Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement Resources

The safety standards on which we rely daily for our food, medicines and cars. The energy and climate policies needed to save our planet. The new financial regulations designed to prevent banks from gambling with our money and creating another crisis. These are policies that should be determined in open, democratic venues where we have a say. But a group of the largest U.S. and European banks and corporations want to rewrite these safeguards behind closed doors. For over a decade, they have pushed for a new U.S. "trade" deal with Europe – the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which corporate proponents have branded the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a deal that would roll back consumer protections on both sides of the Atlantic.

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UPDATE: Freedom Industries President Faces Criminal Charges for West Virginia Chemical Leak

The FBI has filed criminal charges against Freedom Industries President Gary Southern for allegedly making false statements regarding January’s chemical spill into the Elk River. The FBI’s complaint charges Southern with bankruptcy fraud, making a false oath in a bankruptcy proceeding, and wire fraud. According to the complaint, “Shortly after the leak and discharge of MCHM into the Elk River was discovered on January 9, 2014, Southern engaged in a pattern of deceitful behavior, which included numerous false and/or fraudulent statements about his role at Freedom, his role in the sale of Freedom to Chemstream, and his knowledge about conditions at the Etowah Facility.” If Southern is found guilty on all counts, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

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Strawberry Fields Forever? California's Pesticide Addiction Harms Local Communities

If you've eaten strawberries recently, you can probably thank a California grower. Mild temperatures and an extended growing season mean that at least 80 percent of strawberries sold in the U.S. originate from the state. However, new research suggests that the tasty fruit comes with a heavy price for local communities because of the extensive use of harmful pesticides.   Those living near strawberry fields face higher risks of cancer and other health problems from exposure to the chemicals.

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Fall 2014 Unified Agenda: What Health and Safety Standards Can We Expect in the Year Ahead?

Just before Thanksgiving, the White House quietly released the fall 2014 Unified Agenda, updating the status of public protections under development by agencies across the federal government. The fall agenda indicates that agencies expect to finalize several key health and safety rules in 2015, but other important protections will progress much more slowly or have been pushed far into the future.

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New Report: Big Business Gaming the Rules Against Public Protections and Small Businesses

On Nov. 12, the Center for Effective Government released a new report finding that trade associations and their big business members are hijacking small business advisory panels that are part of the regulatory process. The panels are intended for small businesses to provide direct, early input to federal agencies about forthcoming health, safety, environmental, and consumer financial protections, but we found that small business voices are being drowned out.

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Paying CEOs More than Uncle Sam

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2014—Of America’s 30 largest corporations, seven paid their CEOs more last year than they paid in federal income taxes, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government. The report, Fleecing Uncle Sam, also looks at the 100 highest-paid CEOs in 2013, finding that 29 received more in pay than their company paid in federal income taxes – up from 25 out of the top 100 in our 2010 and 2011 surveys. These 29 companies operate 237 subsidiaries in tax havens.

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Gaming the Rules: Industry Interference Shuts Out Small Business Voices, Delays and Weakens Public Protections

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2014—A new report released today by the Center for Effective Government finds that trade associations and their big business members are shutting genuine small business voices out of the federal rulemaking process and weakening some crucial public protections.

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An Extreme Congressional Attack on Americans' Right to Breathe Healthy Air

Some conservative members of the Senate and House of Representatives introduced legislation this week bent on abolishing the 44-year-old health foundation for the Clean Air Act and eliminating Americans' right to breathe safe air. Senator John Thune (R-SD) co-sponsored the Senate bill with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and others. Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Bob Latta (R-OH) co-sponsored the House bill.

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House Majority’s Last-Ditch Effort to Undermine Public Protections, Award Corporate Giveaways

With only a few workdays remaining in the current congressional session, House leaders have yet to address many important proposals. However, instead of focusing on the nation’s top priorities, the House majority plans to press ahead with its anti-regulatory, pro-industry agenda.

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Cooking the Books on Standards and Safeguards a Great Disservice to All Americans, Public Discourse

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2014—Today, the National Association of Manufacturers released a new report on what it claims are the costs of federal rules. Authored by economists Nicole V. Crain and W. Mark Crain, the report is based on past studies that have been thoroughly discredited.

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