U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has wasted no time in sounding the alarm over the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which the Obama administration unveiled to the public and Congress on Thursday.
The enormous agreement (over 5,500 pages), which had been negotiated over the past several years in strictest secrecy and kept tightly under wraps until now (see here and here), “confirms our fears,” said Sessions, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.
“The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership runs 5,554 pages,” declared Sessions, in a statement issued Thursday, soon after the release of the text. “This is, by definition, anti-democratic,” he charged. “No individual American has the resources to ensure his or her economic and political interests are safeguarded within this vast global regulatory structure.”
According to Sessions: “The predictable and surely desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern. 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.”
Sessions, who has been one of the most trenchant critics of the TPP among Republicans in Congress, has repeatedly pointed out that hidden under the verbiage about trade and jobs, the TPP amounts to the instigation of an entirely new governance system, one that would gradually supplant our own. “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 warns. “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.”
Sessions then gets down to specifics, quoting from the just-released document:
The text of the TPP confirms our fears, plainly asserting: "The Parties hereby establish a Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission which shall meet at the level of Ministers or senior officials, as mutually determined by the Parties," and that "the Commission shall":
• "consider any matter relating to the implementation or operation of this Agreement";
• "consider any proposal to amend or modify this Agreement";
• "supervise the work of all committees and working groups established under this Agreement";
• "merge or dissolve any subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement in order to improve the functioning of this Agreement";
• "seek the advice of non-governmental persons or groups on any matter falling within the Commission’s functions"; and
• "take such other action as the Parties may agree."
Further, the senator notes, the text explains that “the Commission shall take into account”:
• "the work of all committees, working groups and any other subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement";
• "relevant developments in international fora"; and
• "input from non-governmental persons or groups of the Parties."
According to Sessions: “This global governance authority is open-ended: ‘The Commission and any subsidiary body established under this Agreement may establish rules of procedures for the conduct of its work.’”
The senator warns that, among other things, the agreement could take immigration and migration of foreign workers out of the hands of national governments. The text states: “No Party shall adopt or maintain ... measures that impose limitations on the total number of natural persons that may be employed in a particular service sector ... in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test.” The current migration/refugee crisis in Europe underscores the very real danger loss of sovereignty in this area represents.
The TPP text also accepts the pseudo-science (that has now assumed the status of sacred dogma) underpinning global warming/climate change fears, stating: “The Parties acknowledge that transition to a low emissions economy requires collective action.”
“These 5,554 pages are like the Lilliputians binding down Gulliver,” declared Sessions. “They will enmesh our great country, and economy, in a global commission where bureaucrats from Brunei have the same vote as the United States.”
“At bottom, this is not a mere trade agreement,” Sessions reminds Americans, echoing the warning that this magazine has been sounding for years. “It bears the hallmarks of a nascent European Union,” he warns.
In a number of articles over the years (including this one from 2012, Secretly Trading Away Our Independence), The New American has provided detailed examinations of the blatant deceptions (and outright lies) used by the architects of the European Union to gradually transform the Common Market — originally sold as a “free trade” zone — into the increasingly tyrannical European Union. The American architects of the TPP (and its twin ObamaTrade bill, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) have repeatedly cited the EU “process” as their model for trapping the United States in similar arrangements. The heretofore secret TPP text, as Senator Sessions puts it, “confirms our fears” that U.S. officials intend to indulge in the same treachery and subject us to the same despotism.
Let’s reverse the TPA Fast-Track Trap
Unfortunately, thanks to the skullduggery of President Obama with his Wall Street allies and GOP leaders in the House and Senate (particularly Representatives John Boehner and Paul Ryan, and Senator Mitch McConnell), Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority earlier this year to put the TPP and TTIP on “Fast Track” status. Senator Sessions made a heroic effort, as we reported here, to stop the fast-tracking of this huge agreement and assure that it would be given proper scrutiny and debate.
But Sessions has not given up on stopping ObamaTrade. The Alabama solon notes, “Because Fast-Track — or so-called Trade Promotion Authority — was adopted (without a single vote to spare), we cannot amend this deal, we cannot filibuster this deal, and we cannot subject it to the two-thirds treaty vote.”
“That is why I am calling today on our leaders to take the TPP off of the Fast-Track,” Sessions said in his Thursday TPP statement. “The vote should be held under regular Senate and Constitutional order, and it should be held when voters can hold their lawmakers accountable – not during an unaccountable lame duck session.”
Photo of Sen. Jeff Sessions: AP Images
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