Representative Levin Announces Opposition To Trans-Pacific Partnership

Washington, DC (SC) – Today, Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, announced his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), citing failure of the trade agreement to reach an “acceptable outcome.”

Sander Levin

Image Source: Supreme Gear, Flickr, Creative Commons

The Representative highlighted the TPP’s “wholly inadequate” investment rules that would empower thousands of foreign corporations to directly challenge U.S. laws and policies in private trade tribunals. He cited TransCanada’s threat to use parallel rules in NAFTA to sue the U.S. for $15 billion over the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline as evidence of the threats posed by the “investor-state dispute settlement” system that the TPP would expand.  He also called attention to the environment chapter, noting that he urged for stronger language than what is reflected in the final text.

The deeply flawed trade deal was signed two weeks ago in a casino in Auckland, New Zealand by the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Congress.

In response, Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program, released the following statement:

“We applaud Representative Levin for his leadership on this critical issue and for continuing to fight for a healthy future for workers, families, and the environment by opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP would threaten wildlife and would expand the same reckless rules that TransCanada is currently leveraging to challenge the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline to over 9,000 foreign firms.

“The American people deserve a better model of trade, and we urge other members of Congress to follow Representative Levin’s leadership and oppose the toxic Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

This report prepared by Sierra Club