Posted on January 30, 2014 by WashingtonsBlog
Preface by Washington’s Blog: The Trans Pacific Partnership is a corporate power grab. The fact that Democratic leader Harry Reid is standing up to Obama on this is a very good thing.
-By Eric Zuesse:
One of President Barack Obama’s top priorities ever since he entered the White House has been to achieve two international trade deals, one with Europe, and the other with Asia, that will enable international corporations to override the laws in participating nations and thus to provide ultimate corporate control over regulations concerning pesticide-use, food-safety, global-warming abatement, collective bargaining, and other such matters.
Yesterday, Wednesday 29 January 2014, the leader of congressional Democrats, Harry Reid — the U.S. Senate Majority Leader — came out publicly saying, “I’m against fast track.” This means that unlike the international-trade treaties that were rammed through Congress under George W. Bush, Obama’s trade deals won’t be — and that they are thus now practically dead.
Fast track trade promotion authority (TPA) enables an international-trade deal to be presented to Congress for an up-or-down vote without any amendments and without any possibility of being filibustered. TPA was first introduced in 2002; and, in order for it to be able to be imposed under the law, the Majority Leaders in both the House and the Senate must introduce the implementing bill to their respective bodies. This means that, if Harry Reid in the Senate declines to introduce TPA to the Senate, then Obama’s extremely controversial TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement) and TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) are both virtually dead.
Harry Reid, in announcing his decision, said, ”I think everyone would be well advised just to not push this right now,” which, translated, means: Unless and until President Obama rewrites major provisions of each of these two deals, both of them are, indeed, dead.