The United States government is shut down. The battle over the debt ceiling is looming and quietly under the cover of all the “noise,” stakeholders meet to shake out the details about the soon-to-be new world order. I’m talking about The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I will guess the majority of those soon to affected by these new laws are not even aware of its existence and the small bits of information coming out of these secret meetings, do so by leaked memos. Most of our own law makers are not even allowed to see the documents and those who do, must sign a confidentiality agreement because its “classified” information and disclosing it is considered a threat to our nation’s security. The word classified has come to be a euphemism for, “if you knew what’s really going on, you wouldn’t like it.” Just look at the NSA. We can thank a whistleblower for exposing that. Will we be so lucky with the TPP? According to an article written in Public Citizen:
Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-09) got a peek at the controversial pact after requesting access from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). After similar requests from many members of Congress, including some who received ‘no’ answers from the administration, it appears that Grayson is the FIRST member of Congress to see some of the text. Upon eyeing the deal, Grayson said, “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!”
If this document is as bad as he makes it sound, isn’t Grayson’s morally obligated to tell the American public what’s in it? Didn’t he take an oath to uphold the law, our American laws, that are supposed to protect its citizens from harm? I would think anything threatening our sovereignty is a threat to our national security.
What little information the White House is willing to share, sounds like it will bring good paying jobs back home and increase trade between those countries who sign up (there are eleven so far and Japan just joined). Sounds good. Right? If that’s true, then why all the secrecy? Why does Sen. Grayson believe what he does? Are you aware that trade advisors from multi-national corporations are the ones meeting and creating these new laws– not representatives of the governments involved?
Part of the TPP documents that were leaked, state that countries who signed on (except Australia) are willing to give up their sovereignty and hand over their rights to a foreign tribunal, which would be legally empowered to preside over disputes between governments and corporations, and order payment of unlimited government Treasury funds to foreign investors, when they win the suit. In other words, if Exxon wants to set up fracking in Anaheim, and Anaheim residents and/or local officials say “no”, Exxon can sue Anaheim for millions of dollars claiming that Anaheim is interfering with their right to earn profits. It doesn’t matter what our Constitution says or our Supreme Court. The tribunal is the only court that matters to the TPPA.
There are other parts of the agreement that deal with “Intellectual Property Rights,” and guess whose in on those talks? Monsanto and the biotech industry. If they get their way, the only label on the back of food packaging will be “none of your business.”
Obama is pushing to get the agreement “Fast Tracked” (also called Trade Promotion Authority, TPA) which allows him to negotiate agreements that the Congress can approve or disapprove, but cannot amend or filibuster. They will not be allowed to debate. Why is that? What’s the big rush? Why isn’t Obama open to public debate?
The United States is set to hold a second round of talks this month. While we hear about government offices being closed, TPP negotiations continue. We don’t hear about that in the U.S. corporate owned, media though. Teamster Nation, who has been vocally against this trade agreement, shared an email they received from the U.S. Trade representatives office:
Due to a lapse in federal appropriations, as of October 1st, USTR will be unable to carry out normal operations. As of today, in hopes that the lapse will be brief, USTR plans to participate in the upcoming meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Ministers as well as the APEC meetings taking place in Bali, Indonesia from October 3-8, 2013. USTR also plans to participate in the upcoming 2nd round negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) taking place in Brussels, Belgium from October 7-11, 2013. In the event of a prolonged lapse in funding, plans may change and we will inform you accordingly.
Looks like somebody isn’t going to let a little government squabble stop them from achieving their goal — besides once its fully implemented — this kind of infighting will be moot.
So why should you care about the TPP? Abby Martin from “Breaking the Set” does an excellent job of breaking it down for you (fast forward to 1:32 to get to the full story)
If this agreement doesn’t work for you… call your Congress representative and go to Expose the TPP for more information that you can download and share.