Thursday, 23 April 2015

Leaked Obama “Trade” Pact Exposes Assault on Self-government

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As establishment Republicans join forces with the Obama administration to ram through a series of sweeping pseudo-“free trade” agreements with the European Union, critics are up in arms over various leaked provisions that would all but crush the principles of self-government. Especially alarming to opponents is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which, among other concerns, would purport to limit the ability of voters and their elected representatives to enact laws interfering with the agenda of Big Business and Big Government. Another agreement being pursued in tandem, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TTP, would do the same, allowing unelected and unaccountable transnational bureaucrats to develop “harmonized” regulatory regimes for the bloc purporting to supersede federal and state laws. Critics from across the political spectrum say the plot must be stopped.

The negotiations on the controversial “free trade” deals — more properly described as managed or corporatist trade — have taken place almost entirely in the shadows. In fact, even the American people’s elected representatives in Congress have been out of the loop as the Obama administration hammers out the agreements with foreign governments, dictatorships, supranational bodies, and crony special interests. However, a series of explosive leaks surrounding both the TTP and the TTIP have confirmed critics’ worst fears about the real agenda. From setting up international kangaroo courts with purported powers to override national sovereignty for the benefit of crony corporations to laying the groundwork for further economic and political “integration,” the information that has emerged so far is sparking public outrage in all of the nations being targeted by the schemes.

Just this week, following a series of protests across Europe against the plan, fresh leaks surrounding the sought-after TTIP regime produced yet another uproar. Despite being written in deliberately opaque language, the text of the latest TTIP chapter to be leaked reveals a transparent agenda to empower supranational bureaucracies and Big Business at the expense of self-government and national sovereignty. The chapter focuses on “Regulatory Cooperation.” Cooperation, though, is a major understatement, as the document also makes clear that “divergent” regulatory requirements must be reduced in the name of “compatibility” and more. In other words, the EU and the United States must operate under a harmonized regulatory regime beyond the reach of pesky citizens or elected officials.

Toward that end, the TTIP agreement mandates the creation of a “bilateral mechanism” between the U.S. government and the EU to “support regulatory cooperation” and to “seek increased compatibility between their respective regulatory frameworks.” Both parties are supposed to promote “compatibility” by, among other means, “harmonization of regulatory acts” through existing or yet-to-be devised international agreements, or on a “bilateral basis.” While the details are still being ironed out behind closed doors, the draft makes clear that much of the work on merging the U.S. and EU regulatory regimes will be the responsibility of an unelected supranational outfit dubbed the “Regulatory Cooperation Council.” The agreement also makes clear that lobbyists will have a dominant seat at the table, while elected officials and the public will merely have to submit.

The harmonized regulatory regime that would emerge under the TTIP plan, meanwhile, is breathtaking in its scope. Among the realms covered by the proposed transnational regulatory scheme, the document explains, is supposed “protection” for “the environment; consumers; working conditions; human, animal and plant life, health and safety; personal data; cybersecurity; cultural diversity; preserving financial stability.” Virtually every human activity could arguably be included under such a sweeping mandate. On financial issues, the draft treaty goes on to explain that “any decisions concerning financial services should be taken by the competent authorities acting within the framework of the FRF [Joint EU/US Financial Regulatory Forum].” All of the scheming will be open to “stakeholders” — Big Business cronies, Big Labor, Big Green, lobbyists, tax-funded groups styling themselves “non-governmental organizations,” and more. Voters and citizens, though, will be brazenly stripped of their right to govern themselves.   

The broader “world order” will also get a major boost from the plot — and not just because the new TTIP regulatory regime would ensnare about half of the global economy, thereby de facto imposing it on the rest. The leaked chapter also lists as a stated objective: “To further the development, adoption and strengthening of international instruments, and their timely implementation and application, as a means to work together more effectively with each other and with third countries to strive toward consistent regulatory outcomes.” Indeed, whenever the EU or the U.S. government consider a regulatory act, the first element listed in the document that must be considered is how it would “relate to relevant international instruments.” “International instruments” include United Nations treaties and other globalist agreements aimed at crushing national sovereignty.                

In the leaked chapter, the U.S. government and the EU super-state would also commit “to cooperate between themselves, and with third countries, with a view to strengthening, developing and promoting the implementation of international instruments.” They also agree to “implement within their respective domestic systems those international instruments.” Put bluntly, supranational globalist outfits will be helping to dictate policy to the American people, whose own elected representatives would be largely shut out of the process. With the fast-expanding globalist wish list of the dictator-dominated UN — even individuals' thoughts and behavior are now in the crosshairs — the prospects for mischief and tyranny are essentially endless under the TTIP mandates.    

However, while the public may be shut out of the process, supranational entities, crony capitalists, Big Business, special interests, and their legions of lobbyists will be in the co-pilot seat of the emerging regulatory regime. The leaked draft of the TTIP chapter was posted online by the Corporate Europe Observatory, which exists to “expose the power of corporate lobbying in the EU.” The organization takes a largely pro-Big Government, pro-regulation stand, but it does highlight the crucial role of lobbyists in governance being institutionalized under the TTIP. “Given that an overwhelming majority of lobbyists in Brussels and Washington represent the interests of big business, it is clear that ‘involving stakeholders’ means opening yet another door to representatives of the business community so that they can influence policy, before even elected representatives have come to know about them,” the observatory said. “On top of being able to smother legislation in its cradle, companies will therefore also be able to propose new laws.”

The organization also criticized the transnational regulatory institutions that would be imposed on Americans and Europeans under the TTIP. “This project, which is unprecedented in the history of international trade, means the establishment of permanent institutional arrangements for communication and negotiation between European and American technocrats,” it said in a statement about the leaked chapter. “The objective is to continue the work of harmonization of regulatory frameworks between the EU and the U.S. once the TTIP negotiations are done.” The observatory lambasted the international “arbitration tribunals” created under the agreement as well, pointing out that special interests will be able to sue nations — actually, taxpayers and their elected officials — for acting in a way that might affect their interests. Again, the potential for mischief, cronyism, and extortion is virtually endless.

Of course, the machinations outlined in the leaked chapter are hardly a new phenomenon. The EU itself was built and imposed on unsuspecting European peoples under the guise of pseudo-free trade agreements. From a simple “free trade” area decades ago, today, the unaccountable European Commission largely rules the formerly sovereign nations by decree. Consider, for example, that the overwhelming majority of “laws” governing the lives and activities of Europeans now come from Brussels rather than national Parliaments — and many of them are brazenly tyrannical. Globalist forces hope to use the same process of “regionalism” around the globe to finish smashing national sovereignty on the road to what top officials regularly refer to as a “New World Order.” The TTIP is just one more building block toward that end.

Instead of slamming the brakes on the Obama administration’s pseudo-“free trade” scheming to surrender U.S. sovereignty to special interests and international bureaucrats, the establishment wing of the GOP in Congress is working overtime to facilitate and accelerate the process. This week, a “bipartisan” coalition of lawmakers even introduced S. 995 to surrender their constitutionally delegated authority over trade to Obama via fast-track “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA). While it is not clear that there are enough votes in Congress to pass the scheme in the face of a growing uprising on both sides of the Atlantic and across the political spectrum, the establishment is determined to ram it through. Self-government and national independence are literally under attack. Americans who value either must get involved immediately.

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.

Related articles:

Establishment GOP Plots to Empower Obama on “Progressive” Trade

Obama-GOP “Trade” Scheme Includes “Unrestricted Immigration”

U.S.-EU Trade Pact Accelerates Economic and Political Integration

EU/U.S. — Transatlantic Convergence

Leak of Secret Trade Doc Reveals Sovereignty-destroying Courts

Trans-Pacific Partnership To Facilitate U.S.-China Merger

The “Free Trade” Agenda Threatens Our Rights

The EU: Regionalization Trumps Sovereignty

Trans-Pacific Partnership (NAFTA on Steroids) Threatens Sovereignty

GOP Leaders Plot Pseudo-Free-Trade Schemes With Obama
   

 

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