Tell the Media: It’s Time to Expose the TPP

To: News Directors at CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News

Tell the Media: It’s Time to Expose the TPP
143,702
of 200,000 signatures
Campaign created by Louise Slaughter

The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive new trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and 11 other countries. The TPP would undermine our nation’s environmental, labor and intellectual property standards and ship American jobs overseas while dumping our wages and benefits overboard along the way. The TPP has been negotiated behind closed doors with special access granted to corporate lobbyists while Members of Congress and the American people have been shut out.  We respectfully urge you to give this massive trade agreement the critical attention it deserves in order to inform the American people and shine a light on an agreement that would fundamentally alter the American economy and threaten American jobs.

Why is this important?

The Obama Administration is negotiating a massive new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would threaten American jobs and rewrite laws governing our food safety, access to medicine and intellectual property rights. 

Yet the negotiation has been shrouded in secrecy. Special access has been given to corporate lobbyists, but the American people and Members of Congress have been shut out. 

The television news media should be playing a vital role in informing the American people about the far-reaching and troubling implications of the TPP, but a recent study by the public watchdog group Media Matters found that there has been virtually no televised news coverage of the TPP in the past six months.

Given the secret nature of negotiations and the virtual blackout from television news networks, the American people remain largely unaware of the potential legislation and its effects on our country. 

Our nation must have a thorough public debate before voting on another NAFTA-style trade deal.

It is vital that the mainstream television news networks provide full and balanced coverage of this major legislation so that the American people are informed about the potential impact of the TPP.

Recently, a bill was introduced in Congress to give the Obama Administration so-called “Fast Track Authority.” If approved, Fast Track Authority would prevent Congress from fully debating or amending the TPP before a required up-or-down vote.

So far, the Obama Administration is facing stiff opposition to their proposal from Democrats in the House and Senate. Proponents of Fast-Track embarrassingly could not find a single Democrat to co-sponsor the measure in the House. Meanwhile, Senator Harry Reid has joined me and 150 of my Democratic colleagues in declaring our opposition to Fast Track Authority.

While Democrats have been joined by 23 House Republicans, there is still a chance that proponents can push Fast Track Authority through. As some in Congress contemplate their position on Fast Track, it is more important than ever that their constituents be informed of this legislation and their representative’s stance on the issue.

Join me in urging the mainstream news media to use their unique position as a trusted source of information in order to inform the American public and allow democracy to work its will.
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