As TPP Supporters Whine About Failure Of Fast Track, Why Is No One Suggesting Increased Transparency?

from the time-to-get-it-right dept

As we just mentioned, it looks like there aren't enough votes in Congress to give the President and the US Trade Rep the "fast track" authority they want to cram massive trade agreements down the throats of the American public. Nancy Pelosi, whose statement last week helped signal that it was a real possibility that support for fast track would no longer be likely, has now penned an op-ed for USA Today claiming that fast track is on its last legs, highlighting that Congress (not the executive branch) has the power to regulate commerce with foreign countries. Meanwhile, supporters of trade have put into motion an attempt to salvage fast track, which may lead to a vote as soon as tomorrow -- but seems like a risky gambit that may not succeed.

Meanwhile, the NY Times presents the argument that with the failure of fast track, and very likely TPP with it, it could greatly diminish the US's influence in Asia. This argument has been made for a long time, and it's... questionable at best. The article dutifully quotes the "40% of the global economy" line that supporters of the TPP throw out every other hour or so, but that's really overstating the impact of the TPP. Still, there is a legitimate argument that stronger trade relations between the US and these Asian countries is good for the global economy. But -- and this is the important part that isn't mentioned -- you don't need the TPP to do that.

Furthermore, this ignores the real reasons why the TPP failed. Rather than being about further opening up trading relations, the USTR ramped up the process that has been popular among lobbyists over the past couple of decades: using supposedly "free trade" deals to sneak in all sorts of regulatory schemes that will strongly pressure countries (including the US) to either change laws in certain ways, or block changing laws in other ways. That is, rather than free trade, these deals are actually the opposite. They're backdoor protectionism in the name of lobbyist-driven regulation.

And here's the thing that's amazing. In all of this, no one is talking about how to actually fix this. Pelosi talks about getting a "better deal" for the American middle class. And, sure, that would be great. But the real problem here is that these trade agreements became the playthings of giant corporate lobbyists, rather than democratically driven ideas.

If the TPP and other agreements like TTIP and TISA are really so vital to America's interests, and the interests of the "global economy," then let's have the negotiations and the debate out in public. Other international bodies, like WIPO, have long allowed such negotiations to happen publicly. It may not be how the USTR and its counterparts have negotiated such agreements in the past, but there's no reason they can't change now. Rather than continuing down this path of loading a ton of crap on the TPP tree, just to force through a few simpler free trading principles, why not conduct the negotiations openly, so that the public in all of those countries know what's going on and can see the reasoning behind these deals?

The only reason not to do this is to argue that the public is simply too dumb to understand why these deals are supposedly so important. And if that's your argument, then you're arguing against democracy. If the USTR believes it's representing democracy, then, at the very least, it should lead the way in saying that these trade negotiations will be conducted publicly and in a much more transparent way.

Filed Under: congress, fast track, nancy pelosi, taa, tpa, tpp, trade promotion authority, transparency, ttip, ustr


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    David E.H. Smith, 17 Jun 2015 @ 10:12pm

    TPP Done Deal, Congress Just Needs a Bunch of ‘Incentives’ (Secret Goodies & 'Bun Buttering'

    TPP & Global Treaties/'Arrangements’;
    Please Don’t Make the Same Mistakes that ‘Canada’ is Continuing to Make

    Final Round? TPP Done Deal, Congress Just Needs a Bunch of ‘Incentives’ (Secret Goodies & 'Bun Buttering' from Taxpayers & ‘Considerations’ from those ‘Willing’ to Pay).

    Financially Ruinous PUNISHMENT of the harmless, (the little guy) Canadians by Corporate Canada’s (Harper’s) Deliberately Depriving Treaty Partners of Info.

    Is the secrecy surrounding the TPP & the flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements' greater, or, less than the secrecy that surrounded The Canadian ‘Cultural Genocide’; Corporate Canada & The Canadian Establishment Still Resolute, Without Remorse & Misleading other Treaty Signatories? As Pres. G.H. Bush said re; the NAFTA ‘dispute resolution’; ‘Well, you should have known…’

    If Not 'Treason', then, there are very compelling arguments for concluding that the corporations, whether they be, foreign, domestic, &/or, a blend, that do not respect the 'lesser' jurisdictions, ie. individual provinces, territories, states, or, municipalities, are not good corporate citizens of the host countries & thus, can be treated as 'persona non grata'.

    Should Congressmen & Parliamentarians Have to Sully Their ‘Beliefs’ & Sales Pitches with ‘Sordid’ Facts that Come from Actually Reading & Understanding Global Treaties/’Arrangements’? Should They be able to ‘Sully’ Others, or, Should They Only be able to Give Us the Facts so ‘We’ The People can Draw our Own Conclusions?
    And, if they didn’t Read the Treaties, then Who Developed the Treaties & thus, Who Is our ‘Contact’ Person that We can ask Our Questions?
    2 Republican Senators Admit that They Have read the TPP.
    Zero Canadian Admissions.
    Congress/Parliaments; Deluded, or, Deluding; 'IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS' (I do not know & I will Not Know)?

    Corporations Cut Costs & Dramatically Increase flat Profits by Not Suing each Other & by Suing the Little Guy (via ‘your’ Gov’t.) who’s ‘Guilty’ even Prior to Tribunals & All of the Time.

    Teaching the Gordon Gekkos’ of Wall St., Congress, et al, some Humility & Integrity via Quantifying?

    Global Treaties/’Arrangements’ with their Secret ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunals that The Global (non BRICS) Corporate Economy is in the Process of Secretly Passing will Finally Legitimize its Ability to secretly move money around, ie. ‘launder’ without Fear of Legal/government Regulation; ie. It’s their Own Jurisdiction & they Insist that you Pay for it & Not them.

    Will TPP be Okay if ‘US’ corporations can Prove that they Won't Benefit from Partnerships that Try to Disguise that Corporate USA is Circumventing Other ‘Lesser’ Jurisdictions (State/Municipal)?
    ie. Corporations Need to Provide Proof of Non Circumvention of 'Lesser' Jurisdictions, or else, 'Non Good Corporate Citizens', & thus, 'Persona Non Grata'

    What is Governors’/ Premieres’ Rationale for not Defending Taxpayers; Provinces/States Colluding with Feds?

    Corporate America’s Last Chance to Legitimize their Fleecing the Little, harmless Guy (95% - 99% of U.S.) Before Tanking the Global (non BRICS) Economy? Exploitable ‘Vulnerabilities’, Holes & Back Doors to Close.
    Can ‘your’ Federal Reps Willingly Answer ‘your’ Questions below If They haven’t Read the TPP & other Global Treaties Just Ask them ‘For the (Your) Record’ & then Share Their Inability with Others.
    Don’t Forget to Demand Your Money Back for ‘Supplementing’ Fed Rep’s Wages & Future Considerations at Incompetency Tribunals.
    How many ‘Preferred’ Shares are You Selling Your Right to Sue The Global Corporate Economy for?

    Fast Tracking TPP & Global Treaties.
    part of corp. US's attempt to Increase $17+ Trillion Debt 'Earning$' & to Legitimize Hidden Earning$ in Untouchable Foreign Banks.
    Time to REPATRIATE 'Earnings'; NO FOREIGN Accountants, Banks, Services, etc.
    NO Trickle Down from Hiding ‘Earnings’ in Secret Off-Shore Accounts.

    Global Treaties Not about How Much Trade, but, How to & Who to Trade with to 'Undermine' AIIB.
    Shifting Costs to harmless Non Shareholders to Inflate ‘Profits & Dividends’.
    Is it Time to Cool off the 'Stockbrokers' again; Buy Gold?
    TPP & Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements more about Tort ‘Abolishment’ than Tort ‘Reform’?

    Making the leaders of TPP, Shareholders, et al, 'Persona non Grata'; Shareholders' Meetings I.D. Toxic Neighbors, In-laws, et al?

    But, If Not PUTIN; 'The WHITE KNIGHT', then Who Do YOU Want to Bankroll the Saving of the harmless NON shareholders of the World from Fast Tracking TPP's, CETA's (TTIP) Secret 'Death-Star-Chamber' Tribunal Penalties?
    Will Iran, China, the Muslim World, et al, Support Putin in Suits?
    How about Warren Buffett, &/or, the 'coveted' Hong Kong investor, et al?
    ***
    FULL Articles, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com
    ***
    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others...


    CAN

    TPP & Global Treaties/'Arrangements’;
    Final Round? TPP Done Deal, Congress Just Needs a Bunch of ‘Incentives’ (Secret Goodies from Taxpayers & ‘Considerations’ from those ‘Willing’ to Pay).

    Financially Ruinous PUNISHMENT of the harmless, (the little guy) Canadians by Corporate Canada’s (Harper’s) Deliberately Depriving Treaty Partners of Info.

    Is the secrecy surrounding the TPP & the flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements' greater, or, less than the secrecy that surrounded The Canadian ‘Cultural Genocide’; Corporate Canada & The Canadian Establishment Still Resolute, Without Remorse & Misleading other Treaty Signatories? As Pres. G.H. Bush said re; the NAFTA ‘dispute resolution’; ‘Well, you should have known…’

    If Not 'Treason', then, there are very compelling arguments for concluding that the corporations, whether they be, foreign, domestic, &/or, a blend, that do not respect the 'lesser' jurisdictions, ie. individual provinces, territories, states, or, municipalities, are not good corporate citizens of the host countries & thus, can be treated as 'persona non grata'.
    ***
    FULL Articles, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com
    ***
    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others...

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.