By; Shelley Pineo-Jensen
Sen. Ron Wyden should be recalled because of his decision to join congressional Republicans and ensure fast tracking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP serves the interests of multinational corporations, including Monsanto, in a war for control of the world’s resources. When the transnational corporations win, humanity loses. Wyden has proven that he is a tool of the corporations; he does not represent the people of Oregon and should be removed from office.
Wyden is not ignorant of opposition to the TPP, and the fast-tracking thereof. People from all across the state have flooded Wyden’s voice-mail with thousands of messages.
He’s received thousands of emails urging him to oppose fast track authority for the deal. And unions, environmental groups and community organizations have delivered petitions bearing tens of thousands of signatures to his office and met with his office staff on numerous occasions.
The senator could also read postings on his Facebook page if he wants to know which way the wind is blowing.
Local residents, Oregonians, Americans, human beings, and the biosphere all have everything to lose under the rules that will control us if the TPP becomes the law of the land. This deal is being negotiated in secret — well, it’s a secret from our side of the bargaining table, but not a secret from the multinational corporations on the other side. Fortunately for human beings, WikiLeaks has published much of the document. Public Citizen’s analysis reports that the TPP would:
Give foreign investors expansive new substantive and procedural rights and privileges not available to domestic firms under domestic law.
Empower foreign firms to directly “sue” signatory governments in extra-judicial investor-state dispute settlement tribunals over domestic policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms when foreign firms claim that these policies violate their new substantive investor rights. Before an investor-state dispute settlement tribunal, foreign firms could demand taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine foreign investor privileges under the TPP, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations.”
Empower these investor-state dispute settlement tribunals to order payment of unlimited government funds to foreign investors over TPP claims. Such compensation orders would be based on the “expected future profits” a tribunal surmises that an investor would have earned in the absence of the public policy it is attacking as violating the substantive investor rights granted by the TPP.
We already have transnational corporate control of the railroad tracks in our country. Local control of what materials travel through our town on the railroad tracks is a decision controlled by the World Trade Organization.
You cannot make a local law to stop the transport of dirty polluting coal through your town. The WTO “Compliance Panel” recently ruled that U.S. country-of-origin meat labeling is not permitted.
The WTO ordered our government to deny U.S. consumers basic information about where food comes from.
One transnational corporation has spent millions of dollars to block labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms: Monsanto. Monsanto is one of the key proponents of the TPP. Monsanto is represented by the lobbying group Akin Gump. And Akin Gump was the largest donor to Senator Wyden from 2009 to 2014. It is no surprise that Wyden is a cheerleader for the TPP; he hears his master’s voice: Monsanto.
It is not complicated to recall a U.S. Senator in Oregon. According to the Oregon secretary of state’s website, a chief petitioner files a document with the local elections filing officer. After receiving written approval, signatures are gathered. The number of signatures required to qualify for a recall vote is 15 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the last election.
In this case that number is 220,458. If sufficient signatures are verified, a recall election would be held. More than a quarter of a million people in Oregon are represented by unions. We can do this, and we should.
Originally Published: The Register-Guard