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Sun Dec 8, 2013, 06:49 PM

Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Political Powers In Secret Trade Deal

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post.

The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. They reveal broad disagreement over a host of key positions, and general skepticism that an agreement can be reached by year-end. The Obama administration has urged countries to reach a deal by New Year's Day, though there is no technical deadline.

One memo, which was heavily redacted before being provided to HuffPost, was written ahead of a new round of talks in Singapore this week. Read the full text of what HuffPost received here. (Note: Ellipses indicate redacted text. Text in brackets has been added by a third party.) Another document, a chart outlining different country positions on the text, dates from early November, before the round of negotiations in Salt Lake City, Utah. View the chart here. HuffPost was unable to determine which of the 11 non-U.S. nations involved in the talks was responsible for the memo. The Obama administration was not available for comment Sunday evening.

Previously leaked TPP documents have sparked alarm among global health experts, Internet freedom activists, environmentalists and organized labor, but are adamantly supported by American corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Obama administration has deemed negotiations to be classified information -- banning members of Congress from discussing the American negotiating position with the press or the public. Congressional staffers have been restricted from viewing the documents.

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More at link, I would have posted to LBN because the docs were leaked to HuffPo, but there are those here who don't consider them mainstream news, so. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/tpp-trade-agreement_n_4409211.html

29 replies, 1811 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Political Powers In Secret Trade Deal (Original post)
silvershadow Dec 2013 OP
dipsydoodle Dec 2013 #1
djean111 Dec 2013 #2
dipsydoodle Dec 2013 #3
pampango Dec 2013 #17
djean111 Dec 2013 #22
proverbialwisdom Dec 2013 #4
KoKo Dec 2013 #5
jazzimov Dec 2013 #6
KoKo Dec 2013 #8
silvershadow Dec 2013 #16
solarhydrocan Dec 2013 #19
KoKo Dec 2013 #20
silvershadow Dec 2013 #28
silvershadow Dec 2013 #29
Marr Dec 2013 #24
quinnox Dec 2013 #7
djean111 Dec 2013 #23
pa28 Dec 2013 #9
Populist_Prole Dec 2013 #10
Omaha Steve Dec 2013 #11
LineReply ^
Wilms Dec 2013 #12
pscot Dec 2013 #13
MisterP Dec 2013 #14
silvershadow Dec 2013 #15
grahamhgreen Dec 2013 #21
Berlum Dec 2013 #18
Nite Owl Dec 2013 #27
Marr Dec 2013 #25
polichick Dec 2013 #26

Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 07:03 PM

1. Hopefully

everything will stay paralysed.

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 07:22 PM

2. I have a feeling that the Official Story will be that the TPP will protect us from China.

All the corporate power giveaways will be glossed over.
I don't believe the TPP is about any one country - it is about giving corporations and banks power over countries.
Trade is just a tiny part of it.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 07:27 PM

3. In which case the acronym should become ALOOB

A load of old bollocks.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 06:48 AM

17. That has always been "the Official Story". An article from December 2012:

Romney lost, and it was Romney supporters who were most supportive of the next president confronting China. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans backed getting tougher with Beijing, up 11 percentage points in just a year. Democrats, on the other hand, prioritized building stronger economic relations with China (53%) over getting tougher with China (39%). Democrats’ backing for confrontation was up 6 points since 2011, but it remained the minority sentiment among those in Obama’s party.

Likely components of the administration's economic policy towards China

The first will likely be more complaints about Chinese subsidies and trade practices filed with the WTO, given the president’s campaign promises and his record during his first term. Washington has been relatively successful with such cases in the past, and pursuing multilateral dispute settlements has the added advantage of avoiding a direct bilateral confrontation with China.

The second will be the pursuit of trade agreements that notably do not include China. The most important of these is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement among a growing list of nations bordering the Pacific. It is the Obama administration’s avowed aim to construct a TPP with standards so high — especially rules regarding behavior by state-owned enterprises — that China could never join without transforming its economic system. This stance in part reflects the fact that two-thirds (67%) of the U.S. public believe China practices unfair trade, according to a 2012 survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The likely 2013 launch of a U.S.-European Union free trade negotiation — effectively a Trans-Atlantic Partnership, a bookend for the TPP — primarily reflects majority (58%) sentiment in the United States that increased trade with Europe would be a good thing for the United States. But it can also be seen as an attempt to establish U.S.-European, rather than Chinese, technical and regulatory standards as global business norms.

The Obama administration is unlikely to label China a currency manipulator, which is something Mitt Romney promised he would do on his first day in office. In Obama’s first term, the White House had multiple opportunities to do so and declined, even though the renminbi was weaker against the dollar than it is now.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/12/10/u-s-china-economic-relations-in-the-wake-of-the-u-s-election/

There are labor and environment chapters in the TPP negotiations, but how strict and enforceable they are remains to be seen.

A lot of countries are protective of their competitive "advantages" (weak unions/cheap labor, weak environmental standards) and will use "national sovereignty" to protect those "advantages". "No one tells us how to treat our workers and environment. We are a sovereign nation and will do what we want."

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Response to pampango (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:14 AM

22. Yes. The steady drone of rhetorical salesmanship will be about Big Bad China, but treaties all

over the world are being whipped into shape so they favor corporations and banks, while we are worrying about the TPP..

"National sovereignty" will be a joke, since corporations already can sue a country or state or municipality if their silly little laws affect outside interests and might lessen expected profits. Maybe Monsanto, for instance, will be able to sue the EU because they won't allow GM seeds.

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 07:37 PM

4. NYT: House and Senate Are Near Deal to Speed Trade Pact

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/business/house-and-senate-are-near-deal-to-speed-trade-pact.html?ref=politics&_r=1&

December 5, 2013
House and Senate Are Near Deal to Speed Trade Pact
By ANNIE LOWREY


Negotiators from the House and Senate are nearing an agreement that would “fast-track” the sweeping trade deal the Obama administration is negotiating with a dozen Pacific nations, officials said Thursday.

Such fast-track authority is generally considered a prerequisite for achieving a major trade pact, as it would ensure that the package cannot be filibustered or subject to amendment by Congress, giving confidence to the foreign partners negotiating with the United States that any deal they agree to will stick.

A congressional aide close to the negotiations said that both sides had made significant progress on reaching a fast-track deal, also known as trade-promotion authority. But the aide, who declined to speak on the record because of the delicate nature of the talks, emphasized that an agreement was not complete.

Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Representative Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, have been working on a deal for months.

They are expected to bring forward a bill next week, during the last few days Congress will be in session this year. But the plan still faces several obstacles, including opposition from some Democrats and Republicans in the House. Aides doubted that the fast-track legislation would reach a floor vote this year, given the crowded the Congressional calendar.

<>

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Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 07:54 PM

5. This says they ARE GOING FOR IT! "Damn the Torpedo's ...FULL SPEED AHEAD!"

I think they are going to try to RAM IT THROUGH...Before Christmas or in January.

There will be the Debt Crises and other News to divert attention from the TPP ...but, in the dead of night in the midst of some vote that gets us Dems all diverted to be sidetracked...the "TPP" will sail through the Senate for the Fast Track!

I TRULY HOPE THAT I AM WRONG! AND...will be FIRST TO BE HERE...if this doesn't get PUSHED THROUGH in DEAD OF NIGHT or attached to some side bill ..."In the Coming Year."

I will be happy to eat my Crow!

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Response to KoKo (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:04 PM

6. Can I hold you to that?

Because I honestly believe it won't happen in the "dead of night" or CERTAINLY not as a rider to another bill.

If the TPP is attached to another bill, there won't be any need to "fast-track" it, will there?

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Response to jazzimov (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:26 PM

8. If the TPP is attached to another bill, there won't be any need to "fast-track" it, will there?

If it Passes in any way that THE PEOPLE don't see as Fair...then it's the same as "dead of night."

I think if it passes it will be done with "slight of hand" so that there's no time to protest and just will have to be accepted as a "done deal."

I said...I will eat crow if it doesn't pass in any sleight of hand. If it passes with Full Vote of House and Senate...then it will be "We've Been Ruined." But, at least it will be a Full and Honest Vote with those who voted for it having to be held accountable.

I'm going for the STEALTH and if it doesn't pass that way...then you can post KOKO with a Plate of CROW. (Just don't be too gross about it because I'm one of those DU'ers who has sensitivity problems with Graphical Photos about Animals and Cruelty.

Find a Plate of Funny Crows without blood or dissection ....and I will deserve it.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 02:52 AM

16. Wouldn't the Senate be the stopper on this? Or are there not enough Democrats willing to?

I'm not real up-to-date on how anyone is on TPP (or trade of any kind, for that matter). I am only assuming that it's such a big deal, overall, that it will happen unless there is some obstruction. I would assume the only obstruction we have would be the Senate.

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Response to silvershadow (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 08:03 AM

19. The TPP is part of the Democratic Party Platform

and, strangely enough...the Republican platform as well


Democratic Party Platform
http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform

We remain committed to finding more markets for American-made goods—including using the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and eight countries in the Asia-Pacific...


Republican Party Platform
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=101961

Because American workers have shown that, on a truly level playing field, they can surpass the competition in international trade, we call for the restoration of presidential Trade Promotion Authority. It will ensure up or down votes in Congress on any new trade agreements, without meddling by special interests. A Republican President will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open rapidly developing Asian markets to U.S. products. Beyond that, we envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets, what has been called a "Reagan Economic Zone," in which free trade will truly be fair trade for all concerned.


This is a done deal unless there is some kind of effective protest.

And considering what Americans will tolerate, that isn't going to happen.
Everyone can blame this on the other party. And watch the Stupor Bowl.

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Response to solarhydrocan (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 10:46 AM

20. Recommend...Both Parties favor TPP.. THANKS!

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Response to KoKo (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:35 PM

28. Well I cannot support that. :( nt

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Response to solarhydrocan (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:38 PM

29. Thank you for calling my attention to that little fact. nt

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Response to jazzimov (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:28 AM

24. Are you saying it won't be pushed through, or that it won't be pushed through in

the middle of the night or attached to another bill?

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:08 PM

7. Under NAFTA, companies including Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical and Eli Lilly have attempted to overrule

 

"Under NAFTA, companies including Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical and Eli Lilly have attempted to overrule Canadian regulations on offshore oil drilling, fracking, pesticides, drug patents and other issues. Companies could challenge an even broader array of rules under the TPP language."

Wonderful, because we wouldn't want any damn foreign countries and their environmental regulations to interfere with our oil corporate giants and their profits.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:26 AM

23. Usually we already fix that sort of thing with regime changes and corrupted officials,

but now - corporations from other countries will be able to sue the United States (country, state, municipality) if they feel the petty little laws and regulations affect profits.

I think it best to think of all the treaties in terms of corporations vs people, not the United States against all the other countries.
To corporations and banks, countries will be like political parties here - useful for divisiveness and misdirection, but really, all the same and manipulated in order to keep profits pouring in.

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:30 PM

9. Good. If negotiations stretch out into spring TPP probably gets delayed until after elections.

The only things capable of killing this deal now are time and sunlight.

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:45 PM

10. It figures this is the one issue republicans will go hand in hand with the president on...

When the president is on the wrong side of an issue.... ( sigh )

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:48 PM

11. K&RRRRRRR!


This entire TPP needs to be dropped by the administration. What happened to if Obama is for it, I'm against it attitude of the R's on this?

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 09:26 PM

12. ^

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 09:32 PM

13. Who has his ear on TPP?

Who's telling him this has to be done? Is he getting his marching orders from oil lobbyists? Does he have direct talks with the coal barons? How about a little transparency?

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 01:24 AM

14. just rename it "ObamaTrades" and get Gohmert to spray something from his fore-rectum agin' it

it'll be like a switch has been thrown--the next morning you can hear the clockwork ticking merrily away inside their skulls

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Response to MisterP (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 02:41 AM

15. I never in a million years thought I would be begging for Gohmert's help, but on this issue I send

wishes for help out into the ether. :/

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Response to MisterP (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 10:54 AM

21. Or obamaPP, lol

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 07:45 AM

18. There's no real support in America either. It's not just the rest of the world.

Americans -- had they access to all the details OCCULTED for now in the TPP -- would rattle the rafters at the White House to completely overhaul this travesty of a treaty. Basically the negotiators are surrendering our global sovereignty to corporations, while legally fencing in the mass of human souls as misbegotten Proles.


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Response to Berlum (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 01:50 PM

27. If you say TPP

or 'the new trade deal' to most Americans they don't know what you are talking about.


Great thanks to our wonderful media. (sarcasm)

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:32 AM

25. Impossible-- he said a bunch of pretty words about equality just days ago.

Maybe he just meant that all the world's serfs should be equally powerless.

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 01:07 PM

26. K&R

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