Congress is waking up to what’s in the TPP

Opposition by the U.S. Congress may sink the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  A group of 174 members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter opposing “fast track” authority to approve these treaties.

The public is waking up to the fact that these treaties, being negotiated in secret, have nothing to do with removing trade barriers.  They are simply attempts to write corporate wish lists on public policy into international law, which would be irreversible by the people or governments of individual countries.

Pac-Money-400x266The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty would cover the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and eight other Pacific nations.  The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, would cover the U.S. and the European Union.

These treaties are one of the Obama administration’s top priorities, and show the nature of President Obama’s basic loyalties and beliefs, which is not to represent the people who voted for him, but to serve as a buffer to protect the financial and corporate elite.

“Fast-track” authority requires that the Senate make an up or down vote on the treaty without extended debate.  Granting of fast-track authority requires a majority vote of both houses of Congress.  Fast-track authority might be justified if the Congress had been kept informed of what was being agreed to, but in fact information about the negotiations has been classified as secret.  Rejection of fast-track authority is the key to slowing down the process so that the Congress and the public can know what’s in the proposed treaties.

If Democrats in Congress approve these treaties, it will show they are not champions of the common people against the financial and corporate elite.  If the Republicans in Congress go along, it will show they are not champions of U.S. national sovereignty.  Liberals and libertarians ought to make common cause in opposing the TPP and TTIP.

I thank Wikileaks and Julian Assange for bringing information about the secret TPP negotiations to light.  If we had a well-functioning democracy, Congress and the public would have all the relevant information without resorting to whistle-blowers and leaked information.  As it is, if Wikileaks did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.


Wikileaks Disclosure of Trade Deal Shows It Will Kill People and Internet; House Opposition Is Widespread by Yves Smith.

House Pushing Back on Trade Deal; More Detail on Secret Arbitration Panels Undermine Laws and Regulations by Yves Smith.

The TPP, If Passed, Spells the End of Popular Sovereignty in the United States by Lambert Strether.

Will Democrats and Tea Partiers Derail Obama’s Secret Trade Deal? by Erika Eichelberger for Mother Jones.

There is good information in these posts, even for those who are well-informed about the TPP, and also in the links and comment threads.

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3 Responses to “Congress is waking up to what’s in the TPP”

  1. EthnicKonflict Says:

    Well, this would be a first step towards world regulation. That’s not such a bad thing. But the bills should definitely include international environmental regulation as well. Oh wait, they will:

    Click to access NGO-Letter-Ambassador-Kirk-TPP.pdf

    And apparently, the USA in particular takes a strong stand for the environment.

    Also, it’s not Assange who informs Congress. It’s the intelligence services everyone is mad at. Representatives for the most part attempt to represent the people and their interests. And the people don’t read anything at all.


  2. philebersole Says:

    The TPP would give corporations the authority to ask an un-elected international tribunal to overturn national and local environmental laws if such laws were deemed to unfairly deprive them of expected profits.

    The Sierra Club letter you cite is not an endorsement of the TPP. It is a (rather pitiful) plea to remove the objectionable provisions.

    The following gives the Sierra Club’s position.

    Click to access TPP-LNG%20Factsheet%20FINAL.pdf


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