In 2005, four nations formed a trade alliance which has come to be known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei were the original signatory nations; now, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Peru, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam want to join in and form an agreement that would encompass fully 40% of the world’s economy. However, an astute observer might wonder what nations like Peru and Brunei are doing in an agreement with the United States and Australia, nations with vastly different standards and living levels.
The fact is, though the agreement is supposed to be kept secret from us, enough details have leaked out to give us a basic idea of what is going on. And what is going on? Very little trade and a lot of legislating through the executive branch, something that is supposed to be unconstitutional. The vast majority of the TPP deals with Internet freedoms, intellectual property, regulations and other subjects that have no business being part of a trade deal.
This only compounds the problems caused by investor-state dispute resolutions, which allow companies to sue governments for putative lost profits if their products are barred because they do not meet a particular country’s standards. This means that if toxic seafood from Vietnam is barred from entering the United States, U.S. taxpayers would have to compensate that company for its filthy product!
And this is going to encompass 40% of the world’s economy!?
Actually, it’s worse than that. Because there is another agreement on the other side of the globe, one that will encompass 46% of the world’s economy. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has recently begun negotiations. The countries involved are, admittedly, more suitable trading partners, but the issues involved are going to be the same problematic ones we see in TPP. The executive branch of the United States is using TTIP to legislate, which is strictly forbidden by the Constitution.
Unless something is done, unless a movement of some force arises to stop it, the vast majority of the world is going to be plunged into a morass of corporatist laws and regulations. The rich will benefit from the arrangement, but for the typical American, it will be a disaster. We have already seen the toxic effects that NAFTA has had on America. Now imagine NAFTA on steroids. Twice.
Congress needs to know that we oppose this madness. Call your representative today and tell them not to grant fast-track authority to the President, and not to pass any bill masquerading as a trade bill but which in reality is a handover of U.S. sovereignty. Send this article to five of your friends, and have them do the same.