The Trade Warp, Again?

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Eschew Obfuscation
By Michael Douglass –

International trade deals are always notorious in the rear view mirror of globalization. Bill Clinton’s legacy will forever be jaundiced by two things, a blow job and NAFTA. That blow job didn’t usher in the atrophy of the American middle class.

So exactly why is this president deliberately trying to slip the TPP by us? Barack Obama is telling us not to worry about it.

A gigantic red flag is whipping and cracking in fog.

It makes no sense.

“The TPP is a Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom.” So says Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor.

The proposed agreement is between the United States and 12 other nations. Mostly Pacific Rim. We’re talking about 40 percent of the world economy here. It will impact nearly a billion people.

The largest most comprehensive trade deal in history.

Elected members of congress are only allowed to view the actual text in the Trade Representatives office without staff or experts. They aren’t allowed to take copies with them or even take notes.

Officially, that’s all we know because officially, that’s all we’re allowed to know.

There is no mistaking that something wicked this way comes when the republicans agree with Obama so thoroughly that none of them want anyone to even know there’s a conversation.

There are more than 600 multinational corporations acting as advisers or authors of this
agreement for years, yet members of congress enjoy little more than severely restricted access to it and are actually forbidden to share any information about it all.

It would be illegal.

Bullshit.

The devil must certainly be in the details if neither side can disguise the tripping all over to hide them.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders Sherrod Brown, Ron Wyden and Alan Grayson are just about the only ones shouting from the rooftops about this. That’s gotta tell you something. That they are openly opposing Obama tells you the rest.

“It is ironic in a way that the government thinks it’s alright to have a record of every single call that an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away,” says Alan Grayson. “Having seen what I’ve seen, I would characterize this as a gross abrogation of American sovereignty. And I would further characterize it as a punch in the face to the middle class of America. I think that’s fair to say from what I’ve seen so far. But I’m not allowed to tell you why!”

We’re at the little kids table.

As of now, we have no way of knowing how this agreement will affect workers, human rights, the environment, financial regulations, food safety, pharmaceutical regulation, energy regulation, net neutrality or internet privacy, copyrights and intellectual property. Even more troubling, the president doesn’t want us to know. He in fact wants it to be “fast tracked.”

Limited time, limited debate, no amendments or filibuster.

What’s the goddamn hurry?

Then there’s the ISDS (investor- state dispute settlement). It’s an international tribunal of lawyers not subject to any nation’s laws that can potentially extract compensation arbitrarily according to “unjust expropriation”.

It’s complex to say the least but it is essentially a device for adjudicating all issues of sovereignty that will inevitably arise from such an outrageous prostitution of Joe Six Pack’s expectations.

“This isn’t a partisan issue,” says Elizabeth Warren. “Conservatives who believe in U.S. sovereignty should be outraged that ISDS would shift power from American courts, whose authority is derived from our Constitution, to unaccountable international tribunals. Libertarians should be offended that ISDS effectively would offer a free taxpayer subsidy to countries with weak legal systems. And progressives should oppose ISDS because it would allow big multinationals to weaken labor and environmental rules.”

How predictable that Hillary is big on it?

Makes you wonder what the hell is going on here doesn’t it?

I used to bristle when some intellectually lazy asshat dismissed American politics with the casual excuse that both parties are the same. It’s true Democrats can be counted to be on the right side of social and cultural imperatives like civil rights and all matters of equality. Sure, Democrats are golden.

But there are issues that supersede the cultural and social ones because they are the battery that stores them. Perpetual war abroad, unchecked assault on our own village by our biggest corporate, energy and banking institutions, for example. This where Democrats are not quite to the man, the same as Republicans. Pretty much the same. Most of the bastards are sell outs.

Without this whole war thing and the insidious problem with greedy, power mad pricks and cunts, there would be so much money we could each open whatever kind of store we wanted.

Dear Mr President, I resent the notion you sponsor that we should just trust you. We shouldn’t have to just trust you. You should not be asking. You want for us to place full faith and trust in capitalism for a level of playing field to be disclosed later.

You have got be fucking kidding me.

NAFTA was a low blow just before the bell to the American middle class. The TPP could be the overhand right after the bell to the back of our head that has us waking up in our car.

Drinks for my friends

© 2015, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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  2 comments for “The Trade Warp, Again?

  1. dunder
    May 3, 2015 at 1:39 am

    “And I would further characterize it as a punch in the face to the middle class of America. I think that’s fair to say from what I’ve seen so far. But I’m not allowed to tell you why!” — If this is true, how can they have a congressional debate about TPP before voting on it? Those debates are public record.

  2. William Barnes
    May 3, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Glynn:

    Tell it like is, brother. Don’t hold anything back! You are right on POINT! I have held President Obama in high esteem for his work since taking office; however, this action smells very afoul to me, taking into account his actions of the past. Was this action a sell out by the President to certain politicos in order to get his Attorney General nominee through the political process? Or, is there some other sinister play in action sixteen moths out from the next National election? How can Obama possibly advance the actions currently being advocated under his promise of transparency of actions for every American, and not just the privileged? This is a major deviation from the norm, and while I would like to believe Obama would not do anything not in the best interests of all American citizens, perhaps he should rethink the necessity of the secrecy surrounding the advancement of the trade agreement currently on the table. America does not need another NAFTA.

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