A resolution requesting the President of the United States, Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the United States Senate, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the United States House of Representatives, and the Tennessee Congressional Delegation to oppose the TransPacific Partnership (TPP).

WHEREAS, Tennessee has lost more than 188,000 manufacturing jobs -- more than one out of three -- since 1994; and

WHEREAS, the Nashville/Davidson County poverty rate is 19%, which requires the expenditure of limited public funds to assist families in crisis; and

WHEREAS, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and all but two (2) of the U.S. trade deals that followed it include special legal rights for foreign investors, known as “investor-state dispute settlements” or ISDS, that allow foreign firms to bypass state and federal courts to challenge state and local laws, regulations, and administrative and judicial decisions in international tribunals; and

WHEREAS, foreign investors already have used NAFTA’s ISDS provisions to challenge decisions regarding local building permits, environmental regulations, state bans on toxic chemicals and decisions of state courts; and

WHEREAS, ISDS claims can include energy expansion projects similar to the controversial proposed gas compression station in Joelton, as has occurred in Lone Pine (Canadian Oil Company) v. Quebec and Vattenfall (Swedish Energy Company) v. Germany; and

WHEREAS, Canada has had thirty-five (35) ISDS claims under NAFTA filed against it, and paid $170 million in damages to corporations in six (6) lost or settled ISDS claims, and Mexico has paid $204 million resulting from five (5) lost cases; and

WHEREAS, the threat of ISDS challenges to state, city and local laws and their resulting damages will have a chilling effect on state, city and county governments and undermine local control; and

WHEREAS, climate change and environmental degradation threaten communities across the globe, and ISDS provisions in the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) may expose nations enacting policies to fight climate change to ISDS cases that undermine these efforts; and

WHEREAS, promoting economic growth with equity in Nashville requires an approach that reforms the entire trade negotiation process to ensure that voices of workers, farmers, small businesses, families and communities are heard and their interests' addressed; and

WHEREAS, the TPP has been negotiated in secret, effectively shutting state and local governments out of the process, limiting the ability to influence its rules to ensure the people of Davidson County, Tennessee can participate in the benefits of trade; and

WHEREAS, negotiating new trade agreements such as the TPP represents a missed opportunity to strengthen our economy, reduce income inequality and promote sustainable growth; and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the citizens of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County that the TPP legislation not be enacted.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the United States Senate, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the United States House of Representatives, and the Tennessee Congressional Delegation oppose the TransPacific Partnership (TPP).

Section 2. That the Metropolitan County Council calls upon these elected officials to support new trade deals such as the TPP only if they will:

• Protect and promote traditional state and local prerogatives and authority under our federal system, including by ensuring that states and localities will not be required to comply with certain commitments, including any restrictions on preferences for local, state, or U.S. goods or services, without prior informed consent of the legislature or local lawmaking body;
• Ensure balanced trade;
• Include enforceable rules against currency manipulation, which countries such as China and Japan have used to tilt the playing field in their favor;
• Exclude investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) and other provisions that favor foreign companies over domestic ones and undermine public choices;
• Ensure that countries cannot undercut U.S. based producers with weaker labor and environmental laws and enforcement;
• Ensure that the U.S. will engage in robust enforcement of trade rules, including labor and environmental rules;
• Include strong rule of origin to promote economic growth and job creation in the U.S.;
• Promote high standards of protection for workplaces, products, and natural resources rather than promoting a race to the bottom; and
• Put the interests of people and the planet over the interests of private profit.

Section 3. The Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a certified copy of this Resolution to President Barack Obama, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and to each member of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation.

Section 4. That this resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Fabian Bedne, Dave Rosenberg, Tanaka Vercher, Nancy VanReece, Karen Johnson, Ed Kindall, Scott Davis, Sam Coleman, Davette Blalock, Sharon Hurt, Jason Potts


Referred to: Rules & Confirmations Committee
Introduced: November 17, 2015
Adopted: November 17, 2015 - Roll Call Vote
Returned unsigned by the Mayor: November 18, 2015

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.