Progressive and conservative groups question White House representation of Trans Pacific Partnership investment chapter
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) published an op-ed in The Washington Post opposing the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership. In response to Warren’s piece, the White House National Economic Council Director, Jeff Zients, wrote a blog post rebuttal that included many questionable statements.
Michelle Chan, director of the Economic Policy program at Friends of the Earth, issued the following response debunking Zients’ statements about the TPP:
The Obama administration has engaged in a two-prong strategy to avoid public and congressional review of the Trans Pacific Partnership. First it keeps the text of the TPP secret and then it misrepresents what is in it.
Zients’ blog post on the TPP’s all-important investment chapter was full of misrepresentations, in particular the statement that it is similar to U.S. law. In fact, the TPP grants foreign investor rights that are far more sweeping than rights provided in U.S. constitutional law. For example, it can be read to give foreign investors money damage for changes in government regulations, such as action to curtail “fracking” of shale oil or to block the Keystone XL pipeline.
The White House needs to come clean with the TPP text and subject the deal to full Congressional oversight. That means releasing the text of the TPP to the public, and dropping Fast Track.
Background: The TPP’s investment chapter would authorize international tribunals to order payment of millions or billions of taxpayer dollars in compensation to wealthy investors and big corporations when environmental and other public interest safeguards interfere with their expected future profits.