[Ip-health] Wash Post: The Trans Pacific Partnership: Another disaster from a proven liar
reshmagar at gmail.com
Mon Nov 11 14:10:49 PST 2013
*The Trans Pacific Partnership: Another disaster from a proven liar
WASHINGTON. November 11, 2013 — One thing we can say about Barack Obama is
that he is a proven liar. He lied when he told Americans we could keep our
health insurance if we liked it.
Now he wants us to trust him on something else.
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For the last several years, the Obama Administration has been negotiating
something called the Trans Pacific Partnership. The Trans Pacific
Partnership is a free trade agreement on steroids.
In 1992, then-Presidential candidate Ross Perot coined the expression,
“Giant sucking sound” to describe the exodus of jobs from America into
Mexico if the North American Free Trade Agreement was passed.
NAFTA was passed and America’s industrial base was decimated. Since NAFTA,
several other free trade agreements have been passed. The results are
always the same: The other nations get the benefit and America loses.
The most recent free trade agreement that was passed was the Korea Free
Trade Agreement. After that took effect, America’s trade balance with South
Korea went from a surplus to a deficit.
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One of the most disturbing parts of this proposed Trans Pacific treaty is
the secrecy in which it is being negotiated. The only real news Americans
or for that matter Members of Congress can get, is from leaks.
Barack Obama is asking for fast track authority for the Trans Pacific
Partnership. Consider that to be another version of “you have to pass this
to see what is in it.” With fast track authority, there will be no
hearings on this treaty. It will be negotiated then sent to the Senate for
a simple up or down vote. The Senate will not be able to provide advice and
consent because they cannot offer amendments under fast track.
Less than one fifth of the Trans Pacific Partnership deals with trade. The
remainder of the treaty governs a myriad of things, including regulating
the price of medicines. A few months ago, a mix of conservative and liberal
groups stopped the “Stop Online Piracy Act” or SOPA. Most of the provisions
of SOPA are included in the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Under the proposals of the TPP, American sovereignty would be eroded.
American courts would be inferior to foreign trade courts and disputes
between American citizens and foreign corporations would not be litigated
in American courts but in these trade tribunals.
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If you think unemployment is bad now, just wait. According to leaks from
the Trans Pacific Partnership, the treaty will provide incentives for
American companies to relocate overseas.
With ninety million Americans out of the work force and work force
participation at it’s lowest since those statistics have been kept,
incentives to send American employment overseas is shocking.
There are too many questions to be asked about this proposed treaty but
perhaps the best question to ask is, if this treaty is so good for America,
why is it being negotiated in secret?
According to Lori Wallach of Public Citizen in an op-ed in the New York
Times, Ron Kirk, the former trade representative who was negotiating the
treaty, said that if the treaty details were made public, the treaty would
probably never pass.
If this is true, then this treaty should never be signed, much less
The biggest chance to kill this really bad idea is by denying Barack Obama
fast track authority.
With Obama’s track record of lying to America, can we really trust him with
this kind of trade agreement?
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Harvard Kennedy School of Government '15
Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University '15
PharmFree Chair, American Medical Student Association
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