This received, well,
I think we can absolutely say NO PRESS NO MAINSTREAM PRESS when it happened. Or in the five months since it happened. Figures. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) known as “NAFTA on steroids”, seems to be surrounded by a conspiracy of silence. Well, we just learned from our Occupy/artist friend Matt Southgate that last January the city council of Los Angeles passed a resolution opposing this secretively railroaded clusterfuck of a trade agreement – nice, a Democratic council coming out against what seems to be a pet project of a Democratic President – and you can read it below for all you need to know. And we were thinking, some of us are going to start going to the larger OC city councils – Santa Ana, Irvine, Anaheim – and see if we can get THEM to add their voices. Whether they do or not. You gotta do something. And at least that helps keep this in the public eye. Here’s John-Paul Leonard of The Progressive Press:
In a story that has gone completely unreported in the media, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a resolution against the TPP. The Council made a very strong statement against the attempt to usurp city and citizen sovereignty by a secret and unconstitutional legislative procedure called “Fast Track.” Incredibly, under Fast Track Congress can’t even amend a law, clearly abolishing a basic right of the legislature. The arrogance and perfidy of the corporatists seems unbelievable, but we know how they are.
Evidently, the Los Angeles Times did not deem it worthy of mention! To me it seems quite historic, like Los Angeles’ own contemporary version of the Declaration of Independence. The globalist corporate controlled media obviously don’t want any of that.
The LA Times even has a topic page for the TPP. Not a word there of course. Their “TPP-related” story for Jan. 10th: “Why the suddenly aggressive behavior by China?”
The City’s resolution is almost impossible to find on the Internet. [but…]
…I was able to convert the pdf to a text file. I hope this will make it searchable and easier to find on the internet, and help publicize this staunch action by local government representatives, and crack a little door in the information blackout. Let’s see if Google and Yahoo index this!
So, here’s the L.A. City Council’s splendid and forthright resolution:
JAN 10 2014
RULES, ELECTIONS & INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
- WHEREAS, any official position of the City of Los Angeles with respect to legislation, rules, regulations, or policies proposed to or pending before a local, state, or federal governmental body or agency must first have been adopted in the form of a Resolution by the City Council with the concurrence of the Mayor; and
- WHEREAS, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated between the United States and eleven Pacific Rim countries by the U.S. Trade Representative in secret, without any consultation with the Los Angeles City Government, nor through the National League of Cities, nor the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and
- WHEREAS, the text of the TPP is being drafted with advice from transnational corporations who will greatly benefit from its rules; and
- WHEREAS, the TPP text has not been made available to the public or even to local elected officials; and
- WHEREAS, the Obama Administration expects Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership under “Fast Track” procedural rules, which forbid Congress from amending it and which requires an up-or-down vote in 60 days; and
- WHEREAS, reports on the substance of the TPP indicate it would have direct, potentially undesirable consequences for our City’s residents, local businesses and environment; and
- WHEREAS, the Investment Chapter of the TPP, which was leaked in 2012, would allow foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government over nearly any law or regulation which would reduce their future profits and therefore, potentially rob the City of Los Angeles of needed protections for our people, local businesses and our environment, and that such an agreement would represent an improper intrusion on the sovereignty of our City and our State; and
- WHEREAS, TPP financial rules would weaken or prevent regulation of risky financial products such as “interest rate swaps,” thereby threatening the financial stability of our government and, more broadly, the stability of our overall economy; and
- WHEREAS, U.S., state and local food safety rules could be challenged by foreign corporations as “illegal trade barriers” if found to be more stringent than standards in the TPP, thus threatening the health of our residents and potentially raising health care costs; and
- WHEREAS, the TPP would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit access to cheaper generic drugs, which would have a negative financial impact on Los Angeles residents; and
- WHEREAS, the U.S. would agree to waive “Buy American” or “Buy Local” requirements aimed at enhancing our local economy and creating local jobs, which have been previously adopted by the City of Los Angeles; and
- WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles would have no right or ability to represent its interests before the foreign tribunals which would have the authority to hear cases brought by corporations under the TPP; and
- WHEREAS, such tribunal rulings might require taxpayer compensation, which could impact the financial health of the City of Los Angeles and its residents; and
- WHEREAS, two dozen environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment America, Oceana, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Earth, Justice and the League of Conservation Voters, have already officially expressed concerns that the TPP must contain a strong, binding, enforceable environment chapter to encourage marine conservation, protect fisheries, prevent illegal logging and associated trade, and protect biodiversity by preventing wildlife trafficking, and yet many TPP countries are opposing such rules; and
- WHEREAS, “Fast Track” procedures make it impossible for our elected representatives to adequately study and assess the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty presented to them in order to determine if this proposed Agreement is in the best interests of the American people, in general, and the people of Los Angeles, specifically; and
- WHEREAS, this review is especially important since the Trans-Pacific Partnership attempts to supersede current federal, state and local law and prohibit our representatives from taking certain actions to better our society and economy in the future; and
- WHEREAS, using similar rules in other free trade agreements, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched more than 500 cases against 95 governments –many attacking common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices; and
- WHEREAS, the Los Angeles City Council regularly takes actions to improve the lives, health, well-being and environment of the people of Los Angeles, whether or not those decisions impact Trans-National Corporations;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, with concurrence of the Mayor, that by adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 2013-2014 Federal Legislative Program SPONSORSHIP/SUPPORT for legislative or administrative action to HALR the “Fast Track” process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and instead, to allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership a fully transparent, public debate in Congress until its impacts are fully assessed by all stakeholders, in order to protect the rights of the people of Los Angeles, the best interests of our local businesses and workforce, the health of our environment and the sovereignty of the Los Angeles City Government.
PRESENTED BY PAUL KORETZ, Councilmember, 5th District
SECONDED BY Gilbert Cedillo, Mitch O’Farrell