Americans Don't Want It. Analysis Shows It Hurts People. Yet Congress and This President Could Care Less. What's fascinating is how we've seen this dance before and no matter how many put up a fight, more disastrous trade treaties get passed and enacted into law anyway. Lip service is given to the damage done by past trade deals and politicians campaign on stopping them. Yet when it comes to what multinational corporations want, multinational corporations get and damn the populace.
Such is the case with the latest. Called TPP, shorthand for the transpacific partnership, this deal covers over 40% of the globe's GDP and overrides national law and domestic governments. it will also fast track the race to the bottom on wages on wages:
The deal will turbo charge a salary race-to-the-bottom. Many hardworking Americans will see their jobs shipped to low-pay meccas like Vietnam. Those more fortunate will be able to keep working, but for less. The only winners will be big business, which will bask in the glory of its additional billions in profits.
Public Citizen Gives 50 reasons why TPP is a bad idea and we're sure they could come up with 50 more. At the link they outline the impact for each state and it ain't pretty.
The TPP would extend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) model that has contributed to massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on middle class wages, unprecedented levels of inequality, lagging exports, new floods of agricultural imports, and the loss of family farms.
The Economic Policy Institute is warning like Cassandra on TPP:
TPP isn’t even about free trade—it’s about who will and won’t face fierce global competition. And guess who won’t? And as has been well-documented by now, much of what the U.S. policymaking class champions under the rubric of “free trade” is nothing of the sort. For example, the biggest winners from trade agreements have traditionally been U.S. corporations that rely on enforcing intellectual property monopolies for their profits—pharmaceutical and software companies
Nowhere else is the corruption of Obama more apparent than in trade. He of course is pushing a corporate written pack of lies talking point list while unions and many other groups launch TV ads opposing it. By pushing through TPA, also known as fast track, Congress would let Obama write his own corporate ticket to enact their wishes through bad trade deals. Fast track just gives each house in Congress an up or down vote on trade bills with absolutely no ability to modify them and Obama wants it bad in order to pass the TPP monstrosity. This is from guy elected with organized labor's help and this is his payback. It doesn't matter at all that over 2,000 organizations are speaking out on TPP including the Vatican. There are also some Democrats speaking up, and instead of heading their warning, Obama is busy trying to silence them:
President Barack Obama pushed back against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Democratic critics of his trade agenda on Friday, accusing them of spreading "misinformation that stirs up the base but ultimately doesn't serve them." Obama surprised reporters by appearing on a conference call with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in effort to rebut criticisms from Warren and other key Democrats, who worry that his pending Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will exacerbate income inequality and undermine key regulations.
Corporations have increasingly gone through such trade tribunals to attack national environmental and public health regulations abroad, so it should be no surprise that their representative, president Obama is really insulting members of his own party to pressure those who are on the fence on fast track. Those who betrayed their constituents and voted for fast tracking TPP and other trade deals are getting paid off with state dinner invites. Nice perk for selling your country down the river eh?
The TPA bill already passed the Senate and is now onto the House of Representatives. Trade promotion authority has already been voted out of House Ways and Means Committee. Once again lawmakers are not even bothering to read the Trans Pacific Partnership trade text before voting on fast tracking this very treaty. This time they have an excuse as the bill must be viewed in a secret room and members must have proper security clearances as the American people are kept in the dark about what is in the treaty. This is trade, a treaty and the reason it is being kept under lock and key is because if people really understood the screw job written into text against them, they would of course protest to stop passage.
Fast track is most likely to pass Congress, although right at the moment House Republicans claim they don't have enough votes. Corrupt Democrats are now twisting arms in order to pass fast track. Say it ain't so! Once again our corrupt and bought off government is busy doing the bidding for large multinational corporations and throwing the American people and worker to the dogs. Seems Congress cannot get enough of screwing over the American worker and middle class. After all, Congress Loves to Ship Our Jobs Overseas. Of course, dear readers you should contact your House representatives and request they vote no on fast track. It probably won't do anything since constituents don't count, but do it anyway, just to say you did.
While waiting on the Congressional phone to stop fast track, below are some informative videos on TPP and it's disastrous implications. If fast track is passed, TPP is passed in effect since Congress will not be able to offer amendments, make changes or put the treaty in committee. This is why fast track is such a big deal.
Senator Bernie Sanders on TPP:
RT News reporting on TPP:
Video Summarizing the Damage:
Young Turks on the outrageous politics (including giving away sovereignty), behind the deal:
investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms
after the release by wikileaks of the chapter on investment, i wrote about fracking and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with a focus on mandated exports of natural gas to Asia, where prices are 5 times what they are here...
the private investment protection mechanisms of these deals are particularly egregious ... they establish the means by which a multinational corporation can get compensation from a signatory government if one of that government's laws interferes with the corporation's profits...it sets up a supra-national court under the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body, whereby foreign firms can sue governments and obtain taxpayer compensation for whatever "expected future profits" that the government's law encumbered...the adjudication of these disputes would not be by elected officials of any of the signatory governments, but by a tribunal of international trade attorneys representing the multinational corporations....in effect, this trade agreement, and the similar trade agreement that we are negotiating with Europe, gives these world trade tribunals trump power over federal, state or local financial and environmental regulations, patent law, labor laws and worker safety rules, public health, anti-smoking legislation and drug laws, or any law that could be construed as interfering with corporate profits...
as i concluded, if these agreements pass, we'll be transitioning into a new era where governments are completely subservient to the global corporate oligarchy in a way that will make what we've seen with Citizen's United seem like child' s play in comparison...
Expect more Baltimores, Detroits, Phillys, etc...
"Globalization" Was Policy, Not Something That Happened: The downward pressure on wages was the deliberate outcome of government policies designed to put U.S. manufacturing workers in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. This was a conscious choice. Our trade deals could have been designed to put our doctors and lawyers in direct competition with much lower paid professionals in the developing world.
Skepticism About Trade Deals is Warranted: The Clinton administration claimed [NAFTA] would open a new market to U.S. business, and U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, President Clinton, and even Labor Secretary Robert Reich argued that it would create jobs for American workers ... that NAFTA would help keep U.S. manufacturers from moving to Southeast Asia ... What actually happened? The trade balance with Mexico went from positive to very negative, resulting in the loss of more than 600,000 jobs in the United States. More recent claims about the expected benefits of free trade agreement with Korea have proven hollow, too. Instead of creating 70,000 jobs, the net effect has been a higher trade deficit and the loss of 60,000 jobs ... And then there’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China and China’s admission to the WTO, which led to an explosion of imports and the loss of more than 3 million jobs, mostly in manufacturing.
Robert Reich: For fast track -- before he was against it. “I still regret not doing more to strengthen the North American Free Trade Act’s labor and environmental side-agreements” when he was working for Clinton. “The TPP is NAFTA on steroids.”
Rep. Alan Grayson on TPP
No to ‘Fast Track,’ No to Trade Treachery –> Rep. Alan Grayson’s (D-Florida) excellent 9 minute “Hollywood-produced” video explains how we have "fake trade" and not "free trade" agreements.
He goes on to say that our debt to foreigners totals $35,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. — and that foreigners already own 7% of America's assets.
Rep. Alan Grayson's petition:
Maybe he could be Bernie Sander's VP ;)