Clinton and Sanders Oppose Lame Duck TPP Vote

For Immediate Release
May 6, 2016

Clinton and Sanders Oppose “Lame Duck” Vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Portland, Ore. — Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton voiced opposition to lame duck consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying the proposed twelve-nation pact fails to meet her standards on American jobs, wages and national security, according to a candidate questionnaire published today by the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign.  Candidate Bernie Sanders also opposed a lame duck vote on the TPP in his responses to an identical questionnaire.

“The Democratic candidates agree that attempting to sneak the TPP through during lame duck is completely and totally inappropriate,” said Michael Shannon, director of the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign.  “Popular opposition to job-killing trade agreements is at an all time high.  The votes clearly do not exist to pass the TPP before the election, and TPP proponents’ plan to try to get just-voted-out-of-office, looking-for-corporate-lobby-work Congress members to rubber stamp it after the election is something that more-and-more politicians are speaking out against.”

In their questionnaire responses, both Clinton and Sanders detailed their opposition to the TPP, a pact whose final text was released in November 2015, but has not yet been submitted for a vote in Congress.  Many observers believe the TPP may be submitted for a vote during the “lame duck” session of Congress, after the election, before the newly-elected Congress is seated — a moment in the political calendar when accountability to constituents is at its lowest.

In response to the question, “If elected President, would you oppose holding a vote on the TPP during the ‘lame duck’ session before you take office?,” Clinton responded, “I have said I oppose the TPP agreement – and that means before and after the election,” and Sanders responded, “Holding a vote on the TPP during a ‘lame duck’ session would be going against the will of the people.”

Clinton detailed her opposition to the TPP in a number of areas:

  • When asked about the TPP’s intellectual property provisions, she responded, “As I have said with respect to TPP, we need to make sure we’re not putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers. Those provisions in the final TPP agreement are one of the reasons I opposed it.”
  • When asked if she believes the TPP does enough on climate change, she responded, “I do not. As president I will ensure that our trade policy supports, rather than undermines, our policies to reduce emissions at home and encourage climate action abroad.”
  • On investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), she said, “With respect to the flawed ISDS provisions in TPP, I believe we need to have a new paradigm for trade agreements that doesn’t give special rights to corporations, but not to workers and NGOs.”
  • On labor and human rights abuses among TPP partner nations, she said, “I think we need a fundamental rethink of how we approach trade deals going forward. It is critical that we address labor protections and ensure that human rights are protected.”
  • In another response, she wrote, “One of the reasons I opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was my concern that we need to do more to address currency manipulation. I will take on foreign countries that keep their goods artificially cheap by manipulating their currencies, and expand our toolbox to include effective new remedies to respond, such as duties, tariffs, or other measures.”
  • She also said the TPP’s rules of origin provisions are not adequate to protecting American jobs, particularly “its weak rules of origin standard for what counts as a car that can get treaty benefits.”

Clinton’s completed questionnaire is available online here.

Sanders also detailed his opposition to the TPP in a number of areas:

  • When asked about the TPP’s intellectual property provisions, he responded, “A major reason why I am leading the fight against the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership is because it would significantly increase prices for prescription drugs for some of the most desperate people in the world.”
  • When asked if he believes the TPP does enough on climate change, he responded, “No… We need to fundamentally rewrite our trade agreements to protect the environment and raise living standards in the U.S. and throughout the world.”
  • On investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), he said, “As president, I will not approve any trade agreement that gives foreign corporations the right to undermine American democracy through the disastrous Investor State Dispute Settlement system.”
  • On labor and human rights abuses among TPP partner nations, he said, “In my view, the TPP is not, nor has it ever been, the gold standard of trade agreements. That is especially true when it comes to addressing human rights abuses abroad.”
  • In another response, he wrote, “My Administration would use every means necessary to end currency manipulation and stop the outsourcing of American jobs.”
  • He also said the TPP’s rules of origin provisions are not adequate to protecting American jobs, adding, “That is unacceptable.”

Sander’s completed questionnaire is available online here.

The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign is a statewide coalition of labor, environmental and human rights organizations working together in support of better trade policies.  The coalition also approached the Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich campaigns with the same questionnaire, but did not receive responses.


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Urge Congress to Say NO to the TPP

The corporate push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is on.  We need your help pushing back. Last week, the Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other corporate lobbies formally launched their campaigns to get the TPP passed early this year. NikeStory Action12.2016

TAKE ACTION NOW: Please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to oppose calls to pass the TPP in early 2016 and beyond.

The TPP would have a tremendously harmful impact on U.S. jobs and wages.  But it doesn’t end there.  The TPP is also a disaster for the environment, food safety, access to medicines and democracy itself.   What more should we expect from a trade deal that was negotiated behind-close-doors with the aid of hundreds of corporate advisors, while the public and press were shut out?

Oregon Fair Trade Campaign joined our national allies in a united cross-sector movement of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith, LGBT, women’s, student and other groups in delivering a letter signed by over 1,500 organizations calling on Congress to oppose the TPP.  Our “movement of movements” is getting stronger every day.

Understanding that they’re really in a “now or never” moment, corporate interests groups are pushing hard for a TPP vote this year.  But if we push back hard enough, we will overcome them.  Please take action now by urging your Members of Congress to say NO to the TPP.

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Fast Track Accountability Flyering

Fast Track Accountability Flyering

This month, a number of champions of issues that Oregonians hold near and dear have gone missing. They were last seen voting for Fast Track for the job-killing, environment-devastating, Main Street-destroying TPP. Judging from the amount of corporate contributions they’ve received, we have reason to believe that they’ve been captured by corporate interests.

Please help us find the following Members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation by posting these missing person flyers around their district offices, on streets with lots of pedestrian traffic, or in your neighborhood:

Blumenauer Accountability FlyerRep. Earl Blumenauer: Missing Climate Champion

The Congressman claims to be an environmental and climate champion — but his support of Fast Track and the TPP says otherwise. The TPP would increase rip-and-strip natural resource extraction and attack policies that fight climate change. (download & print)


Bonamici's Flyer imageRep. Suzanne Bonamici: Missing Small Business Champion

The Congresswoman claims to stand for small local businesses in Oregon. In Oregon, only 6% of small and medium-sized businesses export any good to any country, and they can’t afford the flood of cheap imports from TPP countries that have been subsidized by sweatshop labor and lack of environmental enforcement. (download & print)

Schrader Flyer imageRep. Kurt Schrader: Missing Representative of the Middle Class

The Congressman doesn’t think we should worry about the secret TPP because “it’s not finished.” More than 61,000 Oregon jobs have been certified as lost to offshoring or imports since NAFTA, resulting in stagnant wages across industries. Trade policies that erode the middle class sound like something to worry about. (download & print)

Senator Wyden: Missing Government Transparency Champion

wyden flyer imageIn his letter to ORFTC in 2012, Senator Wyden promised to fight for transparency in TPP negotiations — he said Oregonians deserve the right to know what’s being proposed in our names in real time; that we deserve the right to participate in the formative stages of the negotiations. Instead, he signed off on a plan that grants hundreds of corporate lobbyists from companies like Walmart, Chevron, and Cargill access to TPP negotiations — but we don’t get to see them until after the negotiations are over and changes are all-but-impossible. (download & print)

You can also pick up flyers outside our office in Portland: 310 SW 4th Ave., Suite 436 (6am-6pm M-F & 8am-1pm on Sat). Flyer with friends after happy hour, an ice cream social, or pot-luck picnic, or by yourself on the way home from work. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and post them to our Fast Track Accountability Flyering Facebook page or tweet them to your Member of Congress:@repblumenauer,@RepBonamici,@RepSchrader, @RonWyden

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Missing Climate Champion Flyering!

Captured by Corporate Polluters. Recently seen voting to Fast Track the TPP. If found, please Return him to the people.

Representative Blumenauer claims to be an environmental and climate champion — but his support of Fast Track and the TPP says otherwise. The TPP would increase rip and strip natural resource extraction and attack policies that fight climate change. It will give corporate polluters the power to sue governments in private tribunals for enacting policies that interfere with their profits. Fracking bans, GMO labeling legislation/bans, provisions of the Clean Air Act, and public health regulations would all be on the chopping block.

for form Missing: Climate Champion Blumenauer.jpg

Friends of the Earth recently released a television ad calling out Blumenauer for turning his back on the environment. We want to ensure that Rep. Blumenauer gets the message.

Post these flyers on telephone poles and in coffee shops to hold Blumenauer accountable for his support for Fast Tracking the TPP, despite its harm to the environment and the climate.



Post photos of yourself flyering on the action’s Facebook page here and let us know where you hung up your flyers! #BlumenauerFlyer for Twitter:


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Tell President Obama, Just Don’t Do It!

Stop Fast Track and the TPP! -Protest at Nike Friday, May 8, 2015

just don't do it banner med

President Obama is visiting Oregon to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and legislation that would Fast Track the deal through Congress, effectively stripping Congress of its constitutional authority to regulate international trade. Obama will make his pitch at the headquarters of the company that wrote the book on offshoring — Nike. Today, less than 1% of the 1 million workers producing Nike products are in the U.S. In fact, Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, even wrote his graduate school thesis on a business model based on low-wage foreign labor.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs producing Nike goods are already located in Vietnam, where the minimum wage is less than 60 cents an hour. The TPP makes it easier for other employers to move jobs there, and not just in the shoes-and-apparel industry, but in everything from high-tech manufacturing to computer programming. Nike is a perfect example of our lost jobs and low-wage future under the TPP.

Rally at President Obama’s Trade Speech

Friday, May 8  *  9:00am

Outside of Nike Headquarters, SW Murray Blvd entrance

Beaverton, Ore.

Click here to check out the Facebook event

Get on the bus in Portland!

Meet at Westminster Church parking lot, 1624 NE Hancock, at 8am. A bus will take us to Nike in Beaverton for the demonstration. Then we’ll go to Rep. Bonamici’s office for another action. Click here to save your seat on the bus!

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TPP and NAFTA on Steriods

ctc info graph

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Senator Wyden and Fast Track

wyden 866imageSenator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is currently deciding whether to join Republicans in cosponsoring “Fast Track” legislation that would allowing pending trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be rushed through Congress, circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures.

Modern trade agreements affect far more than just traditional “trade” matters such as tariffs and quotas.  The TPP is a proposed 12-nation pact that would set rules governing approximately 40% of the global economy.  It’s 29 separate chapters could adversely impact jobs and wages; access to medicine; environmental protections; food safety standards; financial regulations; public procurement preferences; and more.  The TPP needs to be carefully reviewed and debated, not given a Fast Track rubber stamp.

Hundreds of organizations have written to Senator Wyden urging that he oppose Fast Track for the TPP, and instead support a democratic and accountable trade policy-making process.  A recent public opinion poll shows that 73% of Oregonians also oppose Fast Track legislation.

Senator Wyden is the highest-ranking Democratic Senator in the country when it comes to overseeing trade policy, so his position on this issue matters.  In 2014, after considerable pressure from Oregonians and people throughout the world, he opposed Fast Track legislation.  We want him to oppose Fast Track again this year.

Please email Senator Wyden now and urge him to oppose Fast Track for the TPP.

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“Smart Track” Can’t be Fast Track in Disguise!

photo cluster smart track petition

On Sept. 2, 2014, we held actions in Portland, Eugene and Medford, where we delivered over 5,000 signatures from Oregonians who sent the message to Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden that “Smart Track” can’t be Fast Track in disguise.

Sen. Ron Wyden has publicly announced that he plans to replace the Fast Track trade negotiating process with legislation he is calling “Smart Track.” We all know that Fast Track is an undemocratic process that allows harmful trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be sped through Congress without ordinary review,amendment and debate procedures. Fast Track is outdated and inappropriate for modern trade agreements, and certainly needs to be replaced.

However, we don’t know what is in “Smart Track” since Senator Wyden’s bill is not yet drafted. It could become a means for advancing democracy and accountability in trade policymaking — but we’re worried that, without constituent input, “Smart Track” may just become Fast Track in disguise.

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2014 ORFTC Roadshow

orftc 2014 roadshow pics

Excitement is building as Oregon gears up to get GMO labeling on the ballot this summer. Food justice advocates have launched a powerful statewide Right to Know GMO campaign. We do have a right to know what’s in our food, so we can make our own decisions about what we eat and feed our families.

At the same time, trade negotiators are meeting in secret on a free trade agreement that could jeopardize these efforts. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) threatens to pull the rug out from under any policies to regulate GMO foods.

The TPP is a massive free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S and eleven other countries in the Pacific Rim. And guess who is at the negotiating table? Former lobbyist for Monsanto, Islam Siggique is the chief U.S. Negotiator for the TPP’s chapters on agriculture.

The TPP would empower corporations to seek financial compensation for non-tariff barriers to trade. And in the eyes of Monsanto and other Big Ag companies, GMO labeling could easily fit the bill.

For our 2014 annual roadshow, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign (ORFTC) teamed up with Food and Water Watch to do a series of forums across the state on the TPP and GMO Labeling in Oregon.

Unite to Stop the TPP as it threatens to:
* Abolish GMO Labels as a barrier to trade
* Allow corporations to sue countries for lost profits for banning GMOs
* Promote GMO seed monopolies
* Lower international food safety standards

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