The way we are constituted our Trade Representation is creating an opportunity to corrupt world law for oligarchic rule by creating special courts that can run roughshod over democratic institutions. This is undemocratic in addition to being abusive to everyone but the CEOs and the wealthiest families in the world who support these kinds of laws. We need Trade Representatives who are actually representative of the people and not stooges for mighty corporations. Since I wrote this article in 2013, I've been waiting for a new version of the draft treaty. I still don't have that but I do have what they say will be the new version and the issues really haven't changed as of 3/16/2015. For current status read [http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/03/tpp-and-its-assault-on-sovereignty-and.html]
Any of you who feel as strongly as I do, not only about particular trade bills but the way we constitute our various government organelles, should sign the Move On petition to defeat Presidential Fast Track Authority so that the TPP bill will actually have to be debated and so that people will see how the legal provisions of the bill are written for the benefit of the usual suspects in our giant oligarchic monopolistic international corporations, who have representation in our Trade Negotiators while labor, consumers and ordinary citizens don't. The Petition states:
"The White House and the U.S. Trade Representative are urging Congress to abdicate some of its power over approval of trade agreements by renewing "fast track" authority. Fast track would allow the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership to leapfrog customary legislative protocol and be put to a rapid "up or down" vote without a public hearing, floor debate, or amendments. Forcing Congress to vote on an agreement this complex without adequate time for open hearings, review, and public scrutiny, sets a dangerous precedent. Congress, we urge you: just say NO to fast track!"
Moveon further notes in background:
"For three years, a group of some 600 multinational corporations and trade associations have been quietly negotiating a trade pact IN SECRET that could void American laws that protect workers, jobs, health, and the environment. During negotiations here last summer, news leaked of some of the provisions U.S. trade officials were prepared to approve, and a public outcry derailed the talks. Trade Representative Ron Kirk resigned. Now that Michael Froman has been confirmed as the new U.S. Trade Representative he is pushing to renew "fast track" authority so President Obama can sign the agreement first, and then force a quick vote in Congress without any public scrutiny, floor debate, or revisions."
And it is a secret to the citizens, but not to the massive companies like Exxon, Bayer, etc... who have representation among the Trade Negotiators while labor and citizens don't.
"Rep. Keith Ellison has called TPP "the largest corporate power grab you've never heard of." Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, (who happens to share my name!) is one of just four U.S. Senators who voted against Froman's confirmation this summer. She said of TPP, “I have heard the argument that transparency would undermine the Trade Representative’s policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant.” Warren explained, “In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it. This argument is exactly backwards. If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.”
Of course we could find out that TPP isn't so bad, or we could find out it is far worse, because it is secret:
"The only TPP language made public was leaked in 2012 and shared by Public Citizen. Since then trade officials have kept a tight lid on the negotiations, only recently allowing members of Congress to view (not copy) the text, which remains "classified." Among the most disturbing revelations in last year's leaked TPP language, that seems to be mirrored in the Atlantic version as well: Foreign companies would have "preferred status" – granting them greater rights within our borders than our own companies enjoy. U.S. companies would have more incentives to offshore jobs, and foreign companies would not be bound by the minimum wage and could sue the U.S. if our health, safety, or environmental regulations interfered with their profits. Jurisdiction over such suits would rest not in the hands of elected officials or judges, but with an international business tribunal. Their decisions, which would be binding upon all member nations, would supersede our own laws – including our Constitution."
Actually the constitution has a provision that says that treaties have equal power of law to the constitution, so Move On is right. This is an attack on our countries sovereignty, and that wouldn't be so bad if the alternative weren't the "Private, Separate Advantage" of the few over the general welfare and Public Good.
Anyway you can read more and sign the petition here: