Did you know that Barack Obama has been secretly negotiating the most important trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization? Did you know that this agreement will impose very strict Internet copyright rules, ban all "Buy American" laws, give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and force even more domestic manufacturing offshore?
If you have not heard about this treaty, don't feel bad. Obama has
refused to even give Congress a copy of the draft agreement and he has
banned members of Congress from attending the negotiations. The plan is
to keep this treaty secret until the very last minute and then to
railroad it through Congress and have it signed into law by October.
The treaty is known as "the Trans-Pacific Partnership", and the nations
that are reported to be involved in the development of this treaty
include the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New
Zealand, Chile, Peru, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Opponents of this treaty refer to it as "the NAFTA of the Pacific", and
if it is enacted it will push the deindustrialization of America into
Although Congress has exclusive constitutional authority to set the
terms of trade, so far the executive branch has managed to resist
repeated requests by members of Congress to see the text of the draft
agreement and has denied requests from members to attend negotiations as
observers. There is one exception to this wall of secrecy: a group of some 600
trade “advisers,” dominated by representatives of big businesses, who
enjoy privileged access to draft texts and negotiators.
Read the New York Times article here and an excellent summary of the situation here.