Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track Authority Vote Set for Today – Friday, June 12

by on June 12, 2015 · 1 comment

in American Empire, California, Economy, Environment, Health, History, Labor, Politics

Capitol buildingBy Doug Porter

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have set a Friday deadline for a vote on a bill giving the President fast-track authority on commercial treaties currently being negotiated.

The legislation would allow the executive branch to submit trade agreements to Congress for an expedited, up-or-down vote without amendments was passed by the Senate last month. President Obama has said he wants to complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and send it for approval under that procedure.

House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have reportedly agreed to replace a plan, opposed by Democrats, that would have funded some trade programs with about $700 million in Medicare cuts.

The measure has created unusual bedfellows, with most Republicans backing a president they normally loathe. Supporters say the proposed trade measures would help U.S. workers and set rules for the global economy.

The legacies of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and widespread concern over the deep involvement of corporate interests in closed-door negotiations for agreements under consideration have galvanized the US labor movement in opposition.

Since March, unions and affiliated groups have organized more than 650 events around the country against fast track. Labor groups have have made 2 million phone calls to union members warning against fast track, generating more than 161,000 phone calls, along with nearly 18,000 handwritten letters to Members of Congress and gathering more than 40,000 petition signatures. Digital advertisements targeting dozens of Members of Congress have made more than 25 million impressions.

Locally the focus has been on Reps. Scott Peters and Susan Davis, both of whom remain officially uncommitted on the legislation.

The Associated Press interviewed San Diegan Gretchen Newsome, with Local 569 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), asking her about reports President Obama was exchanging political favors for ‘yes’ votes:

We think his actions are offensive and wrong. Leading environmental groups, the California Democratic Party, worker rights advocates and unions are all opposed to Fast Track and the TPP on the grounds that it undermines the democratic process and would be devastating to working families and the environment.

Asking our Congressman – Scott Peters – to stand against us proves how disconnected the White House is with what’s happening on the ground in San Diego. Further – one wins re-election with support from communities and by developing strong relationships with voters – not by receiving a celebrity endorsement.

c/o South California Fair Trade Campaign

c/o South California Fair Trade Campaign

Yesterday WikiLeaks published the Healthcare Annex to the secret draft “Transparency” Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, along with each country’s negotiating position. The Healthcare Annex concerns regulations for medicines and medical devices.

To nobody’s surprise, the Wikileaks analysis concludes:

“It forces healthcare authorities to give big pharmaceutical companies more information about national decisions on public access to medicine, and grants corporations greater powers to challenge decisions they perceive as harmful to their interests.”

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange said in a statement yesterday:

“It is a mistake to think of the TPP as a single treaty. In reality there are three conjoined mega-agreements, the TiSA, the TPP and the TTIP, all of which strategically assemble into a grand unified treaty, partitioning the world into the west versus the rest. This ‘Great Treaty’ is described by the Pentagon as the economic core to the U.S. military’s ‘Asia Pivot.’

The architects are aiming no lower than the arc of history. The Great Treaty is taking shape in complete secrecy, because along with its undebated geostrategic ambitions it locks into place an aggressive new form of transnational corporatism for which there is little public support.”

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The above is an excerpt of Doug Porter’s column at SDFP.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar RB June 11, 2015 at 10:20 am

This treaty will be good for California.

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