Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
By: Brent Parrish
Extreme secrecy is beginning to erode support for Obama’s trade pact—specifically, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.
If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.
There appears to be a slim majority that now opposes not only President Obama’s “Fast Track” authority initiative, but the associated 2,000-plus page TPP deal as well.
Many Americans are unaware of what I would call the “diabolical nature” of most of these so-called “free trade” agreements.
The precursor of the European Union started with the formation of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958, also known as the Common Market. The EEC has been described as a “major step in Europe’s movement toward economic and political union.”
What has been the result of Europe’s economic and political union?
Member nations of the EU have literally surrendered their national sovereignty, and have become little more than provinces being ruled over by the EU Parliament in Brussels. The European Union more resembles Plato’s Republic under the rule of philosopher-kings who lord it over the serfs, if you ask me.
Since the end of World War Two, the United States has signed a number of trade agreements, starting with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1948, which was later replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on January 1, 1995.
What I find particularly disillusioning and disturbing is the fact that these so-called free trade agreements have found strong advocates on both sides of the political aisle.
For example, Charlotte Iserbyt wrote:
How many of the Heritage Foundation’s supporters (good Americans) realize that the Heritage Foundation came up with the idea for the North American Free Trade Agreement which has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs? The 1993 Annual Report of the Heritage Foundation of Washington, D.C. dedicated to their twentieth year celebration, revealed the following:
“The idea of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) originated with Heritage Fellow Richard Allen and has long been advocated by Heritage policy analysts … The idea of creating a North American free trade zone from the Yukon to the Yucatan was first proposed by Heritage Distinguished Fellow Richard Allen in the late 1970s, refined by then Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, and further developed in a major 1986 Foundation study (p. 4).”
In 2003, an agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States, called the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), was proposed as an extension to NAFTA.
In 2006, then CNN anchor Lou Dobbs expressed his displeasure over the Bush Administration’s participation in the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), denouncing it as a plan to “integrate the economies of the United States, Mexico and Canada,” which could then lead to the merging of the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a North American Union (NAU) modeled after the European Union.
Prior to taking office in 2009, Barack Obama had expressed his misgivings about NAFTA, even promising to “redraft NAFTA.” But Obama’s anti-NAFTA views soon disappeared from his public persona.
Under all these so-called “free trade” agreements like GATT, NAFTA, WTO, FTAA and SPP we have witnessed the wiping out of the U.S. steel, electronic and textile industries. NAFTA and WTO have destroyed the tariff structure, and flooded the market with cheap labor, forcing American industries to China, and elsewhere. Countries can force our goods out, while forcing the U.S. to accept theirs. Furthermore, the United States foots the bill for the WTO (i.e. “taxation without representation”).
In 1994, the trade deficit was $75 billion; in 1995, the trade deficit rose to $103 billion. By 2007, the trade deficit had risen to $711 billion. Now the U.S.A. runs more than a $40 billion trade deficit … in one month!
During the GATT hearings, senators swore up and down they would not increase the trade deficit. The purpose of the agreement was simply to reduce trade barriers and facilitate the flow of exports and imports both ways—or so we were told. Well, it looks like the biggest export for the United States has been jobs.