Both the procedure and the content of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are flawed and should be rejected.
The “Fast-Track” advocated by President Barack Obama and the Republican congressional leadership would allow the president to negotiate an agreement which could not be amended, but merely given a “yes” or “no” vote in Congress.
This was the attitude taken by President Woodrow Wilson with the Versailles Treaty (he insisted his Senate supporters vote against an amended treaty) and it led to a flawed treaty that was rejected by the Senate.
At best, Fast-Track will lead to congressional disapproval. Much worse is the possibility that it might pass with the support of congressmen who believe that a flawed agreement may be better than no agreement at all, and who fear being demonized as “obstructionists” if they defend the interests of the United States and its workers.
Supporters of TPP claim that it will increase U.S. exports, draw foreign investment, and create jobs. We have heard that before, e.g with NAFTA.
According to a fact sheet of the U.S. Trade Representative, the countries covered by the TPP already have invested $620 billion in the U.S. Will they continue such investment if they can more easily export what they produce at home?
TPP is a surrender of U.S. sovereignty and U.S. interests. Congress should vote against both Fast-Track and TPP.
Peter J. Thomas
Americans for Constitutional Liberty