Issues Main Topic TPP

Call Your Legislators: Oppose TPP!

TPP: Why so secret?

In a few days, Congress will decide whether to “fast-track” the TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. This is a massive trade agreement that will impact our laws covering the environment, intellectual property, copyright, and our ability to regulate corporations. So far, the agreement has been negotiated in secret, save for a small army of “corporate advisers”.

Fast track effectively means that Congress will pass the agreement as the executive branch has negotiated it, without debate, and without giving the public the opportunity to weigh in. Since the negotiations have been conducted in secret, there’s no way our legislators could possibly know what they’re agreeing to.

It’s critically important to stop the TPP’s fast track. Please call or write your legislators. In Massachusetts, start with Senators Warren (202-224-4543) and Markey (202-224-2742). To find your house representative, go to, plug in your address and find their contact information below:

Here are a few points that you may want to bring up when you contact your legislators:

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Hello [Legislator],

My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I’m calling about the TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and I’d like to ask [Legislator] to oppose a fast-track for the TPP.

One of the things I’m concerned about is amount of secrecy behind the TPP negotiations; I’m afraid that congress is being asked to approve the agreement without knowing what’s in it. From what I understand, there are things in the TPP that go well beyond regulating trade; it’s going to create laws that affect nearly everyone. We need to understand the implications of this agreement, and we need to have an opportunity to debate whether they’re in our best interest.

[If you want to go into specifics, here are a few examples of things you could bring up].

  • So far, most of the input to the TPP has come from corporations. The corporations are there to represent their shareholders; they’re NOT there to represent the American people. There’s been very little news coverage of, and very little transparency about the TPP negotiations. Most of what we know comes from documents published by wikileaks.
  • I’m concerned that the TPP will make it easier for corporations to move jobs out of the US, to countries where they can find cheap sweatshop labor. There are too many people here that can’t find jobs, and we haven’t recovered from the financial collapse of 2008. Moving jobs overseas will make it harder for people to find jobs here. Exploiting cheap labor in other countries is just as bad.
  • One of the TPP chapters is supposed to restrict government’s ability to regulate banks, hedge funds, and financial companies. If the financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that financial companies are willing to take big risks, and everyone gets hurt when those risks go bad. After the financial crisis, I don’t trust banks to do the right thing. The banks will do anything they think they can get away with, and we need the ability to regulate them.
  • The TPP will allow corporations to sue governments for “regulatory taking” — any laws or court decisions that might negatively affect corporate profits. Effectively this says “it’s okay for corporations to break the law, as long as they can make money doing it”. That’s just wrong. Even worse, these suits will be heard in private tribunals, not courts. Basically, TPP is going to put corporations above the law.
  • TPP will lengthen drug patents, so it will take longer for affordable generic versions of drugs to come onto the market. Medical treatment is much more expensive in the US than in other countries, and making drugs more expensive will make this situation worse. We shouldn’t put drug company profits above people’s health.

[There are other points you can bring up. is a good resource. If you’re interested in reading the leaked parts of the TPP, you can get them from]

In summary, TPP is a really big deal, with a lot of implications. We need to talk through the implications, and have debates around what TPP proposes. I’d like to ask [Legislator] to oppose fast track for the TPP. Thanks for your time.

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