This is exactly the kind of behavior that Americans are fed up with
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have both admitted that the massive TPP trade deal is not what the American people want. Fearing a backlash from voters and potential election losses, the Republican leadership plans to wait until after the elections so they can ram through the unpopular trade deal.
According to the St. Louis Dispatch:
“Opposition to trade has emerged as a rare area of bipartisan agreement in the 2016 election campaign, with leading candidates opposing or criticizing a pact that would boost trade among nations making up 40 percent of the global economy. A tough battle for congressional seats in states where economic concerns loom large makes supporting deals such as TPP a political liability.
In such a hostile environment, where anti-trade rhetoric resonates among voters in key manufacturing regions, congressional leaders point to the legislative session just after the Nov. 8 election as the earliest a deal could be considered.”
The fact that lawmakers appear to know that the American people do not want another massive trade deal says a lot about our failing political system. It also demonstrates that the GOP controlled senate has no intention of listening to the electorate. So who are these politicians listening to? It seems pretty obvious that the big money corporate interests that negotiated this trade deal in secret have their ears and legislative votes.
Some of the strongest opposition to TPP is coming from New Zealand, where there are fears that healthcare costs could skyrocket under the provisions written by Big Pharma.
From the New Zealand Herald:
“The TPP is the product of corporate lawyers converting “trade” to the protectionism sought by corporations for extended patent protections for films and pharmaceuticals at the expense of environmental regulation and worker protections.
The multi-national corporations, with their expanding power and loyalty to none but to profit, pose a threat to democracy and to the balance of planetary life.”
TPP Will Allow Corporations To Lock In Their Power
In addition to the potential loss of American jobs, the TPP trade deal opens up US taxpayers to corporate lawsuits under the Investor State Dispute Settlement process (ISDS). This disastrous provision was created by special interest groups to allow corporations to bypass the court system in the US, as well as every other member country.
The Washington Post points out some of the real dangers of this provision:
“ISDS is a legal system that has been included in investment treaties and trade agreements over several decades, including under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under these rules, foreign investors can legally challenge host state regulations outside that country’s courts. A wide range of policies can be challenged: Argentina has had its macroeconomic policies challenged, Australia its anti-smoking efforts, Costa Rica its environmental preservation laws. While the United States has never lost a case, U.S. corporations have won many of their complaints against foreign governments.
The system is unusual in international law. Most international courts only allow disputes between states. ISDS, in contrast, creates one-way rights: Corporations can sue governments, but not vice versa.”
While the 2016 campaign trail has been filled with rhetoric about outsourcing US jobs, few, if any, dare to mention the ISDS provisions that could leave American taxpayers on the hook for what amounts to massive corporate handouts that would make the 2008 Wall Street bailouts look like chump change.
WATCH: WikiLeaks – The US strategy to create a new global legal and economic system: TPP, TTIP, TISA
If you want your voice heard before congress commits this betrayal of democracy, you can contact your elected representative here.
WATCH: Sen. Elizabeth Warren – Congress should oppose the TPP trade deal
Featured image:Creative Commons/ flickr/ T.J. Hawk
Cartoon images above: WikiLeaks video screen grab
*** Maryann Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit”
This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destiny’s are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book. Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog’s Spirit is available now on Amazon.com.