Despite his campaign promises in 2008, President Obama has not only failed to withdraw the U.S. from “free trade” agreements like NAFTA, but he has gotten us mired in even more such agreements. Those were comparatively small, though.
Obama has a plan to shackle the U.S. to even bigger “free trade” agreements, agreements so large they make NAFTA look tiny by comparison. The end game of “free trade” may be on the horizon.
“Free trade” is uncontrolled, unrestricted access to our economy, tariff- and duty-free, for goods made in foreign lands for $4 per hour or less. We cannot compete with these wages, so our manufacturers are forced to close up, sell out or leave the country. It is the reason we have lost our manufacturing sector and languish in a state where nearly a quarter of the workforce is unemployed or underemployed. No wealthy nation can withstand a “free trade” relationship with a nation of low wages and few regulations. Obama is about to try to foist some more on us.
The first of three gargantuan “free trade” deals is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Many different countries in all kinds of states of development are being bound together with the “free trade”. The deal is being negotiated in secret, and get used to that because none of these trade deals has any transparency. Most of this deal isn’t even about trade. In addition to forcing open relations between us and low-wage nations, it will tighten controls over the Internet and other areas, all without Congressional involvement.
The second, which started negotiations about a year ago, is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Its trade implications are perhaps less potentially damaging than the TTP’s, because it involves the U.S. and Europe, whose wages are similar to ours, but like the TPP it will principally not be about trade. Again, negotiations are secret and only Wikileaks has allowed us the little bit of knowledge that we have.
Finally, there is TISA. The Trade in Services Agreement. The extent of this agreement could be the entire globe when all is said and done. This scheme is even more secret than the previous two, as it was given a top secret classification that will not expire until five years after the agreement is passed! Our leaders propose to fashion laws for us and we can’t even know what they are!
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of all of these deals is that corporate lobbyists are writing them, instead of people we elected to represent us in government. We know who the deals are going to favor, then, and it won’t be the ordinary American.
These deals are nothing short of madness. They will destroy America if we allow them to pass. Fortunately, we can fight and defeat them. It starts by rejecting Fast Track Trade Authority, an unconstitutional grant of power to the presidency which nearly cuts Congress out of trade negotiations entirely, allowing the president to effectively legislate from the executive branch. We must follow that up by making sure the TPP, TTIP and TISA – with or without Fast Track pushing them along – are not approved by Congress.