TPP……TOO PECULIARLY (BI)PARTISAN

tpp

President Barack Obama has been touting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its companion Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TATIP). These are potential trade agreements, the former being negotiated with 11 other nations bordering the Pacific Ocean and the latter with Europe.

There have been accusations that the negotiations are secretive and that entering such pacts, no matter the assertions by the Administration, will result in the loss of American jobs. In that regard it is claimed to be similar as to what the effects were of the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as the notorious NAFTA passed during Bill Clinton’s tenure that itself was highly praised in advance for its benefits for American workers and highly cursed since by the thousands, if not millions, of American workers who lost jobs as a result.

Obama has encountered resistance to TPP within his own Democratic Party, most notably from Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Currently there is Congressional legislation pending granting Trade Promotional Authority to the President, the power to cut trade deals and expedite their passage through Congress without amendments or procedural hurdles.

And Republicans are leading the way.

Now these are the same Republicans who have opposed just about any legislation favored by Obama, or any executive action, or any thought speech or motion by Obama down to whether he installs the new roll of toilet paper so it rolls over rather than under.

Affordable Care Act? It got no Republican votes even though its basic premise was first developed by Republicans.

Cap and Trade? Nothing has really been done to enact legislation that would allow companies to, in effect, trade for credits to allow more carbon dioxide emissions. But again this principle first emerged under a Republican. George H.W. Bush was President and cap and trade been cited as a market approach to reducing pollution. Senator John McCain was even the main sponsor of such a bill in both 2003 and 2005. Since Obama took office you’d think he had decided to confiscate the first born of every American family and sell them into sexual slavery from the Republican reaction if the topic was even broached.

Immigration reform? George W. Bush tried to get legislation passed and many Republicans favored passing some measures, though the details drew varying levels of support. Now, it seems, that any efforts by Obama to get some degree of reform is such anathema to Republicans that many are willing to self-deport as a symbolic gesture against reform.

And then there is the ongoing case of Iran and its intentions…or not…to build a nuclear weapon. The Obama administration, together with five other nations, has concluded a framework of an agreement with Iran that would prevent such a weapon from being constructed. Finalization of such pact is pending as the details are committed to the legal niceties.

This would appear to be a good thing, keeping an atomic bomb away from what is considered a rogue state. And I recognize that Iran could break the pact, though its actions will be closely monitored. But, then again, Japan could renounce our World War II Treaty with them, re-arm, and flood the U.S. market with autos and electronics, including those fascinating toilets (with the toilet paper coming off over the top, of course.

But first 47 Republican Senators sent an open letter to Iran’s leadership stating their outright opposition to ANY agreement and their intention to thwart Obama at every turn. Some have even voiced a desire for war against Iran in preference to even the most stringently enforceable treaty possible.

So, just why would Republicans all of a sudden fall all over themselves to work with President Obama on the TPA for both the TPP and TATIP? By god they’ve been willing to work with Democrats to get them to agree in the Senate in order to have enough votes to ensure passage.

In the past few years we have witnessed no cooperation between the two parties in Congess unless the American public was going to get screwed.

Senate Democrats may have maintained unity to prevent the fast tracking sought by Obama,

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/12/senate-democrats-trade-promotion-authority_n_7267600.html

But the mere fact that Republicabns are siding with President Obama on this issue should be sufficient to raise suspicion if not simply reject the TPA out of hand.

The old saying is Politics makes strange bedfellows, commonly atributed to American writer and essayist and friend of Mark Twain, Charles Dudley Warner, though it may have derived from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Obama and Senate Republicans make for strange bedfellows indeed.

Anyone have pictures?

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Comments

  • Devildog  On May 12, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    The real question is why Obama, all of a sudden, is willing to work with Republicans. That should give Republicans pause! No?

    All this mention of “programs” first supported by Republicans and now opposed by them (presumably because Obama is black) is a bunch of crap. Details (the devil is lurking) are different, times are different, the world is different and so are the representatives of both parties. It seems quite clear (at least to me) that the reps, parties and people have moved considerably to their respective right and left. Just ask H. Clinton, among others. Probably even B. Clinton if asked.

    Oh, yeah! Let me agree with you (and Obama). It WOULD be a good thing to keep a nuclear weapon away from a rogue state. So, by all means, let’s sign an agreement with Iran-any agreement because any agreement is better than no agreement.

  • MiniMe  On May 13, 2015 at 3:38 AM

    Information from FFTF and EFF (FIght FOr THe Future and Electronic Frontier Foundation) show that this is a demonstrable gift to international corporations giving expanded rights for litigation against states who dare to threaten the bottom line. MOreover, the egalitarian nature of electronic traffic on the internet will indeed be threatened on a number of levels. THis is indeed a bad treaty from every article I have read (and no, I do not read the conservative rags). It is unconscionable for a President like Obama to push this democracy and job rending treaty through Congress.

    But I think you miss one important point in what I think you meant as a throw-away comment. With America’s blessing, Japan is re-interpreting their post-war Constitution to allow them extreme flexibility in using their military. THis moves Japan from their pacifist stance to a more militaristic stand (defensive posture only say the Prime Minister and his apologists). With the severe increase in tensions in Asia over China’s interpretation of their property rights in the South China Sea, this is a clusterf**k building energy. The mutual distrust of Japan by Korea and China while CHina steals land and sea in a shipping area vital to the world economy makes this a complicated matter and one which will no doubt have TPP as a trigger.

    • Devildog  On May 13, 2015 at 9:46 AM

      Is Tourist alive and well and going to comment on at least one aspect of this …?

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