The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will allow unelected bureaucrats to develop regulations superseding both federal and state laws, undermining the U.S. Constitution. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to fast-track the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to bring about a vote on the agreement.
Oddly, Nevada’s U.S. Senator Harry Reid wants to put the matter aside while the Senate deals with funding and renewal of government surveillance authority under the PATRIOT Act.
“The answer is not only no, but hell no,” Reid said when asked whether he backs the legislation.
Evidently, Reid sees President Obama’s TPP agreement as the GOP’s ‘soft underbelly’ as the Democrats ticket to regaining both houses of Congress. He’s not alone in that assessment as one political strategist likened the agreement to landmines.
“Forget party or the politician. In this cycle, trade deals like TPP are political landmines — support them and your political career likely goes bye-bye. It’s a simple matter of trust: Voters don’t trust trade deals, and they don’t trust politicians when they say ‘trust us, this trade deal is different.’”
There’s also a lot of secrecy about the deal as only members of Congress can see what’s in the deal, and even then, they’re required to go to the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center. No cell phones, no staff members and no note-taking’s allowed, while someone’s assigned to watches over the visiting Congressional member.
Yet, a leaked draft of the deal did make its way online through WikiLeaks. Under the agreement, U.S. corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking, medicine and the Internet.
Interestingly, the F.C.C. recently denied the requests of several broadband providers and trade groups asking the agency to delay its net neutrality rules. Net neutrality reclassifies broadband as a public utility, subject to taxation and fees.
However, foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal any key legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That tribunal would be granted the power to overrule U.S. law and impose trade sanctions on the nation for failing to abide by its rulings.
International agreements like the TPP, and the non-transparent fast track/TPA process, provide the perfect opportunities for Progressives to push for policies the public would never accept if done openly.