Coalition Praises Leader Pelosi for Opposing TPP

PelosiDelivery1California fair trade advocates are praising House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for announcing her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in a letter to constituents, solidifying the near-consensus within the Democratic Party that the controversial trade pact should be rejected by the U.S. Congress.

As they delivered hundreds of thousands of petition signatures against the TPP collected by a broad range of organizations, Rep. Pelosi provided advocacy groups and constituents with a letter against the TPP that read: “Please be assured that I will oppose the TPP as it is currently written or any deal that attempts to separate commerce from the environment and will work to ensure that our nation’s trade policies include increased transparency, more consultation, and stronger protections to create jobs, strengthen human rights and preserve the environment.”

She reiterated Democrats’ “overwhelming” opposition to the TPP during a televised interview during the Democratic National Convention.

“With Leader Pelosi’s announcement opposing the TPP, Democrats are now speaking with a unified voice against back-room trade deals that help corporate elites at the expense of working families and the environment,” said Aaron Lehmer-Chang, California Director of Citizens Trade Campaign.  “We appreciate her leadership on this issue, and look forward to seeing the TPP defeated.”

Toward that end, National Nurses United Vice-President Katy Roemer, vowed to remain steadfast in their opposition. “We are going to continue to demand that Congress reject the TPP, whether in the lame duck Congress or next year and beyond,” she said. “The enhanced protections the TPP would give to giant pharmaceutical firms to increase their huge profits while denying affordable generic medications spell a death sentence for countless people across the planet. It is immoral. It is unacceptable.”

Other elements of organized labor expressed optimism that Pelosi’s opposition represents a turning point in their efforts to stop the TPP. “Rep. Pelosi’s position on this is critical. With her leadership, the chance that a lame duck session vote on TPP will happen or could succeed is greatly diminished,” said Ernest Pacheco, District Environmental Programs Coordinator, Communications Workers of America, District 9. “We thank Leader Pelosi for standing with us on this vitally important issue.”

Environmental and tech leaders also expressed appreciation for Pelosi’s stand. “We thank Congresswoman Pelosi for opposing the dangerous Trans-Pacific Partnership, thereby protecting our right to safe food, clean water, and a healthy democracy,” said Adam Scow, California Director for Food & Water Watch.

“The secretly-negotiated TPP would also be bad for tech users and innovators,” said Jeremy Malcolm, Senior Global Policy Analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Leader Pelosi’s decision not to support the TPP is the right one, and her Democratic colleagues should follow her lead.”

Human rights leaders were also heartened by Leader Pelosi’s opposition. “The TPP would open a new door to the abuse of workers, the environment, and human rights,” said Ted Lewis, Human Rights Program Director, Global Exchange. “NAFTA and CAFTA have destroyed jobs, weakened democracy, and made communities more vulnerable from Central America to Canada. TPP would do the same on a vaster scale.”

“With Leader Pelosi, Secretary Clinton, Senator Reid, the vast majority of Congressional Democrats and a broad base of Americans calling for the TPP to be stopped, it would be wildly inappropriate for this binding pact to be considered during the ‘lame duck’ period of Congress after the November election,” said Lehmer-Chang. “We look forward to Leader Pelosi and others speaking out vociferously against a lame-duck vote on the TPP and ensuring an end to corporate power grabs disguised as trade agreements.”