Congressional Push for Fast Track Authority Threatens Basic Consumer Rights, Food Safety, Local Sovereignty
Statement from Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Washington, D.C.—“With the introduction of Fast Track legislation today in the Senate and House of Representatives, the Obama Administration came a step closer to its goal to be allowed unchecked authority to promote trade deals that undermine basic consumer rights, food safety and local sovereignty. The President is seeking Fast Track authority in order to complete controversial trade deals including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Free Trade Agreement, which are actually corporate power grabs disguised as trade agreements.
“It’s deplorable that Congress would consider giving up their oversight role and allow the White House to push for an accelerated timetable for something as critical and far-reaching as the TPP. If Congress passes Fast Track, it would allow the President to set the terms for all future negotiations relating to trade deals, without any ability of Congress to amend the language.
“Fast Track approval would pave the way for the TPP, which could have disastrous implications for American consumers. The TPP threatens the very essence of our democratic process by promoting privatization of public resources and corporate self-regulation. It would give companies the power to overrule local governing bodies on decisions about fracking, food safety, public health and the environment. Despite the far-reaching implications of these negotiations, the TPP has mostly been negotiated in secret. But over 600 official corporate ‘trade advisors’ are privy to the content in the agreements, even though Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, the media or the public haven’t had access to its text.
“Congress must not enable devastating trade deals like the TPP by granting the President fast track authority.”
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.
See Ecowatch article on weakened environmental policies in latest draft.