– Obama’s Secret TPP Deal Would Be Disastrous For America (Economy in Crisis, Aug 15, 2014):
Recent reports continue to show that our economy is still struggling. Instead of solving the problem, President Obama continues to push for more secret “free trade” agreements, modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement. Especially disturbing, in the President’s grand push for a 12-nation trade pact dubbed the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP), is that Congress has been left out of negotiations. “We want transparency. We want to see what’s going on there,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters. “We have a problem with that.”
Instead of Granting Congress more transparency, the president has asked for Congress to grant him Trade Promotion Authority or Fast Track as it is also called. This would mean the president could sign the deal before Congress approves it and then ram it through Congress with limited debate and no opportunity of filibuster.
Last year alone, 151 House Democrats, members of President Obama’s own party, sent a letter to the White House stating their opposition to granting him Fast Track Authority to negotiate trade agreements, citing a lack of Congressional consultation in the TPP negotiations.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) the chair of the House Progressive Caucus, said the President’s push for Fast Track is out of sync with the party’s priorities.
“How can you say on one hand you want to address income inequality, you want to make this economy work for everyone, and on the other hand, say you want Trade Promotion Authority so you can pass these NAFTA-style trade deals?” Ellison asked. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Meanwhile, corporate lobbyists have been allowed into the negotiations. Why have lobbyists for corporations such as Monsanto been allowed in while Congress and the public are kept out?
Only recently have members been granted very limited access. To get it they were required to make a special appointment to view the draft copy of the TPP. They were only allowed to read sections they specifically asked for; they were not allowed to take notes or discuss any of the details with anyone, not even their staff.
Alan Grayson (D-FL) was one member of Congress who viewed the draft. “What I saw was nothing that could possibly justify the secrecy that surrounds it,” he said. “It is ironic in a way that the government thinks it’s alright to have a record of every single call an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away.”
Many members of Congress remain on the fence on the matter. Our leaders need to renew the bond of trust with the American people and stop the power corporate lobbying has over our government. We must open the TPP to public debate, stop Fast Track Trade Authority, and take steps to protect American sovereignty from foreign interests.
Contact your Congressional representative today and let them know that you are opposed to granting the President Fast Track Authority.