A Luncheon Briefing on The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
The Largest Ever Free Trade Agreement Negotiated in Secret Talks between Nations and Corporations
What It Could Mean for
Our Communities, Democracy, Ecosystems and Faith
Trade officials from twelve countries around the Pacific Rim – including the US Trade Representative -- just met in Lima, Peru to continue negotiations in extreme secrecy, on the largest trade agreement in U.S. history. More than 600 corporate advisors have access to the negotiating text while the public and Members of Congress are intentionally being kept in the dark. Organizations across civil society, including many in the faith community, are pushing back to end the secrecy. If past is precedent, this free trade agreement, like others before it, will erode the foundations of democracy, threaten human and labor rights, public health, and the environment.
The TPP may:
- Prevent access to affordable and life-saving medicines;
- Harm the livelihoods of small farmers globally and exacerbate migration;
- Expand and develop markets for extractive industries, including liquefied natural gas;
- Allow investors and corporations to challenge domestic laws and receive taxpayer-funded compensation for lost profits, through extra-judicial proceedings held by international tribunals;
- Force sovereign governments to change laws related to the environment, public health, migrant labor, "buy local," and finance.
The Obama Administration hopes to make the passage of the TPP even easier by asking Congress to provide it with “Fast Track” or Trade Promotion Authority, which constrains Congress review and approval to merely an up-or-down vote. With Fast Track legislation in the works and potential agreement as soon as October, faith-based organizations need to speak together to ensure that trade agreements are negotiated with full transparency, public participation, and for the common good.
We invite you to hear from various experts about the potential harmful impacts of the TPP and Fast Track Authority on democracy, immigration, food, faith, ecosystems, and labor. Learn how your organization can work for trade justice that protects the common good.
The Washington Interfaith Staff Community
Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment June 20, 2013
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
245 2nd St., NE, Washington DC, Wilson Conference Room
Please provide dietary preferences and/or restrictions
Moderator: Chloe Schwabe, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Potential Impacts on Democracy, Immigration and Faith
Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International
Melinda St. Louis, Public Citizen (invited)
Andrew Wainer, Bread for the World (invited)
12:00 – 12:45 pm – Lunch – Potential Impacts on Food and Agriculture
Karen Hansen-Kuhn, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
1:00 pm – 1:40 pm – Potential Impacts on Labor and Ecosystems
Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club
Celeste Drake, Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO
1:40 pm – 2:00 pm – Next Steps for the Faith Community, including Lobbying on Fast Track Authority