By Robert A. Vella
As an unholy alliance between President Obama, establishment Republicans, and corporatist Democrats tries to ram the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal through Congress, one of their point-men in the U.S. Senate has caused a one-month delay in the process. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) might be having second thoughts about fast-tracking this globalist Trojan Horse piece of legislation – as well as the companion Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – after receiving a lot of criticism from his constituents back home.
In negotiations with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Wyden is insisting upon provisions which would allow lawmakers to rescind the deal if certain quantifiable targets are not met. His demands were rejected by Hatch, and the surprise move represents a significant setback for the President.
We progressives are hoping that enough Democratic and Republican legislators quickly come to their senses on these two trade deals. Fast-track authority should not be given to the President, and neither of them should be signed into law. They are nothing more than egregious giveaways to multinational corporations for the primary purpose of solidifying western economic hegemony throughout the world. Additionally, they would undermine the ability of sovereign nations (including the U.S.) to enforce their own laws in disputes with global business entities (i.e. Investor-State Dispute Settlement). Just like NAFTA and other trade agreements, the TPP and TTIP would deliver more knockout blows to the staggering American middle class. Wages would be further depressed, labor laws circumvented, consumer protections invalidated, and environmental safeguards effectively destroyed. This isn’t free trade. This isn’t democracy. This is the authoritarian hand of oligarchy.