Real Clear Politics: TPP Not About Trade

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership has nothing to do with trade. While it officially embraces 12 countries plus the U.S., 76 percent of our trade with the 12 is with Mexico and Canada, already covered by NAFTA. Any growth exports is likely to have been already covered by NAFTA, making the TPP irrelevant to our trade relations.

[Reposted from Real Clear Politics  |  Dick Morris  |  May 27, 2015]

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 IMF now does so, abjuring any effort to restrict Chinese manipulation despite overwhelming evidence that it is happening.

But the main impact of TPP is to create legal obstacles in the way of American attempts to regulate access to our market.

Do American or state laws restrict genetically modified food? TPP won't permit it.

Does the U.S. Congress impose limitations on the "free flow of labor" between America and Mexico? TPP can stop them.

Will Congress refuse to take action to restrict greenhouse gas emissions? They can be required under the environmental provisions of TPP.

President 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 grace -- a treaty taking many of these powers away from the United States -- both executive and legislative branches -- and state government.

The long-term goal of the globalists is an international rule of law unaccompanied by democracy. Since 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 preempt 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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