Friday, June 12, 2015
Constitutional conservatives don't like it. Trade unions abhor it. Obama critics hate it. Environmentalists despise it.
Outside the Beltway bubble, a broad coalition of voters from the left, right and center opposes the mega-trade deal getting rammed through Congress this week by the Republican establishment on behalf of the White House. Here's why.
The Obama administration, House GOP leader John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have sold out American sovereignty. Their so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission will have sweeping authority over trade, immigration, environmental, labor and commerce regulations.
As alert watchdogs U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., warn: "By adopting fast-track, Congress would be formally authorizing the President to finalize the creation of this Pacific Union and will have surrendered its legislative prerogatives. Before a word, line, paragraph, or page of this plan is made public, Congress will have agreed to give up its treaty powers. ... In effect, one of the most sweeping international agreements seen in years will be given less legislative scrutiny and process than a Post Office reform bill."
The Obama administration, House GOP leader John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have sold out legislative transparency. Boehner smugly asserts that so-called Trade Promotion Authority puts Congress in charge and promotes "more openness" on trade talks. Nonsense. Under the Boehner/Obama plan, Congress gives up its ability to amend any trade deals under fast track, severely limits the ability to debate and lowers the vote threshold in the Senate from 61 to 51. The 11 international parties negotiating with Obama on TPP refuse to sign their dotted lines until Congress agrees to pre-agree to behemoth global trade pacts -- sight unseen.
As Obamatrade cheerleader and Big Business crony Sen. Orrin Hack, I mean Hatch, admitted, "I don't know fully what's in TPP myself."
The secretive wheeling and dealing on the massive 29-chapter draft (kept under classified lock-and-key and only a tiny portion of which have been publicly disclosed through WikiLeaks) make the backroom Obamacare negotiations look like a gigantic solar flare of openness and public deliberation. Fast-track Republicans, who rightfully made a stink when Nancy Pelosi declared that "we have to pass the [Obamacare] bill so that you can find out what is in it," now have no transparency legs to stand on.
The Obama administration, House GOP leader John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have sold out our immigration priorities. Both parties have put cheap labor from illegal immigrants before American workers. Both parties support massive increases in foreign temporary worker programs that favor cheap tech workers from India and China over highly educated, highly skilled American workers who are forced to train their replacements. Both parties back fraud-plagued green card giveaway programs for wealthy immigrant investors that amount to a crony "economic development" racket. More Obamatrade documents disclosed by WikiLeaks indicate that negotiators have discussed unilateral changes to U.S. worker protections in visa law, processing times and temporary visa expiration dates.
Supporting free enterprise in America does not mean supporting a global free-for-all for every last $2.00/hour entry-level foreign tech journeyman. Past free-trade pacts have failed to live up to their overhyped promises. University of Maryland economist Peter Morici notes that under Obama's free trade pact with South Korea, imports with that country "are up 3.6 billion" while "U.S. exports are down marginally and the U.S. trade deficit with the Asian nation has swelled to 5 billion."
Meanwhile, he reports, our wage-suppressing $350 billion bilateral trade deficit with China "costs American workers at least 3 million jobs" and several Asian countries now negotiating TPP "have violated WTO and International Monetary Fund rules by purposefully undervaluing their currencies to subsidize exports and raise prices for otherwise competitive U.S. products in their markets."
Here is what those of us against the GOP-Obamatrade bills can all agree on: Both political parties in Washington are screwing over our country. American citizens are sick and tired of the permanent ruling class subverting the will of the people in the name of "bipartisanship." We've had enough of Big Business betrayals and Big Government collusion.
What part of "Stop selling out America!" does D.C. not understand?
Michelle Malkin is author of the new book "Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs." Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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