TPP: U.S. Congress Rejects Fast Track “Trade Promotion Authority” – For Now

By Stephen Lendman
June 13, 2015
Global Research

 

Obama evilBaseball great Yogi Berra was right. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” More on this below.

On Friday, House members rejected fast track (Trade Promotion Authority – TPA) by a convoluted process explained below.

If enacted, it would let Obama ram through Congress with minimal hearings and no debate anti-consumer, ecosystem-destroying trade legislation global justice advocates call NAFTA on steroids.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade legislation empowers corporations over national sovereignty, domestic laws and popular interests. It’s nightmarish by any standard.

Not according to Obama. On April 25, he lied claiming TPP is “the highest standard trade agreement in history.”

“It’s got strong provisions for workers and the environment…(I)t fixes a lot of what was wrong with NAFTA…”

It’s “a race to the top…If I didn’t think this was the right thing to do for working families, I wouldn’t be fighting for it.”

False on all counts!! TPP makes NAFTA look tame by comparison. It’s an anti-consumer, environmentally destructive jobs killer – a boon for corporate predators at the expense of ordinary people in all 12 TPP countries.

The battle to defeat fast track and TPP isn’t over. Here’s what happened Friday.

Late May enacted Senate legislation included fast track (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) authorizing funding programs for workers displaced by jobs-killing imports.

On Friday, the Republican-controlled House voted on TPA and TAA separately. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) called for slowing down fast track to ensure more transparent and accountable to the public negotiations.

Democrat opposition followed. TAA was overwhelmingly defeated 302 – 126. Many Republicans rejected it.

TAA and TPP were packaged together. Defeating one negated the other. Speaker John Boehner (R. OH) proceeded anyway.

He called for a vote on a technically dead bill – meaning the result was invalid. Fast track passed 219 – 211. He forced another TAA vote next week.

If it passes, a combined TAA/TPP package would go to Obama for enactment. If it fails, fast track would go back to the Senate for possible passage without TAA.

House members defeated TAA  overwhelmingly (by a 176 vote margin). It’s highly unlikely even the most concerted push can turn around enough no votes to make a difference.

At the same time, Obama and corporate lobbyists are capable of the most deceitful, underhanded practices. So it bears repeating. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

On Friday, Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach said “weeks of procedural gimmicks and deals swapped for yes votes…could not assuage Americans’ concerns that more of the same trade policy would kill more jobs and push down our wages.”

The more people understand what lawmakers negotiate behind their backs, the angrier they get, Wallach explained.

“Today the allegedly unstoppable momentum of the White House, GOP leadership and corporate coalition pushing Fast Track to grease the path for adoption of the almost-completed, controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal just hit the immovable object called transpartisan grassroots democracy,” said Wallach.

“Today’s outcome is a testament to the strength and diversity of the remarkable coalition of thousands of organizations that overcame a money-soaked lobbying campaign by multinational corporations and intense arm-twisting by the GOP House leadership and the Obama administration.”

The battle for justice never ends. Organized people beating organized money sometimes means it’s possible more often with enough determination to challenge powerful interests at their own dirty game.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PMCentral time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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3 thoughts on “TPP: U.S. Congress Rejects Fast Track “Trade Promotion Authority” – For Now

  1. sojourner

    I was glad this failed yesterday. And I wish I could be optimistic about it. But… many of the left leaning talking heads said this was just the dems getting back at Obama for many reasons.

    Now I don’t trust the talking heads, but then I listened to some of the “representatives” explaining why they voted against it, and most still believe TPP is good for the economy and people. Unbelievable!

    So the next time around, my guess is congress will pass this portion of the bill. Next year is what? Yep, presidential year, and both sides want to win. So in my estimation, what happened yesterday, was just a bone being thrown to the voters.

    In the end, as we both know all too well, the elite swine who own and operate Obama and congress will have their way, and we the people, worldwide, will be even more screwed!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. newsfortherevolution Post author

      That is what I suspect as well. The only thing that is going to stop this is people making a lot more noise. Politicians already know this trade agreement is unpopular with the people, but unless the public starts putting more pressure on politicians, they are going to keep doing what they always do, selling out national interests to the financial elite.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. sojourner

        As always, we are in agreement. But it seems that the people, although pissed off about this TPP, are still in the waiting-to-see-what-happens mode. And if they wait to raise hell, then it will be too late, the damage will be done.

        Plus, I am beginning to wonder if the people being pissed off even counts anymore. I don’t see much evidence of the people’s opinions on matters having much effect on the “elected” stooges. It’s as if the government has come to this conclusion: “They know we are up to no good, and until they openly rebel against us, we are going to continue to ignore them and their concerns, as ordered by our Cabal leaders!”

        I still believe the powers that be have declared a covert war on we the people. I believe they want to wage war against us, so they can kill most of us off. And I don’t think I’m that far off either.

        Time will tell!

        Like

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