The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is in Trouble Thanks to Grassroots Pressure

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A protester holds a sign against the fast-track authority for the TPP during a protest in Portland, Oregon, on January 31, 2014. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/NurPhoto/Sipa USA) (Sipa via AP Images)

A protester holds a sign against the fast-track authority for the TPP during a protest in Portland, Oregon, on January 31, 2014. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

Greg Sargent reports for The Washington Post:

Progressives and liberal lawmakers who are working hard to block the massive free trade deal being negotiated by the Obama administration have just gotten a big boost from someone they’d been aggressively courting: Nancy Pelosi.

In an event with labor officials on Capitol Hill yesterday, Pelosi delivered her strongest statement yet of opposition to the bill that would grant the Fast Track Authority sought by the administration to negotiate a sweeping free trade deal with a dozen Pacific countries. The bill — co-sponsored by Dem Senator Max Baucus and GOP Rep. Dave Camp — is strongly opposed by labor, liberal groups and many Congressional Dems.

“No on Fast Track — Camp-Baucus — out of the question,” Pelosi said, according to a transcript of her remarks forwarded to me by her office. She also told assembled steelworkers: “We cannot support Camp-Baucus. We cannot support Camp-Baucus.”’

Pelosi’s statement comes just two weeks after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he wouldn’t bring “fast track” trade promotion authority up for a vote.

Multilateral trade agreements like the TPP are virtually impossible to enact without fast track, which allows the executive branch to submit a treaty to Congress for an up or down vote, without amendments.

For this Congress, at least, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (and, presumably, the less well-known Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) appears to be dead. Despite the fact that woefully little attention has been paid to the deal by mainstream news outlets, liberals, unions and tea party groups — which dubbed fast-track “Obamatrade” — have created a groundswell of grassroots opposition to the TPP that seems to have been heard by enough lawmakers in Washington to make a difference.

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  • Anonymous

    Forward this to your Tea-Bagger friends and family members…after their heads explode at the idea of being on the same side of something as Nancy Pelosi, they might…just MIGHT…comprehend they we `mere citizens’ are all on the same side of this issue.

  • Arm of Keaau

    Like the fight against Monsanto’s (and other chemical manufacturer’s) “you can’t sue us or get any propriety information that proves how dangerous our products are” bills/laws, I’ll believe TTP/TTIP are dead when they fail and no other hidden bill is being introduced to replace it. (_: FBI

  • Anonymous

    TPP is secret for a reason. It has to be kept secret because it is good only for huge corporations; not for the middle class, not for American jobs; not for the environment; not for any country.

  • Stephen Hamilton

    Mr Bo Watson is confused about being an American! All churches are United all organization are United thus the the very word organization is to be United our first president was pro union thus the 13 colony’s became the 13 states that is United States of America to be an American is to be United. It’s the very essence of liberty to be free to choose your own destination is a central concern of our fellow human beings to join together for the common good of all without union there is no American as we know it, even Jesus Christ formed a union of Jew’s and Gentiles and this union is called Christianity

  • Ric Shorten

    Be very watchful Ms. Pelosi IS a Polition FIRST and always!

  • Ric Shorten

    IF it has advantages break it down page by page …discuss…vote and implement only those conditions that improve the human condition.

  • ejs

    Let’s hope she stays that way.