Ed Royce Auditions for New Role as Supervillain of Secretive TPP Trade Agreement

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If you’re going to run against Rep. Ed Royce — and if you’re stuck in a primary that you have a good chance of not winning, you should be thinking about it — he’s just given you your campaign issue.  (Oh, and Tea Partiers — pay really good attention to how the guy who claims to be one of you as he shows his true colors.  You’re getting rooked — and if you believe anything you’ve been saying it should piss you off royally.)

A new Register article — one outside of the paywall, so you know that they want you to pay attention — celebrates Royce’s role in plumping for what could be a mind-boggling expansion of corporate power and incursion on national sovereignty.  (Those are rotten themes for a campaign, by the way.)

The article notes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) trade agreement, which supporters want to put on a “fast track” in the Senate — no amendments, only a majority vote required — will not have been approved by the self-imposed deadline of last year.  So — they’ll just toss out that deadline and start a new one!  (No problem — that deadline had just been in place to create an artificial sense of political urgency.)

The TPP has been negotiated in secret over the past three years by the U.S. and 11 other nations including Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam.  Some details of the draft agreement have been leaked — and they are horrible.  (And the most horrible provisions tend to be the ones that proponents care about most.)

The California Democratic Party, notwithstanding the support of the Obama Administration, condemned the secret negotiations this past July; the AFL-CIO notes that these sorts of agreements have generally turned out to be bad for workers, as promises of bringing up labor and environmental standards overseas are routinely ignored, and that they undercut “Buy American” efforts and lead to greater social stratification.

Excuse me — did someone say “More economic inequality”?  Well, then sign Ed Royce up!

[Supporters beyond the Obama Administration include] Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, in his position as head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Royce visited Singapore earlier this year and met with leaders, in part to promote a deal.

The soon-to-be Los Angeles Register of Santa Ana summarizes the positions taken on TPP this way:

Supporters say the agreement will lower prohibitive tariffs now imposed by some trading partners and establish rules on intellectual property and government subsidies in business, creating a more level playing field.

Critics contend it will harm American workers and potentially send jobs overseas.

But hey — they’re leaving out some of the best — by which I mean worst – parts!  Like the part that gives private corporations the same right to challenge the laws of any of the signatory countries that those countries themselves have!  And because a treaty has the same status as a law, this treaty may allow corporations to demand the voiding of laws that we haven’t even thought about being challenged by it!

THIS — much more than some bogus “War on Christmas” — is going to affect you and your loved ones.  Prepare to act — including calling, writing, and voting — accordingly!


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.