The CWA News | TPP: Threatens Our Health, Consumer Safety and the Environment

Volume 74, Issue #3 | Fall 2014

TPP: Threatens Our Health, Consumer Safety and the Environment

Should CORPORATIONS Make Decisions About our Environment?

SIERRA CLUB: If You Care About the Environment, TPP Makes Things Worse

  • Requirements for recycled content in paper and other goods, or policies requiring energy to be from renewable sources, can be challenged under the trade deal’s procurement rules.
  • Certain environmental or consumer safety labels and eco-friendly packaging can be challenged.
  • Any community restrictions, or even a moratorium on “fracking,” the process of extracting gas deposits from shale rock using high pressure techniques, can be challenged.

Earlier this year, the draft environment chapter of the TPP was leaked. Government negotiators are calling the trade deal an “ambitious, 21st-century trade agreement.” CWA and partners the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) know better. In their analysis, the three environmental groups found that TPP could lead to serious stress on natural resources including in trees, fish, and wildlife. At risk: Clean Air and Clean Water regulations, the Endangered Species Act, and the right of communities and our elected representatives to set standards to protect citizens and the environment.

We've already seen big corporations use investor protections in other free trade agreements, like NAFTA, to challenge environmental laws and regulations.

Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched more than 500 cases against 95 governments. Dozens of cases attack common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices.

Canada’s ban on the export of Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes to the U.S. was challenged by S.D. Myers, Inc., an Ohio-based corporation that processes and disposes of PCB waste. Canada cited public health and environmental issues over the transport of this highly toxic waste, but was ordered by a tribunal to pay S.D. Meyers $5 million.