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View Diary: Rising International Resistance to Cloak and Dagger Trade Deal (32 comments)

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  •  They really do need to embrace transparency (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, side pocket, chimene, koNko

    I'm not as anti-free trade as many here are, I reluctantly and with many asterisks kinda-sorta embrace it. However, keeping the details secret is not making me feel warm and fuzzy about this deal.

    Thus my opinion is they need to kill it unless and until they are willing to explain it.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:43:12 PM PST

    •  The information that has leaked out (10+ / 0-)

      indicates that this is a lot more than a conventional trade agreement. It sets up a system of international tribunals that have the power to override the authority of national law.

      •  I'm not completely up to date on it (3+ / 0-)
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        side pocket, chimene, koNko

        But last time I was looking into it, I'm not sure I completely trusted the sources of the leaks.

        That being said, it is clear that this is much different than a conventional TA. I agree with you on that.

        It's pretty bad when even lobbyists for the agreement remain tight-lipped to their constituents, not even trying to sell them on whatever it is that's happening. I am under the impression that most of them (US trade lobbyists, that is) are also in the dark about what this means.

        NOT a good sign.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 01:49:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  FTAs (0+ / 0-)

        But that's the same as what's in almost all the other trade agreements we have.  That's hardly new or secret.

        •  Then why the need for all the secrecy? n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sunspots, koNko
          •  Aren't negotiations always done confidentially? (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not aware of any that are done in public.  Presumably it would be easier to negotiate without the whole world looking over your shoulder yelling at you every time you suggest a compromise.

            •  Original negotiations may be confidential (5+ / 0-)

              but what is being asked for here is the authority to conclude them without lawmakers having any input into the process. They can only vote the final product in or out. In the US they do not have to surrender that authority to the government and there is growing resistance to doing so in this case. It is always "easier" to do things in secret and then ram them down the public's throat. You may find it reasonable, many other people do not.

              •  Original (1+ / 0-)
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                side pocket

                Aren't we still in the original TPP negotiations?  As far as I know they're still negotiating.

                Do lawmakers have input into any other negotiations with foreign governments that they're not getting with TPP?  I don't see how this is any different than other international negotiations.

                •  Yes they frequently do have input. (3+ / 0-)
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                  Involuntary Exile, side pocket, koNko

                  Politically it is usually a necessary part of the ratification process.

                  •  Input (0+ / 0-)

                    If Congress typically only has input as part of the ratification process then the TPP is very transparent in comparison.  USTR says they consulted with Congress 1100 times just last year alone.  The Obama administration looks like the most transparent in history.

                    Held More than 1,100 Meetings and Briefings with Congress on Key USTR Initiatives.  Ambassador Froman and USTR staff held more than 1,100 briefings with Members of Congress and their staffs on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in 2013, ensuring that the people’s representatives in Congress were kept abreast of the content and progress of the talks and had ample opportunity to shape ongoing U.S. negotiating efforts.
                    •  Secret briefings. (3+ / 0-)

                      Alan Grayson was one of the members of Congress granted access to, but not provided copies of, the drafts as they then existed back in mid-2013. He was prohibited from discussing them with anyone as they were "classified".
                      "This, more than anything, shows the abuse of the classified information system," Grayson told HuffPost. "They maintain that the text is classified information. And I get clearance because I'm a member of Congress, but now they tell me that they don't want me to talk to anybody about it because if I did, I'd be releasing classified information."
                      Having seen what I've seen, I would characterize this as a gross abrogation of American sovereignty," he added. "I would further characterize it as a punch in the face to the middle class of America. I think that's fair to say from what I've seen so far. But I'm not allowed to tell you why!"

            •  Your argument is either ignorant or disingenuous (2+ / 0-)

              Confidence and extreme secrecy are two different things and the latter has been the well-documented protocol of this negotiation for reasons now becoming apparent as the wall cracks and details begin to leak.

              And it becomes equally apparent why the proponents have been so hell-bent on forcing a fast-track process for ratification through Congress, something you conveniently fail to mention, although I'm sure you have an explanation why, after negotiating in secret, there is no need for a detailed Congressional vetting and public debate.

              So please don't hold out on us, explain why this should be negotiated in secret and then rushed through ratification; no doubt, all in the public interest.

              No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

              by koNko on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:07:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Not necessarily (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon

          There are a lot of loopholes in NAFTA, CAFTA, and other FTAs that protect each nation's interest.

          The US can't, for example, flood Mexico with cheap sugar, and there are complicated quota structures in place that often render the FTA null and void.

          That is because each nation is still considered a separate entity with independent and often competing interests, and no nation wants to be steamrolled by the other.

          From what little we know about this specific FTA, those safeguards are being chipped away. If US Customs has zero discretion and no ability to block foreign goods, our economy could be flooded with cheaper versions of products that have a high value here. Traditional FTAs stop that scenario. This one might not.

          And that's not good for anyone.

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 03:10:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And that is why we need to know more. n/t (1+ / 0-)
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          •  dumping (0+ / 0-)

            You mean anti-dumping laws?  I don't know why you think our anti-dumping laws will be removed after TPP.  I can't imagine that would be the case, but if you have a reason for believing that I'd be happy to hear where you got your information.

            •  No, not anti-dumping laws (0+ / 0-)

              Do you know what the FTAs do? Because I'm totally uninterested in having yet another conversation on this site about FTAs with people who have no effing clue what they mean or how they are governed.

              P.S. I am not a crackpot.

              by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:14:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Plenty (0+ / 0-)

                Happy to have a conversation.  If you're not referring to anti-dumping, are you referring to safeguards?  There's traditionally a safeguards chapter in trade agreements.  Once again, if there's a reason you think it won't be included in TPP I'm happy to be better informed.

                •  Hard to do that since the provisions are secret. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Richard Lyon
                  Once again, if there's a reason you think it won't be included in TPP I'm happy to be better informed.
                  I assume the worst since that what these trade agreements have brought in the past.

                  Workers?  Screwed.

                  Environment?  Screwed.

                  Citizens' ability to control their own working conditions and environmental safety?  Eliminated.

                  The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that these agreeements won't hurt us.

              •  Take a look at his profile. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It seems that mostly shows up on Daily Kos to lobby for the neoliberal trade position.

                •  And (0+ / 0-)

                  I know far more about it than you do. I tend to stick to topics I know something about.  You might want to try it.

                  •  I promise I know more than you do about this topic (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Richard Lyon, Ezekiel in Exile

                    Difference between you and I is that I am unbiased and you clearly are not.

                    As I stated upthread, I don't have a knee-jerk reaction against FTAs because I work within them daily and DO see the benefit to them in a lot of ways.

                    That doesn't mean that I have a knee-jerk reaction FOR them, which you clearly do.

                    Example: you know next to nothing about this proposed FTA yet are in favor of it. What would lead you to so unthinkingly take a position on something you know nothing about?

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 05:02:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree you know more about neoliberal propaganda (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Richard Lyon

                    Than anyone else posting to this thread.

                    Don't let us hold you back. By all means, publish a diary to explain in detail of what great advantages the TPP will provide to anyone save Multinational Corporations, I'm sure you have some very convincing arguments you can back up with facts from your deep well of knowledge.

                    Seriously, as a self-identified expert, this is your opportunity for a moment in the sun before you crawl back under that stone.

                    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

                    by koNko on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:14:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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