Thursday, 26 June 2014

Trans-Pacific Partnership (NAFTA on Steroids) Threatens Sovereignty

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As anyone who reads The New American knows, there are several fronts in the plutocrats’ war to eradicate our fundamental liberties and the Constitution that protects them. It is sometimes difficult to keep up with the manifold threats to the prosperity and perpetuation of the American Republic.

Of all the weapons aimed at our freedom and founding documents, though, there is perhaps none more potent than the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). So imminent is the harm hiding within the still-secret “trade pact” that one author recently described the TPP as “The greatest threat to American sovereignty.

That’s quite a claim, but, a close scrutiny of the details (scant though they may be) of the 12-nation agreement reveals that the accusation is accurate.

Since his second inauguration, President Obama has kept his foot on the TPP pedal, pushing for the quick culmination of the deliberations and the ratification of the same by the Senate.

Since his reelection in 2012, President Obama has been forced to focus on domestic issues, chief among which was the ObamaCare rollout debacle. Not that foreign policy hasn’t had its time in the foreground, speaking specifically of Syria, Ukraine, and Iraq.

Now, however, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be brought front and center, and the president reckons the time is right to renew his effort to solve the problems plaguing the approval of the 12-nation regional trade pact.

President Obama used the State of the Union address in January as an opportunity to request Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress. TPA is a tool that the president demands be in the U.S. trade representative’s bag when he sits down with his colleagues from the other TPP participant nations. 

Not so fast. The Washington Post reported on February 19 on the pressure the president is feeling from his own party to pump the brakes on the TPP and fast track authority:

Already, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are opposed to moving forward with granting Obama fast-track authority.

"Everyone would be well-advised just to not push this right now," Reid said in March. He's generally opposed to large global trade agreements.

Resistance from Reid and Pelosi usually would be enough to at least ease the White House push. But Obama and Vice President Biden have also been directly confronted on the issue in recent weeks by rank-and-file members. And 151 House Democrats — more than half of the caucus — co-signed a letter late last year written by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to voice opposition to fast track authority and the TPP. 

Others in the president's party have pointed out what should be obvious dangers of the TPP. The Politico article contains a quote from a Democratic lawmaker:

“TPP would force Americans to compete against workers from Vietnam, where the minimum wage is $2.75 per day,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said. “It threatens to roll back financial regulations, environmental standards and U.S laws that protect the safety of drugs and food and the toys we give our kids.”

On May 24, the Financial Times published an article on the “fast track” debate, focusing on the efforts of Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to convince a sufficient bloc of Democrats to drop their opposition to granting trade promotion authority. The Financial Times reported:

To do so, he [Wyden] argues, will mean addressing concerns over the lack of transparency that plague negotiations. He also wants to make sure any TPA bill, which traditionally sets US objectives for trade deals as well as limiting Congress’s ability to amend them, addresses modern sectors such as the trade in digital goods.

In a move that will cause concern with some US negotiating partners such as Brunei and Vietnam, Mr Wyden says he would also like to see trade agreements address human rights, something advocated by fellow Democrats.

“I think it’s the responsible thing to do and I think it will bring more support for the cause of trade expansion,” Mr Wyden says.

A post published on the blog Economy in Crisis expertly lays out the danger lurking in the fast track process:

If Congress foolishly grants Obama fast-track trade authority, President Obama alone will draft the agreement without Congressional input. Congress will have just 90 days before signing and entering into an agreement, requiring a floor vote 15 days after the bill is discharged from Committees. Congress will then have only 20 hours of debate in each House, not the normal debate and cloture or the ability to amend the legislation. If passed, the TPP will become U.S. law and will then require approval from every one of the other signatory nations before Congress can revoke or change their content. There will be all sorts of mischief lurking in the TPP pages and we will not know until it is approved.

As with the multitude of similar trade pacts the United States has formed, the ultimate aim of the TPP is the creation of a regional super government — thus the stonewalling of federal lawmakers who dare seek to assert some sort of oversight.

In the case of the TPP, the zone would be called the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). Members of the proposed “free trade” bloc include all the current TPP participants: Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Canada, and the United States. The regional trading partnership is intended to establish “a comprehensive free trade agreement across the region.”

Economic and political integration will push the once-independent United States of America into yet another collectivist bloc that will facilitate the complete dissolution of our nation and our states into no more than impotent members of a one-world government.

Each of the “partners” to the pact, including foreign corporations, would be exempted from abiding by American laws governing trade disputes. Moreover, the sovereignty of the United States and the Constitution’s enumeration of powers would once again be sacrificed on the altar of global government by subordinating U.S. laws passed by duly elected representatives of the people to a code of regulations created by a team of transnational bureaucrats.

Predicting such a scenario isn’t exactly a prophetic act, though. The TPP has been described as “NAFTA on steroids,” and a quick rehearsal of the devastation washed up on American shores in the wake of NAFTA will serve as a cautionary tale of the terrors of the TPP.

In its report entitled “NAFTA at 20,” Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch provided a primer on NAFTA’s enervating effect on the American economy. The paper reports:

NAFTA created new privileges and protections for foreign investors that incentivized the offshoring of investment and jobs by eliminating many of the risks normally associated with moving production to low-wage countries. NAFTA allowed foreign investors to directly challenge before foreign tribunals domestic policies and actions, demanding government compensation for policies that they claimed undermined their expected future profits. NAFTA also contained chapters that required the three countries to limit regulation of services, such as trucking and banking; extend medicine patent monopolies; limit food and product safety standards and border inspection; and waive domestic procurement preferences, such as Buy American.

Some of the specific harm caused by NAFTA is highlighted in the report:

1. $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada

2. One million net U.S. jobs lost because of NAFTA

3. A doubling of immigration from Mexico

4. Larger agricultural trade deficits with Mexico and Canada

5. More than $360 million paid to corporations after “investor-state” tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies.

Americans who study the subject realize that the domestic legal processes being carried out in secret by the globalists sitting around the TPP negotiating table is, like NAFTA before it, an attack on American laws, American courts, American freedom of expression, American sovereignty, and the American Constitution.

 

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels nationwide speaking on nullification, the Second Amendment, the surveillance state, and other constitutional issues.  Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at

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