The “shutdown” may have blocked veterans from trying to visit memorials, but it hasn’t blocked President Obama from trying to surrender U.S. sovereignty to a body of globalist bureaucrats.
Although the president claims the shutdown kept him from making his scheduled trip to Asia, his surrogates are pushing ahead with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hoping to seal the deal before the end of the year.
Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman are in Bali on behalf of the stay-cationing Barack Obama.
"I do want to make clear none of what is happening in Washington diminishes by one iota our commitment to our partners in Asia, including our efforts to promote trade and investment throughout the region," Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday from Bali.
In other words, the Obama administration is content to let the “shutdown” leave the country open to terrorist attack, but they won’t let anything keep the United States from tying the financial well-being of the United States to Viet Nam and Malaysia.
Those nations and the United States' nine other “partners” in the TPP are, USTR Froman says, “strongly committed to working to conclude negotiations this year.”
This rush to wrap up the trade treaty is consistent with President Obama’s long-standing commitment to successfully draft a document as quickly as possible.
Perhaps just as disturbing as the joining of U.S. economic well-being to that of countries whose GDP is a fraction of ours is the fact that since the beginning, every round of TPP negotiations has been conducted in strict secrecy.
Even the people’s representatives in Congress have been stiff-armed when they have tried to pull down the veil of secrecy preventing Americans from learning about the frightening compromises being made by the Obama administration.
Zach Carter of the online Huffington Post reported that Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, was stonewalled by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative when he attempted to see any of the draft documents related to the governance of the TPP.
In response to this rebuff, Wyden proposed a measure in the Senate that would force transparency on the process, and that was enough to convince the USTR to grant the senator a peek at the documents, though his staff was not permitted to peruse them.
Wyden spokeswoman Jennifer Hoelzer told the Huffington Post that such accommodations were “better than nothing” but not ideal in light of the well-known fact that on Capitol Hill the real work of drafting and evaluating legislation is performed by the representatives’ staff members who are often experts in particular areas of domestic and foreign policy.
“I would point out how insulting it is for them to argue that members of Congress are to personally go over to USTR to view the trade documents,” Hoelzer said. “An advisor at Halliburton or the MPAA is given a password that allows him or her to go on the USTR website and view the TPP agreement anytime he or she wants.”
It is instructive that a duly elected senator of the United States has to beg and plead and threaten legislation in order to see the TPP trade agreement negotiations, but corporate interests are given a password by the USTR that grants them a priori access to those same documents.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) issued a statement criticizing the Obama administration for the lack of oversight into an agreement with devastating potential:
After more than a decade of broken promises from NAFTA, CAFTA, and normalized trade relations with China, we can now add a credibility deficit to the trade deficits we’ve seen. The leaked documents surfacing today only underscore the secrecy surrounding TPP negotiations and confirm worst suspicions about the direction trade negotiations are heading. It’s telling that it is easier for the CEO of a major corporation to access information about the negotiations than the American people’s elected representatives.
The negotiations must involve more transparency and bring more voices to the table.
In an interview with The New American, the president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), Bill Wilson, said he sees a serious threat to sovereignty in the president’s grant of such an exclusive corporate prerogative.
“We are elevating private businesses up to the level of sovereign governments,” Wilson said. “Under NAFTA we gave companies the power to sue governments and the TPP does this as well. In this trade pact, we agree that our government can be sued by these foreign corporations who will be treated as sovereign nations. This is submerging the idea of sovereignty into a sea of regulatory bodies and international agencies and our freedom is drowning in it.”
“It is self-evident that the erosion of the right of citizens to control their own lives is progressing at a rate that we are little more than wage slaves to an oppressive government and its cadre of corporate backers that consider our lives and our liberties of little or no consequence,” he added.
Although the treaty negotiations are conducted behind black-out blinds, a draft document leaked to the Internet discloses that as part of its membership in the TPP, the United States would agree to exempt foreign corporations from our laws and regulations, placing the resolution of any disputes as to the applicability of those matters to foreign business in the hands of an international arbitration tribunal overseen by the secretary-general of the United Nations.
The leaked information also confirms the fears of many who from the beginning have opposed the entry of the United States into this trade agreement. The alarms sounded by several groups on the Left and the Right warning of the wholesale damage that the TPP could cause to commerce, copyrights, and the Constitution now seem vindicated.
As it did with NAFTA, The John Birch Society is mounting a bold defense to the TPP initiative’s attack on the Constitution. JBS CEO Art Thompson said:
For several decades, The John Birch Society has been warning Americans about the loss of our national sovereignty brought about by so-called free trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We point out that political integration follows economic integration. We also point out how the European Union has followed this pattern by progressing from a free trade area of independent European nations in the 1950s all the way to a new political entity, the European Union, that is now absorbing the last vestiges of sovereignty from its member states.
We are now warning Americans about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a new free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated by a dozen or so Pacific Rim nations, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico, and Canada. Since the United States Trade Representative’s website describes the TPP as “a vehicle for Asia-Pacific-wide economic integration,” we believe that eventual congressional approval of the TPP would lead to Asia-Pacific-wide political integration with the attendant loss of American sovereignty.
Americans who study the subject realize that the redrawing of national boundaries and domestic legal processes being carried out in secret by the globalists sitting around the TPP negotiating table is an attack on American laws, American courts, American freedom of expression, American sovereignty, and the right of Americans to hold lawmakers accountable for the laws they make.
Nonetheless, “complex hurdles” remain and the TPP train wreck can still be avoided by derailing the agreement before it obliterates the prosperity and sovereignty of the United States.
Though the hour is late and the president is pushing hard on the accelerator, there is still time for the American people to slam on the brakes. Americans committed to the Constitution should contact their congressmen and encourage them to tear down the wall of secrecy protecting the globalist attack on our law and liberty.
Photo of President Obama: AP Images