The United States is currently negotiating an expansive free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Eventually, every Pacific Rim nation may be included.
The Sierra Club is deeply concerned about the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiations and the environmental implications agreement. Here's why:
- Extreme Secrecy. The TPP is taking place in extreme secrecy. No drafts of TPP texts have been released. And public input has been drowned out by dominant corporate input; more than 600 corporate advisors are actively working to shape the agreement while the public is being kept in the dark.
- Threat to Forests, Wildlife, and Fish. On January 15, 2014, WikiLeaks published a draft environment chapter of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP governments have billed the agreement as an "ambitious, 21st-century trade agreement." However, a joint analysis by Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reveals that the current TPP environment chapter text does not meet that goal. In its current state, in fact, the TPP could lead to increased stress on natural resources and species including trees, fish, and wildlife. To read our analysis, click here.
- Unfettered Rights to Corporations. The TPP will include provisions that give corporations the right to sue a government for unlimited cash compensation -- in private and non-transparent tribunals -- over nearly any law or policy that a corporation alleges will reduce its profits. Using similar rules in other free trade agreements, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched nearly 600 cases against nearly 100 governments. Dozens of cases attack common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices. Read more here about how harmful investment rules included in other trade pacts have led to the attack of climate and environmental policies.
- Increase in Dirty Fracking. The TPP may allow for significantly increased exports of liquefied natural gas without the careful study or adequate protections necessary to safeguard the American public. This would mean an increase of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the dirty and violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations. It would also likely cause an increase in natural gas and electricity prices, impacting consumers, manufacturers, workers, and increasing the use of dirty coal power. Read our factsheet on the TPP and natural gas exports here!
- New Investor-State Ruling Against the Environment Exposes Threats of NAFTA, TPP
- Raw Deal: How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Threaten our Climate
- Factsheet: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: What it Could Mean for the Environment
- Letter: 13 environmental organizations call for high-ambition, binding TPP environmental chapter (October 21, 2014)
- Letter: Two-dozen environmental organizations call for strong, binding TPP environment chapter (November 14, 2013)
- Check out our Activist Toolkit on the TPP so that you can influence this massive trade agreement.