Dems censure the votes of Cantwell, Murray, Larsen , DelBene and Kilmer to fast-track TPP

Several Democratic and labor organizations in Washington State have censured or condemned Senators Cantwell and Murray, and Reps. Larsen, DelBene, and Kilmer for their votes in favor of  Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Washington State Labor Council passed a resolution censuring the TPP supporters, as discussed here. The Washington State Progressive Caucus’s resolution is here.

Below is the version of the resolution under consideration by The King County Democrats’ Resolution Committee. The 32nd LD Democrats adopted a similar resolution on Aug 12.

These resolutions are significant, because President Obama worked closely with Republicans to support TPP and TPA.

The platform of Washington State’s Democratic Party explicitly opposes trade agreements such as the TPP.


Whereas multilateral negotiations among unidentified corporate representatives of the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations have been conducted in secret for 6-7 years, to develop an agreement to be known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) for governance of future trade among those nations; and

Whereas, despite the ongoing exceptional secrecy, it has become known that the TPP would, as in past international trade agreements, establish a system of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) tribunals comprised of corporate trade lawyers empowered to override, without judicial review, existing labor laws, environmental protections and health and safety regulations in any participating nation, insofar as those measures might be thought to adversely affect the expected future profits of multinationals and other foreign corporations; and

Whereas there is every reason to believe that the TPP would produce disastrous results much like those of such other recent pacts as NAFTA and the infamous “Korea Free Trade Agreement” that have offshored high-wage jobs and collectively boosted our overall trade deficit to more than $248.5 billion (“Business and Industry Council,” Tradeticker.org) – growing by $5 billion yearly (Economic Policy Institute, Dean Baker) – including our own state’s trade deficit of $147 million; and

Whereas the Washington State Democratic Party, in convention assembled in Spokane in June 2014, adopted a State Democratic Platform expressly opposing “Foreign trade agreements, such as the Transpacific Pact (TPP), that put the interests of corporations above the rights of workers [and] environmental protections, and that overrule the authority of federal, state, and local governments;” and

Whereas resolutions of unequivocal opposition to the TPP, and/or to a “Fast-Track” process for expediting its approval, have been adopted many times since January 2013 – by the Seattle and Bellingham City Councils, by numerous Washington Democratic organizations at the legislative district and county levels, and by the Washington State Democrats; and

Whereas the continued strict secrecy surrounding the TPP’s content has vitiated effective review of the TPP by our elected representatives and prevented any direct review whatever by the American public to whom they are responsible, thus making unreasonably short the 60-day limit imposed by “Fast Track”;

Therefore, be it resolved that we hereby adopt this resolution condemning the votes in favor of Fast Track authority cast by Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray on May 14 and June 23, 2015, and by Representatives Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene and Derek Kilmer on June 12 and 18, 2015, and

Be it further resolved that we strongly urge our Washington delegation to make a concerted effort, before TPP or any similar treaty is brought to Congress for approval, to assure that the agreement (1) strikes or significantly modifies any ISDS mechanisms so that their operations are transparent and cannot overrule actions by democratic governance systems; (2) prevents any ISDS tribunal from forcing companies or governments to pay compensation for “expected future profits;” and (3) sustains local, state and national laws that mandate physical and economic protections for workers, prohibit child labor, and protect the environment and consumers’ health and safety.

Sponsored by the KCDCC Resolutions Committee

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