The Trust Issue: Hillary and the TPP

First she was for it as Sec. of State. In fact, Sec. Clinton was a strong proponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. But then, candidate Clinton came out against the TPP. She reversed her position when she observed how her primary campaign rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, had generated a great deal of support due to his opposition to the TPP and other free trade pacts that harmed American workers.

While Clinton still maintains she is against the TPP, her surrogates on the Democratic Party platform committee just blocked an amendment to the platform that would have stated formal opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These are people Clinton appointed to the committee. It appears that either Clinton cannot control her own appointees, which does not seem likely; or, she is not willing to fight for own position on the TPP, which indicates her opposition is weak in contrast to her public statements. In either case, is this the kind of leadership we want in our president?

To be blunt about it: Can we trust Hillary Clinton when she takes a stand on issues important to America’s workforce?

Clinton knows that the majority of Democrats, in Congress and around the country, oppose the TPP. Moreover, she understands that her party’s failure to strongly reject it will hand the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who opposes the deal, a political advantage with working Americans who the Democrats claim to represent. As Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) argued recently, “If Clinton’s representatives on the full, 187-member platform committee in Orlando once again keep the Democratic Party from opposing the TPP, her responsibility for that outcome will be clear….”


The anti-democratic TPP trade agreement process

As noted in my last post, hundreds of corporate advisors are working with the Obama administration on the president’s signature trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  While corporate America is pushing the agreement, there is growing opposition to it from unions, health care organizations,progressives, Republican and Democrat presidential candidates and others.

Even though the agreement has been completed, it now appears that it may not get taken up by the GOP-run Congress until after the 2016 elections. The president and his Congressional allies believe that they can get more support for the TPP in a lame duck session following the election. Having the TPP vote after the election will allow our representatives to vote against the will of their constituents without any messy consequences, like being voted out office for supporting a TPP trade deal that will hurt American workers and small businesses.

It’s another blow to what’s left of our democracy. And, another case of Obama and Congress representing corporate America rather than we, the people. Isn’t it time we said “enough”?  Let’s make our voices heard in Congress and demand a vote on the TPP before the election.
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STOP the TPP – The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement — and other secret deals

It turns out that the TPP is not the only secret trade agreement the Obama administration is pushing. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, which would be the largest “free trade” deal in world history, is now being negotiated between the U.S. and E.U.

Obama seems to think that corporations and not democratically elected governments should control our economic future.  The TTIP contains an “investor-state dispute settlement” system (ISDS), which would provide a framework for corporations to sue governments over alleged lost profits and overrule national laws, courts, and democratic processes. Such corporate tribunals have become hallmarks of so-called “free trade” agreements, included in 3,000 such deals world-wide, such as the infamous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  These tribunals are an attempt to escape the jurisdiction of national courts and bypass the obligation of all states to ensure that all legal cases are tried before independent, public tribunals.

President Obama is currently pressing for passage of “Fast Track” legislation for the TPP and other trade deals that would allow the White House to ram through these secret deals currently under negotiation.  This certainly looks like another example of Obama’s close ties with Wall Street and Big Money winning out over the American people.  We, the people, need to get money out of politics so Obama and Congress stop working for their corporate sponsors and start working for the people and what’s in our best interests.

Labor, environmental, community, and human rights organizations around the world have mobilized for years against these and other such pacts, with organized opposition to the TTIP mounting on both sides of the Atlantic.  We need to stand up and make our voices heard.

Obama and TPP

I’ve been busy trying to finish my book, Breaking Big Money’s Grip.  Sorry, I’ve neglected this blog.  But, I’m just about done the book, so I’m back….

Anyway, Obama’s stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement is really troubling.  He’s now saying that Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats, and a host of labor unions and other progressives, are all wrong about the TPP.  He says the agreement will protect American workers and their jobs.  But, he won’t tell the American people what’s in the agreement.  It’s “classified.”

Not only that, but he wants Congress to fast-track the agreement.  That is, Congress would only be able to vote it up or down, but would not be able to amend it.

Why the secrecy?  If it’s such a good deal for Americans, why is Obama keeping it a secret?

Obama has been in bed with Wall Street and Corporate America before.  He made a deal with the corporations over Obamacare.  He didn’t go after Wall Street bankers who brought down the economy in 2008.  Why should Obama be trusted now?

Obama, open up the TPP agreement.  Let the people decide for themselves.