Trans Pacific Partnership text exposes threat to environment and climate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After years of secret negotiations, the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement was released today. The text confirms the worst fears of environmentalists.
The environment chapter, which actually only deals with a narrow range of conservation measures, is largely unenforceable and is substantially weaker than trade deal conservation provisions negotiated by President George W. Bush. In fact, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative has never brought suit or otherwise effectively enforced trade deal conservation obligations.
The TPP investment chapter would allow firms to sue governments for billions in money damages if climate, environmental or public health regulations interfere with expected future profits. The TPP is designed to protect “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 be more climate change from carbon emissions across the Pacific.
Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth had this statement:
President Obama has sold the American people a false bill of goods. The Trans Pacific Partnership fails President Obama’s pledge to make the TPP an environmentally sound trade agreement. Frankly this is not surprising; the text of this Trans Pacific trade deal was negotiated in secret by Mike Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, a former Citibank executive and Obama fundraiser. Froman took care of his friends on Wall Street and in corporate board rooms at the expense of sound environmental and climate policy. Congress must reject the TPP deal.