April 30, 2015
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – On the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio criticizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a “raw deal” and "huge mistake,” the New York City Council voted to pass a resolution declaring the city a “TPP-free zone” and urging Congress to reject “Fast Track” legislation for the trade deal.
The TPP, a massive trade agreement covering the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations, is a giant corporate power grab that has been negotiated in secrecy for five years. Executives of the country’s biggest corporations have read the text and have had significant opportunities to shape the terms of this deal.
"New York City, a global city, is standing up to stop the TPP, which would destroy jobs, threaten food safety and the environment, raise prescription drug prices, and gut consumer protections from Wall Street banks, " said Chris Shelton, vice president of CWA District 1. "We are all united to derail Fast Track.”
Besides New York City, Anti-Fast Track and TPP-free resolutions have been passed by other cities including San Francisco; Los Angeles; Seattle; Pittsburgh; St. Paul, Minn.; Madison, Wis.; Berkeley, Calif.; Tompkins County, N.Y.; Fort Bragg, Calif.; Mahoning County, Ohio; Bellingham, Wash., Richmond, Calif.; Hollywood, Calif.; Oak Park Township, Ill.; Dane County, Wis.; and Guadalupe, Ariz.
About the TPP, de Blasio said, "I believe that would be a huge mistake. I believe that American people should have a say in trade agreements, especially massive deals that can mean the difference between countless jobs being created in America or being shipped overseas."
Eric Schneiderman, attorney general of New York State, has sounded the alarm about the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which would allow multinational corporations to sue signatory countries. “It is particularly worrisome to those of us in states, such as New York, with robust laws that protect the public welfare — laws that could be undermined by the TPP and its dispute settlement provision,” said Schneiderman.