InspireSeattle invites YOU to join us at our Social Forum: Saturday, May 7th at 6:30PM.

Main discussion topic for this evening: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): is this Asian trade agreement good or bad for America (and Americans)?

President Obama’s Office of the United States Trade Representative frames the TPP as “INCREASING AMERICAN EXPORTS, SUPPORTING AMERICAN JOBS”. Is this true? At what cost?

Obama announced the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to conclude an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that “reflects U.S. economic priorities and values”. Obama states this will boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents nearly 40 percent of global GDP. The US is negotiating the TPP with 11 other countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). The TPP is the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s economic policy in the Asia Pacific. As a group, the TPP countries are the largest goods and services export market of the United States. U.S. goods exported to TPP countries totaled $698 billion in 2013, representing 44 percent of total U.S. goods exports.

Clearly this proposed TPP has been a hot topic this election season, with some presidential candidates for it, some against it. (Hillary Clinton has been both for and against it!). On the “against” side, some candidates argue that this deal would mimic the effects of NAFTA by exporting jobs, lowering wages, and leading to greater income inequality. Even more, what has been left out of this conversation is the impact of the TPP on several aspects of our economy and legal system. The TPP increases the length of drug patents, limits our ability to regulate Wall Street, affects copyright laws and the internet, and as will be presented at the meeting, poses a serious threat to our ability to fight climate change. In this 5000 page document, the words “climate change” are not even mentioned. Instead, the deal grants corporations a powerful tool against our ability to fight climate change. This tool — the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS) — threatens our sovereignty and our climate by allowing foreign corporations to demand damages in foreign trade tribunals over laws designed to protect the public and our environment.

Clearly trade is critical for the US in our global economy. This discussion is to evaluate the pros and cons of the TPP and its likely impact on Americans, and the planet.

Please join us for this important discussion!

Guest Speaker: Selden Prentice

Selden Prentice is a retired lawyer and college instructor who now volunteers full-time with the climate change group, 350Seattle. She leads the trade policy workgroup which is currently focused on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.

About InspireSeattle

InspireSeattle is a progressive network of Seattle-area people sharing ideas and supporting action. InspireSeattle’s vision is to create connection throughout our community and better community through activism. InspireSeattle’s mission is to provide a fun, supportive gathering for people who care deeply about our community, our country and our planet. We embrace progressive policies that improve our society and protect our environment. We discuss current issues, share ideas and activism efforts while striving to inspire additional action. Subscribe (or unsubscribe) to InspireSeattle by visiting www.inspireseattle.org contact.html.

When: May 7th at 6:30PM. Please try to be on time!!!

Where: Carrie Bogner’s place, 1120 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112. Home # is 206-280-4214.

Directions: (easy to find!) Click here for a map: http://goo.gl/maps/IIHhE

From 520, Eastbound: Take the Lake Washington Exit, go right at the light on to E. Montlake which quickly turns into 24th Ave E. Go up the hill then go left onto Highland Dr. The entrance to the house is in the alley between 24th and 25th, but please park on Highland Dr or on 25th Ave. It is the 2nd house on the west side of the alley (from Highland Dr) and has a 3 car garage. Front door is on the south side of the house. Look for signs at the alley entrance!

From 520, Westbound: Take the Lake Washington Exit, go right at the stop sign, then go left at the light on to E. Montlake which quickly turns into 24th Ave E. Go up the hill then go left onto Highland Dr. The entrance to the house is in the alley between 24th and 25th, but please park on Highland Dr or on 25th Ave. It is the 2nd house on the west side of the alley (from Highland Dr) and has a 3 car garage. Front door is on the south side of the house. Look for signs at the alley entrance! place

Format

It’s a potluck: so please help out and bring something to eat and to drink!

6:30 to 7:45: Social time! Eat, drink, relax, and catch up with some other local progressives

Formal discussion and guest speakers, 7:45 to 9:30

Other Announcements – got any?

Rules of Engagement!

1. So that everyone has a chance to participate, please keep your comments short

2. Raise one’s hand to ask a question in lieu of shouting out

3. Respect the points of views of others

4. No arguing of politics during the formal discussion – save that for afterwards!