At the end of last week, we focused on final preparations for an action camp and series of protests to stop ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the lame duck session. We were cautiously optimistic that sustained resistance through the fall would be successful.
The TPP was signed on February 4th and President Obama did not seek ratification all year because members of Congress did not want their vote to be on record before the election. Strong actions throughout the year to pressure members of Congress to oppose the TPP had an impact. Even Rob Portman (R-OH), a former US Trade Representative under President Bush, switched his position and opposed the deal. During the presidential campaign, all of the candidates came out against the deal, except Gary Johnson. Sanders made the TPP an issue with Clinton; and Trump continued that through the General Election, especially in Rust Belt states. For the past two months Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan kept telling Obama – we don’t have the votes and will not consider the TPP in the lame duck. The White House and other TPP proponents lobbied Congress in hopes that the situation would change after the election.
The night before our long-planned action camp began, the White House announced they would not be submitting the TPP for ratification. After more than five years we had a major people-powered victory over transnational corporate power! The media gave Trump the credit but the reality was no matter who was elected, the movement to stop the TPP had the votes to prevent ratification. . . .