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TPP: Essential, but….

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TPP:  Essential, but….

There really is no way to negotiate trade agreements effectively other than through Fast Track.

Ok, we grant that the current trade agreement negotiations known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership are giving significant heartburn to both the Left and Right, for different reasons.  And we’re sympathetic on some points.

On the Left, the primary beef is what it always is – protection of domestic labor unions (and its concomitant – and pretty hypocritical – insensitivity to impoverished workers around the world) and determination to implement its policies on things like the environment and work rules globally.  In this instance, they are making an additional – absurdly hypocritical - appeal to the Right, ludicrously lamenting the “loss of sovereignty” that an approved TPP would allegedly result in.  This from the same folks who want supra-national organizations like the UN and the World Court to trump US sovereignty on things like foreign policy and human rights. 

"In the end, Congress will have the opportunity to accept or reject the final agreement." 

On the Right, the sovereignty issue is the primary stumbling block.  Usually with a pro-free trade philosophy, the combination of complete and well-earned distrust of the increasingly imperialistic Obama administration and meaningful worries about foreign, extra-judicial bodies trumping American laws has added to the opposition of Fast Track authority being granted to this President.

And, of course, the extreme lack of transparency related to what’s actually being negotiated doesn’t help in this toxic environment of mistrust – a mistrust engendered by the President’s seemingly congenital distaste of Congress.

However, all that being said, the bottom line is this.  A trade agreement amongst the twelve powerhouse and emerging economies included in the TPP (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) absolutely must be done in secret.  There really is no other way.  There is also an inescapable need for supra-national adjudication of alleged violations of such agreements.  That’s why the WTO exists, for instance.  In the end, Congress will have the opportunity to accept or reject the final agreement.  If our sovereignty is too restricted, there will be an opportunity to reject the treaty (which will, admittedly, be a very difficult pill to swallow given the extreme advantages such a sweeping trade agreement provides).

As for the labor unions and their “concern” for American workers, perhaps they can get back to us when they explain their support of unlimited (and illegal) immigration from south of the border.

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Angus DuBois
Angus DuBois
Angus DuBois is the nom de plume of an entrepreneur of 20 years who, in cowardly fashion, prefers to keep his/her business identity a secret. Comments can be forwarded to angus@nexxuspublishing.com.

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