Friday, 12 October 2012

Canada Formally Joins TPP; Goal of Secret Pact Is Integration

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In a formal response to an invitation extended in June, Canada has officially joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The government of Canada says the move will “help create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.”

After undergoing the requisite review of its domestic trade policies, Canada has joined the other 10 countries already signed on to the trade pact. The 11 nations now comprising the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. This trading bloc has united to establish “a comprehensive free trade agreement across the region.”

In his statement formally welcoming Canada to the TPP, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said:

Inviting Canada to join the TPP negotiations presents a unique opportunity for the United States to build upon this already dynamic trading relationship. Through TPP, we are bringing the relationship with our largest trading partner into the 21st century. We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders regarding Canada’s entry into the TPP as we move closer to a broad-based, high-standard trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Notably, in both statements Ambassador Kirk places the approval of “domestic stakeholders” (read: large corporations) on a level with that of the Congress. It is precisely this exalting of big business that has troubled many of the people’s representatives in Congress, as well as the as yet impenetrable wall of secrecy surrounding the drafting of the TPP treaty.

Zach Carter of the 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 (USTR) 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 HuffPost 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.”

A duly elected senator of the United States has to beg and plead and threaten legislation in order to be able to gain access to the TPP trade agreement, but corporate interests are given by 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,” Brown said. “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.”

Some of those actively battling against the formation of the TPP and the “integration” sought by its proponents recognize the hand of large corporate interests at the helm of the ship that is sailing toward the eradication of American sovereignty.

One such opponent, Americans for Limited Government (ALG), is taking the lead in warning the people of the United States about the confluence of corporate and governmental interests and their goal of destroying the independence of our country.

ALG’s President Bill Wilson perceives real harm in the USTR’s grant of such a powerful corporate prerogative. “We are elevating private businesses up to the level of sovereign governments,” Wilson told The New American. “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 it 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,” Wilson warned.

Canada’s decision to join the TPP will require it to abandon the controls it has currently in place on its domestic dairy and livestock markets, as well as concerns over that nation’s copyright laws.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper insists that neither Canada’s sovereignty nor its support of domestic industry has been sacrificed in order to secure its admission to the TPP. Harper said: "Canada aims, whenever it gets into a trade negotiations, to promote and to protect all of its interests across all the range of industries ... and Canada's record in terms of dealing with those particular issues in trade negotiations under our government has been very strong and that will continue to be our position."

Judging from remarks made by the president of fellow invitee Mexico, the surrender of sovereignty certainly seems to be a requirement for membership in the TPP.

Using a keyword that is the bane of constitutionalists and those who would see America retain her right to govern herself, President Calderón told reporters at the G20 Summit, "This is one of the free trade initiatives that's most ambitious in the world and would foster integration of the Asia Pacific region, one of the regions with the greatest dynamism in the world.”

Then at a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Calderón described the TPP as “the biggest boost [to integration] since NAFTA.”

"Integration" is a word that is painful to the ears of constitutionalists and those unwilling to surrender U.S. sovereignty to a committee of globalists who are unelected by the American people and unaccountable to them.

Furthermore, as with all such attempts to integrate the economies of the United States and other “partners,” the right of settling disputes will be granted to an extra-constitutional international tribunal with members being nominated by the United Nations secretary-general. 

All "partners" to the pact, including foreign corporations, will be exempted from abiding by American laws, and the sovereignty of the United States and the Constitution's enumeration of powers will once again by placed on the altar of global government.

Although Canada’s International Trade Minister Ed Fast described the TPP as “a 21st-century agreement that advances Canadian interests,” the scant evidence from draft versions of the TPP treaty reveals that it is the interests of global government and corporate profits that will be promoted and protected by this latest UN-backed sovereignty grab posing as a trade pact. 

Although closed to the press and the public, the next round of TPP talks will take place in New Zealand December 3-12.

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