John R. Houk
© June 8, 2015
I think I have actually found an issue that Conservatives and Leftists might actually have some common. And the incredible irony is this issue may equally divide the Conservative and Leftist camps into pro and against on both sides of the issue.
What is that issue?
The issue is called Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP.
The plus implications of a TPP agreement is the schmooze of Free Enterprise and the tearing down of restrictive tariffs between the TPP signatory nations.
I have knowledge of the TPP negotiations on a periphery basis rather than a complete informed basis. So when I received The Western Center for Journalism (WJ) action alert email I was quite interested in their Conservative view. When I did a little cursory investigation is when I discovered there are some Leftists against TPP. In case you were unaware the WJ takes a Right Wing position that many (especially Leftists) consider a bit further to the Right than a lot of other Conservative organization
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is considered more Left Wing than Hillary Clinton, has come out strongly against a TPP agreement. Her reasoning is a bit different from the Conservative reasons for being against TPP, but the point is regardless of the reasons there is strong opposition from both Left and Right on the Trans-Pacific Partnership becoming a part of the Rule of Law.
Here is an excerpt from an article that is billed as showing the pros and cons of TPP:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a proposed free trade agreement between the U.S and 11 other trading partners bordering the Pacific Ocean. Current trade between the countries is $1.5 trillion in goods (2012 estimate) and $242 billion in services (2011 estimate). Once approved, it would be bigger than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), currently the world’s largest free trade area.
The TPP is between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam. The countries involved are responsible for 40% of the world's total GDP of $88 trillion, 26% of its trade, and 793 million of its consumers.
Notably, the agreement excludes China. It's meant to balance the trade dominance of both China and India in East Asia. It also provides a trade alliance that gives the U.S. an excuse to intervene in trade disputes in the oil-rich South China Sea.
However, all parties have signaled that other members can join in the future. So far, the Phillipines and China have indicated an interest.
Like most other trade agreements, it removes tariffs on goods and services, and sets reciprocal trade quotas. Unlike most agreements, but like the TTIP, it removes non-tariff blocks to trade and harmonizes regulations and statutes.
The TPP boosts exports and economic growth, creating more jobs and prosperity for the 12 countries involved. It increases exports by $305 billion per year by 2025. U.S. exports would increase by $123.5 billion, focusing on machinery, especially electrical, autos, plastics and agriculture industries.
The agreement adds $223 billion a year to incomes of workers in all the countries, with $77 billion of that going to U.S. workers. (Source: US Trade Representative, TPP Fact Sheet)
Most of the gains in income would go to workers making more than $88,000 a year. Free trade agreements contribute to income inequality in high-wage countries by promoting cheaper goods from low-wage countries.
This would be particularly true for the TPP, because it protects patents and copyrights. Therefore, the higher-paid owners of the intellectual property would receive more of the income gains.
The agreement regarding patents will reduce the availability of cheap generics, making many drugs more expensive. Competitive business pressures will reduce the incentives in Asia to protect the environment. Last but not least, the trade agreement could supersede financial regulations. (Source: Public Citizen, Eyes on Trade, September 12, 2013)
There are five areas that stand in the way of a successful deal. First, the U.S. wants more protection for … (What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership? By Kimberly Amadeo; About.com; Article updated April 16, 2015)
Senator Warren has had her Senate staff publish a report on TPP called “Broken Promises”. Warren’s concerns seem to focus on how TPP will affect Labor in the USA. In this she is joining America’s big Unions. From a Labor perspective, there is concern of cheap foreign labor and greater production of goods and services in foreign countries that could affect employment of American citizens – in Warren’s case that would be Union backed Labor.
See: Elizabeth Warren Sees Broken Promises in Obama's Trade Agenda at The New Republic 5/18/15.
Michael Wessel backs Senator Warren at Politico but he focuses on the secrecy involved in the TPP negotiations. And not just the typical secrecy involved in nation-to-nation negotiations, but the kind of secrecy that has very limited access to those authorized to view the memos and reports that have been saved from the negotiations. To the point that the authorized must go to a designated building and they must be watched by a government functionary:
You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.
I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what's hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice.
So-called “cleared advisors” like me are prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we’ve lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific. Instead of simply admitting that he disagrees with me—and with many other cleared advisors—about the merits of the TPP, the president instead pretends that … (I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned; By MICHAEL WESSEL; Politico; 5/19/15)
Conservative anti-TPP concerns center around the distrust of laws forced on Americans that are beyond the scope of the Constitution and the concern that TPP will bypass Congressional oversight and/or approval protocols. Also there is a concern of mass immigration of foreigners taking American jobs. In essence the issue is a foreign infringement on American sovereignty.
The Conservative plus view looks at lower tariffs and markets that prosper the American economy via less regulations as well as products made less expensively thus costing consumers less money.
Senator Jeff Sessions list five concerns about TPP:
Congress has the responsibility to ensure that any international trade agreement entered into by the United States must serve the national interest, not merely the interests of those crafting the proposal in secret. It must improve the quality of life, the earnings, and the per-capita wealth of everyday working Americans. The sustained long-term loss of middle class jobs and incomes should compel all lawmakers to apply added scrutiny to a “fast-track” procedure wherein Congress would yield its legislative powers and allow the White House to implement one of largest global financial agreements in our history—comprising at least 12 nations and nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP. The request for fast-track also comes at a time when the Administration has established a recurring pattern of sidestepping the law, the Congress, and the Constitution in order to repeal sovereign protections for U.S. workers in deference to favored financial and political allies.
With that in mind, here are the top five concerns about the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that must be fully understood and addressed before passage:
1. Consolidation Of Power In The Executive Branch. TPA eliminates Congress’ ability to amend or debate trade implementing legislation and guarantees an up-or-down vote on a far-reaching international agreement before that agreement has received any public review. Not only will Congress have given up the 67-vote threshold for a treaty and …
2. Increased Trade Deficits. Barclays estimates that during the first quarter of this year, the overall U.S. trade deficit will reduce economic growth by .2 percent. History suggests that trade deals set into motion under the 6-year life of TPA could exacerbate our trade imbalance, acting as an impediment to both GDP and wage growth. Labor economist Clyde Prestowitz attributes 60 percent of the U.S.’ 5.7 million manufacturing jobs lost over …
3. Ceding Sovereign Authority To International Powers. A USTR outline of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which TPA would expedite) notes in the “Key Features” summary that the TPP is a “living agreement.” This means the President could update the agreement “as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries.” The “living agreement” provision means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China), and could also change any of the terms of the agreement, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and …
4. Currency Manipulation. The biggest open secret in the international market is that other countries are devaluing their currencies to artificially lower the price of their exports while artificially raising the price of our exports to them. The result has been a massive bleeding of domestic manufacturing wealth. In fact, currency manipulation can easily dwarf tariffs in its economic impact. A 2014 biannual report from the Treasury Department concluded that the yuan, or renminbi, remained significantly undervalued, yet the Treasury Department failed to designate China as a “currency manipulator.” History suggests this Administration, like …
5. Immigration Increases. There are numerous ways TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law—and precious few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening. For instance: language could be included or added into the TPP, as well as any future trade deal submitted for fast-track consideration in the next 6 years, with the clear intent to facilitate or enable the movement of foreign workers and employees into the United States (including intracompany transfers), and there would be no capacity for lawmakers to strike the offending provision. The Administration could also simply act on its own to ... READ ENTIRETY (CRITICAL ALERT: TOP FIVE CONCERNS WITH TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY; By Jeff Sessions; Sessions.Senate.gov; 5/4/15)
The Western Center of Journalism email has greater detail than I have attempted. Unfortunately the WJ email is also one of those disguised fund raisers masked in you making a “donation” for WJ to send out mass faxes. The WJ idea is a good one though. If you are a registered voter your Senators and Representative pay attention. So if you are like me and perhaps a little short of cash there are low cost to no-cost ways to contact Senators and Representatives about your concerns. So if you are passionate about stopping the TPP Fast Track I’ll provide the Congressional contact links. The drawback is you have to take the time to construct your on words. The WJ fax method means your concerns are written for you and all you have to do is add your name and make a donation. I encourage to do the thoughtful way or WJ fax way, but choose one to make your voice known.
Remember which ever you way choose to make contact BE SURE to include your name and complete address including zip code. This is how the politicians know you are a real voter and not Mickey Mouse.
How to . . . contact U.S. Senators
Senators of the 114th Congress
Find Your Representative by Zip Code (The Zip leads you to their website which has all needed contact methods)
Websites of Interest:
Anti-TPP Website Being Blacklisted Slashdot 6/6/15
The TPP Trade Deal and World Government – Our Perspective ConservateHQ 6/8/2015
Drudge Blows Lid Off Obama Secret 'Trade Deal'... This Is Huge
By Floyd Brown
Sent: 6/7/2015 8:00 AM
Sent by: Western Center of Journalism
"Some Even Believe We Are Part Of A Secret Cabal... Conspiring With Others Around The World To Build A More Integrated Global Political And Economic Structure—One World... If That Is The Charge, I Stand Guilty, And I Am Proud Of It." -David Rockefeller
We're talking about a globalist plot called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)... a dastardly scheme that conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly says will turn over "our authority as a sovereign nation to international authorities."
Mitch McConnell just did his part for large multi-national corporations and squeezed it through the Senate... BARELY. As a matter of fact, because of your Blast Faxes and calls in stanch opposition to TPP, McConnell had to pull every dirty deal out of his bag of tricks AT THE VERY LAST MINUTE to make it happen.
Make no mistake, your opposition to TPP totally changed the dynamic in Washington... so much so that the ultimate fate of this globalist scheme is presently UNCERTAIN in the House of Representatives.
And now that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are on the ropes and desperately trying to re-group, at this very moment, to push this globalist agenda through the House of Representatives, we're in a position to defeat TPP outright... but we must strike now... before McConnell and Boehner can make dirty, behind-the-scenes deals to sneak it past us.
If You're Thinking That Your Faxes And Calls Are Not A Powerful Weapon... Just Look At What You Just Did To Mitch McConnell.
Two weeks ago, Washington elites were high-fiving one another because passage of this New World Order trade scheme was considered a slam-dunk... a done deal... but that all changed once patriot Americans, like you, started burning up telephone lines and sending avalanches of faxes to Washington.
As a matter of fact, Mitch McConnell literally scrambled to make DEALS with his fellow Senators on the fly DURING THE CLOTURE VOTE when it became clear that the unthinkable was actually happening and he did not have the votes he needed to betray you after all.
According to conservative pundit and the son of former-President Ronald Reagan, Michael Reagan: "The NY Times reports a blur of 11th hour deals on the Senate floor on Thursday saved Obama's trade agenda from defeat, busting a filibuster to advance legislation that would enable the president to complete a sweeping, 12-nation Pacific trade agreement."
The Hill, the publication of record for Washington insiders, fleshed out the details: "More than halfway through the vote, it appeared supporters of fast-track might be stuck... McConnell then huddled in the well of the Senate floor... The breakthrough came when McConnell promised [Senator Maria] Cantwell that he would schedule a vote next month on an amendment authorizing the Export-Import Bank. As soon as he did, Cantwell wheeled around and voted 'Aye,' followed in quick succession by [Senators] Murray, Heitkamp and Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)."
The Hill added: "McConnell’s proposal also pushed [Lindsey] Graham, who was also in the huddle, to vote yes" and The Hill goes on to state that Orrin Hatch made a last-minute concession to Senator Rob Portman that induced him to vote "yes" as well.
Here's the bottom line. The political elites in the Senate had to hustle, at the very last minute, to push this betrayal precisely because patriotic Americans pushed back; but, as the New York Times notes, this win "was not the overwhelming victory House supporters had hoped for" and "advocates concede they do not yet have the votes to hand the White House trade promotion authority."
You read that right. They don't believe they have the votes. That's why Boehner and McConnell are hustling, at this very moment, to secure the votes needed to betray you and that's why you are positioned to deny them that betrayal. McConnell won a battle but, the cost for him was very high and, if you speak out now, we can win the war.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is A Fraud. It Has Nothing To Do With Trade.
Let's get down to brass tacks. TPP is nothing more than a pretext for implementing a globalist agenda and eradicating American sovereignty and your freedom.
Don't take our word for it. Political pundit Dick Morris, hardly a tin-foil-hat type, calls TPP a "fraud" and writes: "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has nothing to do with trade. While it officially embraces 11 countries plus the U.S., 76 percent of our trade with these nations is with Mexico and Canada, already covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Any export growth is likely to have been already covered by NAFTA, making the TPP irrelevant to our trade relations."
Morris goes on to explain: "The World Trade Organization has reduced tariffs to almost nothing... the US already functionally has free trade with all of the countries of the Pacific Rim" and he adds: "The TPP is nothing but an effort by the globalists to circumvent American sovereignty, transferring a host of issues from the control of the U.S. Congress and the various state legislatures to international trade courts."
So what's the real agenda behind pushing TPP? Morris adds that TPP gives "multi-national companies the right to sue the American government to force changes in our laws in a foreign or international court."
Why is that important? Morris yet again: "Multinational corporations find bureaucrats easy to control, subject as they are to the influences of the revolving door between regulators and those they regulate. Coming from industry or planning to return there, the supposedly disinterested bureaucrats are anything but impartial."
And just in case you were wondering why TPP is being kept under lock-and-key... just in case you were wondering why the public is not allowed to read it... just in case you were wondering why elected officials must lock themselves in a room in the basement of the Capitol Building to read it and are prohibited from taking notes and must even relinquish their cell phones before locking themselves away to read the bill... the answer should now be obvious.
In a nutshell, multi-national corporations are spending millions (perhaps billions) to convince our elected officials to willingly cede their Constitutional authority and hand our national sovereignty over to Barack Obama and an oligarchy of international corporations... it's all about the Benjamins... your liberties be damned.
But make no mistake, when enough of our elected officials know that enough of us are on to this little game, they will back down and if multi-national corporations are willing to spend billions to secure their vote, are enough of us willing to reach out to our elected officials to put a stop to this foolishness?
Let's Recap... Subverting Our Sovereignty For The Benefit Of Globalists Is Not Free Trade... It Is Tyranny.
If you're still having a hard time believing that TPP will give Barack Obama and globalists unprecedented powers... if you're having a hard time believing that TPP is nothing more than a concession to an international oligarchy that will cost us our sovereignty, our freedom and millions of American jobs... don't take our word for it.
Here's a refresher course on what Phyllis Schlafly says about TPP:
*The text of TPP emphasizes that it is a "living agreement." Translated out of bureaucratese code language, that means the text of TPP can be changed in major and minor ways by executive action after Congress passes the document.
*TPP will facilitate the expanded movement of foreign workers into the United States. TPP opens the door to more waves of illegal immigrants and allows Obama to make future changes without any congressional oversight or expiration date.
*Kevin L. Kearns of the U.S. Business and Industry Council calls this "another power grab" that will let Obama and his employees rule by executive action. By the device of not calling TPP a treaty (even though it involves 12 countries on three continents), the globalists induce the Senate to abandon the 67-vote threshold for treaty ratification and even the 60-vote threshold for important legislation.
*Fast Track turns over some of our authority as a sovereign nation to international authorities, which is a major longtime goal of the internationalists, the so-called kingmakers and big business lobbyists. The code language that hides this in TPP is the statement that calls it a "living agreement."
*Giving Barack Obama, a man who has repeatedly shown his hatred for this country and a willingness to subvert our Constitution, such broad powers is like giving an arsonist a book of matches and a can of gasoline.
Boehner, McConnell and their RINO cohorts are either delusional, corrupt or both; but one thing is certain. The American people did not give Republicans a majority in both Houses of Congress last November so that they could help Barack Obama destroy the United States as we know it... and it's high time that they got the message.
Schlafly Is Not Alone. Here's What Others Are Saying...
Here's what others, on both sides of the political divide, are saying:
*We don't create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forgo congressional scrutiny and ignore the law only to import low-wage labor, undercut American workers, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea. The Obama administration has fooled and failed the American people for far too long. I cannot support giving this administration trade promotion authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). ... Personally, I wouldn't trust this administration to negotiate a deal on a secondhand Subaru. -Mike Huckabee
*It is simply unbelievable that anybody — and most especially GOP lawmakers — would even contemplate giving this president so-called "Fast-Track Authority" on the TPP. His serial failures to negotiate fair prisoner swaps, sound arms control agreements or sensible diplomatic normalizations neither inspires confidence nor warrants Congress turning its check-and-balance role into a blank check. -Frank Gaffney
*Such pacts used to be called "free-trade agreements"; in fact, they were managed trade agreements, tailored to corporate interests, largely in the U.S. and the European Union. -Joseph E. Stiglitz, MarketWatch, The Secret Corporate Takeover Hidden In The TPP
*Free trade deals are about profits for corporate America — not bus drivers, hotel workers, teachers, firefighters — real working people. -Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union
*The president has circumvented Congress on immigration with serial regularity. But the TPA would yield new power to the executive to alter admissions while subtracting Congressional checks against those actions.... The plain language of TPA provides avenues for Obama and trading partners to facilitate the expanded movement of foreign workers into the U.S. -Senator Jeff Sessions
*I'm for free trade, but I am not for giving more authority to a president who ignores the Constitution, the separation of powers and will of the American people. This particular president must not be given any more power to do anything else to harm this country. He cannot be trusted. -Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Sadly, Barack Obama and political elites within the GOP have finally reached consensus on an issue: What is good for international globalists and multi-national corporations is good for them and they're willing to give their fat-cat friends lavish gifts even if they must violate the Constitution, give a wanna-be dictator even more power and surrender our sovereignty to make it happen.
We can't allow Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to give Barack Obama a blank check to destroy our great nation. They must be stopped and the only thing that can stop them is an avalanche of calls and faxes from Americans that lets them know — in no uncertain terms — that we are on to their little game.
Are YOU going to Allow the House to Fast-Track TPP
John R. Houk
© June 8, 2015
Drudge Blows Lid Off Obama Secret 'Trade Deal'... This Is Huge
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