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  •  Baucus is at forefront of SUPPORT for the TPP! (21+ / 0-)

    He and Orrin Hatch are leading the push to "Fast-Track" (the name of the legislation) the Trans-Pacific Partnership which will, almost literally, shove the it down our throats. If Fast-Track passes, the TPP is all but a done deal. At that point, without hyperbole, we might as well shut down Daily Kos and call it a day.

    Yeah, this Fast-Track/TPP situation IS that bad...

    http://youtu.be/...

    TransPacific Partnership Will Undermine Democracy, Empower Transnational Corporations
    By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese,
    Truthout | News Analysis
    Wednesday, 27 March 2013 09:12

    On critical issues, the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret by the Obama administration will undermine democracy in the United States and around the world and further empower transnational corporations. It will circumvent protections for health care, wages, labor rights, consumers' rights and the environment, and decrease regulation of big finance and risky investment practices.

    The only way this treaty, which will be very unpopular with the American people once they are aware of it, can be approved is if the Obama administration avoids the democratic process by using an authority known as "Fast Track," which limits the constitutional checks and balances of Congress.

    If the TPP is approved, the sovereignty of the United States and other member nations will be dissipated by trade tribunals that favor corporate power and force national laws to be subservient to corporate interests.

    Circumventing the Checks and Balances of US Democracy
    President Nixon first developed the idea of "Fast Track" in 1973 as a way to secure Congressional approval of trade agreements, and it has been a key to passing many unpopular agreements such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and NAFTA. As people have caught on to the offshoring of jobs and other detrimental consequences of these agreements, civil society now understands how important it is to not allow a president to circumvent the democratic role of Congress. Fast Track expired in 2007, so President Obama must have it re-instated in order to pass the TPP. His administration is moving to have Fast Track approved and hopes it will happen by this summer...

    Dragging Secretive Trade Talks Into the Light: Activists Expose Slow-Motion Corporate Coup
    Lori Wallach
    Alternet.org
    December 5, 2012

    …Most of the TPP’s proposed provisions instead comprise a  corporate power grab. The TPP would include extreme protections for foreign investors, which would help corporations offshore American jobs to low-wage countries. These terms would require governments to provide foreign investors a guaranteed “minimum standard of treatment” when they relocate, including special privileges and rights that domestic firms and investors do not enjoy. Foreign firms—or foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms—could extract unlimited amounts of taxpayer money as compensation when investors claim that U.S. government actions undermine a corporation’s expected future profits.  Seriously.

    Equal Status for Corporations and Country

    The investor rules would elevate individual foreign firms and investors to the same status as the sovereign nations that would be party to the TPP. Corporations and investors would be empowered to privately enforce the agreement by suing a signatory government before the World Bank and other foreign tribunals. In this “investor-state dispute resolution,” three private-sector lawyers, who rotate between suing governments and acting as “judges,” could order governments to pay large amounts of our tax dollars to investors who do not want to follow the same laws as domestic firms…

    Just this past weekend, Japan agreed to sign-on to the TPP…so much for the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry…in America!
    How will U.S. Automakers React to Obama’s Invitation to Japan?
    By Mont Cessna
    Wall Street Cheat Sheet
    April 14, 2013

    The Obama administration said on Friday that Japan is allowed to join 11-nation free-trade talks called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The partnership’s goal is creating a free-trade zone that would would include 40 percent of the world’s economy. U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union are both strongly opposed to Japan’s entry to the talks, according to Detroit News.

    Japan is the third-largest economy in the world. According to U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, Michigan, Japanese automakers sold 5.3 million vehicles in the US in 2012–almost 40 percent of total U.S. auto sales . U.S. automakers only sold 13,367 vehicles in Japan during the same year. Only six percent of auto sales in Japan are imports.

    The reaction of the U.S. automotive industry since Japan was invited to join free-trade talks has been swift. The president of the American Automotive Policy Council–a trade  association that represents Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers (NYSE:GM)(NYSE:F)(NYSE:TM)–said, “It is stunning that the U.S. government would endorse a trade policy that puts the industry at a competitive disadvantage and comes at the cost of American auto job.” The United Automotive Workers union said, “There absolutely should be no phase-out of any passenger car, light truck and auto parts tariffs until there is concrete, measurable progress on these critical economic issues.”

    Also from earlier this month (and see the video at the top of this comment)…the TPP will make pharmaceuticals much more expensive for the rest of the world…Big Pharma’s price gouging won’t just be for Americans anymore!
    Nile Bowie—Counterpunch--Neoliberal Overload (TPP)
    by NILE BOWIE
    Counterpunch.org
    April 3rd, 2013

    One of the least discussed and least reported issues is the Obama administration’s effort to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to the forefront, an oppressive plurilateral US-led free trade agreement currently being negotiated with several Pacific Rim countries. Six hundred US corporate advisors have negotiated and had input into the TPP, and the proposed draft text has not been made available to the public, the press or policymakers. The level of secrecy surrounding the agreements is unparalleled – paramilitary teams scatter outside the premise of each round of discussions while helicopters loom overhead – media outlets impose a near-total blackout of reportage on the subject and US Senator Ron Wyden, the Chair of the Congressional Committee with jurisdiction over TPP, was denied access to the negotiation texts. “The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations — like Halliburton, Chevron, PhaRMA, Comcast and the Motion Picture Association of America — are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” said Wyden, in a floor statement to Congress.

    In addition to the United States, the countries participating in the negotiations include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Japan has expressed its desire to become a negotiating partner, but not yet joined negotiation, partly due to public pressure to steer-clear. The TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented rights to demand taxpayer compensation for policies they think will undermine their expected future profits straight from the treasuries of participating nations – it would push the agenda of Big PhaRMA in the developing world to impose longer monopoly controls on drugs, drastically limiting access to affordable generic medications that people depend on. The TPP would undermine food safety by limiting labeling and forcing countries like the United States to import food that fails to meet its national safety standards, in addition to banning Buy America or Buy Local preferences…

    And, we’re just scratching the surface….you really should read the links above to learn more about how the TPP will fast-track the destruction of our planet…and the list of the one percent’s devastation of our world—handed to it by none other than our government—apparently, goes on…

    …this will make the Citizens United SCOTUS decision look like child’s play!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:44:53 AM PDT

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