Will the U.S. Congress vote to approve “free trade” agreements that are, according to the agreements’ authors, “living agreements” that will constantly change and “evolve”? This mutational feature of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should be of top concern to members of Congress — and their constituents. However, this critical aspect of the secretive agreements has received virtually no attention in the establishment media.
The final battles over the TPP and TTIP moved a giant step closer last week with the U.S. Senate’s flip-flop votes (see here and here) on ending a filibuster of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, also known as “fast track”) bill. The Senate’s reversal on May 14 has now set up the TPA bill for a vote in the Senate and House of Representatives. Under expedited TPA/fast track rules, Congress surrenders its ability to amend trade agreements, drastically limits debate, and rushes the complex agreements through the legislative process for an “up or down” vote. President Obama has made passage of the TPP and TTIP twin “partnerships” a top priority of his second term, and the GOP’s top leadership in Congress has been assisting his ObamaTrade agenda at every crucial step along the way.
Of the two mammoth agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to be the one most likely to be completed and voted on first. Modeled after the deceptive, open-ended process of the European Union, the (TPP) claims to be a “living agreement” with “a structure, institutions, and processes that allow the agreement to evolve.” As such, it would initiate an ongoing demolition of American sovereignty and the step-by-step economic, political, and social integration of the United States with our Atlantic and Pacific “partners.”
The TPP currently includes 12 Pacific Rim member states (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam), but is expected to expand to include more nations, including Communist China. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposes to begin “deep and comprehensive” integration between the 28-member States of European Union and the United States.
On November 12, 2011, the leaders of the TPP nations endorsed the TPP “Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders,” Section 5 of which spelled out some of the mutational dangers inherent in the TPP:
(5) Living Agreement
We have agreed to develop the TPP as a living agreement. While we are establishing a state-of-the-art agreement, we want to ensure that we have the ability to update the agreement as appropriate. Therefore, the TPP teams are establishing a structure, institutions, and processes that allow the agreement to evolve in response to developments in trade, technology or other emerging issues and challenges. We envision a continuing joint work program, including new commitments in areas of common interest or to enable us to quickly respond to developments in global trade or technology. At the same time, we remain cognizant of our goal to eventually expand the TPP to include other economies from across the Asia-Pacific region. [Emphasis added.]
The Congressional Research Service, in a study entitled, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress,” released on March 20, 2015, notes about this crucial aspect of the TPP, reporting:
A “Living Agreement”
The TPP has been envisaged as a “living agreement,” one that is both open to new members willing to sign up to its commitments and open to addressing new issues as they evolve.
In the development of the European Union — from its origin as the European Coal and Steel Community to the Common Market to the European Community to, finally, the EU — this subversive mutational process has been referred to as “broadening and deepening.” Broadening (or “widening”) refers to the constant expansion through addition of new member-states; deepening refers to the constant creation of new supranational institutional structures and continuous expansion and usurpation by regional authorities of powers and jurisdiction that previously were exercised by national, state, and local governments. The “living,” “evolving” treaties and agreements of the EU have eviscerated the national sovereignty of the EU member-states and increasingly subjugated them to unaccountable rulers in Brussels under the rubric of “integration,” “harmonization,” “an ever closer union,” “convergence,” “pooled sovereignty,” “interdependence,” and “comprehensive cooperation.”
TTIP Also a “Living Agreement”
This idea of a “living” and “evolving” governance is much beloved by Big Government advocates who abhor clearly defined checks and balances that restrict their schemes of usurpation. They recognize the convenience of the “European model” and have used the EU as a pattern for the TPP/TTIP features and processes.
For those who are familiar with the organization, it is not surprising that the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is a chief proponent of the “living agreement” concept. The Berlin-based ECFR is a sister organization of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA, more commonly known as Chatham House), two of the premier organizational champions of world government for nearly a century.
In February of this year, the ECFR issued a report entitled “A Fresh Start for TTIP,” promoting the “living agreement” theme. In its online summary of the report, the ECFR website says: “The [TTIP] negotiators should agree on standard harmonisation where it can be easily achieved (e.g. technical standards for cars) and should set up an inclusive process of regulatory convergence to allow TTIP to become a living agreement which harmonises further standards later on (e.g. chemicals and pharmaceuticals)."
The full report, “A Fresh Start for TTIP,” was co-authored by ECFR senior fellows Sebastian Dullien and Josef Janning, along with Adriana Garcia. Both Dullien and Garcia were former employees of the United Nations and Garcia also worked for the World Trade Organization. Janning is an academic and a longtime champion of European “integration.”
The ECFR trio argues that negotiators “should seek to make TTIP a ‘living agreement’ scheme to gradually harmonise norms and standards.” They allow, however, that “the character of TTIP as a ‘living agreement’ will have to be defined in better terms, particularly on how to construct, manage, and control processes of regulatory convergence.”
European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, who is an ardent EU-U.S. integrationist, has also repeatedly addressed this issue of regulatory convergence as a keystone of the “living” TTIP agreement. In his October 10, 2013 address to the Aspen Institute Prague Annual Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, Commissioner De Gucht stated:
I therefore propose that the TTIP establishes a new Regulatory Cooperation Council that brings together the heads of the most important EU and US regulatory agencies.
The council would monitor the implementation of commitments made and consider new priorities for regulatory cooperation — also in response to proposals from stakeholders. In some cases it could also ask regulators or standards bodies to develop regulations jointly that could then have a good chance of becoming international standards.
Strong institutions like this will be key to making the TTIP a living agreement that promotes greater compatibility of our regimes and accelerates the development of global approaches.
And strengthening global approaches is one of the primary strategic objectives of this agreement.
“Unlike Any Previous Trade Arrangement”
Alberto Alemanno is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris (Hautes Études Commerciales), one of the world’s most prestigious business schools, and the author of a report by the European Parliament entitled “The Parliamentary dimension of TTIP.” The HEC chair for which he is professor is named for Jean Monnet, the “Father” of the Common Market/EU.
In an October 4, 2014 op-ed for Euractiv.com entitled “A reality check of TTIP: beyond the popular account,” Dr. Alemanno wrote that “unlike any previous trade arrangement, TTIP is set to become a ‘living agreement’, whose obligations will continuously be added without the need to re-open the initial international treaty nor to modify each others’ institutional frameworks. Thus, should the regulators identify areas for convergence (such as marketing authorizations for pharmaceuticals or technical standards for car headlights), their agreed commitments — be it in terms of mutual recognition, equivalence or best practices — will become legally binding through a sectoral annex.” (Emphasis added.)
A Very “Different Beast”
Pascal Lamy is another TTIP advocate with impeccable globalist/integrationist bona fides. A “civil servant,” banker, and member of the French Socialist Party, Lamy served as trade commissioner before being promoted to director-general of the World Trade Organization. He has also been a regular attendee at the ultra-secret, ultra-elite Bilderberg conferences. In an October 27, 2014 op-ed for the Financial Times, Lamy remarked: “Authorities in Europe and America have given the impression that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is just another trade agreement of that kind. In fact, the proposed agreement is a different beast.”
A beast indeed. Lamy noted that “80 per cent of these negotiations deal with a realm of regulatory convergence.” But this is not entirely different from the NAFTA and the WTO agreements, which also deal with regulatory convergence, and which have already proven to be subversive attacks on American sovereignty, claiming to override our state and federal laws, our state and federal court rulings, and even our state and federal constitutions.
Although there are many additional references that could be cited to demonstrate the prevailing acceptance among the negotiators of the TPP and TTIP as “living agreements,” the dangers that this concept injects into the documents have been totally ignored by the generally pro-TPP/TTIP “mainstream” press.
We cite as one further example, a December 2014 study by David Kleimann for the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) entitled, “‘Global Europe’: Quo Vadis?”
Dr. Kleimann is a researcher at the Law Department of the European University Institute in Florence, and a research fellow at ECIPE in Brussels. “In 2006, the European Commission launched its ‘Global Europe’ trade and investment strategy,” notes Kleimann. “At its core, the ‘Global Europe’ strategy aims at the conclusion of ‘deep and comprehensive’ preferential trade agreements (PTA) with partner countries and regions that are of great economic and strategic importance to the European Union.”
Kleimann observes that “much of the merits of these accords will depend on how they institutionalize the process of ongoing and future liberalization and integration in issue areas that are not ready for detailed hard legal commitments yet. More generally, the long-term viability of 21st century trade agreements will much depend on the bilateral and plurilateral institutional solutions that governments find for the management of continuous integration and implementation processes.”
When one unpacks this statement (and similar quotes by other globalists) in the context of the unfolding historical process we have already witnessed (and continue to witness) in Europe, it is very clear that these architects are half-candidly admitting that they are perpetrating a massive deception. They are acknowledging that they are instituting open-ended processes that have been designed to appeal to the public as one thing but to gradually mutate into something altogether different. They have been designed to gradually add new institutions and blurred jurisdictions that will facilitate “continuous integration and implementation processes.”
This is precisely the deceitful and treasonous process that the architects of the European Union have utilized and perfected over the past six decades, as The New American has exposed in detail many times over the past nearly 30 years. (See, for example, here, here, and here.)