by Andrea Germanos
July 07, 2016
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
to keep pressure on
Congress to stop the TPP.
Democratic senator from
offers fresh criticism of trade
in new video.
Ahead of this weekend's Democratic
platform fight, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has once
again taken aim at the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),
skewering the corporate-friendly trade deal she says will allow for,
"open season on laws that make
Warren makes the remarks about the
12-nation trade deal,
which still needs Congressional approval, to progressive activists
in a far below video
released Thursday by social change network
The deal, Warren says in the video,
"isn't about helping American
workers set the rules. It's about letting giant corporations rig
the rules - on everything from patent protection to food safety
standards - all to benefit themselves."
Even in the drafting process industry
representatives could exert influence, but there was no voice to
represent American workers or consumers, she says.
"A rigged process produces a rigged
outcome," she says.
One specific provision of the deal
drawing Warren's ire (as it
before) is the "wonky-sounding" Investor State Dispute
"This is the part that gives a huge
boost to big multinational companies when they want to challenge
a country's laws they don't like," she says.
They do that not through courts but,
panels staffed with corporate lawyers."
Faced with potential billions in fines,
"some countries will just back down
and change their regulations," she says.
"Workers, environmentalists, and
human rights advocates don't get the right to use ISDS; only big
corporations do. That's a rigged system," she says.
Warren cites specific examples of ISDS
challenges - last year when Canadian taxpayers got stuck with a $300
million bill after the country
said a company couldn't expand of a quarry off the coast of Nova
Scotia, and when
used the ISDS provision of
NAFTA to seek $15 billion from the U.S. for its rejection of the
With ISDS in the TPP, Warren says,
"It will be open season on laws that
make people safer - but cut into corporate profits."
She concludes by urging activists to
continue their fight stop the TPP.
Watch the full 5-minute video of
Warren's remarks below:
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the
Center for Economic and Policy
Research and president of
Just Foreign Policy, also criticizes the trade deal on Thursday,
writing at The Hill that the TPP,
"is strongly disliked
by the base of the Democratic Party, as well as by a sizable
majority of Democratic voters and the general public. There's an awful lot not to like about
He cites, for example, how the deal,
"would grant corporations the right
to sue governments for all kinds of decisions, laws or
regulations that infringe on their profits or potential profits"
and "would increase the price of prescription drugs."
Yet the agreement is "at
the heart" of President
Barack Obama's trade agenda.
Democratic presidential hopeful
Clinton was for the deal before she
opposed it, while rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has
opposed the deal from the get-go.
Republican presumptive nominee Donald
Trump, meanwhile, is opposed to it, and,
"has made trade a centerpiece of his
campaign, a key to his strategy of winning the votes of working
people, particularly in the swing industrial states," as Robert
writes at Campaign for American's Future blog.
Despite the widespread party rejection
of the deal, specific opposition to it
was kept off of the DNC's platform during a drafting session in
St. Louis, and Weisbrot argues that even if the full DNC platform
committee fails to includes opposition to it when the group
Orlando on July 8th and 9th,
"the Sanders team and its many
allies and delegates will take the fight to the floor of the
Democratic National Convention, which begins in Philadelphia on
To that end, while Warren's video did
not explicitly mention the platform fight,
"opponents of the TPP are likely to
view the message as encouragement," Alex Seitz-Wald
wrote for MSNBC.
"If," Borosage writes, "Democrats
are to address rising inequality and rebuild the middle class,
they must define a new, far more balanced trade policy."
"If Democrats can’t state clearly
where they stand in their platform, few voters will believe that
they are prepared to take on the corporate lobby to forge a new
course," he continues.
Ultimately, Weisbrot argues,
"if the Democratic Party is unable
to oppose the TPP, it will be because of [Clinton's] decision to
keep it from doing so."
Also on Thursday, CREDO will join other
major progressive organizations in releasing a petition signed by
hundreds of thousands of Americans urging Democratic House Leader
Nancy Pelosi to oppose a lame-duck vote on the TPP.
The post-election session, they groups
say, is the only time when there's hope for congressional
consideration of the deal in 2016...