NEW YORK – Republicans in the House are preparing to follow the lead of the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to rubber-stamp the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, the most sweeping free-trade agreement since NAFTA.
The White House seeks to pass it with a simple majority vote, without so much as introducing a single amendment to modify the language of the agreement it has negotiated behind closed doors.
On Jan. 9, 2013, in a little-noticed press release, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., together with ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich, announced they were introducing “fast track” trade promotion authority legislation as a prelude to bringing up the TPP for expected passage in the near future.
With House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, already deciding to vote with Senate Democrats to grant fast track authority for congressional consideration of the TPP, the only remaining opposition to the bill seems to be coming from House Democrats.
Pressured by labor union constituents, the House Democrats have concluded the massive Trans-Pacific trade deal capitulates to corporate interest groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, placing under international control important U.S. environmental, public-health and labor standards.
The House Democrats are concerned that more U.S. union jobs will be lost in the free-trade “fast track” steamroller Republicans under Boehner and Democrats aligning with Reid plan to run through Congress.
Last year, 151 House Democrats opposed to TPP, led by Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and George Miller, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Obama stating their opposition to using “outdated ‘Fast Track’ procedures that usurp Congress’ authority over trade matters.”
A statement issued Jan. 9 by DeLauro and Miller, joined by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., referenced last year’s letter and advanced the argument by stating:
“For too long, bad trade deals have allowed corporations to ship good American jobs overseas, and wages, benefits, workplace protections and quality of life have all declined as a result,” DeLauro, Miller and Slaughter said in a joint statement. “That is why there is strong bipartisan opposition to enabling the Executive Branch to ram through far-reaching, secretly negotiated trade deals like the TPP that extend well beyond traditional trade matters. At the core of the Baucus-Camp bill is the same Fast Track mechanism that failed us from 2002-2007.”
The lawmakers said their constituents “did not send us to Washington to ship their jobs overseas, and Congress will not be a rubber stamp for another flawed trade deal that will hang the middle class out to dry.”
“Instead of pursuing the same failed trade policies, we should support American workers by making the necessary investments to compete in today’s global economy,” they wrote.
With Boehner’s decision to support Obama on TPP, the Republican Party appears ready to ignore concerns raised by GOP conservatives and various tea-party groups that the 12-nation deal further undermines U.S. sovereignty. The opponents argue it places major sectors of the U.S. economy under a new dispute-regulation mechanism that takes precedence over U.S. judges and courts.
Most seasoned congressional watchers expect Obama, Reid and Boehner will ultimately succeed in ramming TPP through to passage. But they believe it won’t happen without labor-supporting House Democrats and conservative House Republicans concerned about sovereignty wrangling to obtain last-minute concessions.
As WND reported, “fast track authority” is a provision under the Trade Promotion Authority that requires Congress to review a free-trade agreement, or FTA, under limited debate, in an accelerated time frame that is subject to a yes-or-no vote by Congress without any provision for Congress to modify the agreement by submitting amendments. “Fast track authority” is also intended to reassure foreign partners that the FTA negotiated by the executive branch will not be altered by Congress during the legislative process.
The TPP is the first part of a two-ocean globalist plan the Obama administration is working quietly to put into place. The goal is to follow up the passage of the TPP with the finalization of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union.
As WND previously reported, President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address, announced the addition of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to the agenda that would complement the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement:
To boost American exports, support American jobs and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I’m announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs. (Applause.)
The promise of creating new jobs drew congressional applause despite legitimate concerns the promise is hollow, as previous trade agreements, including NAFTA and U.S. participation in the World Trade Organization, have resulted in the loss of millions of high-salary U.S. jobs overseas to nations within the partnership with less expensive job markets.
Advancing the NWO agenda
The globalists advising the Obama administration appear to have learned from the adverse public reaction to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, during the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama has avoided the leader summit meetings that exposed to a critical alternative news media the international “working group” coordination needed to create international free-trade agreements.
The Obama administration has shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, SPP.gov. The last joint statement issued by the newly formed North American Leaders Summit, operating as the rebranded SPP, was issued April 2, 2012, at the conclusion of the last tri-lateral head-of-state meeting held between the U.S., Mexico and Canada in Washington, D.C.
Now, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration appears to have leap-frogged SPP ambitions to create a North American Union by including Mexico and Canada in the TPP configuration.
The 12 nations involved in the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.
A graph presented in the CRS report on the first page shows the reach of the agreement across the Pacific, including Peru and Chile in South America; Australia and New Zealand; Malaysia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia; Singapore; and Japan.
As seen in the North American detail below, trade from Canada extends down into roughly Oklahoma in the United States, and trade from Mexico extends north roughly to Colorado.
At the same time, trade from Mexico is seen both as extending up into the United States, reaching across the Pacific Ocean to the Asian and Pacific Rim nations involved in the free trade agreement.