STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
The TPP covers a bewildering range of topics. In addition to conventional trade issues like tariff rates, it includes language on labor rights, environmental laws, copyright and patent protections, e-commerce, state-owned enterprises, corruption, and government procurement.
Trade deals like the TPP have grown so complex because the global trade community has figured out how to solve a problem that has bedeviled philosophers and political leaders for centuries: how to craft international agreements with teeth. The WTO’s dispute-settlement process, which serves as a model for the TPP, puts pressure on countries to actually keep the promises they make in trade deals. That’s why everyone with an agenda — wealthy investors, drug companies, labor unions, environmental groups, and so on — is scrambling to get on the bandwagon.
But the complex, secretive, and anti-democratic way the TPP is being crafted rubs a lot of people the wrong way. The agreement will have profound and long-lasting effects on countries that sign on, yet voters in those countries won’t even be allowed to see the text until negotiations are over and it’s too late to make changes. No wonder so many groups — the AFL-CIO, civil liberties groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and even the free traders at the Cato Institute — have been raising concerns about it. – Vox.com, April 17, 2015
Frederic Bastiat supposedly said, “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” The quote is certainly true. Free trade between nation-states generally helps both sides prosper. It also reduces the chance of armed conflict. This is why libertarians like free trade.
As happens with other good ideas, people with ulterior motives like to hijack “free trade” and twist it for their own enrichment. Modern trade agreements have very little to do with free trade. As the quote above says, it covers a bewildering array of other topics.
This week Congress is considering a bill to give President Obama “Fast Track” negotiating authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. GOP representatives and senators are mostly for it, while Democrats are mostly against Fast Track.
Oddly, the same Republicans who won’t trust Obama to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran are ready to write him a blank check on the TPP. They’re fine with letting him reconfigure a huge chunk of the global economy. Why? Because TPP has a “free trade” façade around its much deeper market intrusions.
Think about this. If free trade between nations were really the objective, would we need document libraries and secret deals? Of course not. The agreement would only have to be a few pages long. “The governments of country x, y, and z agree not to impose tariffs or otherwise hinder trade between themselves.”
Free trade is simple. TPP is anything but simple. Therefore, TPP is not free trade.
Here is more from Vox.
As the opportunities for trade liberalization have dwindled, the nature of trade agreements has shifted. They’re no longer just about removing barriers to trade. They’ve become a mechanism for setting global economic rules more generally.
This trend is alarming to Simon Lester, a free trader at the Cato Institute. “We’ve added in these new issues that I’m skeptical of,” he says. “It’s not clear what the benefits are, and they cause a lot of controversy.”
And this system for setting global rules has some serious defects. We expect the laws that govern our economic lives will be made in a transparent, representative, and accountable fashion. The TPP negotiation process is none of these — it’s secretive, it’s dominated by powerful insiders, and it provides little opportunity for public input.
“A mechanism for setting global economic rules” is the opposite of free trade. The best rules are those set by a free market. Better yet, they are free and do not require secret negotiations.
The corporate defenders of crony capitalism and their toadies in the business press are trying hard to position TPP as a free trade agreement. It is nothing of the sort. It is selective free trade, with rewards for some and punishment for others.
If there were any doubt that the Republican Party is as anti-freedom as the Democrats are, its advocacy of TPP Fast Track ought to remove such doubt. Hopefully, their attempt will fail – but the fact that they tried tells us something.
Call your representatives and tell them in no uncertain terms you will launch an opposition party to their continuance in office if they give OBUMA fast track authority (TPA) on anything, and for them to vote no on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
LET THEM KNOW WE ARE AWARE
New Trade Promotion Authority Bill Imperils American Independence
On April 16, 2015, a new Trade Promotion Authority bill was unveiled by the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee. These committees are expected to expedite this bill and report it out for a vote in the full House and Senate in the next few weeks. Votes on the bill could be delayed if there aren’t sufficient votes for passage at present.
President Obama had asked Congress for “fast-track” Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) so that he can finish negotiating and sign two trade “partnership” agreements, one with eleven Pacific Rim nations known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and another with the European Union known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
We consider the introduction of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill to be a very big deal. Arguably the biggest threat to the continued existence of the United States as an independent nation under the Constitution is the Obama administration’s current initiative to negotiate and get congressional approval of the TPP and TTIP agreements. These agreements would put our nation on the path to political integration with the other nations involved in these negotiations and are being promoted by the same organizations that destroyed the independence of 28 European nations with the creation of the European Union.
And, since virtually everyone believes that the TPP and TTIP deals cannot be approved by Congress without a TPA bill in place, we must prevent congressional approval of TPA. We’re asking our members and all supporters of our national independence to phone their representative and senators now in strong opposition to the TPA bill.
Much like how the European Coal and Steel Community, established by the Treaty of Paris in 1951, developed into what is today the European Union, the TPP and TTIP (if approved by Congress) would place the United States on a path towards becoming a member state in a Transpacific Union and a Transatlantic Union, respectively. See the TNA Special Report: How the Free Trade Agenda Is Knocking Down America for the extensive evidence for this.
Please phone your representative and senators in opposition to the TPA bill on the basis that TPA would enable passage of the TPP and TTIP partnership agreements which threaten American independence. Phone calls are the most effective way to influence them. Click here for contact information for phoning your congressmen’s Washington and district offices.
Also, for additional impact please send a pre-written, editable email to your congressmen on this issue. Be sure to personalize for maximum influence.
Your Friends at The John Birch Society
P.S. Click here to view this email as an article at JBS.org.
”Stop TTIP”: Thousands of Activists Gather in Germany to Protest Corporate Trade Deal.
Activists accumulated crosswise over Germany on Saturday to dissent the forthcoming exchange arrangement in Europe and the United States. Commentators fear the arrangement will disintegrate power and imperil different commercial ventures, including wellbeing and innovation. Supporters of the arrangement say it would bring $100 billion yearly for both sides of the arrangement.
Reuters reports that, “a late YouGov survey demonstrated that 43 percent of Germans feel TTIP would be terrible for the nation, contrasted with 26 percent who see it as positive.”
Around 1,500 activists formed a human chain in Berlin; from the Potsdamer Platz square, past the U.S. international safe haven and through the Brandenburg Gate to workplaces of the European Commission.
Coordinators in Munich estimated a horde of 15,000 appeared for the walks. Hundreds more walked in Germany and crosswise over Europe for a “worldwide day of activity” against the TTIP. Dissenters said they were concerned in regards to reconnaissance, Internet opportunity, and hereditarily designed sustenance’s crawling into the EU.
The TTIP is the European form of a similarly combative understanding known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP has confronted waves of resistance throughout Europe. As reported by Common Dreams:
U.S. House and Senate pioneers reported Thursday evening that they have come to an arrangement on enactment, went for jamming the Trans Pacific Partnership through Congress.
The alleged Fast Track charge (The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, TPA-2015), which would make it simpler for President Barack Obama’s organization to arrange exchange bargains by keeping Congress from revising them, incorporates trade off procurements included a request to “win over” Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the leading Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.
The enactment is required to pass the Senate Finance Committee and arrive on the Senate floor one week from now. The House Ways and Means Committee will formally draft its form of the bill one week from now.
Much like “facilitated commerce understandings” of the past, the TPP will give corporate elements more energy to dodge responsibility inside the countries that work together. Don’t imagine it any other way, the TPP and TTIP are a piece of the process to take over the world by the Corporate-State complex.
What will it take for the populace of the world to hear the cries of the individuals who have awoken of the risks inside the TPP and the TTIP? The time nears for the stirred to take to the roads to teach our siblings and sisters about the risks that these exchange arrangements will cause. They don’t speak to the thoughts of the free individuals of the world. These understandings are basically the most recent in a long line of scandals sold to the oblivious (sleeping masses).
How about we take motivation from our companions in Germany. How about we take to the road and let the forces that-(wish-they-were) realize that we are focusing and we are no longer going to remain discrete.