Tag Archives: Trade Promotion Authority

WHILE WE WERE ARGUING

I’ve been critical of Americans, both conservatives and liberals for continuing the discussions on the Confederate flag while the United States of America continues to burn. As a Christian, I don’t believe in coincidences. Instead, I believe that things happen because of God’s will. So, while we’re mired in discussions about the Confederate flag, the erasing of history surrounding the splitting up of the nation and the ensuing civil war, and the coming together of the American states after the war, things are happening that will soon have us all wondering about what happened to the United States of America.

A couple of months ago, I was talking to a low information voter friend who said she thought all issues with Iran had been resolved and we didn’t have to worry about that country any longer. I just about choked. I had to resist telling my friend that it was because of people like her that we have a President like the one we have. Thank goodness we live in Alabama where her democrat vote for president doesn’t count.

According to USA Today, the United States wants to ensure Iran’s nuclear program is just for peaceful civilian purposes with Iran saying it wants to produce its own nuclear fuel for domestic energy, scientific and medical purposes. Iran also indicated that would accept certain limits to a fuel production program it considers it considers its sovereign right, in return for the lifting of international sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sees a potential Iranian nuclear weapon as an existential threat to nearby Israel, so he worries that any deal allowing Iran to produce nuclear fuel poses the risk that Iran will be able to create a secret weapons’ program.

Congressional Democrats gave the current president a March 24 deadline to reach a framework agreement. At that point, they will join Republican colleagues to consider increasing sanctions on Iran. Those favoring tougher sanctions say they are needed to prod Iran into an acceptable accord, but the current President says increased sanctions would derail the talks. As such, the current President asked Congress to hold off on new sanctions until after the deadline for a comprehensive agreement of June 30.

It’s now July 13. According to Huffington Post, negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks plan to announce today that they’ve reached a historic deal capping nearly a decade of diplomacy that would curb the country’s atomic program in return for sanctions relief, two diplomats told the Associated Press yesterday. A senior U.S. official declined to speculate as to the timing of any agreement of announcement, but said “major issues remain to be resolved.”

The pact is meant to impose long-term, verifiable limits on nuclear programs that Tehran could modify to produce nuclear weapons. Iran, in return would get tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

The current President has indicated that he would not allow Iran to procure a nuclear weapon. I don’t know about you, but I feel so comforted. Has this President every told us the truth about anything? Is the rogue regime of Iran going to abide by any agreement? Of course not!

However, a nuclear deal will face serious scrutiny from members of Congress. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Bob Corker, said that he remains skeptical about a possible deal. This is something that those of us who consider ourselves politically astute must keep watching and not get distracted by what’s offending who and why.

Another issue that is taking place while we’re distracted is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The TPA has passed in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. According to Senator Jeff Sessions’ website, it eliminates Congress’ ability to amend or 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. Not only will Congress have given up the 67-vote threshold for a treaty and the 60-vote threshold for important legislation, but will have even given up the opportunity for amendment and the committee review process that both insure member participation. This applies not only to the Trans Pacific Partnership, but all international trade agreements during the life of the TPA.

According to a USTR outline of the TPP, the TPP is a living agreement which the President could update 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. The living agreement provision means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congressional approval and could also change any of the terms of the agreement.

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, U.S. workers may be subject to sudden changes in tariffs, regulations, or dispute resolution proceedings in international tribunals outside the U.S. Can you say bye-bye to our sovereignty?
Information on Senator Sessions’ website further indicates that 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 out exports to them. The result has been a massive bleeding of domestic manufacturing wealth.

The above is a smattering of information regarding TPA/TPP, and it is my hope that you will be motivated to learn more about TPA and TPP. Senator Sessions’ has a summary on his website that is understandable.Senator Jeff Sessions

Having elaborated on the above, there are some disturbing items arising out of this Confederate flag controversy. We all know that the “tolerant left” is never satisfied when they get something they want. They wanted the Confederate flags removed from where they were flying over government buildings. I’ve also heard that they are wanting to make flying the Confederate flag a criminal offense. Each day the liberals come up with something new that should offend certain segments of society. For all intents and purposes, we have lost our freedom of speech. Now it seems like the left desires to erase the history surrounding the Civil War. Remember how Stalin erased history?

Yes, we should be mindful of everything coming out of the Confederate flag controversy, but there are other things going on that we must be mindful about also. If we get passed the Confederate flag controversy, we may very well discover that our leaders have accomplished their goal of the destruction of the United States of America.

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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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