Update – The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement

By Crista Huff, Special for  USDR

In 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from King George III’s oppressive British rule, commenced fighting the American Revolution, and became a sovereign nation in  1783.

My friend Mary Anne made a Facebook post yesterday, asking her friends how they planned to celebrate our “Independence from England”. In light of the President’s June 29th signature on Fast Track trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation, Mary Anne’s words really struck me: This will be the U.S.A.’s last Independence  Day.

That’s right people. The United States of America is on the verge of approving and signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and on its heels, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement. These pending approvals will be expedited by the recently-approved Fast Track/TPA legislation, which specifically eliminates Congress’ normal debate and amendment powers on trade agreements, and makes it easier to quickly pass trade legislation, with only a simple majority  vote.

These trade agreements give away U.S. sovereignty in a wide variety of far-reaching areas: our justice system, immigration, food safety; also including areas which are still secret; and additional areas yet to be determined by the new global Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission. (I say “yet to be determined”, because the TPP is a living agreement, meaning that the TPP Commission, and global courts, will have the power to change and add to the TPP, without requiring U.S. approval. Imagine signing a business contract, a rental contract, a pre-nuptial contract, that can be arbitrarily changed, in the future, without your  consent!)

The U.S.A. will no longer be a sovereign nation. Sovereign. Sort of a weird word, unless you’re a Constitutional or history scholar, which I definitely am  not.

  • sov·er·eign (ˈsäv(ə)rən/): adjectivepossessing supreme or ultimate power; political control in the government of a country, state,  etc.
When I speak of the U.S.A. “giving up sovereignty” in relation to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, what I am saying, in English, is that when Congress and the President sign the TPP, they are agreeing that anything in the TPP which conflicts with U.S. laws will outrank U.S. laws. Therefore, U.S. laws will literally become null and void, cancelled, erased, with regard to international business transactions. Like when the local farmer is no longer allowed to print “Grown in the U.S.A.” on his food labels; and we’re forced to accept Malaysia’s polluted seafood at the Alabama State Port Authority; and when the new local factory from Singapore only hires foreign workers, because those workers aren’t subject to U.S. minimum wage  laws.

The TPP requires disputes and lawsuits to go to a global tribunal. U.S. parties to those lawsuits will not be able to say, “No, I want to go through the U.S. justice system, with a jury of my peers, and the right to appeal.” If Mitsubishi sues your home town because it doesn’t like a local law, an environmental regulation, or a decision made by your County Commissioners, your home town will be required to spend millions of dollars to send attorneys to global courts…without any global litigation experience…or trade expertise…or opportunity to appeal a negative ruling…or an extra $500 million in the county coffers, to pay the  judgment.

Okay, lawsuits, whatever. For many of us, it’s hard to relate to lawyers and business executives. So let’s look at immigration. Many voters remember Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) stating, “There’s no way we would sign off on immigration reform in the trade agreements.” (Newsmax, April 30,  2015)

Was he naive? Was he mincing words? Was he purposely deceiving American voters? Because there’s an additional agreement that’s being secretly negotiated, which is also covered by the recently-signed Fast Track/TPA legislation. It’s called the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). It’s all about mandating work visas. TiSA allows approximately 50 countries to each send large numbers of skilled and unskilled workers to work in America,including Turkey and Pakistan! Congress will soon be asked to sign this  agreement!

When Congressman Ryan said that these trade agreements would not reform U.S. immigration laws, he was correct. The trade agreements do not reform U.S. laws, theyoverride U.S. laws; they rank higher. Any and all provisions of trade agreements, signed by Congress and the President, rank higher than any and all state and federal laws and regulations: food safety regulations, environmental regulations, the U.S. justice system, immigration laws, and the Constitution itself. Giving up sovereignty means that the U.S. will continue to be a land mass, but it will no longer be a self-governing  nation.

Every country that participates in these trade agreements will have a say in the future of America. If there are 100 subsequent decisions to be made by the global courts and Commissions, and the U.S. agrees to none of them, all of these decisions can still be voted into law, forever, by a simple majority vote of the participating  countries.

Remember that little war that Americans fought against the British, to get out from under the oppressive rule of King George III of Great Britain; to establish self-governing rights; to establish American  sovereignty?

Heed these words of warning from the quintessential American patriot, Patrick  Henry:

  • “Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me  death!”

Please enjoy Independence Day this year, because it will likely be your last such celebration. President Obama fully intends to sign the TPP this year, with TTIP and TiSA soon to follow. Next July 4th, we will be under the whimsical rule of a global Commission and a global court. And if the TTIP is signed, Great Britain will once again have decision-making power, via that global Commission, on the American way of  life.

What goes around comes around. It was a good 239 years.   Cheerio!

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.