define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true); US Unions against the TPP | Chris White Online

US Unions against the TPP

Update October more union campaigning in the US against the TPP and now Trump the TPP is dead.
I had a conversation in Washington at the Teamsters Union with a briefing of not only the Teamsters very strong campaign anti-TPP but how all US unions, the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and a range of Internationals and many community and environmental organisations are campaigning.

A protester holds a slogan during a rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

A protester holds a slogan during a rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Update July 10: Inside Democrats it is pro-TPP: ORLANDO — Supporters of Bernie Sanders came up short in a fight to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Democratic Party platform, a short-term victory for the Obama administration that could spark another fight at the national convention this month.
I reported on Australians growing opposition to the TPP with public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne and Perth
TPP and RCEP public forum, 28 April: Who will benefit from new trade rules? 6pm and other cities.
The building of anti-TPP community and union activities, May Day rallies and protests outside our Parliamentary Inquiry, electoral lobbying during the election 2nd July, and a new Parliament with Greens, independents such as Xenophon, Katter, hanson etc and during the election the ALP failure to repudiate the TPP and Turnbull championing the TPP.

The anti-TPP forces now are widening the opposition to the TPP in the rest of 2016 and as well the building of international solidarity against the TPP.

Little trade benefit

I learn how the left and right political forces in US politics are converging anti-TPP. Bernie Sanders delivers an impassioned speech on the disastrous consequences of neoliberal trade agreements and urges rejection of fast track authority (TPA) and the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. As President he won’t endorse it or act on it. Hilary Clinton is backtracking on her former support as are other Democrats.

Key right-wing Republicans are opposed because many small manufacturers will be disadvantaged or big corporate interests believe the TPP does not go far enough or many Republicans hate Obama whatever he does. One example is a clause that exempts Big Tobacco due to their (under another “free” trade arrangement) corporate tobaccoTPPrally sueing our Australian government for millions over Australia’s plain packaging. Mr Tobacco, the Republican in Congress, does not like the exemption, and thus opposes the TPP!

Obama has little chance to push this through before the Presidential election – most interesting.

However, the danger period is the “lame duck” period, after the election but before the new President takes Office. TPP corporates are lobbying for the TPP to be passed. Obama will move.
Please contact Mike F. Dolan, veteran anti-TPP Teamster legislative advisor, notorious in the historic Battle in Seattle and in photo below on the left lobbying Congress.
Mark Bell and Mark Archer with Avenyi

In the anti-TPP conversation is Michael Filler Director Public Service Division and Andy Banks Director Teamsters Campaigns Unit and Tim Beatty and Abby McGill International Labor Rights Forum (see below).

Mike Dolan: Like previous “free trade” agreements, the TPP would be a boon for corporations while hurting workers and the environment. Big business and some members of Congress now want to violate our democracy by giving the TPP a quick up-or-down vote through “fast track,” denying the publish any input on this dangerous deal.

TPP Public Forum 21 April Unions leaflet p1 front

“Six years ago, the Teamsters submitted comments on the TPP that detailed what this Pacific Rim trade deal would need to contain to receive the backing of this union. But despite intense lobbying from the Teamsters and our allies, all of our concerns for workers here and abroad were ignored.
“That is unacceptable. Workers’ contributions in the U.S. and across the globe must not be shunted aside in favor of enriching the corporate elite. Keeping jobs in this country should matter. Keeping workers safe should matter. And allowing everyday Americans to earn a fair wage that keeps food on the table and a roof over their heads should matter.

The Teamsters join in support of elected and labor leaders speaking out against TPP. The union has long stood against this very bad trade deal because it will only pad the wallets of the richest few, not lift the economic fortunes of everyday Americans.

We serve as representatives of American organized workers on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) and together have stated that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a bum deal we cannot support.

By registering our dissent to the ACTPN report that endorses the agreement, the Teamsters, the United Steelworkers and the United Auto Workers are letting Congress and the public know this deal fails everyday Americans and must be rejected by our elected representatives. The TPP is simply the latest in a long line of terrible trade pacts that ship jobs overseas and lower wages at home. At a time of outrageous economic inequality and stagnate wages, TPP is the last thing we should do. Read here
Australian opposition

US and community sector oppose TPP More than 50 influential health, religious and labor groups in the US have written to Congress to call for the TPP trade deal to be rejected. Their letter expresses grave concerns about the deal’s impact on access to affordable medicines for people in TPP countries.

Abby McGill was at the Teamsters conversation and she works for the International Labor Rights Forum

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is being touted as a “21st century” trade agreement that will contain strong and enforceable labor standards to ensure our trade partners honor their promise to uphold workers’ fundamental rights.

But if history is any guide, labor rights advocates should remain deeply skeptical of any such claims.

Legislation introduced in April aims to provide the President with trade promotion authority (aka “fast track”), a procedure that requires Congress to vote on proposed trade deals with limited debate and no opportunity to offer amendments.

ILRF has joined a coalition of over 2000 labor, environmental, family farmer, and faith organizations in signing a letter opposing fast-track as an undemocratic tool that has been used to shove unbalanced trade deals (including NAFTA and CAFTA-DR) through Congress without sufficient public scrutiny or debate.

The move to pass fast-track is widely seen as an attempt to boost the prospects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Obama Administration’s proposed mega trade deal involving the United States and 11 different countries, including Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam.

The negotiation of the TPP has been shrouded in secrecy and the text of the agreement has never been made public. If the lack of transparency is not enough of a warning sign, a quick review of what we do know about the trade deal raises serious concerns:

Undue corporate influence: While the public and the press have been kept in the dark, a select group of over 500 corporate “advisers” have been given special access to the text, even drafting provisions on intellectual property and other controversial issues.
Weak environmental protections: The Sierra Club, WWF, and NRDC have all expressed concerns that the TPP’s environmental chapter is weaker than previous agreements and will include commitments that are not enforceable through dispute resolution.

New rights for corporations: The TPP will reportedly provide multinational corporations with the right to sue states over alleged acts of discrimination that reduce their profits. Using similar rights in other FTAs, multinationals have filed over 600 cases against over 100 governments, challenging everything from clean water laws to an increase in the minimum wage. All of these investor-state disputes are heard in private tribunals closed to the public.
Bad for development: Oxfam other development groups warn that intellectual property and pharmaceutical pricing provisions are a step backward for public health, reducing developing nations’ access to life-saving medications. They also raise concern about how the agreement’s provisions on agricultural market access will hurt small farmers in developing nations and threaten food security in rural areas.
In addition, FTAs have a very weak track record at best in securing better worker rights protections in our partner countries. So arguments that the TPP will improve labor rights abroad ring hollow….

How FTAs have let workers down
The TPP’s labor issues

The weakness of FTA labor complaint mechanisms to date should embolden policymakers to insist that potential trade partners address serious labor rights violations before joining the TPP, not after. This is especially true given the severity of the labor and human rights abuses occurring in several of the proposed TPP members:

Malaysia has well-documented, severe problems with the abuse of migrant workers, including widespread forced labor and human trafficking. Just last year the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Office downgraded Malaysia to a “Tier 3” country, the lowest possible rating, meaning the government “does not fully comply with the minimum standards and is not making significant efforts to do so.”

Vietnam remains one of the most authoritarian governments in the world, denying its citizens basic political freedoms, including free speech and the right to organize. Independent, democratic trade unions are not allowed and its minimum wage hovers around 60 cents an hour. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, child labor is common in the production of garments, a sector that will likely expand under the preferential treatment it is likely to receive under the TPP. The government even runs a system of drug detention centers where alleged drug addicts are locked up for years without a trial and subjected to forced labor, producing goods for private companies, some of which is being imported to the United States.
Peru maintains several “special” labor regimes which allow employers to hire workers on temporary, renewable contracts, effectively undermining their right to organize. In its textile and garment export industry, tens of thousands of workers have been working for years on a series of short-term contracts, producing clothing for major brands like GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, and New Balance. Employers in this sector routinely discriminate against union members by refusing to renew their short-term contracts, a practice reflected by poverty wages and low rates of union membership.

read more here`

US: More than 50 influential health, religious and labor groups in the US have written to Congress to call for the TPP trade deal to be rejected. Their letter expresses grave concerns about the deal’s impact on access to affordable medicines for people in TPP countries.

AFL-CIO opposition
The AFL-CIO provided the Obama administration with ideas to improve U.S. trade policies so that they work for the 99%, not just the 1%. Unfortunately, our ideas were rejected. The final TPP will not create jobs, protect the environment or ensure safe imports. Rather, it appears modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a free trade agreement that boosts global corporate profits while leaving working families behind.

The TPP’s backers–mostly big business lobbies–boast the trade agreement as a “gold standard,” and the Obama administration promises it will promote and respect labor rights and raise wages for U.S. workers and workers across the Pacific Rim. The grim conditions facing workers in TPP partner countries were not effectively addressed in the TPP text or the side agreements called “consistency plans.”
Read here

US resources include Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission

Eyes on Trade blog

Citizens Trade Campaign

Expose the TPP
TPP Profit
Stop TPP https://stoptpp.orgTPPSydneyJPG

Brunei Sultan Raises More Worries About TPP Sharia law and human rights
America’s beef over TPP
Cattle producers are doing it tough, drought is the main issue but other things impact the market. Now the TPP which, they absolutely support, will kick the believers in the backside, putting more producers into bankruptcy. With active negotiations and total support of Abbot and Robb as compliant signatories to the USA corrupt trade negotiations, this sector appears to have been sold down the river. What did they get in return?

AMERICAN food and agriculture groups want to cut Australia out of their export markets. The 225 groups representing American farmers, ranchers and food companies are ramping up pressure on the US Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. If passed, the TPP will prevent Australia and other nations from stealing export markets. read here
melbourne speaker Kelvin Thomson web-1

“A Woman Interrupted Malcolm Turnbull’s Press Conference To Berate Him Over Free Trade”

Background February post against the TPP

US labor against war

US labor against war


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