So… why would Congress want to give its power over trade and domestic issues, to a President who has stiff-armed them so far in the secret Trans-Atlantic Partnership global government agreement negotiations. The TPP will transfer a large swath of domestic policy-making power to international tribunals who will never give it back.
I was in DC this week hearing staff complaints that the U.S. Trade Representatives’ office won’t let them see the negotiated agreement text. And if the Congressmen or Senators are allowed to read it… it is on a “read and retain” basis. No note taking. No staff in the room. You can’t ask others about the legal implications of particular text because you can’t disclose it. You just have to remember what you read.
Trade agreements so far have enabled foreign mercantilism, trade deficits and reduced our sovereignty.
This from Politico.
1/17/14 1:45 PM EST
Reps. Ron Kind and Adrian Smith sent a letter today urging fellow House members to support a bipartisan bill to restore White House trade promotion authority after a lapse of 6 years.
Kind is chairman of the 53-member New Democrat Coalition, which is expected to provide the bulk of Democratic party support for TPA if the House takes up the measure. Smith is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, which includes many members from the tea party movement who have battled with the White House over spending and health care.
“The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act, which provides Trade Promotion Authority to the president, enhances Congress’s authority and ability to provide direction to the administration in trade negotiations and gives the U.S. leverage by incentivizing every country to come to the table with their best offer,” the lawmakers said. “Congress approved trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama under authority granted in 2002, which is now expired.”
“The global marketplace has changed dramatically over the last decade, and our negotiating tactics must adapt with it,” they added. “Free trade critics must understand our trading partners do not always follow the rules. This doesn’t mean we should turn inward and counter with similar anti-trade policies.”
The letter is a sign of the bipartisan cooperation that President Barack Obama will need to win approval of TPA, which would allow him to submit trade deals to Congress for straight up-or-down votes without any amendments. A majority of Democrats oppose the legislation, and there is some concern that some tea party members could fight Obama on the issue, especially if the TPA bill is tied to renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides benefits to those who have lost their jobs because of trade agreements.
– Doug Palmer