Pro-trade Dems want green goals in TPP

Pro-trade Dems want green goals in TPP

A group of pro-trade House Democrats penned a letter on Wednesday calling on the Obama administration to lock in strong environmental provisions as part of a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal.

Reps. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOverdue progress on costs of trade to workers, firms, farmers and communities Framing our future beyond the climate crisis Reforming marijuana laws before the holidays: A three-pronged approach MORE (Ore.), Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneWashington redistricting panel reaches late agreement on new lines House Democrats aim for Thursday vote on social spending package Lawmakers demand answers for detention of Iranian Americans at US-Canada border MORE (Wash.), Scott Peters (Calif.) and 16 other Democrats who supported President Obama’s trade agenda argue that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) presents a unique chance to raise global environmental standards.


“The TPP presents an opportunity to strengthen environmental protections to a degree that no amount of foreign aid could ever bring,” said Blumenauer, who helped spearhead the letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE.

“Environmental miscreants are not going to unilaterally disarm,” he said.

“A negotiated approach, using the economic incentives in a trade agreement, is the best way to turn bad actors into violators of enforceable commitments aimed at protecting our natural resources and stopping egregious practices like whaling, shark finning, illegal logging and wildlife trafficking.”

A flurry of letters to Froman from Capitol Hill come as officials and leaders from 11 other Pacific Rim nations meet in Hawaii this week in an effort to close talks on the TPP.

“Strong, enforceable environmental protections will not only help protect our planet for future generations, it will also level the playing field for small-and-medium-sized U.S. businesses by raising environmental standards,” DelBene said.

On Tuesday, a group of 18 House Democrats who supported fast-track legislation — led by Blumenauer and Rep. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindDemocrats brace for flood of retirements after Virginia rout Democrats unite to send infrastructure bill to Biden's desk Billionaire tax gains momentum MORE (Wis.) — said their support for the TPP depends on whether the Obama administration can ensure the enforcement of global trade rules.

“We understand the process of enforcing treaty obligations is complex, expensive and time consuming, which makes it essential that we send a clear signal to our trading partners about enforcement now,” they wrote.

They specifically urged Froman to look into whether Peru, a member of the TPP, is violating trade rules by engaging in illegal logging practices.