The news that the White House and Republican congressional leaders have given up on passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is welcome.
That the TPP would be defeated by Congress if brought to a vote signals that the Trojan-horse “trade” agreements that expand corporate power are simply no longer politically viable. People power beat the united forces of a US president, the Republican congressional leaders and the entire corporate lobby.
The unremitting push by the Obama administration for the TPP right through this election helped to elect Donald Trump, but Trump has not derailed the TPP — people power united across borders did that. Six years of relentless, strategic campaigning by an international movement of people from the TPP countries united across borders to fight against corporate power is why the TPP is all but dead.
Thanks to years of campaigning, the TPP could not garner a majority of support in the US House of Representatives. It was clear that the TPP was in trouble last year, when “fast track” authority for the TPP barely squeaked through Congress.
Vibrant civil society movements in other TPP nations pushed their governments to reject TPP terms expanding investor rights, monopolies for pharmaceutical firms, financial deregulation and other threats.
That the TPP pushed by the most powerful forces in the world is not being implemented represents the public’s resounding rejection of trade policies that not only failed to live up to its proponents’ promises over the past 20 years, but caused real damage to working people and the environment.
We must roll back the existing “trade” deals and extreme investor-state dispute settlement regime that have caused people and the planet so much damage. The coalition that stopped the TPP is powerful and united and will fight forward to deliver that change.
We should be ready to take on any attempt to revive the TPP or advance other corporate-friendly trade pacts based on the same failed and outdated model of trade.
[Abridged from Common Dreams.]