Categorized | ICLEI, News, Opinion


Several sources are reporting a leak of a crucial document touching our negotiations with other Pacific Rim nations on a trade deal.  If the sources are right, it is an outrageous sellout of national sovereignty and US interests that Congress must stop immediately.

Here’s the details from the Huffington Post:

The newly leaked document (blogger’s note:  Here it is!) is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.

This is outrageous enough.  To allow foreign companies to exempt themselves from US law and can appeal to a international tribunal is playing favorites against our own businesses (Remember this angry WashPo comment that Gov. Jindal was wrong about the administration tolerates businesses for taxes?  Sounds like the Governor is owed an apology!) and also allowing our sovereign laws to be challenged by foreign tribunals.

I’ll say it and I’ll keep saying it until six persons carry me out and I (Lord willing!) am promoted to glory:  NEVER will foreign tribunals tell the US what to do!  NEVER!  The Constitution is either the supreme law of the land (next to the Bible most dear!) or it is not.  And all our rights are at risk if we lose the Constitution’s supremacy.

Public Citizen agrees in its analysis of this leaked document:

It reveals that negotiators already have agreed to many radical terms granting expansive new rights and privileges for foreign investors and their private corporate enforcement through extra-judicial “investor-state” tribunals.

This is why we must be wary when local politicians talk about Public-Private Partnerships.  It’s really a mutation of Agenda 21 and with the same effect:  Loss of liberty and property rights.  This is a huge Public-Private Partnership on a global scale!  Big multinational corporations will practically be like quasi-nations.  Check out this summary from Public Citizen:

Indeed, the leaked text shows that TPP would expand on the extreme investor privileges found in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and subsequent NAFTA-style deals. These investor privileges have come under attack for threatening public health, the environment, democratic policymaking, and for favoring foreign firms over domestic firms. Over $350 million has been paid to investors by governments under the investor-state provisions in NAFTA-style pacts investor over toxic waste dump permits, logging rules, bans of toxic substances and more.2 Currently, there are over $13 billion in pending corporate “investor-state” trade pact attacks on domestic environmental, public health and transportation policy. And, mere threats of such cases have repeatedly resulted in countries dropping important public interest initiatives, exposing their populations to harm that could have been avoided.  (footnotes omitted)

But didn’t Al Gore tell us NAFTA was great?  They certainly made fun of Ross Perot and called him racist and other names in his opposition to NAFTA.  For you see, both parties are complicit in global sellouts – for different reasons:  The GOP tends to like empire, whether corporate or political, cheap labor and nation building; the Democrats want foreign environmental wackos to run our nation and strange “rights” to be exported here courtesy of international treaties such as the UN Child Treaty or the Small Arms Treaty.  The result is the same:  loss of liberty and sovereignty.

Bush BETTER than Obama?  Check out this quote:

“Bush was better than Obama on this,” said Judit Rius, U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, referring to the medication rules. “It’s pathetic, but it is what it is. The world’s upside-down.”

The Weather Channel is reporting a blizzard warning for Hell tonight!  Well, Hell (Yes, Hell is a real place!  Here‘s how to avoid going there!) is where this trade agreement ought to be consigned to.  I do not condone leaks but I assume there is at least one patriot in the Obama Administration that could stand no more and made sure this “agreement” went to Public Citizen.  May he or she be a national hero(ine)!  Read this summary at the Public Citizen website:

Although the TPP has been branded a “trade” agreement, the leaked text of the pact’s Investment Chapter shows that the TPP would:

  • Limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S.  boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
  • Extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
  • Establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and
  • Allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms.

My light skim of parts of the leaked memo suggest Public Citizen is right – on this question. Like Agenda 21, it’s written in legalese even some lawyers cannot understand.  But Public Citizen and the Huffington Post are hardly Fox News.  I read enough to say:  This is enough; Congress must act!  Our sovereignty must be protected.  Who’s with me!

The GOP ought to run ads in the Rust Belt condemning this sellout.  But would Romney have agreed with it?  Maybe in another month, Americans will say:  Should’ve voted for Ron Paul.  Yes, you should have.  He was on the ballot in every state.  But people were scared to vote what they knew was right.  Can’t vote for the kooky isolationist Ron Paul!  Can’t say you could not have voted right…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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