Originally published on 2/15/2014 in DelawareLiberal by ProgressivePopulist
You might have read that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade
agreement, developed under the auspices of the Obama Administration is
currently stymied, bottled up in both the House and the Senate, with
lots of opposition. Let's count our blessings while we can on this
one. Here's why, in a nutshell.
But, bits and
pieces have been revealed over the past months by insiders who are
alarmed by its potential damage to our very fragile economic recovery.
These revelations have seeped out mostly since the departure last year
by Ron Kirk, the Administration's trade czar. He's Obama's buddy who
was once the mayor of Dallas and a Texas oligarch much favored by Tory
Democrats. Kirk started his political career as Secretary of State of
Texas, a position appointed by the governor. A lawyer, his career
background is corporate law and lobbying for corporate interests. He's
totally connected in that sphere, including with venture capital firms.
He's back in the influence peddling business now following his
retirement from the trade czar position held from the earliest days of
the Obama administration.
So what did Ron Kirk and is minions put
together in years of development and negotiation in the Pacific region?
Cost free investment opportunities for corporate investors with tax
incentives to move money from U.S., British and E.U. based coffers into
what have been characterized as "slave factories" in the Pacific
region. Analysts who look at this historically observe that what
happens is what happened, for example, to Spain with 25% unemployment
in some demographic cohorts. Boom to bust. I suspect that the collapse
of Greece was at least in part caused by similar scenarios. Money comes
in, factories go up, cheap labor is hired and goods made. But when
cheaper labor or better deals on factory sites are offered in other
geographic regions, the businesses move and the local economies go
bust. That's the scenario trade analysts with a critical eye see with
the TPP information revealed to them.
But if this economic
scenario isn't bad enough, these corporate moves are protected under the
TPP with immunity from that pesky inconvenience of government
sovereignty. These agreements trump government sovereignty, protecting
them from external litigation. Built into their deals are trade
"courts" immune from any engagement by government courts. Example.
NAFTA "court" proceedings, which are secret, cannot be overturned by
U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court. Pretty slick, eh?
leaked information thus far is bad enough that the likes of Nancy Pelosi
and Harry Reid have fast tracking currently bottled up. We'll see what
moves the corporate pimps make to shake it loose. In the meantime,
TPP skeptics and opponents are trying to get daylight shown on the
agreement to reveal its full ugliness and potential damage to our nation
and people. Stay tuned on this.
Full disclosure. I long ago
worked with other activists fighting to expose the damage NAFTA was
doing to our economy and that of Mexico. And, I have no love for Ron
Kirk. After being honored with an at large appointment to a 2008 DNC
Convention Committee by the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee
in 2008 for my work in party reforms and precinct organizing training I
did for the Obama campaign, Ron Kirk derailed me. When he was appointed
Chair of the Texas DNC delegation and Obama campaign, he saw fit to
unappoint me and replace me with a high dollar Dallas contributor to
both Republican and Democrat candidates, who was a member of his north
Texas cabal. I was replaced along with a few other loyal party
activists. When he was challenged by supporters in my camp he defended
the dual contribution crowd as just good bipartisanship in the midst of a
heated Texas campaign to restore the Democratic party. Yes, while I'm
long over this, I'm still not an admirer of Kirk who went onto show his
true allegiances to big money.
The TPP is bad for America and
needs full scrutiny and much debate. Secrecy is a dead giveaway that
more economic damage is hidden in the fine print and overarching
protection of the corporate class.