Tag Archives: TAA

UNDERSTANDING TPP/TPA/TAA

I’m going to take a break from discussing socials issues and showcasing the fallacies of liberalism to take a shot at the Trans Pacific Partnership. In my opinion, this is the most important issue taking place at this time. If passed, it could be the beginning of the end of American sovereignty where we have given away certain rights of governance we have taken for granted for years.

The President and trade representatives have been negotiation the Trans Pacific Partnership. Currently, it is comprised of twelve nations. It has been called NAFTA on steroids. Anytime in the future, nations can be added without the permission of the United States.

The TPP is twenty-nine chapters long and sits in the basement of the Capitol. It can only be reviewed by going to the basement and taking notes. However, the notes have to be left there. No one who reviews the document can take his or her notes with him to review in his or her office later.

One of the sections states that if a multi-national company makes an investment and feels there is a regulation in the treat that keeps them from making their projected profit; that company can sue. As a result of this, we’ve just put foreign courts ahead of our American courts. Also, any country that has a written food statement who imports food into the United States doesn’t have to meet U.S. safety food standards and there will be no labeling. There are also sections on immigration and climate change built into the TPP, but no chapters on human rights. This could subject Americans to all sorts of changes regarding immigration and climate change where Congressional approval you not be necessary. With no human rights sections, products made from slave labor could be imported into the United States.

The United States Constitution was written specifically to insure that Congress was involved in trade agreements.

Here’s where things get a little complicated, but as citizens, we must be familiar with this. Our very existence could depend on it.

Separate from the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is the TPA (Trade Promotion Authority), TPA will allow the president to begin negotiations on the TPP. The TPA is not a treaty, it is a trade agreement whereas, the TPP is a treaty. The TPA must be passed before negotiations on the TPP can begin.

According to fas.org, TPA is the process Congress has made available to the President to enable legislation to approve and implement certain international trade agreements to be considered under expedited legislative procedures for limited periods, provided the President observes certain statutory obligations. TPA defines how Congress has chosen to exercise its constitutional authority over a particular aspect of trade policy, while giving the President added leverage to negotiate trade agreements by effectively assuring U.S. trade partners that final agreements will be given timely and unamended consideration.

The other legislation thrown in is the TAA. Because trade agreements with underdeveloped countries often leads to job losses in the U.S., as jobs get moved overseas, the TAA consists of a list of measures designed to help workers who lose their jobs because of the treaty.

Last week the House shot down the TAA, but passed the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) with 28 Democrats and 50 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. The vote was 218-208. This opens the door to the President negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s now up to the Senate to pass it and all indications are that the Senate will pass it with the required sixty votes. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell is pushing this.

Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican from Alabama is against the passage of the TPA and the following are some concerns from his website.

  • Consolidation of Power in the Executive Branch. TPA eliminates Congress’ ability to amend of debate trade implementing legislation and guarantees an up or down vote on a far-reaching international agreement before that agreement has received any public view. Congress will have given up the 67 vote threshold for a treaty and the 60 vote threshold for important legislation. It will also have given up the opportunity for amendments and the committee review process that booth ensure member participation. This applies not only to the Trans Pacific Partnership, but to all international trade agreements during the life of the TPA. Even though the President is required to submit a report to Congress on the terms of a trade agreement at least 60 days before submitting implementing legislation, the President can classify or otherwise redact information from the report, limiting its value to Congress.
  • Increased Trade Deficits. Barclays estimates that during the first quarter of this year, the overall U.S. trade deficit will reduce economic growth by .2 percent. Labor economist Clyde Prestowitz attributes 60 percent of the United States’ 5.7 manufacturing jobs lost over the last decade to import-driven imbalances. Job loss by workers means reduced consumer demand, less tax revenue flowing into the Treasury, and greater reliance on government assistance programs. Also, the lack of protections in TPA against foreign subsidies could accelerate our shrinking domestic manufacturing base.
  • Ceding Sovereign Authority to International Powers. A USTR outline of TPP which TPA would expedite, notes in the “Key Features” summary that the TPP is a “living agreement.” This means the President could update the agreement as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries. Furthermore, this means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without the approval of Congress. Also, any terms of the agreement could be changed, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees. Again, these changes would not be subject to congressional approval. This has far-reaching implications. The Congressional Research Service reports that if the United States signs on to an international trade agreement, the implementing legislation of that trade agreement would supersede conflicting federal, state, and local laws. When this occurs, the U.S. workers may; be subject to a sudden change in tariffs, regulations, or dispute resolution proceedings in international tribunals outside the U.S.
  • Currency Manipulation. The biggest open secret in the international market is that other countries are devaluing their currencies to artificially lower the price of their exports while artificially raising the price of our exports to them. The result has been a massive bleeding of domestic manufacturing wealth. In fact, currency manipulation can easily dwarf tariffs in its economic impact. History suggests that this Administration, like those before it, will not stand up to improper currency practices. Currency protections are currently absent from the TPA indicating again that those involved in pushing these trade deals do not wish to see these currency abuses corrected.
    • Immigration Increases. There are numerous ways TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law—and few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening. For instance, language could be included or added into the TPP, as well as any future trade deal submitted for fast-track consideration in the next 7 years, with the clear intent to facilitate of enable the movement of foreign workers and employees into the united States and there would be no capacity for lawmakers to strike the offending provision. The administration could also simply act on its own to negotiate foreign worker increases with foreign trading partners without ever advertising those plans to Congress.

TPA is a true bi-partisan issue, and I hope you can see the need to investigate it. It sounds dangerous to me and with the Senate probably passing it, we could be one major step toward one world government.

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