Thursday, 25 August 2016

Obama Plotting to Ram TPP Through Congress in Lame Duck

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Despite the sovereignty-destroying Trans-Pacific Partnership being so unpopular that both major parties' presidential candidates are campaigning against it, the Obama White House notified Congress that legislation to approve the globalist “free-trade” regime was on its way. It seems that the establishment is hoping to ram through the deeply controversial regional-governance scheme during the “lame-duck” session of Congress — after the election and after voters lose their chance to remove elected representatives for at least another two years. Critics in Congress and beyond from all across the political spectrum, though, are speaking out forcefully. Opponents noted that one way to stop it would be to prevent Congress from holding a lame-duck session at all.    

In essence, under the bogus guise of “free trade,” the TPP sets up a massive regional government that will undermine the national sovereignty of its member governments. As of now, there are 12 governments participating in the scheme, including dictatorships of the communist and Islamist varieties. Going forward, more governments, including the Communist Party regime enslaving mainland China, could also join. While the trade agreement's thousands of pages are packed with controversy, some of the most alarming components include the attack on the right to self-government. Under the scheme, unelected and unaccountable bureaucracies will usurp massive powers over formerly independent nations. Mega-corporations, including state-run behemoths operated by dictators, would be able to sue taxpayers in international kangaroo courts. And that is just the start of it.

   

It is no surprise, then, that globalists are working quietly to foist the scheme on Americans. On August 12, a Friday, which is well-known among PR types as the day of the week to make unpopular announcements they hope will be ignored, the Obama administration submitted what is known as a Statement of Administrative Action to Congress. Required under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) scheme that the Republican Congress insisted on granting Obama to help push through the TPP, the action puts lawmakers on notice that the White House intends to ram the scheme into law this year. In a press conference, Obama predicted the pseudo-treaty and required changes to U.S. law would be approved in the lame-duck session, which is almost certainly Obama's best opportunity.

After Obama touted the radical scheme as the “most progressive trade agreement in history,” Republicans, who have been key enablers of the plot all along, are in a tight spot. House Speaker Paul Ryan, an establishment Republican who has played a key role in enabling Obama's agenda this year, said through a spokesperson that the GOP-controlled Congress was not ready to cave yet. “As Speaker Ryan has stated for months, there are problems that remain with the administration’s TPP deal, and there can be no movement before these concerns are addressed,” Ryan's spokesperson claimed, suggesting he would move it after a few cosmetic changes. Ryan and the GOP establishment, of course, have been essential in the ObamaTrade agenda, even granting Obama crucial TPA to help pave the way. But rank-and-file Republicans are not buying it. Indeed, the GOP platform even states that TPP-style regimes “should not be rushed or undertaken in a Lame Duck Congress.”

Perhaps the strongest opposition, though, is coming from the non-establishment wing of the Republican Party. In a stinging rebuke to Obama and other forces pushing the TPP, Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama blasted the “free-trade” scheme and suggested it was beyond redemption. “Our fears are realized,” Sessions said after Obama gave notice of his plot to ram TPP through Congress after the election during the lame-duck session. “Just as he advised Russia in 2012 that he would have ‘more flexibility’ after his last election, President Obama knows that the only chance he has of passing the TPP is during this short window.”

Obama's determination to pass the scheme after voters go to the polls “flies in the face of the clear will of the American people, as demonstrated in the primaries,” Sessions continued. The popular senator, an ally of GOP presidential contender and TPP foe Donald Trump, also noted that the lame-duck session was “just the situation to sneak an unpopular bill through.” If TPP is successful, though, other “huge” pseudo-free trade schemes will follow. “Our nation is about to see once again how powerful forces work overtime to advance a globalist agenda that the people oppose,” Sessions added.

“While President Obama suggests that an American rejection of TPP is tantamount to a complete withdrawal from the global economy, he is badly mistaken,” the senator from conservative Alabama said in a statement posted on his website. “We are now and will continue to be engaged in trade. That will not change. But Americans know these agreements have allowed trade practices that unfairly close manufacturing plants, costing millions of high paying jobs. Our people are hurting. We cannot afford to lose a single job because of a bad trade deal.” He also noted that the TPP would permanently alter the landscape if approved by Congress.  

Especially problematic is the destruction of national sovereignty and the right of the American people to govern themselves through their elected representatives. “The 5,554-page accord, disguised as a simple trade agreement, commits the American people to an international commission with the power to act around Congress,” Sessions explained. “It allows 12 nations [governments], some with less than 1 percent of the GDP of the United States, an equal vote in the TPP Commission. Actions by this commission separate the American people from the policy decisions that affect their lives. The TPP Commission is a direct threat to representative democracy [sic] and accountability.” He did not even get to the kangaroo “tribunals” that purport to have the authority to fleece American taxpayers on behalf of Big Business cronies.

“This is why the voters are in rebellion, at home and in Europe,” Sessions concluded. “In primary after primary, the vote totals reflected a firm rejection of President Obama’s globalist agenda. The American people have heeded the warning from our friends in England. They want to keep policy choices close to home, made by people accountable to them, not offshore those decisions to an unelected international commission. But President Obama does not care what the good people of this nation want. He arrogantly thinks he knows best. If he could pass it with his ‘pen and phone,’ he surely would. The proposed TPP agreement cannot be fixed by a few cosmetic changes. It cannot be patched and saved. The American people are on to that trick. The TPP is a failed agreement. It must be rejected.”

While GOP opposition is growing despite support from the globalist-minded Big Business establishment, Democrat and liberal opposition has been even more fierce. Even establishment insiders among the Democrats, including presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are at least claiming in public to be vehemently opposed to TPP and similar job-killing “trade” regimes. “I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Clinton said in a recent speech on economic policy, after having previously referred to the TPP as the “gold standard” in “trade” deals. “I oppose it now. I'll oppose it after the election, and I'll oppose it as president.” Whether her opposition is genuine, of course, remains to be seen. Still, virtually the entire Democrat Party base is strongly opposed to TPP.  

After the White House submitted its draft Statement of Administrative Action earlier this month, which essentially outlines the various changes in U.S. law required under the TPP, former Democrat Party presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont also lashed out at Obama and the deal. “I am disappointed by the president's decision to continue pushing forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will cost American jobs, harm the environment, increase the cost of prescription drugs and threaten our ability to protect public health,” he said in a statement.

The economic and sovereignty consequences of TPP would be disastrous. But the national security implications should also not be overlooked. Another heavy hitter speaking out against TPP is Brigadier General John Adams (Ret.), who served in the military for three decades. Writing in The Hill, Adams said that the TPP would accelerate the deindustrialization of the U.S. economy — with severe implications for the military and national security. “By facilitating the further offshoring of America’s manufacturing base, the trade pact would actually undermine America’s military readiness and global economic standing,” he said. “TPP would hurt our national security interests more than it would help.”

Despite the massive and growing opposition across America and the entire political spectrum, Obama claims to be confident he can ram it through. “I am really confident I can make the case that this is good for American workers and the American people,” he claimed. “And you know, people said we weren't going to be able to get the Trade Authority, to even present this before Congress. And somehow, we muddled through and got it done. And I intend to do the same with respect to the actual agreement.” He also dismissed the opposition of Democrats and presidential candidates, saying, “right now, I'm president, and I'm for it.”

The battle over TPP is crucial. If the globalists win, Americans will be subjected to bureaucracies and courts dominated by foreign powers — including ruthless dictatorships. The U.S. economy and national security will suffer major blows, too. However, the American people can still stop it. One sure way to do that would be to get Congress to call off the lame-duck session. There is no good reason for Congress to meet after the election. Americans concerned about jobs, national security, self-government, national sovereignty, and honest government should get involved to stop the TPP.  

 

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. 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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