Full Committee Passes Amendment Strengthening TPP Language in Democratic Platform

July 12, 2016


Statement of Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

The Democratic Party has repeatedly rejected requests that it support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — on the floor of Congress, among the base and, now, in the party platform. Both Democratic presidential candidates have clearly stated their opposition to the TPP as have the vast majority of congressional Democrats and Democratic Party base organizations.Responding to the voter demand, the party strengthened language initially proposed by the platform drafting committee, eliminating the reference to some Democrats supporting the TPP and clarifying a vision for international trade that puts working families ahead of corporate profits — the polar opposite of what the TPP represents.   

We are especially glad to see the platform so firmly reject the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system which has been used time and again by transnational corporations in attempts to undermine important environmental, labor and public health laws and regulations around the globe in the pursuit of greater corporate profits. The inclusion of the language opposing the ISDS system in the platform text going to the convention floor spotlights just how clearly the TPP fails the ‘high standard’ set forth in the platform language. The TPP’s prospects of ever being enacted were already very slim, and today they got even slimmer.   

We would have preferred to see even stronger language explicitly rejecting the TPP. However, the strengthened language that was approved is a clear indication of just how much of a non-starter the TPP is within the Democratic Party and the country as a whole. The White House furiously lobbied platform committee members but failed in its intensive efforts to maintain some language in the platform suggesting that some Democrats support the TPP.

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