TPP Impact on Hawaii Environment

K-06-B Wailua Falls Rainbow Web-SM

One of the most serious threats of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the potential negative impact on the beaches, the natural beauty and the natural resources in Hawaii.  

The TPP treaty has been parsed out to the “Corporate Advisors” to negotiate the terms impacting their industry with the foreign governments and foreign corporations.  As an example, companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Dow Chemical are responsible for negotiating the environment impact rules for the new international treaty.

This is a clear example of “the fox guarding the henhouse.”

These companies are provided new ways to sue for damages if they can claim a government passed a law, such as an anti-fracking law or another environmental protection and it hampered potential future profits of the corporation.

Sierra Club letter opposing TPP, with hundreds of organizations in agreement.

Following is an excerpt from the AFL-CIO web site:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) should not substitute corporate preferences for democratically enacted policies that promote clean air and water. The TPP is likely to do this through the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Foreign investors have repeatedly used this “right” to challenge environmental protections around the world.

In one egregious example, Chevron used the investor-state system to evade an Ecuadorian court’s verdict of $18 billion for dumping and failing to clean up toxic oil waste that contaminated the indigenous Lago Agrio community’s drinking water source, which caused numerous health problems for the community. In February 2012, an unaccountable, undemocratic arbitration tribunal ordered the Ecuadorian court to halt the enforcement of its own ruling.

Indeed, numerous cases occurred after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. A case in point, a Mexican municipality denied the Metalclad Corp., an American company, a permit to build a toxic waste dump due to concerns it would contaminate a nearby drinking water source. The tribunal ordered Mexico to pay Metalclad more than $15 million for its refusal.

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In summary, Fast Tracking the TPP through Congress, with virtually no opportunity for congressional debate or amendment, will effectively turn over the keys of our environment and its protection to the very companies who have a troubled past and controversial history of damage to the environment.

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