Published on TheHill.com on May 26, 2015
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has nothing to do with trade.
While it officially embraces 11 countries plus the U.S., 76 percent of our trade with these nations is with Mexico and Canada, already covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Any export growth is likely to have been already covered by NAFTA, making the TPP irrelevant to our trade relations.
The TPP is nothing but an effort by the globalists to circumvent American sovereignty, transferring a host of issues from the control of the U.S. Congress and the various state legislatures to international trade courts.
Start with the fact that nobody knows what is in the TPP. President Obama will not let anyone see it. Indeed, many of the provisions are said to be aspirational, setting policy goals and leaving it to the trade courts to sort out. Any assurance that the treaty curbs currency manipulation is fanciful. The courts can interpret it any way they want. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund now does so, preventing any effort to restrict Chinese manipulation, despite overwhelming evidence that it is happening.
But the main impact of the TPP is to create legal obstacles in the way of American attempts to regulate access to our market.
Does American or state law restrict genetically modified food? The TPP won’t permit it.
Does the U.S. Congress impose limitations on the “free flow of labor” between America and Mexico? The TPP can stop it.
Will Congress refuse to take action to restrict greenhouse gas emissions? Lawmakers can be required to under the environmental provisions of the TPP.
Obama has labored long and hard to strip Congress of its authority over immigration, emissions and the environment, food regulations and energy policy. Congress, in turn, has worked to take away state power over insurance regulation and banking. Now comes the coup de grâce: a treaty taking many of these powers away from the United States — executive and legislative branches — and state government.
The long-term goal of the globalists is an international rule of law unaccompanied by democracy. Because there is no global forum for the manifestation of worldwide popular will, this formula leads to rule by bureaucrats: those who know best. It is government by a new aristocracy of civil servants and technicians.
Why are they so eager to pre-empt the power of elected bodies? Steeped in the traditions of opposition to democracy, they regard the will of the people as unpredictable and subject to demagoguery. The French and the British have always used their civil service to insulate their countries from the ravages of ambitious populist politicians. Germany has a well-deserved suspicion of popular sovereignty, and Japan has always been ruled by its bureaucracy.
Multinational corporations find bureaucrats easy to control, subject as they are to the influences of the revolving door between regulators and those they regulate. Coming from industry or planning to return there, the supposedly disinterested bureaucrats are anything but impartial.
What is incomprehensible is why normally trustworthy Republican senators and congressmen are falling in line behind Obama. Hasn’t this president stripped our nation of enough power? Has he not tipped the system of checks and balances all out of kilter? Are we to trust him with more power? Are the Republicans to vote him more power?
Under fast-track authority he can negotiate anything he wants, put it in a treaty, jam it through Congress and make it the law of the land, permanently. Don’t Republicans see what they are doing in handing him this kind of power?
In the hands of other presidents, fast-track made sense. Before the development of the World Trade Organization, free trade deals were the only way to stop a world of tariffs and prosperity-killing regulations. But now, the era of tariffs is over, and trade deals are really about sovereignty and power.
Don’t hand over more of American sovereignty, particularly under this president!
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