The meeting hasn’t officially convened yet, but according to former NAACP president and Bernie surrogate Ben Jealous, the platform’s language concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be one of the first items considered.
Spirited debate has erupted over an amendment concerning trade policy. An amendment defining Democratic standards on trade policy has been proposed with broad support. The amendment proposed by Lee Saunders lays out progressive series of standards for U.S. trade agreements, and says that those standards must be applied to the TPP. But, the amendment doesn’t explicitly state that the party will be against TPP. Former NAACP president and Sanders surrogate Ben Jealous proposed a second-order amendment that would explicitly state that the party is opposed to TPP, but it failed 74-106.
Now debate is occurring over the Saunders amendment. Some strong opponents of TPP are saying to vote down the Saunders amendment.
The Saunders amendment, which makes the platform on trade more progressive but doesn’t specifically oppose the TPP, has passed 117-64. As a Sanders supporter and opponent of the TPP, I feel that the Saunders amendment is a step in the right direction, but it’s perplexing that the Jealous amendment – which would specifically oppose the TPP – failed. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders oppose the TPP! For some reason, the Clinton committee members are refusing to specifically oppose the TPP in the language of the platform. Some committee members even rose in opposition to the Jealous amendment by stating “I am against the TPP,” while they also spoke against the amendment that would state the party is against the TPP. They’re voting against explicitly stating a position that they agree with! I’m perplexed.
Up next there will reportedly be another amendment concerning the TPP.
Another amendment has been proposed that affects trade policy. This one doesn’t explicitly oppose the TPP, but it does include stronger language against the agreement and opposes a vote on the agreement during the current Senate term.
We’re now considering a different amendment introduced by an author named Hightower from Texas.
The Hightower amendment, which included a statement saying that Democrats will never allow a vote on the TPP, has failed, 71-104. The gallery is furious. A group just walked out yelling “sellout Democrats” and that they would support the Green Party instead.
In summary, concerning the TPP, the party is supporting strong standards with which to examine trade agreements like TPP but refuses to come out specifically against the TPP.
Although an amendment to punish businesses for leaving the U.S. failed 41-119, an amendment to instate harsher criminal penalties and prosections for fraud in the financial industry passed by voice vote.