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Fri Apr 3, 2015, 12:28 AM

Astroturf Warning: TPP Critics Call Out Fake 'Progressive' Group Pushing Corporate Trade Agenda


Last month, a Democratic political consulting firm founded by former Obama administration staffers launched a website dubbed "Progressive Coalition for American Jobs," which claimed to prove the existence of progressives who support trade promotion authority, or Fast Track power.

Fast Track, which will likely be taken up by Congress soon after lawmakers return from Easter recess on April 13, would make it easier for Obama to negotiate trade deals—including the massive 12-nation TPP—by preventing them from being amended by House or Senate members.

However, groups like Public Citizen, CREDO Action, and Democracy for America say no real progressives support handing over trade authority to the White House in this way.

"A consultant-run, pro-TPP astroturf campaign won't change the fact that progressives are united in their opposition to Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership," said Murshed Zaheed, deputy political director at CREDO Action, on a press call (pdf) Wednesday.

In fact, added Neil Sroka, Democracy for America's communications director, "The progressive movement could not be more united, more focused, more committed to holding our leaders accountable for the actions they take in Washington than we are right now in the fight against Fast Track authority for the TPP."

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 01:27 AM

1. Deval Patrick is apparently involved, for one. But we know these guys are conspiring with Obama to

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 01:50 AM

2. Which polluted river is that?

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 5, 2015, 12:53 PM

6. They are wrong on this. It happens, but as the article states, progressives are very united

in opposition to the TPP and are not likely to change that opinion no matter who tries to convince them 'it's good for America'. Now that there is proof of how bad it really is, opposition is only likely to increase.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 5, 2015, 02:19 PM

7. There is no proof it's bad, just a lot of folks trying to boost membership/readership. Not saying

it will be good, but so far I see no reason to mistrust Obama, no matter what those anti-TPP folks, who don't know a lot either, say.

Here's an article by Ezra Klein. I think it's pretty good and describes why this is more than a trade agreement for goods, as has been enacted in the past. It's not simply pro-TPP, either. Try to read it on balance.


Here's another article from economists.


There is plenty more if you care to look beyond the scare tactics being employed by so-called activists.

I'll wait until it's a finished draft ready for all 12 nations to debate in their respective states. Until then, it's just a bunch of folks blowing smoke, complaining about the secrecy, yet seeming to know what's going on. I've about decided most of them are just ticked because Obama didn't call them up to invite them to a meeting in the Rose Garden to ask their opinions

These people like to say it's being written by corporations in back rooms, yet it's being negotiated by US government reps and their are advisory committees that include the following:

But there is also a Labor Advisory Committee with the following members:

Clayola Brown National President, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI)
Thomas Buffenbarger International President, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM)
Jim Clark President, International Union of Electronic, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers (IUE)
Leo Gerard International President, United Steelworkers (USW)
Raymond Hair
President, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), AFL-CIO/CLC

Joseph T. Hansen President, United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW)
Mary Kay Henry International President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Ed Hill International President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
James P. Hoffa General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
Ken Howard President, Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
Gregory Junemann International President, International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
Richard Kline President,Union Label & Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Lee Moak President, International Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), AFL-CIO
Jorge Ramirez President, Chicago Federation of Labor
Cecil E. Roberts, Jr. President, United Mineworkers of America (UMWA)
Arturo Rodriguez President, United Farm Workers of America (UFW)
Sarah Nelson International President, Association of Flight Atendants, AFL-CIO (CWA)
Lee Saunders President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Richard Trumka President, American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Baldemar Velasquez President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)
Randi Weingarten President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Dennis Williams President, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
Forthcoming President, Transportation and Trades Department, AFL-CIO

And there is an Environmental Advisory Committee:

Joseph G. Block Retired Partner, Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti
Kitty Block Vice President, Humane Society of the United States
Jake Colvin Vice President of Global Trade Issues, National Foreign Trade Council
Vanessa Dick Deputy Director, US Government Relations, World Wildlife Fund
Jennifer Haverkamp Consultant
Trevor Houser Partner, Rhodium Group
Rhoda Karpatkin President Emeritus, Consumer's Union
Chris Lischewski Chief Executive Officer, Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC
Amanda Mayhew Senior Advisor, World Animal Protection
Glenn Prickett Chief External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy
Peter Robinson President, U.S. Council for International Business
Lowell Rothschild Senior Counsel, Bracewell & Giuliani

James Salzman Professsor of Law, Duke University
Jeffrey J. Schott Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Andrew F. Sharpless Chief Executive Officer, Oceana
Adam Siegel Vice President of Sustainability and Retail Operations
John Smirnow Vice President of Trade, Solar Energy Industries Association
Frances Smith Adjunct Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
William J. Snape, III Board Member, Endangered Species Coalition
Cindy Squires Executive Director, International Wood Products Association
Alexander von Bismarck Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
Thomas Weirich Vice President Corporate Relations, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)

Other Advisory Committees include:
From https://ustr.gov/about-us/advisory-committees
Advisory Committees
The advisory committee system, established by the U.S. Congress in 1974, was created to ensure that U.S. trade policy and trade negotiating objectives adequately reflect U.S. public and private sector interests. The advisory committee system consists of 28 advisory committees, with a total membership of approximately 700 citizen advisors.

USTR's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs & Engagement (IAPE) manages the advisory committee, in cooperation with other agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency. IAPE is also designated as the state coordinator for the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement, and provides outreach to official state points of contact, governors, legislatures, and associations on all trade issues of interest to states.

IAPE frequently speaks with outside groups in order to build support for a robust trade agenda and creates materials for public distribution.

Advisory Committees

Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN)

Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC)

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade (ATAC)

Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITAC)

Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC)

Labor Advisory Committee (LAC)

Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA)

Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC)

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 04:10 AM

3. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch! We won't fall for it.

More subterfuge.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 06:52 AM

4. Yep. Saw that. I already thought Deval Patrick was just a DINO.


I was thinking - if Obama has the votes to ram the Fast Track, and thus the TPP, through - why bother with all this bullshit?
Why even bother trying to pretend liberals - who are now, I see, DIFFERENT from "Democrats" - are okay with the TPP?

I appreciate the chance to add politicians I will never support or vote for to my list, though!

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 05:34 PM

5. Always be suspicious of any group that sounds "too good"

For example, I found out in searching for another topic that "Social Democrats/USA" is a neocon front.

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