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Stand with Senator Bernie Sanders: Make secret trade agreements public

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Petition to President Obama:

"We demand the immediate release of the full text of all pending trade agreements to Members of Congress, their staff, and the American public."

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     Stand with Senator Bernie Sanders: Make secret trade agreements public

    Republicans in the new Congress have already launched a backdoor attack against Social Security and moved to gut Wall Street reforms with more bailout for big banks. And now they are working with the Obama administration for the next big item on their agenda – a titanic corporate power grab called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    We need to fight now to ensure the American public, which has purposefully been kept in the dark about the TPP, knows exactly what is in it.

    Fortunately, Senator Bernie Sanders is fired up. He is championing the public interest by demanding the Obama Administration make public the content of all trade agreements such as the TPP.1 And, this is a key moment for us to stand with him.

    Tell President Obama: Make the full text of all pending trade agreements public.

    Trade agreements such as the TPP are being negotiated behind closed doors by the governments of a dozen countries (including ours) in collusion with corporate interests. This secret "trade" deal would eviscerate broad swaths of regulations that protect consumers, workers, the environment and the soundness of our financial system. And it would set up a legal regime where corporate profits trump the policy priorities of sovereign governments.

    Under a trade agreement such as the TPP, more American jobs would be offshored. Internet freedom would be a joke. Developing countries would lose access to lifesaving medicines. Unsafe foods and products could pour into our country while we’re powerless to stop them. Gone would be the days when the United States could regulate coal exports. The excesses of our crazy intellectual property laws that privilege corporate control over innovation would be both exacerbated and extended internationally. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Soon congress will be taking up “Fast Track” legislation which would short-circuit the typical legislative process when trade deals like the TPP come up for a vote. In fact, the reason the corporate lobby is pushing hard for Fast Track is that they know the TPP could not get through Congress without this extraordinary power grab.

    You might think a far-reaching proposal such as the TPP would be subject to intense public debate. But the text of the proposed deal is considered classified by our government and even members of Congress have been given extremely limited access to it.

    The little we do know about the deal we know because drafts of some of its chapters were leaked last year.

    Yet, while the government has kept the public and Congress largely in the dark about the TPP, it has given 600 corporate advisers access to the full text of the proposal. As Senator Sanders has demanded, President Obama’s trade negotiators must “stop operating in the shadows and come clean with details of an agreement."2

    Tell President Obama: Make the full text of all pending trade agreements public.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren has warned that trade deals like the TPP could provide an opportunity for “banks to get something done quietly out of sight that they could not accomplish in a public place with the cameras rolling and the lights on.”3

    Indeed, leaked chapters of the TPP included provisions that would majorly hamstring the ability of governments to stem the next banking crisis.4

    Other provisions would allow multinational corporations to sue governments in foreign courts that are staffed by corporate lawyers when governmental regulations cut into corporate profit.5

    It would be outrageous for the Obama Administration to allow the Republican leadership and their corporate allies within the Democratic party to ram through Fast Track, without allowing all members of Congress, their staff, and the American public to read what is in trade agreements such as the TPP.

    This is why Senator Sanders is demanding the Obama administration to at least follow the example of the European Union which has already published the full text of a separate proposed trade agreement with the United States.6

    Stand with Senator Sanders by demanding President Obama to immediately release the full text of all pending trade agreements.

    Thank you for speaking out. Your activism matters

    1. Senator Bernie Sanders' letter to United States Trade Representative, January 5, 2015.

    2. Senator Bernie Sanders' press release, "Sanders Contrasts U.S. Trade Secrecy to EU Transparency," Sanders.senate.gov, January 7, 2015.

    3. Kate Davidson, "Elizabeth Warren: Trade talks could weaken bank oversight," Politico, May 8, 2013.

    4. Zach Carter, "Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal," Huffington Post, Dec. 08, 2013

    5. Ibid.

    6. Senator Bernie Sanders' press release, "Sanders Contrasts U.S. Trade Secrecy to EU Transparency."