President Obama is now trying to push through fast track legislation to help pass his Trans-Pacific Partnership, the latest NAFTA‐style “free‐trade” treaty Congress is expected to vote on this year. But the TPP negotiations themselves have been kept secret from the vast majority of the American people, although enough has leaked out to recognize this new trade deal as pretty much the same old NAFTA/ CAFTA snake oil.
TPP would continue the 30 year neo-liberal project of pressing down wages and outsourcing jobs, while allowing global corporations to legally challenge financial, environmental, labor, food safety and pharmaceutical regulations enacted by governments, even democratically elected ones like our own—even city councils! These disputes could then be taken before unelected panels of international corporate trade lawyers to recoup lost “potential profits”. So TPP seems to be just the latest attempt to transfer power from governments to private capital.
But with mounting opposition from labor, environmentalists, family farmers and locally owned small business, there’s still a chance we can strangle this monster in the crib. Consult the following websites for background information: www.citizenstrade.org/ www.stopfasttrack.org/ www.flushthetpp.org/, then call Senators Markey & Warren and your representative (202‐224‐3121).
Opponents of President Obama’s breakthrough negotiations with Iran to limit its nuclear program have been urging additional sanctions on that nation ever since the talks began in December, 2013. A bill proposed by Senators Menendez (D‐NJ) and Kirk (R‐IL) even promised US political, economic and military support to Israel whenever Netanyahu chose to attack Iran (S.1881). But the Iranians have made it clear that passage of any additional sanctions during the negotiations will end the talks then and there—which seems to be what much of the Congressional opposition wants anyway. As do similar hardliners in Tehran, the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia, and various Sunni extremist groups including ISIS and Al Qaeda.
But repudiating US–Iran negotiations would undermine Iranian moderates while increasing the likelihood of a US–Israeli attack, leading to more regional chaos, terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Thanks to opposition from Obama, S.1881 and similar legislation seems to be on hold, at least for the moment, and Boston DSA has joined with Peace Action and others to make sure it stays that way. The ultimate solution is still an internationally enforced treaty for a nuclear‐free Mid‐East, but this US–Iran accord is at least a promising beginning.
For more information visit www.niacouncil.org, then call Senators Warren & Markey and your Congressperson (202‐224‐3121) to tell them: Speak out against new sanctions! Don’t sabotage the US–Iran talks!