President Obama has refused to make public the text of the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ‘deal’, and in fact he has restricted the text to a ‘secret room’ in the U.S. Capitol for only those members of Congress with high enough security clearances – who may only read the text while there (no copies, notes, etc..).
Not only is the TPP being kept from public debate, the president is manipulating for special executive powers (so called ‘fast track’ approval) whereby Congress transfers its authority to the executive and agrees to give up several of its most basic powers – the power to write legislation, the power to amend legislation, the power to fully consider legislation on the floor, the power to keep debate open until Senate cloture is invoked, and the constitutional requirement that treaties receive a two-thirds vote.
Shockingly, it seems that Congress is going along with it, which may very well submit the United States to new global governance as apparently the Trans-Pacific Partnership more closely resembles a treaty than a trade deal…
“In other words, through fast-track, Congress would be pre-clearing a political and economic union before a word of that arrangement has been made available to a single private citizen.” said Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
According to Sessions, “Reviewing the secret text, plus the secret guidance document that accompanies it, reveals that this new transnational commission – would have the authority to …issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental, and commercial policy.” (here in the U.S.)
President Obama has ignored and rejected bipartisan calls for transparency on TPP (also called ‘Obamatrade’), and refuses to release to the public the text of TPP that would be fast-tracked.
“In effect, to adopt fast-track is to agree to remove the constitutional protections against the creation of global governance structures before those structures are even made public.”
The United States Senate has already passed the TPP deal a couple weeks ago, and the House could vote as early as next week for ‘fast-track’ powers to Obama.
What is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
Apparently it’s a giant ‘free trade’ deal of which the trade agreement talks have been conducted in secret. The little people (who will ultimately be affected) like you and I, apparently don’t need to know. You see, the details are on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
How is the TPP deal different from other trade deals?
Typical trade agreements deal mostly just with goods: You can import X number of widgets at Y price, perhaps with strings attached such as certain environmental and labor standards. The TPP however apparently “encompass a broad range of regulatory and legal issues, making them a much more central part of foreign policy and even domestic lawmaking” (The Washington Post).
What does your ‘spidey senses’ tell you about all this? What’s wrong with an open dialog? Why has the text transcripts been kept from Congress? Why is Obama looking to usurp Congressional powers and fast-track the TPP without debate? Will the TPP further erode our sovereignty as a nation? Will member nations gain the ‘power’ to affect domestic lawmaking and regulations here in the United States? Will it further ‘level’ the global playing field whereby United States workers get the shaft?
Lots of questions and lots of secrets. My ‘spidey senses’ tell me that this might not be so good…
What do you think?