The federal government may be “shut down,” but negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Pact are proceeding without delay. The TPP is a free trade agreement amongst a group of countries which comprise 40% of world trade. The partnership is yet another step toward globalization and the ceding of national sovereignty in favor of international control.
Though Obama emphasized his desire to bring jobs back to American shores on the campaign trail, the TPP would send more jobs overseas than any piece of legislation in recent history. Eliminating all trade barriers with low-wage countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico and Brunei would eliminate incentives for companies to stay in high-wage countries like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
On a more ideological level, American sovereignty would be stripped in the name of free trade. American standards of cleanliness and safety (for instance food cleanliness and safety) would be deemed “illegal trade barriers” if they were stricter than international standards. Even labeling laws standardizing definitions of organic, animal-welfare approved and GMO-free would be considered barriers, as well as those identifying a product’s country of origin.
Essentially, all consumer protections would be drastically reduced, as well as animal welfare and environmental standards. Americans would have little to no say about picking products which aligned with their ethics or sanitary requirements, and might not even be able to reliably know which products were made with such standards. EU member countries have already experienced this lack of sovereignty; in 1981, Denmark’s attempt to limit the types of beverage bottles which could be used to make recycling more efficient was deemed an illegal trade barrier.
Department of Energy control over fracking would be diminished, and certain forms of taxes would be eliminated. In addition, aspects of the Stop Online Privacy Act would be reincarnated as part of the Pact. On an economic level, countries will be required to allow private competitors to public service sectors, and companies such as drug producers will be able to maintain a monopoly on their products for longer.
Some have expressed the concern that this deregulation will give corporations increased power over the citizens. Others may agree, on a basic level, with the notions of deregulation and private competitors to public service sectors. Neither of these gets to the heart of the issue, though. America cannot give up its own sovereignty and give those powers to an international organization. This will prevent it from serving the needs of its own citizens – for instance allowing pesticides and contaminants into the food supply – and could easily open it up to far more international control in the future.
The EU, for instance, started in 1946 as the merging of 6 European countries’ steel supplies. It evolved into a free trade area in 1993, and formed its own parliament, funded by the taxes of individual countries. Only last year, officials openly advocated creating a direct tax system from EU member state citizens to the EU. Countries who wish to leave now face crippling financial, legal and political barriers.
Was is striking about the TPP is its secret meetings that are conducted behind closed doors. According to Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D from TheNewAmerican.com, Walmart and Monsanto are given a seat at the table, but the elected representatives of the American people are shut out.
Wolverton states that the TPP may be “the last straw in the already weakened broom of American sovereignty.” The TPP is a threat to America’s sovereignty and the potential for further elimination of American rights and powers.
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