- Breakfast Launch of WFTC Ed Fund!
- TransPacific Partnership (TPP)
- Activist Links
This Tuesday, August 13th
Learn more about TPP’s effects on food and farming, at this Twitter Party. The virtual party will take place Aug. 13 from 6-7:30pm PT. The experts are Alexis Baden-Mayer from the Organic Consumers Association and Kerstin Lundgren from the Fair World Project. Send your questions to them at #TPPMediaMarch and follow the #TPPMediaMarch hashtag to see their responses. Share this with your friends and family so that they can participate as well.
Rep. McDermott was an early signer onto a recent anti-fast track letter led by Rep. DeLauro (from Connecticut), signaling that there are significant issues at stake with the TPP and this is not just another bi-lateral trade deal.
We need to thank Rep. McDermott for his leadership and ask the rest of the WA delegation to sign on to this critical letter in favor of Congressional oversight of US trade negotiations. Fast-Track is going to be coming up September/October so we have a very small window to take action. For a copy of the letter visit: http://washingtonfairtrade.org/transpacific-partnership-tpp/fast-track-wa-leaders/
During the recent WSLC Convention in Vancouver, WA there was a sea of delegates wearing ‘Stop TPP No More NAFTAs’ stickers thanks to Shannon Hagen and IBEW Local 46 for making them and Celso Tolman for very thorough distribution! Celeste Drake, trade expert with the AFL-CIO gave a rousing plenary presentation, which led to an overflowing workshop later in the day, where we were joined by Mark McDermott, who never fails to enliven a room! Special thanks also goes to Stan Sorscher for his smart workshop edits on the fly. Throughout the workshop and convention, we distributed action flyers on Fast-Track, encouraged outreach to Congressional offices on the DeLauro letter, talked to locals about the critical role of members in the work of the WFTC and signed up individuals for #TPPTuesday and newsletter updates.
The WFTC hosted a very well attended WFTC lunch with Celeste that resulted in immediate actions when some WFTC members reached out to their internationals on the spot to see if they had passed TPP resolutions. If you have not yet, please ask your international if you have a resolution on the TPP and if so please forward to the WFTC.
Thanks to IBEW Local 46 (Shannon, Nicole & Bob) the Construction & Building Trades passed 3 TPP resolutions, and SPEEA with leadership from Judy Mogan, Brent McFarlane, Becky Hewitt, Stan and Chelsea passed another TPP resolution for good measure. See: http://www.wslc.org/2013res.htm Resolutions #5, 10, 11 & 12!
Special appreciation to Lynne Dodson, Secretary Treasurer of the WSLC & WFTC Boardmeber for arranging for Celeste to attend the convention and for such an important focus on the TPP. Also many thanks to everyone at the WSLC for an incredibly well organized event.
Then the first week in August, thanks to Shannon Hagen’s monumental efforts, the WFTC held one of only two workshops offered at the Building and Construction Trades Convention in Wenatchee. It was a huge technical feat as Celeste was in DC, however with Shannon’s technical savvy, we were able to webinar her in. IBEW packed the room along with some new allies and it was an important opportunity to focus on the impact of the TPP and the building/construction trades. Thank you to the enormous team effort at the WFTC!
The TransPacific Partnership (TPP) will Hurt Our Environment
Find out what the TPP is & how you can make an impact!
Two Events in WA State:
Wednesday, July 17th
Bellingham TPP Teach-IN
2309 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Thursday, July 18th
Noon-1:30pmTPP Brown Bag Teach-IN
Seattle Central Library
1000 4th Ave Seattle, WA 98104
The Trans-Pacific ‘Partnership’ (TPP) is a massive “free trade agreement” that could impact nearly every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat to the air we breathe to the quality of our jobs. One of the impacts of the TPP would likely be a substantial increase in U.S. natural gas exports to countries in the Pacific Rim, paving the way to more fracking across the United States. Also the Investor-State Chapter of the TPP (think NAFTA Chapter 11) will expand corporations right to sue countries when they don’t like their environment laws. Communities working to pass forward thinking climate and environmental policies need to insure that trade agreements do not trample these efforts. Despite the huge impact the agreement would have on our communities and the environment, the TPP is being negotiated in near complete secrecy. It is in its 18th round of negotiations with a goal of completion this October. So we have very little time to act. Please join us on July 18th to learn more about the TPP, its impacts on the environment and how we can make an impact in the upcoming months.
Ilana Solomon, Trade Representative, Sierra Club: Ilana joined the Sierra Club in early 2012 to lead the Club’s work on responsible trade. Ilana works to create public support for trade and investment rules that protect the environment and to shed light on the environmental threats posed by our current global trading system.
Robin Everett, Washington State Chapter Sierra Club: Robin has worked for the Sierra Club since 2007 on a variety of environmental issues along the West Coast. Currently, she is working to stop proposals to export coal out of the North West.
Kristen Beifus, Washington Fair Trade Coalition: The WFTC represents 66 labor, faith, environmental, family farm, student and social justice organizations, fair trade businesses and cooperatives in WA State, committed to creating a fair, balanced & sustainable global trading system.
‘Free’ Trade was Never Really About Trade
by Stan Sorscher
We need to think differently about trade.
First, let me say that I am 100% in favor of trade. Trade is when we do what we do best, they do what they do best, and we trade. Trade, done right, will raise living standards.
If trade is good, then free trade must be better, right? So consider this old joke about “free trade.”
- It’s not free.
- It’s not trade.
Twenty years after NAFTA we can add that it doesn’t work. It’s bad for millions of workers, families and communities around the world.
“Free trade” is not free. Our free trade policy encourages production to leave the country. We’ve lost millions of manufacturing jobs. More than 60,000 manufacturing plants were closed between 2000 and 2010 as production moved overseas. These costs are real.
“Free trade” is not trade. Basically, trade is when each country makes things of value for export and gets things of comparable value in imports. In modern globalization, other countries manipulate their currencies, use tax strategies that distort exports and imports, and apply effective well-designed industrial policies to build manufacturing capacity. They export more products to us, and import fewer products from us.
Our trade deficits since NAFTA are over $8 trillion. With trade deficits this large, we are not trading. We are letting other countries produce for us. We borrow, de-industrialize, and ultimately fail to capitalize on future production opportunities. That’s not trade. That’s getting picked clean.
See the rest:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will impact every one of us in the Pacific NW; as eaters, as workers and as people who care about healthy communities.
After 20 years of corporate gains through NAFTA, on the backs of workers & communities We can’t afford more of the same.
Flush the TPP-Action Weekend
6pm Friday, June 14th to
2pm Sunday, June 16th
Laborers Hall, Bellingham, WA
TPP Action Weekend offers a unique opportunity to come together, just before the TPP enters into its 18th Round of negotiations in July. A weekend to collectively strategize on how to best educate and activate our communities, as well as build the necessary skills.
TPP resisters throughout the NW will emerge from TPP Action camp energized and inspired to lead the movement that will bring down the TPP! Join us!
TPP Action Camp is jointly organized by Backbone Campaign & Occupy Bellingham, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, TPPxBorder, the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, with in-kind support from Laborers 276 & Mary Mullen.
Rep. McDermott, a long time champion of global public health, has joined Doctors Without Border, WA Physicians for Social Responsibility and many other doctors and global health providers in sounding the alarm on the TPP. Here are some of the highlights from his recent statement:
“At the beginning of TPP negotiations… the U.S. asked the other 10 countries to accept new and very rigid intellectual property measures that would greatly limit availability of the affordable generic medicines that the success of U.S.-supported global health programs require. For example, more than 98 percent of HIV/AIDS medicines used to fight AIDS in Africa are generics, mostly made in Asia.
But the U.S.’ current TPP proposal on medicines upends the present well-structured balance by extending monopoly protections much further. It would force people in developing countries to wait longer for affordable medicines, if they can access them at all. It would extend patents beyond the current 20-year norm and block national regulators from using existing clinical trial data to approve the production of generic or ‘bio-similar’ drugs.
“Alarmingly, the proposal also outlaws ‘pre-grant opposition’ that allows doctors and patients to provide information to their governments about patents they believe do not meet national rules, an important democratic safeguard. The proposal also requires the patenting of new versions of old medicines, even when the new versions offer no additional therapeutic benefits. It even requires patenting of surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic methods, which not only is unethical but also could increase medical liability and the cost of practice.”
“A TPP agreement that exacerbates already-delayed access to generic medicines is unacceptable. TPP has been called a “21st Century Agreement,” but it will be anything but fresh if it makes crucial medicines even scarcer throughout the developing nations of the world.”
Thank you Rep. McDermott for your leadership and unwillingness to compromise people’s lives for profiteering. TPP is not the first trade agreement used by pharmaceutical companies to expend their monpolies on the backs of sick and dying people. Fire in the Blood documents the millions of preventable HIV/AIDS deaths throughout Africa, Asia & Latin America on their hands as they relentless fight to extend patent protections under the WTO through TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). Learn more