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TPP trade deal dies to environmental applause

Posted Nov. 11, 2016 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, in response to a Wall Street Journal story and a press release by the leading congressional critic of the TPP, Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Friends of the Earth celebrates what appears to be the demise of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive give-away to multinational corporate polluters and reckless Wall Street banks. 

The TPP, a so-called “free trade” agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, was signed by the U.S. and others in February 2016, but needed congressional approval to take force. President Obama had hoped to ram-rod the TPP through Congress during the pending lame duck session. But after sustained pressure from a massive international grassroots movement including environmentalists, working people, consumer advocates and many, many others, President Obama appears to have dropped his push to approve the TPP.

Friends of the Earth and others campaigned tirelessly against the TPP from the start. Had the deal been approved, it would have allowed multinational corporations and investors to sue governments for money damages, sometimes in the billions of dollars, if climate, environmental or other public interest regulations interfered with expected future profits. It would have promoted “free trade” in dirty energy products such as tar sands oil, coal from the Powder River Basin, and liquefied natural gas shipped out of West Coast ports. The result would have been a massive acceleration of global warming from carbon emissions across the Pacific.

Friends of the Earth U.S. President Erich Pica issued the following statement:

The apparent demise of the Trans Pacific Partnership is a huge victory for the people. We earnestly hope that these reports of the TPP’s death are accurate. The TPP was never about fair trade;  it was about giving special rights to corporations and wealthy investors to pollute our air and water, poison our food and make us pay. We thank every activist, petition signer and congressional ally who helped make this victory possible. To this corporate bill of rights we are proud to finally say: good riddance.

Building on this momentum, Friends of the Earth and allies will now focus on stopping other so-called “free trade” agreements including the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreements, which are also corporate power grabs facing increasing citizens’ resistance. 

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Contact: Kate Colwell, (703) 622-9093, kcolwell@foe.org

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