President Obama standing with U.S. Trade Representive Michael Froman outside the White House in June of 2013. Froman was nominated by the president for the top position and is now among the key targets of protests and critics who are decrying the administration’s trade policy. (Photo: Larry Downing/Reuters)
The pro-big business President Barack Obama and his corporate allies are starting their campaign to manipulate and pressure Congress to ram through the “pull-down-on-America” Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade and foreign investment treaty between twelve nations (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam).
The first skirmish is a fast track bill to have Congress formally strip itself of its constitutional authority to regulate trade and surrender this historic responsibility to the White House and its corporate lobbies.
Lest you think the TPP is too commercially complex to bother about, think again. This mega-treaty is the latest corporate coup-d’état that sacrifices the American consumer, labor and environmental standards – inventively called “non-tariff trade barriers” – and much U.S. sovereignty to the supremacy of corporate commercial trade.
No single column can adequately describe this colossal betrayal – camouflaged by phrases like “free trade” and “win-win agreements.” For comprehensive analysis of the TPP you can go to Global Trade Watch (http://www.citizen.org/trade/).
Trade treaties, like NAFTA and GATT, which created the World Trade Organization (WTO), already have proven records of harming our country through huge job-exporting trade deficits, unemployment, freezing or jeopardizing our consumer and environmental rules, holding down regulations on giant banks and weakening labor protections.