More than 450 groups have called on the US Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) claiming the trade deal would allow fossil fuel companies to contest US environmental rules in extrajudicial tribunals.
The groups have warned that companies could challenge US environmental standards in tribunals outside the domestic legal system under provisions of the 12-nation TPP and the proposed
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe.
Congress is expected to vote on the TPP after the US Presidential election.
According to reports, President Obama wants the agreement ratified before he leaves office next January.
However, opposition has grown to the move during this year’s election campaign.
In its letter the group said: “We strongly urge you to eliminate this threat to U.S. climate progress by committing to vote no on the TPP and asking the U.S. Trade Representative to remove
from TTIP any provision that empowers corporations to challenge government policies in extrajudicial tribunals.”
The letter says approving the deals would enable fossil fuel companies to use “investor-state dispute settlements” to demand compensation exceeding $15billion after Obama rejected a permit for its Keystone pipeline.