LETTERS / BroncoBama Wants Congress to Abandon Its Power Overseeing Trade Agreements

Published Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Dear Editor,

“The average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.” H.L. Mencken

Distractions like same-sex marriage to Monday Night Football, help “consumers” avoid awareness of the slow destruction. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement contains some of that destruction.  The specifics are unclear due to “fast track authority”, but the short version is that BroncoBama wants Congress to abandon its power overseeing trade agreements preventing changes and only allowing them to vote. There is also a similar Atlantic version being “negotiated” as well.

The claim is that if Congress does its Constitutionally-mandated job that somehow undermines America’s “trade leadership.” This “treaty” is getting little attention. “Trade Promotion Authority” sounds boring and when big business leaders claim its necessary, Congress will fall for it even though it weakens their own powers. We’ve known they don’t read these laws/treaties. They must protect their source of “campaign contributions”.

Many Americans see “our Government” isn’t representing the people’s interests. Everything is backwards, upside-down and inside-out. We’re not part of the conversation. “Our government” feels no need to consult with us; surveillance tells them all they want to know. We’re not allowed to control our own affairs, much less theirs. It’s up to us to protect our liberty. It always was.

The TPP has been drafted with an unprecedented degree of secrecy. While information has been kept from “consumers/sheep” more than 600 corporate advisers have involvement with the treaty’s text. An agreement that will authorize corporations to dominate every aspect of our lives; food, water, health care, wages, jobs, Internet and more, should be debated openly and skeptically.  America, advertised as a democracy, is acting in secret, to create the largest trade agreement in history, making a mockery of “our democracy”.  

The TPP is a corporate child and places all member nations directly under the control of the TPP instead of their national governments. Congress has been denied access to the documents.  One congressional critter was granted a special exemption to view a small part of the TPP and quoted TPP officials; “They maintain that the text is classified information. I’m a member of Congress, but now they tell me that they don’t want me to talk to anybody about it because if I did, I’d be releasing classified information.” 

Corporate controlled TPP negotiators have taken the authority to classify documents and Congress is also excluded. This means we’re living in a corporate dictatorship? It gets worse.

One of the worst outcomes of the TPP, if successful, is how it will undermine our national sovereignty as well as the ability of state and local governments to pass laws.  All laws will have to be brought into compliance with the TPP. For example; Public institutions can’t legally give preference to buying local products and “consumers” wouldn’t be notified when our foods contain GMOs.

“Buy America” laws will be illegal. If we pass laws that interfere with corporate profits, those laws can be challenged in an international trade tribunal that operates outside of our legal system and that is staffed largely by lawyers on leave from their corporate jobs.  There will be no appeal to traditional courts from these rigged trade tribunals.

Corporations, having successfully purchased “our government”, through lobbying, not to mention massive “campaign contributions”, are providing more evidence of Profits first, People last. “Consumers” seemingly believe corporations must be allowed free reign.

If Congress and BroncoBama approve this treaty it undermines the Constitution openly giving away American sovereignty to transnational corporations. It’s the opposite of a country of, by and for the people. They’re keeping this agreement secret because they know its contents won’t fly. Remember the negative impact of NAFTA; the TPP is much worse than NAFTA and will do great damage to working people worldwide, as well as to the environment.  NAFTA allowed cheap Monsanto corn exports to our southern neighbors putting their farmers out of business so they came here for work which had diminished since NAFTA also sent our factories elsewhere.

“Free trade” agreements over the past two decades have lost America millions of jobs. In addition to the loss of jobs, these trade agreements have reduced American wages that still can’t compete with lower wages in countries like China. The TPP will further decrease wages for 90 percent of Americans while wealth of the top one percent will soar. Eventually all workers of the world will labor for the same low rate with no legal protections for them or the environment.

The lead negotiator from Chile resigned earlier this year because the TPP treaty would restrict Chile’s ability to control financial institutions, public policies, and address issues of health, education, and growth. Transnational corporations control and design free trade agreements like these.

Societies mostly operate on the idea that obedience will bring personal success and social unity. We’re taught from an early age that even minor disobedience will increase the chances of personal failure and social chaos. These messages are drilled into us at home and school, teaching “consumers” habits that benefit powerful interests like state institutions and global corporations.

People will believe a lie because they want it to be, or fear it to be, true. 

Silence is acceptance of slavery.

 

Craig Dudley

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