Although it is called a "free trade" agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP's 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.
The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the "expected future profits" they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies.
Every time the White House wants to get approval for a new trade deal, they first seek “Fast Track” trade negotiating authority from Congress. Fast Track legislation would strip Congress’ capacity to intervene on trade deals, and force the deals through both houses on a quick up-or-down vote, with no amendments, even when the U.S. trade representative ignores congressional negotiating objectives. Essentially, the Fast Track authority sidesteps the democratic safeguards the Constitution established, allowing the USTR to rush deals past our representatives. Despite the fact that new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Boehner, and U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman want to push Fast Track ... through Congress, many members from both the left and right do not support suspending their Constitutional rights and obligations. We must not trade away democracy and the future of the planet.