ask Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind, one of the few congressional Democrats who continue to make arguments for agreements such as the TPP. Kind, who has served almost two decades as the Democratic representative from farm and factory towns of western Wisconsin, did not receive a warm welcome from Wisconsin delegates to this month’s Democratic National Convention.
By Vicki Needham for The Hill – Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) on Thursday said an expansive Asia-Pacific trade deal won’t get a vote in Congress this year because there isn’t enough support. Ryan said there is no point in bringing up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in the lame-duck session after the November elections because he doesn’t see how the Obama administration can build enough support for the controversial agreement by year’s end.
By Maude Barlow for The Council of Canadians – U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Canada, against the backdrop of Brexit and the U.S. presidential campaign, had many opinion leaders trying to dismiss concerns about free trade. Now, we’re told, people who are against free trade are isolationists who want to entrench themselves in the past, in a parochial nostalgia for the nation-state. The ideology of free trade opponents can only lead to an inward-looking mentality that fosters wars and destroys the economy.
By John Laesch for The Progressive Fox – I will never forget the rush that swept through me on my first night at the Wells Fargo Center while looking into a sea of “NO TPP” signs that quickly became the banner of resistance to the oligarchy that surrounded us on the convention floor. I panned the 180 degrees and looked at the thousands of Democratic insiders, wealthy donors, and lobbyists that watched us chant “No T-P-P!” from their seats and VIP boxes above us. We were not supposed to be here – this was not our party, yet, we were here. Thank you Bernie Sanders! The Democratic Party is still loyal to their corporate donors, but we silenced the pro-TPP voices at the Democratic convention.
Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. The TPP has been protested throughout the Democratic Convention. Last night, while President Obama was speaking TPP protesters held No TPP signs and when Obama said “There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures,” someone from the audience shouted “No more TPP!” When Kaine began his vice presidential nomination speech protesters from several delegations shouted: “Hey hey, ho ho, TPP has got to go!”While he was speaking many in the California and other delegations delegations were holding up No TPP signs because he voted for fast track for trade and generally supports “free” trade even though he agreed to say he opposes the TPP in its present form when he joined the Democratic ticket.
By Michael McAuliff for The Huffington Post – WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has come out in opposition to the massive Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal as it’s currently written, putting her on the same page as newly minted vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine. Pelosi (D-Calif.) made the declaration in a letter late last week to several groups that protested outside her offices in San Francisco and delivered her more than 200,000 petition signatures opposing the TPP.
By Dean Baker for Truthout – The prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are not looking very good right now. Both parties’ presidential candidates have come out against the deal. Donald Trump has placed it at the top of his list of bad trade deals that he wants to stop or reverse. Hillary Clinton had been a supporter as secretary of state, but has since joined the opposition in response to overwhelming pressure from the Democratic base. As a concession to President Obama, the Democratic platform does not explicitly oppose the TPP.
By Staff of Fight for the Future – The show also featured speakers from a wide range of organizations opposing the TPP, including Food and Water Watch, Public Citizen, Padres y Jovenes Unidos, the Sierra Club, the Association of Flight Attendants, Conservation Colorado, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Standing Up for Racial Justice, United Steelworkers, Denver-based technology startup SecureSet, Communications Workers of America, Student Labor Action Project, and more. Of course, there were also crushing guitar solos.
By Margaret Flowers. Philadelphia, PA – Thousands of people marched in the March for a Clean Energy Revolution on the day prior to the Democratic National Convention. Popular Resistance and members of the Flush the TPP campaign created a bold, bright and spirited “Stop the TPP” contingent to raise awareness of the threats posed by the TPP, put the Democrats on notice that the people oppose rigged corporate deals and to recruit more people to join the No Lame Duck Uprising. The TPP is a large international treaty that was negotiated over the past 7 years by the Obama administration. It was negotiated in secret with the help of hundreds of ‘corporate advisers’ from companies like Walmart, Monsanto, Pfizer, Exxon and more. Members of Congress were largely left out of the process.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams. Philadelphia, PA – Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have conclusively shown that living close to fracking operations significantly increases asthma sufferers’ risks of attacks, adding urgency to the battle against fracking within the Democratic Party as it prepares to convene in Philadelphia next week. The study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 35,000 medical records in Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2012. The state has long been host to a controversial fracking boom, and many have clamored for politicians to pay attention to the industry’s irreversible damage to the land and human health. “This study’s findings confirm what we have known for years—that fracking is an inherently hazardous process that threatens human health and safety every day. More than 17 million Americans live within a mile of a fracking site, and they are all at risk,”