Friday, June 21, 2013

Progressives Break With The Clinton-Bush-Obama Trade Policy Nightmare


Great minds think alike but, alas, we don't have many of those in Congress. Thank God we do have Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Alan Grayson in the House. All three are skeptical-- very skeptical-- about the latest and most atrocious trade bill Corporate America is trying to shove down our throats, with the help of many of their colleagues and... el Presidente. Thursday all those Republicans who obstruct every Obama nomination were stumbling all over each other to vote to confirm the conservative American jobs killer Obama named as U.S. Trade Rep, Michael Froman. Corporate America was popping the champagne bottles. The nomination passed 93-4-1, only Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Manchin and Carl Levin voting against one of Obama's worst picks for anything ever. (Barbara Boxer voted "present.")

Senator Warren spoke at the Constitution Society for Law and Policy this week and told the convention that the far right business lobby, the Chamber of Commerce now owns the Supreme Court. "Take a look at the win rate of the Chamber of Commerce. According to the Constitution Accountability Center, the Chamber moved from a 43 percent win rate during the very conservative Berger Court to a 56 percent win rate under the very conservative Rehnquist court. And now they are at a 70 percent win rate under the Roberts Court. Follow this pro-business trend to its obvious conclusion and you will end up with a Supreme Court that’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce."

Not more than a few minutes after the vote Thursday, Bernie Sanders tweeted "Today, virtually no piece of legislation can get passed unless it has the ok from corporate America" and posted this video:

Bernie Sanders on the Independent in Politics from on Vimeo.

The Obama Administration has been very secretive about the newest corporate trade bill it's burdening America with, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They don't want anyone seeing the bill because it's more evidence that corporate America-- the guys who finance the cushy careers of our political elite-- no longer has any allegiance to America whatsoever, nor to American values or even American prosperity. They don't even see themselves as American but as cosmopolitan transnational citizens of the corporate world. They are international entities committed to the lowest international norms they can find for the sole purpose of maximizing corporate profits and the wealth of the top 1%. These are the traitors to this country, not Edward Snowden, and they should be identified as the secretive, bipartisan, slimy criminals they really are-- along with their Republican and Democratic political handmaidens, be it Boehner, McConnell or Obama. In a letter to his supporters, Congressman Alan Grayson explains how he came to read the toxic treaty... and what it means to 99% of us.
Last month, 10,000 of us submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in which we objected to new so-called free trade agreements. We asked that the government not sell out our democracy to corporate interests.

Because of this pressure, the USTR finally let a member of Congress-- little ole me, Alan Grayson-- actually see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America.

The TPP is nicknamed “NAFTA on steroids.”  Now that I’ve read it, I can see why. I can’t tell you what’s in the agreement, because the U.S. Trade Representative calls it classified. But I can tell you two things about it.

1)    There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.

2)    This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.

3)    What they can’t afford to tell the American public is that [the rest of this sentence is classified].

(Well, I did promise to tell you only two things about it.)

I will be fighting this agreement with everything I’ve got. And I know you’ll be there every step of the way.
In other words, an anti-American power grab by corporations with no affinity with this country and no concerns whatsoever about the people who live in this country. “It is easy to understand why this NAFTA-style agreement has been kept secret," said Grayson. The TPP is a disturbing attack on American democracy and sovereignty. It puts corporate interests ahead of American interests.” Grayson has called on the USTR to release the full draft text of the agreement to the public, as it did under the Bush administration in 2001 with the draft text of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americans, the most recent major plurilateral agreement that the U.S. negotiated. “Each and every U.S. citizen should have the opportunity to read this agreement because if it is signed, the TPP will have a dramatic impact on our rights and our freedom,” Grayson added. The treaty will make it possible for corporations to file lawsuits to prevent government actions that they just don’t like, such as health and safety regulations. Similar trade agreements have allowed the World Trade Organization to strike down country-of-origin meat labels, dolphin-safe tuna labels and limits on candy-flavored cigarettes marketed to kids. The TPP is reported to include the same terms. Hope and Change!

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