The TransPacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) is the culmination of over a decade of political angling and trade boostering. This past June, both the US Congress and Senate agreed to grant president Obama Trade Promotion Authority (“TPA” — In case you hadn’t noticed, politicians love their acronyms), allowing the TPP to “fast-track” through Congress without any opportunity to alter the language or add amendments.
TPP Will Cost Us Jobs and Boost Climate Change
The TPP has already earned wide criticism for setting us up to repeat the failure of free trade bungles like NAFTA. The gist is that the TPP will actually weaken the US jobs market, while undercutting international labor and environmental regulations. Critics also worry that it will place far too much power in the hands of corporations to sue governments when their profits are impinged upon, including the regulations that we’re counting on to curb carbon emissions and respond to the climate crisis. Not to mention the whole package was negotiated in secret.
Fast-Track Approval For Sale?
Now, we find that some key members of Congress were apparently swayed to support Fast Track by $1,148,971 in outside campaign contributions.
Drawing on data from the Federal Election Committee, this analysis shows the funding that US Senators received from TPP boosters between January and March 2015, when the deal was under consideration in the Senate. The Guardian’s breakdown of over one million dollars in payouts reads like the introductory pages from a special interest lobbying playbook, where US Business Coalition for the TPP wrote huge checks, especially to support the senators that were running for re-election.
Another Reason to Get the Dough Out of Politics
This episode of big money determining policy outcomes is just the latest reason we’re calling to Get the Dough Out of Politics. It is sad but true that, in the United States, corporations are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence laws and elections Since the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision in 2010, we have seen a huge glut of money entering the political arena— upping the financial stakes of re-election campaigns to a level where candidates are forced to take corporate support just to have a chance at getting elected, or in this case, re-elected.
Fast-track authority is a big step toward finalizing the TPP trade deal, but it’s not the last. Next, the participating countries need to hammer out final negotiations. Following that, Obama will need to send the TPP back to Congress for approval— this time on just a yes or no vote, with all chance of debate taken out of the mix. And by the looks of things, that decision can be bought. Click over to Free Speech for the People and join us in demanding a major shift in the way big money influences politics, and collectively call to Get the Dough Out!