Tag Archives: TPA

Fact Check: Marco Rubio Lies About Mexico Trade Deficit

Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) was asked about his deciding vote to give President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “Fast-Track Authority”, to negotiate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP, or ObamaTrade).

It’s apparent that Rubio is a big fan of ObamaTrade.

As seen in an exclusive video below, Evan Mulch asked Rubio, “if the TPP was truly about free trade and lowering tariffs, then why wouldn’t it be a one page document? Why is the TPP hundreds of pages long?”

“Wouldn’t it be in our best effort to repeal the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA), because NAFTA basically sent the manufacturing jobs to Mexico from the U.S.?” Mulch continued.

Rubio responded by defending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) like NAFTA and said, “No, we have a trade surplus with virtually every country in the world that we have free trade with.”

Joshua Cook asked Curtis Ellis, who is an expert on TPP, what he thought about Rubio’s comment regard the U.S. having a trade surplus.

“It’s not true. It’s not right,” said Ellis. “The guy is either ignorant or he’s lying. This is a talking point put out by apologists for these free trade agreements.”

[See imports vs. exports 2015 : U.S. trade in goods with Mexico can be seen here. A very clear example is with South Korea.]

“He is repeating talking points given to him by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is knowingly trying to mislead us,” says Ellis.

For many, NAFTA has become a cautionary tale that warns people that these big treaties ultimately harm the U.S. economy.

According to New American Magazine:

“In 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, the United States had a $1.66 billion trade surplus with Mexico; by 1995, the first year after NAFTA had entered into force, that changed to a $15.8 billion deficit. By 2000, that annual deficit had soared to $24.5 billion, and by 2007 it hit $74.7 billion. For 2014, our trade deficit with Mexico dipped to only $53.8 billion. In 1993, the year before NAFTA, we imported around 225,000 cars and trucks from Mexico. By 2005, our imports of Mexican-made vehicles had tripled to 700,000 vehicles annually, and in 2012, Mexico’s export of vehicles to the United States surpassed 1.4 million. Chrysler, Ford, and GM transferred major production facilities (and jobs) from the United States to Mexico. Our trade deficits with Canada have followed a similar path since adoption of NAFTA.”

Many have attributed massive trade deficits, joblessness through outsourcing, and a decreased standard of American living to NAFTA and other corporate-led trade deals.

It is important to note that opposing these big “trade deals” is not protectionism. Ron Paul made it clear on why he opposed NAFTA, stating that what most politicians are promoting is “managed trade” not “free trade.”

Follow Joshua Cook: | Facebook | Twitter | Joshua@TruthInMedia.com

Obama Signs “Fast Track” Bill, TPP Inches Closer to Completion

On Monday President Obama signed into law the so-called “fast-track” bill, setting the stage for approval of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The fast-track bill, officially known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), was one of two bills signed by Obama. The president also signed the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) act which is supposed to extend aid to workers who might lose their jobs as a consequence of the TPP or other so-called free trade deals.

Following the signing, Darlene Superville, White House reporter for The Associated Press, tweeted:

@POTUS at trade bill signing: ‘I thought I’d start off the week with something we should do more often, a truly bipartisan bill signing’

Despite the bipartisan nature of the bill, President Obama acknowledged the hurdles that remain for the TPP. “We still have some tough negotiations that are going to be taking place. The debate will not end with this bill signing,” Obama said.

CNET reports that an Australian parliamentary committee has released a “Blind Agreement” report warning of an impending “attack [on] internet freedoms,” and criticizing the negotiations as lacking “oversight and scrutiny.”

The joint-Parliamentary report stated that, “Parliament is faced with an all-or-nothing choice” and is being “kept in the dark.”

“Parliament should play a constructive role during negotiations and not merely rubber-stamp agreements that have been negotiated behind closed doors,” the report reads.

With the passing of the TPA and TAA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is possibly only weeks away from approval. The trade agreement has been notoriously secret, with the public only viewing chapters of the text which have been leaked by WikiLeaks.

TruthInMedia previously reported on the growing opposition to the TPP:

As the trade agreement nears completion both the Anglican and Catholic churches of New Zealand are demanding the government be more transparent about the negotiations. Radio NZ reports that bishops from the churches are concerned with the lack of openness and that corporate interests are influencing the agreement while the people are being excluded. The churches also called on the New Zealand government to make the draft text of the agreement public.

In early February,  doctors and health professional representing seven countries released a letter warning that the TPP will lead to higher medical costs for all nations. The letter, published in The Lancet medical journal, states that, “Rising medicine costs would disproportionately affect already vulnerable populations.” The doctors called on the governments involved in the trade deal to publicly release the full text of the agreement. They also demanded an independent analysis of the impacts on health and human rights for each nation involved in the deal.

Also in February, an analysis by The Washington Post revealed the US government’s numbers on expected job increases from TPP are not factually correct. The Fact Checker examined several quotes from government officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Both Kerry and Vilsack claimed the international trade agreement would create 650,000 new jobs. However, these numbers do not take into account income gains and changing wages. According to the government own sources imports and exports would increase by the same amount resulting in a net number of zero new jobs.

Rep. Ryan: ‘Don’t Believe Everything You Read On The Internet’

Rep. Paul Ryan (R- WI), the House Ways & Means Committee Chairman, shared some choice words for conservative media while appearing on Fox News.

“Let’s talk about trade. Very odd situation– the President is fighting without Rep. Nancy Pelosi, without Rep. Steny Hoyer, with Republicans to get his trade authority passed through,” said Brian Kilmeade. “You’ve already discovered through Breitbart and others that there were some provisions in there for climate change, provisions in there for immigration. You’ve looked to knock that out and push this forward. Where are you at with trade authority? And are you questioning your own support of it?”

Ryan answered:

“Look, first of all, don’t believe everything you read on the internet, Brian. just let me give you a little tip there. Second of all, this is why we need to pass Trade Promotion Authority. What we have in Trade Promotion Authority is a prevention of any immigration changes, of any climate change legislation going into a trade agreement. So by passing Trade Promotion Authority, we’re putting congress in the driver’s seat which is transparency.

“We need to see the documents, the country needs to see these trade agreements—60 days. Oh, and you cannot put any immigration in here and you can’t put any climate change in a trade agreement. So, this is why we want to pass Trade Promotion Authority, so we can determine the outcome of these trade agreements not what’s happening out there right now. That’s why we’re asserting power and control here. Look a broken clock is right twice a day. The president is actually supporting trade, which is what Republicans are in favor of and that’s why we are where we are.”

Kilmeade did not back down from questioning Ryan. “One of the things on the internet – so you can tell us whether or not it’s true. So, for the most part everybody on Capitol Hill is in the dark … you don’t really know what’s in it yet, because you haven’t seen it, so it’s hard to support it one way or another?”

“No, no, no,” Ryan said. “There’s a lot of confusion. Trade Promotion Authority—what we’re voting on this week—is a process. It’s not a trade agreement. It’s a procedure for how you consider trade agreement. The Trans Pacific Partnership – it doesn’t exist yet. The reason we can’t see it yet is because it hasn’t been negotiated yet – it doesn’t exist yet. It’s been negotiated for years. Bush started these negotiations,” Ryan explained.

Ryan explained that the vote wasn’t on an idea, but a procedure:

“No we’re voting on a procedure,” Ryan said. “How does Congress consider trade agreements? Then in the fall, probably in the fall, we’ll consider a trade agreement—which hasn’t been completed yet. That’s why we don’t know what’s in it because it doesn’t exist yet.”

Ryan apparently wants Americans to trust Congress and not trust news sources including Breitbart and Truth In Media. For nearly two years, Truth In Media has been reporting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to inform the public on the secrecy of the treaty and the dangers of giving a U.S. president ‘fast-track’ authority.

Read more about Truth In Media’s coverage of TPP here.

Last Thursday the Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a few liberty-minded Republicans like Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), halted the fast-track bill.

Duncan, noting an “interesting development on the House Floor,” wrote that “Despite aggressive lobbying from the President and a personal visit to Capitol Hill this morning, TAA was rejected by a stunning vote of 126-302 (I voted no).”

“The president has some work yet to do with his party to complete this process,” said Ryan. “This isn’t over yet.”

Ted Cruz’s TPA Amendment Won’t Stop ObamaTrade’s Backdoor Amnesty

In an exclusive interview with TruthInMedia.com’s Joshua Cook, Curt Ellis, who heads a Washington think tank, said that he was pleased to see Sen. Rand Paul and other presidential candidates oppose the secret and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (ObamaTrade).

The problem with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is that most in Congress doesn’t know what is in the agreement. According to Ellis, it includes an entire chapter on immigration. “It is a Trojan horse for Obama’s immigration agenda,” writes Ellis in his latest article at TheHill.com.

According to AmericanThinker.com, “Senator Ted Cruz plans to propose an amendment that would prevent Obama from using his Fast-Track power to change federal immigration law.”

But Ellis takes issue with Cruz’s strategy.

“The thing to remember about Ted Cruz’s amendment is that it’s meaningless,” said Ellis. “Ted Cruz’s amendment becomes trash.”

“That’s a well known Supreme Court doctrine that this Congress can’t tell a future Congress what to do. You can’t write a law to say that this law can never be changed.”

Ellis told Cook:

“‘Obamatrade’ is the name we’ve given to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which is one of the so-called free trade agreements the Obama folks have been negotiating on their own, in secret, without consulting Congress for the past six years,” explained Curtis Ellis.

“We call it ‘Obamatrade,’ because like ‘Obamacare’ it’s a situation where Congress is going to have to pass it, to find out what’s in it. It’s so complicated. It’s so dense. And it’s so involved,” he explained.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is indeed complicated. Obama is also asking Congress to fast track trade promotion authority, which fundamentally changes how the American government conducts business.

“Congress would not be able to amend as much as one word of what the president writes,” he said.

“What this fast track trade promotion authority does is it turns the Constitution on its head where you’ve got the President writing this massive agreement that affects our entire economy. And he writes it and all Congress can do is vote it up or down. They can’t amend it. They can’t do their due diligence and do the deliberation necessary.”

Therefore, the best thing for Cruz to do is join other presidential candidates like Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump who all openly oppose Obama’s secret trade deal, which critics call NAFTA on steroids.

If the TPP is passed, its regulations would override U.S. law, stripping the U.S. of its sovereignty and open the way for “backdoor” amnesty.

Listen to the interview here:

For more information, please visit www.ObamaTrade.com. For more news related to the 2016 Presidential election, click here.


Sessions: If TPP Is Good Deal, Let Congress See Details

By Peter Fricke

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions says he’s concerned that Congress might blindly relinquish its authority over free-trade agreements, leaving the American people with little say on future deals.

Specifically, Sessions is critical of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, also known as “fast-tracking,” which would enable the president to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote with no opportunity for amendments. (RELATED: TPP Fast-Tracking is Designed to Hide a Bad Deal From Americans)

“Congress has the responsibility to ensure that any international trade agreement entered into by the United States must serve the national interest, not merely the interests of those crafting the proposal in secret,” Sessions said Monday in a press release.

TPA would apply to all free-trade agreements, but its immediate purpose is to ease passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a draft agreement among 12 Pacific countries—including the U.S., Japan, and Australia—that calls for eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers, as well as cooperating to create legal and regulatory coherence that would make trade more efficient.

Critics of the deal, including Sessions and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, complain that President Obama has refused to make details of the agreement public, giving rise to concerns that the TPP would encourage outsourcing of American jobs to countries with lower labor standards.

“History suggests that trade deals set into motion under the 6-year life of TPA could exacerbate our trade imbalance, acting as an impediment to both GDP and wage growth,” Sessions asserts. In support of that claim, Sessions cites research by labor economist Clyde Prestowitz, who attributes 60 percent of the 5.7 million American manufacturing jobs lost over the last decade to import-driven trade imbalances.

At a minimum, Sessions claims, “TPA eliminates Congress’ ability to amend or debate trade implementing legislation and guarantees an up-or-down vote on a far-reaching international agreement before that agreement has received any public review.” (RELATED: Trade Bill Puts Boehner and Pelosi Between Barack and Their Parties)

Under TPA, he explains, the president would be able to classify or redact portions of the deals submitted to Congress, making it difficult for lawmakers to seek legislative redress in the event that they have concerns about the desirability — or even the legality — of a trade agreement.

Moreover, “if Congress does not affirmatively refuse to reauthorize TPA at the end of the defined authorization (2018), the authority is automatically renewed for an additional three years so long as the President requests the extension.”

Sessions also expresses unease about a summary of the TPP put out by the U.S. Trade Representative, which states that the deal is a “living agreement.” According to Sessions, this provision “means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China), and could also change any of the terms of the agreement.”

Without Congressional input, for example, the president could unilaterally insert language into the TPP “to facilitate the expanded movement of foreign workers into the U.S.—including visitor visas that are used as worker visas.”

Obama brushed off such concerns during an address to the progressive group Organizing for Action last week, saying the deal has “strong provisions for workers, strong provisions for the environment … so when people say that this trade deal is bad for working families, they don’t know what they’re talking about.” (RELATED: Obama Hammers Dems for Opposing Free Trade)

Sessions, however, insists that Congress should have the power to make that determination, rather than having to take the president’s word that the TPP is a good deal for the American people.

“If we want an international trade deal that advances the interests of our own people,” he concludes, “then perhaps we don’t need a ‘fast-track’ but a regular track: where the President sends us any proposal he deems worthy and we review it on its own merits.”

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