Thursday, 04 February 2016

With TPP Signed, Opposition Explodes Across Political Spectrum

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With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed today in New Zealand by officials from the 12 governments and dictatorships ensnared in the sovereignty-smashing “free trade” regime, opposition to the plot — dubbed “Obamatrade” by critics — is surging across the political spectrum and around the nation. In the presidential primaries, virtually nobody, not even known establishment candidates, dares to express support for the scheme. In Congress, members of both parties are up in arms, calling on their colleagues to crush the TPP before it crushes America. And among the grassroots, Americans of all political persuasions are outraged, ranging from labor unions and environmental groups to conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist forces. All 12 of the governments involved are facing their own homegrown opposition, too.

As usual, the Obama administration is calling on U.S. lawmakers to rubber-stamp the agreement as quickly as possible. Indeed, Obama administration Trade Representative Michael Froman, a member of the extremist global government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, even threatened that America would face “costs” if Congress did not promptly submit to Obama's demands. Considering the reactions of lawmakers so far though — even among Republicans who stabbed voters in the back by campaigning on a platform of stopping Obama, then empowering him with “Fast Track” authority to ram TPP through Congress — the White House is likely to face major hurdles in getting TPP ratified before the November election, if ever. Even the most “progressive” members of Obama's party are fervently denouncing what Obama called the “most progressive trade agreement in history.”

On Obama's side of the aisle, for example, more than a few left-wing Democrats are urging their colleagues to stop Obamatrade. “Congress will have to vote straight up or down on TPP. We won’t have a chance to strip out any of the worst provisions, like [supranational kangaroo courts allowing mega-corporations to sue taxpayers for their decisions on how to govern themselves],” said far-left Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the most “progressive” lawmakers in Washington, in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the February 4 TPP singing ceremony in New Zealand. “That’s why I oppose the TPP and hope Congress will use its constitutional authority to stop this deal before it makes things even worse — and more dangerous — for America’s hard-working families.”

On the Republican side, even the establishment “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) in charge of Congress at least pretended to have concerns, despite having already betrayed their base to support the Obamatrade agenda. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for example, said he had “some problems” with TPP, and that there were a “number of flaws” in it. He also suggested there may not be a vote until after the election, despite Obama's pleas. House Speaker Paul Ryan, meanwhile, said “a number of concerns” on TPP were raised by lawmakers that “must still be addressed.”

Thanks to the GOP unconstitutionally surrendering congressional power to Obama over trade policy, Congress can only vote up or down on the scheme at this point. That means there will be no “addressing” any alleged concerns Ryan claims to have. However, the White House said it would use crony capitalist outfits such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to pressure Republicans into submission.

Other Republicans, less establishment-minded perhaps, have been far more vocal in sounding the alarm on the major threat TPP poses to America. “The predictable and surely desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern,” declared Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) after reviewing the text of the agreement. “It puts those who make the rules out of reach of those who live under them, empowering unelected regulators who cannot be recalled or voted out of office. In turn, it diminishes the power of the people’s bulwark: their constitutionally-formed Congress.”

In a statement calling for a revocation of Fast Track authority given to Obama by establishment Republicans in Congress, Sessions also highlighted the “global governance” danger from TPP. “Among the TPP’s endless pages are rules for labor, environment, immigration and every aspect of global commerce — and a new international regulatory structure to promulgate, implement, and enforce these rules,” he explained. “This new structure is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission — a Pacific Union — which meets, appoints unelected bureaucrats, adopts rules, and changes the agreement after adoption.”

On the campaign trail, meanwhile, virtually no candidate has been willing to associate themselves with Obamatrade — a sign of just how unpopular the scheme is becoming among Americans of all political persuasions.

Seizing on bipartisan hostility to the “Obamatrade” TPP regime, leading Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump vowed to crush it if elected president. “Our leaders have negotiated terrible deals that are bleeding this country dry,” Trump told Breitbart News in a statement. “The TPP is another terrible one-sided deal that rewards offshoring and enriches other countries at our expense.” If elected, he vowed to “stop Hillary’s Obamatrade in its tracks, bringing millions of new voters into the Republican Party.” He also promised to move manufacturing jobs back to the United States and “Make American Great Again.”

In the statement, the Trump campaign said that the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada had “exploded” from less than $20 billion to more than $200 billion following the imposition of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Similarly, the campaign said, the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea ballooned by $12 billion since the 2012 U.S.-Korea free-trade regime was imposed. “The loss of manufacturing has been soul-crushing for American families: these are not just lost jobs, but a lost way of life,” the campaign said, lashing out at some Republican politicians who support “this awful deal.”

The statement also said TPP would allow other TPP member governments and dictatorships to manipulate currency, “hammer” American manufacturing, and crush U.S. jobs. “And it surrenders U.S. power to foreign bureaucrats and transnational corporations,” the statement said, echoing a frequent criticism of the TPP heard all across the political spectrum. Finally, the statement said, other candidates in the race, on both sides of the aisle, have in the past supported the TPP, and some Republican candidates had even voted in favor of handing “Fast Track” power to Obama so he could “ram it through Congress.”   

Senator Ted Cruz, who won the recent Iowa GOP caucuses, initially supported Obamatrade, but he has since then reversed his position, vowing last year in Iowa to vote against it. Senator Marco Rubio, the third-place finisher in Iowa, also originally supported the Obamatrade agenda, though his current stance remains unclear. On the Democrat side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a fervent supporter of the TPP, calling it the “Gold Standard,” though at this point, both Democrat candidates — Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Clinton — claim to oppose the deal.

Sanders has been opposed all along. After the signing, he lashed out again, saying that, if elected, he would do everything possible to kill it. He also linked TPP to other disastrous “free trade” deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Communist China. If he wins the presidency, he vowed to “fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit working families, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations,” the Huffington Post reported. While trade is a “good thing,” it must be “fair, and the TPP is anything but fair,” Sanders added.

Outside the beltway, forces from across the political spectrum are gearing up for a fight on TPP and Obamatrade. On the “right,” grassroots conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist groups will be working hard to stop TPP ratification, even as establishment, neo-conservative, and crony capitalist groups prepare to lobby Congress to surrender to Obama.

Among the right-leaning groups working against TPP is The John Birch Society, a constitutionalist organization with chapters in all 50 states. It vowed to make defeating the TPP a top priority. “Today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand means the Obama administration is one step closer to presenting this national sovereignty-destroying agreement to Congress,” said JBS Director of Missions Larry Greenley in a statement. “Since the continued security of our personal rights and freedoms depends on the continued national independence of our nation, preventing congressional approval of TPP is one of the top goals of The John Birch Society in 2016.” The JBS, an affiliate of this magazine, is the same group that was blasted by the late architect of the sought-after “North American Community,” CFR operative Robert Pastor, for its role in stopping deeper European Union-style “integration” among North American countries.

On the Left, opposition to TPP, whether real or for show, continues to grow by leaps and bounds as forces from Big Labor to Big Green line up in opposition. “We’ve been down this road before. The Wall Street and Washington elite always tell us that this time will be different,” said AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, blasting the TPP as a “new low” and slamming the “crony capitalism” throughout the scheme. “The truth is these trade deals have ripped apart the fabric of our nation. We see the shuttered factories. We visit towns that look like they are stuck in the past.… From NAFTA to CAFTA to Korea and now the TPP, these agreements have continually put profits over people. By driving down our wages, they make our economy weaker, not stronger.”

As more is learned about the TPP regime, which was negotiated in strict secrecy behind closed doors until being released recently, the more opposition grows. That is probably why, as The New American reported earlier today, the Obama administration and the establishment are urging Congress to make haste and rubber-stamp the scheme. However, with Americans across the political spectrum largely united against Obamatrade, ratifying the sovereignty-destroying TPP regime may be tougher than the establishment would have hoped — assuming it is possible. Americans should educate themselves about the dangers the TPP poses to U.S. liberty, self-government, independence, and prosperity, and then use that knowledge to educate their elected representatives. More information is available in the articles linked below.

With enough public pressure, the establishment's "Obamatrade" agenda to undermine America can still be stopped in its tracks.

Photo: AP Images

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Members of Congress Call for TPP Transparency

 

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