PDX should join Seattle and denounce Fast Track and Trans Pacific Partnership

The Oregon Progressive Party issued this press release today

:
Oregon Progressive Party asks Portland City Council to Join Seattle and Denounce Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track
April 3, 2015
Contact:David Delk davidafd@ymail.com 503-232-5495

This week the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 in favor of a resolution to oppose the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and the proposed "Fast Track" method of adopting it in Congress. See the article in the Seattle Times. The full text of the Seattle resolution is below.

Seattle is a major port city. International trade is a foundation of its economy. The Seattle City Council took this action, despite phone calls from President Obama and opposition from Ed Murray, mayor of Seattle.

"We urge the Portland City Commission to pass a similar resolution against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track," said Jason Kafoury for the Oregon Progressive Party. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership would destroy the environmental, labor, and social justice laws of the United States and all of the states and localities within it. TPP puts the corporations in charge of both the economy and the government."

David Delk, chair of the Oregon Progressive Party stated, “The Trans Pacific Partnership would undermine the rule of law based on nation states, replacing it with rule of, by and for multi-national corporations. The ability of local governments like Portland's to make decisions would be subject to attacks by multi-national corporations, making a mockery of democracy.”

Seattle City Council Resolution

A RESOLUTION expressing the Seattle City Council's opposition to the current form of Trade Promotion Authority ("Fast Track"), strong concerns about draft elements of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and support of fair trade practices and agreements that protect American jobs, protect workers, protect the environment, improve the quality of life in all signatory countries, maintain the integrity and sovereignty of our judicial system, and not give multinational corporations power to undermine national and local governmental authority to create reasonable rules and regulations.

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle strongly supports international fair trade practices and agreements that foster economic growth and high standards for labor, our environment, and public health; and

WHEREAS, Washington is a trade dependent state in which at least 40% of jobs are directly or indirectly related to international trade, and in the last decade Washington exports grew 176 percent, from $29.6 billion in 2004 to $81.6 billion in 2013; and

WHEREAS, Seattle is home to the Port of Seattle, the Trade Development Alliance, and scores of internationally-successful companies employing our people and heightening Seattle's interest in the TPP and Congressional "Fast Track" authority; and

WHEREAS, the TPP will likely involve policy matters related to intellectual property, labor, human rights, agriculture, natural resources, the environment, government procurement, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, energy, and others, all important to our city, other local jurisdictions, and Washington State; and

WHEREAS, fair trade practices and agreements should promote the creation of family-wage jobs, encourage shared prosperity, protect our environment, ensure the safety of food and other products, revitalize manufacturing, and ensure local governments can regulate for high standards;

WHEREAS, the TPP, like other international trade deals, is being negotiated in closed-door negotiating sessions between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations and has not been made available to the public or state and local elected officials; and

WHEREAS, in 1999 the Seattle City Council issued a resolution opposing the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investments, which contained investment provisions similar to those contained in the proposed TPP, as described below; and

WHEREAS, the January 2015 draft of the Investment Chapter of the TPP includes "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" provisions that could give multinational corporations excessive power to undermine national and local governmental authority to create reasonable rules and regulations, including those related to environmental safeguards, future climate policy, food safety standards, and specific protections for American jobs; and

WHEREAS, members of Congress, including Congressman Jim McDermott of Seattle, signed letters in 2012 and 2013, calling on our trade representatives to consult with Congress to pursue a more transparent and inclusive legislative process for consideration of the TPP; and

WHEREAS, in a letter dated December 3, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee urged the United States government to take a lead role in establishing trade rules that address emerging issues and challenges in international trade, including foreign restrictions on cross-border data flows, improved protections of intellectual property rights, and improved international regulatory cooperation; and

WHEREAS, Governor Inslee also cautioned that in its current form the liabilities of investor-state provisions outweigh their potential value, urging our trade representatives to maintain strong support of protecting state and local regulations over trade rules, with the interest of expanding our state's leading economic sectors, while including enforceable labor and environmental provisions in trade agreements; and

WHEREAS, the President has asked Congress to approve the TPP under "Fast Track" procedural rules, which limit our Congressional representatives' ability to adequately review, debate and amend the TPP and make a determination as to whether the TPP is in the best interests of the American people and our local residents.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THAT:

Section 1. The Seattle City Council opposes "Fast Track" authority in its current form for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)and instead, urges the President and Congress to conduct a fully transparent and inclusive legislative process for consideration of the TPP. Further, just as global economics and competitiveness have undergone considerable change, the City Council believes Congress should update the rules and procedures for Trade Promotion Authority so that trade agreement parameters match the complexities of the 21st century economy, and Congress identifies and adopts the parameters through a timely, meaningful and open public process.

Section 2. The Seattle City Council strongly supports fair trade practices and agreements that protect American jobs, protect workers, protect the environment, include enforceable labor and environmental standards, improve the quality of life in all signatory countries, maintain the integrity and sovereignty of our judicial system, and do not give multinational corporations excessive power to undermine national and local governmental authority to create reasonable rules and regulations.

Section 3. The Seattle City Council urges President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to negotiate a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that meets the above principles.

Section 4. If these principles are not adequately addressed in the final Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Seattle City Council will urge our Congressional delegation to vote to reject this trade agreement.

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