The United States recently struck 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 around the TPP and the deal's environmental implications. Here's why:
- Extreme Secrecy. The TPP negotiations took 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. While the TPP environment chapter should set strong and binding rules to address conservation challenges like illegal timber and wildlife trade, its rules will likely be too weak to have an impact on the ground and are unlikely to be enforced, rendering the chapter essentially meaningless. Read more 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 over 600 cases against more than 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!
- Factsheet: New Investor-State Ruling Against the Environment Exposes Threats of NAFTA, TPP (April 2014)
- Joint Analysis: Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council & World Wildlife Fund respond to leaked TPP environment chapter (January 2014)
- Factsheet: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: What it Could Mean for the Environment (2014)
- 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)
- Report: Raw Deal: How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Threaten our Climate (December 2013)
- Check out our Activist Toolkit on the TPP so that you can influence this massive trade agreement.