You are here: HomeSci/TechEnvironmentLeaked TPP Environment Chapter Shows Obama Betrayal of Greens
Saturday, 18 January 2014 16:30

Leaked TPP Environment Chapter Shows Obama Betrayal of Greens

Written by 

Anyone who still believes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is about "fair trade" should head over to WikiLeaks and read the latest draft chapter of the agreement obtained by the whistleblowing organization.

In a press release issued on January 15, WikiLeaks announced that they had obtained the "complete environment chapter" of the secret sovereignty-surrender documents masquerading as a multinational trade agreement.

The contents of this portion of the agreement reveal one of the chief reasons for the strong opposition to the TPP from such a broad coalition of activists on the Left and the Right.

Much of the opposition on the Left focuses on the lack of environmental protections presumed to be included in the TPP. Seems their fears are well-founded, but not for the reasons many of them may have believed.

Analysis by The New American of the pages claimed by WikiLeaks to be the full draft text of the environment chapter uncovered an "inconvenient truth" about the relationship of the TPP to the environment. 

For example, the clauses covering pollution control represent a significant retreat on the issue by the trade representatives of the United States. Logging restrictions? America is apparently backsliding on that, too. 

No wonder the Sierra Club and the World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to expose the Obama administration's environmental hypocrisy and to keep this 11-nation trade deal from becoming "the law."

In a copy of a press release sent to The New American, leaders of both organizations mentioned various betrayals by the president and laid out a pointed indictment of the agreement.

“This peek behind the curtain reveals the absence of an ambitious 21st-century trade agreement promised by negotiating countries,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “The lack of fully-enforceable environmental safeguards means negotiators are allowing a unique opportunity to protect wildlife and support legal sustainable trade of renewable resources to slip through their fingers. these nations account for more than a quarter of global trade in fish and wood products and they have a responsibility to address trade’s impact on wildlife crime, illegal logging, and overfishing.” 

“If the environment chapter is finalized as written in this leaked document, President Obama’s environmental trade record would be worse than George W. Bush’s,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “This draft chapter falls flat on every single one of our issues — oceans, fish, wildlife, and forest protections — and in fact, rolls back on the progress made in past free trade pacts.” 

That President Obama's zeal for this "free trade agreement" trumps his "commit[ment] to the air we breathe, water we drink, and land that supports and sustains us" is the focus of a New York Times article on the WikiLeaks revelations.

Describing the unenforceable environmental regulations in previous regional trade pacts as "green window dressing," the Times lays out the case that the TPP's abandonment of an aggressive defense of the environment could be more than just presidential promise breaking, it could be illegal. The Times writes:

But in May 2007, President George W. Bush struck an environmental deal with Democrats in the Senate and the House as he sought to move a free-trade agreement with Peru through Congress. In what became known as the May 10 Agreement, Democrats got Mr. Bush to agree that all American free-trade deals would include a chapter with environmental provisions, phrased in the same legally binding language as chapters on labor, agriculture and intellectual property. The Democrats also insisted that the chapter require nations to recognize existing global environmental treaties.

Since then, every American free-trade deal has included that strong language, although all have been between the United States and only one other country. It appears to be much tougher to negotiate environmental provisions in a 12-nation agreement.

And there's the rub.

This isn't some comparatively straightforward negotiation between two countries; “integrating” nearly a dozen countries of such disparate economies and cultures as the TPP is like herding cats — cats that fancy shark fin soup, apparently. Again from the New York Times:

In addition, the draft does not contain clear requirements for a ban on shark finning, which is the practice of capturing sharks and cutting off their fins — commonly used in shark-fin soup — and throwing back the sharks to die. The dish is a delicacy in many of the Asian negotiating countries. At this point the draft says that the countries “may include” bans “as appropriate” on such practices.

To put a fine point on it, the TPP is not about free trade and it’s not about protecting the environment, even at the cost of breaking the law. The green lobby that has so ardently supported President Barack Obama should read the White House’s statements on the president’s “unprecedented action to … protect our environment” and compare them to his determination to put through a trade agreement that pushes such protection back years.

It seems that the assessment of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, is accurate:

Today's WikiLeaks release shows that the public sweetener in the TPP is just media sugar water. The fabled TPP environmental chapter turns out to be a toothless public relations exercise with no enforcement mechanism.

However what is “sweetener” to those who demand supranational controls for the environment and other matters is “bitter” indeed to those who believe that the United States should be able to write its own laws and control its own destiny. Empowering the TPP with tough environmental regulations — either prior to ratification or after it goes into effect — may win support from left-wing environmental activists, but it would also make the sovereignty-diminishing treaty even worse from the point of view of those who value American independence and do not want to see treaty law trump the Constitution.

And such arrangements acquiring more economic and political power over time is exactly the game plan. After all, the TPP, along with other supposed free-trade agreements including NAFTA, is modeled after the Common Market-EU stratagem for transferring economic and political power to the regional entity on the road to creating a supranational government under the guise of free trade.

President Obama, who supports the internationalist agenda, has partners on both sides of the political aisle ready to put the pedal to the metal and impose the TPP on Americans as quickly as possible.

On January 9, the Senate Finance Committee released a statement promising full-throated fellowship with the president in making sure the TPP gets “fast tracked” and passed on a simple majority vote. The announcement declares:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) joined together today to introduce legislation that will establish strong rules for trade negotiations and Congressional approval of trade pacts, to deliver trade agreements that boost U.S. exports and create American jobs.

Quoting the president who arguably did more than any other president to destroy business and free enterprise in America, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah flacked for quick passage of the Trade Priorities Act, the legislative mechanism for hurrying the TPP through Congress without debate.

“Every President since FDR has sought trade promotion authority from Congress because of the job-creating benefits of trade. Renewing TPA will help advance a robust trade agenda that will help American businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers by giving them greater access to overseas markets,” Hatch said.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) is on board with speeding the TPP train wreck further down the tracks. Earlier this month Boehner warned the president that they couldn’t carry off the coup unless he (the president) could convince his Democratic colleagues to put down their weapons of resistance.

"I've made clear to the president that this can't pass unless there is bipartisan support for it," Boehner said, as reported in the Huffington Post.

Americans from across the entire political spectrum who study the TPP 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 the sovereignty of American laws, the jurisdiction of American courts, domestic control of the environment, and most of all, the perpetuation of the American Constitution.

The TPP cannot have these bad effects on America unless Congress approves a final TPP agreement. However, if the American people do not rise up and firmly oppose the TPP — convincing Congress to tear down the globalist-erected wall of secrecy shielding insider machinations, and to ultimately reject the TPP — then an approved TPP might finish the integration — economic and political — begun by NAFTA. And this new international entanglement may be the last straw in the already weakened broom of American sovereignty.

 

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, the Second Amendment, and the surveillance state. He is the co-founder of Liberty Rising, an educational endeavor aimed at promoting and preserving the Constitution. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Log in
Sign up for The New American daily highlights