Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement: Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

The Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a massive new international trade pact being pushed by the U.S. government at the behest of transnational corporations for completion in 2012. You may or may not have been hearing about it in the news, but it's been going on behind the closed doors of our congressman for months. Local grassroots coalition Oregon Fair Trade Campaign has been working hard to educate Oregonians about the impact of this agreement on communities. Last month, I attended their Community Forum on Corporate Globalization at the AFSCME Union Building on Burnside and 60th where I learned more about the rapid closing of Oregon Paper Mills and spiraling repercussions of NAFTA-style Free Trade Agreements, like this one, that serve two primary purposes:

  1. Making it easier for corporations to shift jobs throughout the world to wherever labor is the most exploited and regulations are the weakest; and
  2. Putting checks on democracy at home and abroad by constraining governments’ ability to regulate in the public interest.

This will only get worse if we don't take a stand. NOW IS THE TIME.

The Trans-Pacific FTA is already being negotiated between the United States, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Peru and Chile — and Japan, Mexico and Canada have just indicated their intentions to join. It is also intended as a “docking agreement” that other Pacific Rim countries would join over time, including Taiwan, the Philippines and possibly China.

Corporations already cheering the Trans-Pacific FTA include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wal-Mart, Newscorp, GE and Halliburton. It has been questioned — if not outright opposed — by labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, indigenous and other social justice groups on three continents.

Now, more than ever, our Congressman need to hear our voices!

Let them know we don't want to lose more jobs and give more corporations the power to exploit people.


The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign is a statewide grassroots organization committed to fighting for trade policy that:

ORFTC’s affiliate organizations represent over 250,000 Oregonians who recognize that trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA do not work for Oregon. The coalition was founded in 2004 by the Oregon AFL-CIO and Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club. Coalition partners include labor unions, community organizations and environmental groups.

  • prioritizes quality jobs in communities across the state
  • creates markets for Oregon products by raising the standard of living in neighboring countries
  • enforces consistent standards for labor and the environment across borders
  • allows our producers to compete on a level playing field

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