By Signing the World’s Largest Trade Pact, U.S. Government is Gambling with our Future

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On February 3, 2016, top officials from twelve Pacific Rim countries are gathered in New Zealand’s SkyCity casino to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a wide-reaching trade pact aimed at opening national borders to the flow of goods, services and finance.

John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, warned, “The White House is making a risky bet by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It hopes to win more access to raw materials, cheap labor and bourgeoning consumer markets in Asia for U.S. companies. But because the TPP allows foreign companies to sue our government over laws that protect workers and the environment, this administration is gambling with our jobs, our health, and our sovereignty.”

Janet Redman, the Institute’s Climate Policy Program Director, commented, “This agreement would give thousands of corporations in TPP countries the right to take the U.S. government to court for passing laws to secure climate stability and protect our kids’ futures. The case TransCanada filed against us for saying no the Keystone XL pipeline should teach us a lesson – just because we’ve never lost a case before, we’re not immune to investor challenges. The bigger we bet on free trade, the more we have to lose.”

The Institute for Policy Studies has researched the impact of trade and investment agreements on workers, the environment, and democracy since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.  See, for example, “Lessons from NAFTA for the Trans-Pacific Partnership” (July 2, 2015), “The Moral Case Against the TPP” (October 13, 2015), and “In the Keystone Suit, It’s Big Oil vs. Democracy” (January 15, 2016).

 Experts Available:

  • John Cavanagh, Director
  • Janet Redman, Climate Policy Director
  • Manuel Perez-Rocha, Associate Fellow on Global Economy

Please contact Elaine de Leon at 202-787-5271 or elaine@ips-dc.org.