Is the Devil in the Details, and are these Details have been Hidden and Obfuscated?
The TPA sneaked through the Senate at the end of May and this was largely a matter of timing. It was put through when all eyes were on Rand Paul and his epic second filibuster. Despite feeble efforts to inject it with continuing life, Paul forced the Patriot Act to die an ignoble death.
The problem was that while all this was happening Obama’s Fast Track Trade bill was quietly slipped through the Senate. A lot of bribe money then and I suspect even more bribe money now.
Sadly (it would seem) few Senators even bothered to read the TPA bill or even went down to the uber-secret room to get updated on the terms of TPP.
Open Secrets Blog reported several politicians whose net worth went up. You can google this there.
Now Obama is back probably with even more BRIBE MONEY especially from BIG PHARMA.
THIS TRADE DEAL WILL BE DISASTROUS FOR AMERICA depriving of our sovereignty.
Trans Promotion Authority (TPA)
TPA and TPP are actually different bills.
TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) or Fast Track gives a president increased power to negotiate Trade Deals with other countries without “interference” from Congress. Congress may approve or disapprove a President’s Trade Agreement but Congressmen cannot amend or filibuster the deal once agreement is reached.
Historically this authority is not an executive right. For a limited time Congress grants a President this temporary privilege during the named life of a treaty, but only for the duration of a specific trade-deal.
Nixon first kicked off this authority and it stayed in effect from 1975 – 1994. It was resurrected by the Trade Act of 2002 but expired on July 1, 2007. In 2012 the Obama Administration began seeking a renewal for the authority (and as we speak the heat is on).
What congressional rights will Congress be forced to give up with TPA, ?
Congress gives up the power to write legislation, the power to amend legislation, the power to fully examine legislation, the power to predict and investigate the consequences to a specific bill. In addition Congress gives up the chance to keep debate open until cloture. Most of all Congress gives up the constitutional requirement that Trade -treaties can only be approved by a full two-thirds vote.
Republicans like Free Trade; they like the idea of giving a President the freedom to negotiate a Trade Deal with other countries, provided they can get an up and down vote on the agreement and with TPA they can.
- Countries are unlikely to commit to a deal that could later be changed in part or in full by Congress. Foreign countries want to know what they are getting into and that the deal is stable.
- This point is a negative/positive: Obama has shown in the past that when stopped by Congress he is quite willing to go it alone. His unilateral International agreements are likely to be thrown out by the courts (over time)for such is the American system. However in the meantime having a rogue President is an international embarrassment for America and would become a distraction and a liability as we ramp up for the next election. So why not let a little steam tickle out of those big ears, keep the lame-duck President happy and occupied. Then it would be less likely for things to blow up again.
Obama is no longer trusted by Republicans, by Americans or for that matter even by his own party on this issue. So why give him more executive authority to again gum the works?
- It would seem that Fast Track and TPP will operate ABOVE THE CONSTITUTION. With this transfer of authority Legislators give up their God Given right to do their job as defined by the constitution.
- Already there is an unhealthy imbalance between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary; TPA and TPP make this worse.
- While TPA is something different from TPP many republicans (like Paul Ryan) recognize that once a trade deal has been put on Fast Track, it is all but impossible to stop it. Since Fast Track was created by Richard Nixon few Trade Deals have been thwarted once they get fast-tracked.
With this in mind we have to look a little more intently at TPA and TPP. Do we really want ObamaTrade? Does the American Taxpayer really want Fast Track ?
Trans Pacific Partnership
Why do we seek to make Trade agreements? The advantage lies in removing obstacles to the flow of goods and services between countries originating from local tariffs – remove the tariffs and producer and consumer both benefit whatever the country.
Liberalizing services in a Trade deal make them more accessible and efficient and provides an opportunity to open up industries long sheltered from foreign competitors. This is a good thing.
However according to leaks there is a lot in this partnership that has nothing whatever to do with trade:
- Strong patent protection rules for Big Pharma.
- Changes to the USA copyright law. Under the TPP, copyright terms for individuals would go from life of the author plus 50 years to life of the author plus 70 years.
- The creation of International-Investor Tribunals. There are provisions that grant foreign investors the right to sue governments on the basis of vague and broad obligations regarding loss of “expected” profits.
Such suits would not be conducted by judges appointed for life in the American courts which subordinate to the Constitution.Where special interests appoint both the judge and the jury there will be arbitrary justice as in the darker ages on a darker continent.
Pros of TPP
The TPP covers a wide range of goods and services and finding common ground could be facilitated by a central agency similar to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs..This would facilitate Trade.
- Industries like Big Pharma will get a boost because the treaty protects patents.
- Americans educated to provide technical services at home or abroad are likely to see their income go up as the demand for their services increases.
The movie, book and music Industries will benefit with copyrights given more teeth (protected by the TPP) Therefore, the higher-paid owners of intellectual property would receive more of the income gains from this Trade Treaty.
Cons to TPP
- Trade Treaties promote cheaper goods from lower wage countries creating competition and putting local shops out of business.
- Fair Use and Free Speech could be adversely impacted. Social Media Sharing could berestricted, citing copyright restrictions. Yet this innocent social sharing has become an intrinsic part of the new Internet Culture and is a form of free speech and it is a good thing.
- The protected patents are going to reduce the availability of cheap generics, making drugs more expensive. This is bad especially for the poorer world countries, denying them generics that could save lives.
- Corporations get excused from safety and/or quality and/or environmental responsibilities – not a good thing.
- Product transparency will be disallowed. Efforts to get Big Agri to label meat products was thrown out in May justified by the most recent Trade deal. Instead of reinforcing transparency it would seem that TPP leans towards secrecy and complexity.
- The extreme secrecy in which TPP has been incubated is a negative. Many of the things that went wrong with ObamaCare could also go awry with ObamaTrade simply because the devil is in the details and the details are being hidden or obfuscated. And because of TPA Congress will not be able to do anything about problems that surface AFTER THE DEAL IS STRUCK. With Fast Track, Congress is left with no other option than to throw out the whole Treaty BUT killing the treaty may not be the best solution; throwing out the baby with the bath water?
- Of most concern though, is that TPP is designed to supersede American financial regulations. This will make ti all but impossible to get in ethics and correction on the International Banking Monopolies. TPP would empower the world’s largest banks, including 19 of the 30 biggest non-U.S. banks, to “sue” the U.S. government before extrajudicial tribunals. Note:it is said that the USA Federal Reserve has in the past bailed out some of these international banks We do not know this for sure, for this, too, is shrouded in an unacceptable secrecy. In all its existence the Federal Reserve has never been subjected to an audit.According to leakes the TPP empowers foreign banks to challenge new U.S. financial protections on the flimsiest of pretexts – it becomes “illegal” to frustrate the banks’ “expectation of profit.” Hello? There is nothing specific or finite here, nothing to be proven, the profit clause is vague and a generality.TPP is also slated to include deregulation provisions written before the financial crisis – provisions that would conflict with bans on risky derivatives or policies that prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail.” Sen. Warren and other financial experts are warning Congress and Obama that TPP “could make it harder for Congress and regulatory agencies to prevent future financial crises”
So we have to ask the key question – is TPP intended to replace our Constitution?
Way back then, it was the States that created the Union, and they gave no authority to the central government via the U. S. Constitution that would provide powers they were not willing to give the central authority. They did not permit functions or activities given the Union to be given over to any agency outside the Union.
The Constitution states that the President shall have the power only with the Advice and Consent of the Senate to make treaties provided two thirds of the Senators present concur. (Article II, section 2 paragraph 2)
Where to from Here?
So what really happened when TPA was railroaded through the Senate when nobody was looking? And what of the everyday citizens and taxpayers of America? Do we still have the rights given us in the Constitution?
The people of America are suspicious and they do not like the TPP; polls show this clearly. Politicians beware. Polls show an overwhelming majority oppose TPP and they are out there on Social Media howling their outrage. Politicians who support TPP should wake up and smell the coffee.
2016 is just around the corner.
Polls however won’t defeat TPP. It is only if we stand together to oppose this assault on our constitution, our heritage and our rights. If we stand up and speak out, and get in the face of power will the people be able to overcome TPP’s plutocracy?.
These words were spoken by the Libertarian candidate in Politics IOU ( the Election that Spooked the Elites)
Quote for the Week
“They are fighting for their privilege while we fight for our Liberty.”
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