The TPP is Putting U.S. Sovereignty at Great Risk


The NSA has been often in the news of late, both in America and around the world. Its blatant violations of Constitutional authority would have once led to convictions and jail terms. Unfortunately, in a country replacing democracy with plutocracy, We the People are generally ignored and nothing has been done to punish the perpetrators. There has at least been a sizable public outcry. This spark of protest needs to be fanned into a roaring fire of dissent, because the NSA is not the only, nor even the largest, infraction against our Constitution.

The greatest threat to American sovereignty no doubt is the TPP, if we are unfortunate enough to see it enacted into law. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a conglomeration of nations on both sides of the Earth’s largest ocean, with America seemingly desperate to give away the most goodies to our leader’s corporate patrons. These goodies do not just appear legislatively out of thin air, however; they must come from somewhere or someone, and you can probably guess who that is going to be – average hard working Americans.

You and I will have to give up some freedoms to make way for the TPP. One of the freedoms targeted by the corporate lobbyists negotiating the treaty is the Internet itself. They want to clamp down on it, restrict our freedom for their own benefit.

They want open access to all markets without worrying about things like safety and quality. For this reason, the legal perversion called Investor State Dispute Resolution has been invented. This allows corporations to sue for lost profits if their products do not meet a nation’s standards. You and I are left with the bill.

In the TPP, President Obama can write new laws which America will have to abide by if Congress passes the treaty. This breakdown in our checks and balances, legislating from the executive branch, is what happens in a dictatorship and is only prevented by strict adherence to our Constitution. Our Constitution, however, is mere ink on parchment unless we have the will to uphold it.

It gets worse. If Congress foolishly grants Obama fast-track trade authority, President Obama alone will draft the agreement without Congressional input. Congress will have just 90 days before signing and entering into an agreement, requiring a floor vote 15 days after the bill is discharged from Committees. Congress will then have only 20 hours of debate in each House, not the normal debate and cloture or the ability to amend the legislation. If passed, the TPP will become U.S. law and will then require approval from every one of the other signatory nations before Congress can revoke or change their content. There will be all sorts of mischief lurking in the TPP pages and we will not know until it is approved.

It is good to see Americans getting riled up about the NSA. Our fighting spirit, it seems, is not yet gone. But there is so much more to fight against. Perhaps the worst such thing is the ill-conceived, corporatist “free trade” treaty called the TPP. Call your representative and tell them to oppose it, and not to give Obama fast track trade authority. Send this article to five of your friends, and have them do the same.

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