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L.A. Votes Down TPP

Date: 
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Author(s): 
John-Paul Leonard

LA City Council Slams TPP Fast Track

In a story that has gone completely unreported in the media, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a resolution against the TPP. The Council made a very strong statement against the attempt to usurp city and citizen sovereignty by a secret and unconstitutional legislative procedure called "Fast Track." Incredibly, under Fast Track Congress can't even amend a law, clearly abolishing a basic right of the legislature. The arrogance and perfidy of the corporatists seems unbelievable, but we know how they are. 

Evidently, the Los Angeles Times did not deem it worthy of mention! To me it seems quite historic, like Los Angeles' own contemporary version of the Declaration of Independence. The globalist corporate controlled media obviously don't want any of that. 

The LA Times even has a topic page for the TPP.  Not a word there of course. Their "TPP-related" story for Jan. 10th: "Why the suddenly aggressive behavior by China?"

The City's resolution is almost impossible to find on the Internet. I only heard about it from the list serve of Webster Tarpley's Against Austerity group. Polly Hughes wrote,

"Here's link to the pdf: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-0002-S4_reso_01-10-14.pdf 
Here is how I ultimately go to the document:
What was the action taken on a Council meeting agenda item? How can I obtain a copy of the minutes?
Council action information can be obtained by accessing the Council File Index(CFI) at http://cityclerk.lacity.org/cfi.
CFI allows the user to search for Council files by Council file number, keywords, names, phrases or dates"

I was able to convert the pdf to a text file. I hope this will make it searchable and easier to find on the internet, and help publicize this staunch action by local government representatives, and crack a little door in the information blackout. Let's see if Google and Yahoo index this!

So, here's the L.A. City Council's splendid and forthright resolution:

JAN 10 2014
RESOLUTION

RULES, ELECTIONS & INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

WHEREAS, any official position of the City of Los Angeles with respect to legislation, rules, regulations, or policies proposed to or pending before a local, state, or federal governmental body or agency must first have been adopted in the form of a Resolution by the City Council with the concurrence of the Mayor; and
WHEREAS, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated between the United States and eleven Pacific Rim countries by the U.S. Trade Representative in secret, without any consultation with the Los Angeles City Government, nor through the National League of Cities, nor the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and
WHEREAS, the text of the TPP is being drafted with advice from transnational corporations who will greatly benefit from its rules; and
WHEREAS, the TPP text has not been made available to the public or even to local elected officials; and
WHEREAS, the Obama Administration expects Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership under "Fast Track" procedural rules, which forbid Congress from amending it and which requires an up-or-down vote in 60 days; and
WHEREAS, reports on the substance of the TPP indicate it would have direct, potentially undesirable consequences for our City's residents, local businesses and environment; and
WHEREAS, the Investment Chapter of the TPP, which was leaked in 2012, would allow foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government over nearly any law or regulation which would reduce their future profits and therefore, potentially rob the City of Los Angeles of needed protections for our people, local businesses and our environment, and that such an agreement would represent an improper intrusion on the sovereignty of our City and our State; and
WHEREAS, TPP financial rules would weaken or prevent regulation of risky financial products such as "interest rate swaps," thereby threatening the financial stability of our government and, more broadly, the stability of our overall economy; and
WHEREAS, U.S., state and local food safety rules could be challenged by foreign corporations as "illegal trade barriers" if found to be more stringent than standards in the TPP, thus threatening the health of our residents and potentially raising health care costs; and
WHEREAS, the TPP would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit access to cheaper generic drugs, which would have a negative financial impact on Los Angeles residents; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. would agree to waive "Buy American" or "Buy Local" requirements aimed at enhancing our local economy and creating local jobs, which have been previously adopted by the City of Los Angeles; and
WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles would have no right or ability to represent its interests before the foreign tribunals which would have the authority to hear cases brought by corporations under the TPP; and
WHEREAS, such tribunal rulings might require taxpayer compensation, which could impact the financial health of the City of Los Angeles and its residents; and
WHEREAS, two dozen environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment America, Oceana, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Earth, Justice and the League of Conservation Voters, have already officially expressed concerns that the TPP must contain a strong, binding, enforceable environment chapter to encourage marine conservation, protect fisheries, prevent illegal logging and associated trade, and protect biodiversity by preventing wildlife trafficking, and yet many TPP countries are opposing such rules; and
WHEREAS, "Fast Track" procedures make it impossible for our elected representatives to adequately study and assess the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty presented to them in order to determine if this proposed Agreement is in the best interests of the American people, in general, and the people of Los Angeles, specifically; and
WHEREAS, this review is especially important since the Trans-Pacific Partnership attempts to supersede current federal, state and local law and prohibit our representatives from taking certain actions to better our society and economy in the future; and
WHEREAS, using similar rules in other free trade agreements, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched more than 500 cases against 95 governments --many attacking common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices; and
WHEREAS, the Los Angeles City Council regularly takes actions to improve the lives, health, well-being and environment of the people of Los Angeles, whether or not those decisions impact Trans-National Corporations; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, with concurrence of the Mayor, that by adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 2013-2014 Federal Legislative Program SPONSORSHIP/SUPPORT for legislative or administrative action to halt the "Fast Track" process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and instead, to allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership a fully transparent, public debate in Congress until its impacts are fully assessed by all stakeholders, in order to protect the rights of the people of Los Angeles, the best interests of our local businesses and workforce, the health of our environment and the sovereignty of the Los Angeles City Government.

PRESENTED BY PAUL KORETZ, Councilmember, 5th District
SECONDED BY Gilbert Cedillo, Mitch O’Farrell