Obama Loses Senate Vote on TPP(A)

tppa protest

Wellington anti-TPPA protest Nov 2014

Yet another victory for our side. The tide seems to be turning against corporate America.

Today the Guardian reported that Tuesday’s 52-45 senate vote shut down further discussion of the Transpacific Partnership Agreement. Owing to the threat of filibuster, this procedural vote required at least 60 “ayes” in order to let the Senate host discussions on whether or not to give the president “fast track” authority.* Failure to reach that threshold puts the future of the TPP(A) in jeopardy.

The proposal was defeated by Democrats wanting to add measures to protect US workers and prevent currency manipulation.

Most analysts agree that the eleven other countries negotiating TPP(A) are unlikely to agree to the treaty unless they know the US Senate will approve it without modification.

Many also believe the setback spells an end to any chance the US will sign up to the TPP(A) before the next US presidential election in late-2016.

According to the Guardian, TPPA opponents have been emboldened by the growing influence of liberal senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and were joined by all but one Senate Democrat in voting against moving forward with TPP.

Only one Democrat, Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, backed the measure. Pro-trade Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who championed the fast track measure in committee, changed his vote to “no.” He’s insisting that fast track be bundled together with three other trade bills, including one that would impose import duties on countries that manipulate their currencies for unfair trade advantage.

TPP is a secret treaty being negotiated behind closed doors without input from the public or elected representatives. Documents released by Wikileaks in March revealed the TPP(A) has a clause known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). It means if local or national governments enact legislation for greater environmental protections, health regulations or rules to assist local businesses – anything that interferes with foreign corporations’ profits – the corporations can sue them in secret tribunals run by corporate lawyers.

Here in New Zealand, we are especially concerned about a clause in the leaked text that would allow pharmaceutical companies to sue us for using generic drugs (in preference to brand named drugs) in our National Health Service. We’re also concerned the TPP(A) would enable Monsanto to sue us over laws that prohibit farmers from planting GMO crops.

Besides the US and New Zealand, the other 10 countries involved in TPP(A) negotiations are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico Peru, Singapore, the and Vietnam.

Read more here

*With “fast track” authority, the Senate would be forced to vote a bill approving TPP(A) up or down without amending it.

14 thoughts on “Obama Loses Senate Vote on TPP(A)

  1. Pingback: Signs of a Turning Tide | New Earth Paradigm

  2. I hope this means the end of this. But I’m more than skeptical. Yes, if the other nations back out then it will die.

    But this TPP is an agenda, a desire, of the powers that be. And Obama nor the congress are these powers; Obama and congress are the stooges of this power, left, right and middle, as you are more than aware of.

    But I will hope with you that this is a dead deal, and if it is, then maybe there is hope that the powers that be are losing their grip.

    Let us hope my skepticism is just a defeatist brain-fart! I would love to believe things are changing for the good of all humanity and the planet!


    • All the evidence I see, especially from the community rights movement, is that the corporate elite are losing their grip. More than 200 communities have passed anti-corporate legislation, banning fracking, factory pig farms, corporate sludge and all manner of corporate abuses. All these town and city laws are allegedly illegal under state and federal laws, but only 5% of them have been challenged by corporations.

      Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObK3EWEs0hY


      • I’ve bookmarked this and will be watching it over the next few days.

        I have read about some of these communities, but I didn’t know there were that many. This is a hopeful sign!

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we (humanity) could do away with this evil and come together the way I believe we were always intended to be? How different the world and our lives would be, and what an inheritance to pass on to future generations!

        Thanks, I needed something like this today, and most days!


  3. This is excellent news! Thank God for Senator Bernie Sanders. There needs to be a separation of corporations and government. Governments should be working for the best interest of it citizens not corporations. I am so glad that people are starting to pay attention to who politicians are protecting.I just hope Europe will stop TTIP.


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