The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement between 12 countries on the Pacific rim which was initiated by the Obama administration and negotiated during his two terms of office. Congress must pass the TPP in order for it to be enacted into law. Senator Bernie Sanders is opposed to the TPP and now Hilary Clinton says she will also oppose the agreement. Donald Trump has spoken of his opposition to the TPP and other trade agreements during his campaign. Yet several Colorado Democrats have failed to take a firm stand on the TPP including Senator Michael Bennet, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Congressman Ed Perlmutter and Congressman Jared Polis.
Last year, Rep. Polis and Sen. Bennet both cast the deciding votes to speed up TPP legislation.
Labor groups, environmental groups, community rights groups and many other organizations have criticized the TPP for its impact on labor rights, environmental standards and local governments’ ability to create regulations over industry. Carolyn Bninski of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center says that President Obama wants the TPP to be voted on during the lame duck session after the November election.
“Right now they can’t get it through because they don’t have the votes. This is really going to be decided in the House of Representatives and they don’t have the votes…Right now Obama is out stumping to push it through during the lame duck session cos that’s a time when there’s no accountability. People who are leaving or retiring have some incentive to vote for it because they may get a job. You know there’s a lot of money in this. “
Last week, more than 200 legal and economic scholars—including President Barack Obama’s Harvard Law School mentor Laurence Tribe—penned a letter to Congress warning that the pro-corporate Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime enshrined in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) “threatens the rule of law and undermines our nation’s democratic institutions.”
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center along with 350.org Colorado, Indian Peaks Chapter of the Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, Colorado Community Rights Network, is presenting a People’s Town Hall on the TPP on Wednesday September 14th at the Boulder office of Congressman Jared Polis at 17th and Walnut, from 4-6.30pm.
Everyone will be invited to speak for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on time and number of people who want to speak. The event will be videotaped and posted on the internet and sent to Cong. Polis. People who want to talk but don’t want to be taped can request this. Time will be extended if there are people who still want to speak at 6:30 p.m.
People can bring their dinner and a folding chair. Snacks will be provided as well.