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Thu May 24, 2012, 10:28 AM

 

Wyden (D-Ore) revolts over secrecy regarding latest free-trade negotiations

Yesterday, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced legislation to require the Executive Branch to allow his staff and members of Congress with appropriate clearance to have access to information otherwise being made available to "the paid representatives of PHRMA, Halliburton and the Motion Picture Association" regarding the latest free-trade agreement being negotiated between the US and eight Asian-Pacific countries.
http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/blog/post/iycmi-wyden-statement-introducing-congressional-oversight-over-trade-negotiations-act

A one-sided secrecy which has reportedly allowed about 600 corporate advisors (or the "A-Team of corporate lobby groups" to review and comment on the details being negotated while elected representatives for the public, as well as unions, environmental or public health groups, have not had such access has been criticized as being undemocratic and contrary to the public's best interest.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-robertson/trans-pacific-partnership_b_1476261.html

There is concern that, in addition to costing more American jobs, the negotiations for the free-trade agreement (1) are covertly attacking the internet freedom rights that spurred online protests over ACTA and SOPA, (2) would make it more enticing for corporations to offshore jobs by opening our market specifically to Vietnamese labor, (3) would increase the cost of medications outside of the United States, and (4) would ban capital controls and impose limits on financial regulation, including post-recession checks on firm size and risky investments.

Wyden is also concerned that the ultimate deal involving government contracting terms that would ban "Buy American" preferences for U.S. manufacturers.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/trans-pacific-partnership-ron-wyden_n_1540984.html

32 replies, 5085 views

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Reply Wyden (D-Ore) revolts over secrecy regarding latest free-trade negotiations (Original post)
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 OP
MannyGoldstein May 2012 #1
Angry Dragon May 2012 #2
WillyT May 2012 #21
jannyk May 2012 #3
Arugula Latte May 2012 #5
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #10
stevedeshazer May 2012 #23
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #24
stevedeshazer May 2012 #28
dixiegrrrrl May 2012 #4
Egalitarian Thug May 2012 #6
hay rick May 2012 #7
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2012 #9
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #15
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2012 #8
leftyohiolib May 2012 #11
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2012 #12
patrice May 2012 #13
Peace Patriot May 2012 #14
HiPointDem May 2012 #16
brentspeak May 2012 #17
bvar22 May 2012 #18
pa28 May 2012 #19
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #22
pampango May 2012 #20
whathehell May 2012 #31
progressoid May 2012 #25
JDPriestly May 2012 #26
snot May 2012 #27
inna May 2012 #29
bl968 May 2012 #30
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #32

Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:37 AM

1. More "free" trade attacks against the 99%

 

I guess we shouldn't know the details until after the November elections. Or until after the thing's passed.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:39 AM

2. I was promised transparency

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #2)

Thu May 24, 2012, 07:58 PM

21. Me Too

 


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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:45 AM

3. Go Wyden! I love that man. nt

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Response to jannyk (Reply #3)

Thu May 24, 2012, 11:52 AM

5. He's really pissed me off recently by giving cover to the Republicans on Medicare

 

Becoming an ally of Paul Ryan? What a traitor.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #5)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:28 PM

10. Are you trying to hijack this thread by changing the subject and using an ad hominem attack?

 

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) has a long history of protecting seniors and Social Security.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-ron-wyden/preserving-the-medicare-g_b_1365237.html

His unfailing support for seniors and Social Security is one reason why Oregon Democrats, and some Oregon voters registered as Republicans, vote for him.

Just as "A broken clock can be right twice a day," Ryan (R-Wisc) can be right when he agrees with Democrats. This is especially true when he supports a position of a Democrat who has a long history of protecting Social Security and supporting the operation of the federal government in a transparent way.

If you sincerely believe that Wyden (D-Ore) is now an "ally" of Ryan (R-Wisc), why don't you start your own OP?

Your ad hominem attack on Wyden is off topic.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #10)

Thu May 24, 2012, 08:49 PM

23. Respectfully, my opinion of Wyden is much less than yours.

Ron Wyden working with Paul Ryan's budget is nothing short of a sellout of the first magnitude. Paul Ryan's budget is a complete disaster for seniors. It's also completely stupid in a political sense to have a senior Democratic senator supporting Ryan's budget in a big election year.

Wyden has been trading on his reputation from 20-30 years ago, which is admirable. I was one of his biggest supporters in the eighties and nineties. He was great in the Oregon legislature and always supported seniors and worked with the Oregon Gray Panthers. I live in his congressional district and happily voted for him many times and was delighted when he was elected to the US Senate.

But, sorry, this is a step too far. Increasingly, Oregon progressives are coming to the view that Wyden has sold out; he now lives in New York, which makes him something of a carpetbagger, nothing against NYC but we like our politicians to actually live here.

We don't see very much of Wyden these days. A lot of us would actively support a primary challenge but he's not up for election until 2016. Bet we see a whole lot more of him then!

Cheers!

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Response to stevedeshazer (Reply #23)

Thu May 24, 2012, 09:07 PM

24. The topic is the secrecy over the free-trade negotiations, not which of us has the greatest

 

respect for Senator Wyden or whether, if at all true, that "Ron Wyden [is] working with Paul Ryan's budget."

Changing the subject and engaging in ad hominem attacks is an effort to hijack a thread.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #24)

Thu May 24, 2012, 11:30 PM

28. Are you on his staff or something?

Wyden is a windsock. I wish it weren't so.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:49 AM

4. Unbelievable. Congress is not allowed to see national policy

which is being written by corproations.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)

Thu May 24, 2012, 11:55 AM

6. Saved me some typing, thanks. n/t

 

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:02 PM

7. How bad can it possibly be?

The bought and paid for congress isn't allowed to see the details...

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:18 PM

9. Our "transparent" executive branch is afraid the congress might leak it to (GASP!) the people.

 

Who are too ignorant (because they're kept in the dark) to grasp the necessity of getting laid off.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)

Thu May 24, 2012, 02:26 PM

15. The ones that count:

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:13 PM

8. So, is "transparency in government" to be replaced by "Opacity in government" as a campaign slogan?

 

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #8)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:29 PM

11. nope it's been changed to "you'll see what I choose to show you now stfu and stfd"

 

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #11)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:50 PM

12. And, "eat your peas!"

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:58 PM

13. K&R and Shared.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 01:03 PM

14. Hm. I've been wondering about the Chinese dissident and the Secret Service parties that...

...have drowned out news of what, exactly, Clinton has been negotiating with China and Colombia.

I DO think that our transglobal corporate rulers and their servants in our government set things up to distract us with, and that the transglobal corporate press goes right along with it.

Both of these stories struck me as "cover" for something. But what?

It's hard to keep up with all that is being sold out from under us and everything that is being done to fool us about it. But I will say this: The "distraction" stories, along with the corporate-run, 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines, are a kind of left-handed compliment. The 1% are going to an awful lot of trouble to keep the American people ignorant and demoralized.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #14)

Thu May 24, 2012, 02:32 PM

16. +1

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 02:37 PM

17. Obama's trade rep Ron Kirk is a sociopathic liar and corporate tool

Absolutely no different than the worst of Bush's stooges:



http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120516/01342918937/dear-ron-kirk-transparency-isnt-hearing-critics-its-telling-public-what-youre-doing.shtml

Dear Ron Kirk: Transparency Isn't Hearing From Critics, It's Telling The Public What You're Doing

We've been spending a lot of time talking about just how secretive the USTR (led by its boss Ron Kirk) has been concerning the TPP negotiations. However, what may be even worse isn't just Ron Kirk's stonewalling, it's the fact that he either does not know what transparency means, or is playing dumb when confronted on the issue. Last week, we noted that his response to a letter from legal scholars requesting more transparency insulted the intelligence of those scholars, when he said he was "insulted" himself by the claim that the USTR was not transparent in the TPP negotiations. As evidence of his supposed transparency, he noted: "USTR has conducted in excess of 400 consultations with Congressional and private stakeholders on the TPP, including inviting stakeholders to all of the twelve negotiating rounds."

We already noted that he was playing word games here and being disingenuous, but it's even worse than that. As Sherwyn Siy properly points out, what Kirk is pointing out isn't transparency. All he's talking about is hearing various opinions -- not sharing what the USTR is actually doing. As Siy points out transparency is about information flow in the other direction:

This is a key point that needs to be made about transparency—it's not about whether or not the government has the relevant opinions of the public. Transparency is about the flow of information the other way—information about the workings of government being visible to the people it is supposed to represent. That is precisely what is lacking in this process. This should be an obvious point, but it's one that Kirk's response either fundamentally misunderstands or deliberately sidesteps. So long as no actual proposed text comes to light (you know, the way draft laws and international treaties are published), the process remains opaque, and no amount of input from whatever stakeholders into the TPP process makes up for a lack of real information flowing the other way.

Until Ron Kirk is willing to address that point, his disingenuous and insulting claims about how many meetings he's holding are meaningless fluff from someone who is avoiding his official duty as a representative of the American public.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 03:52 PM

18. It is very simple really.

One can NOT be FOR Free Trade,
and Pro-LABOR/American Working Class at the same time.
The two positions ARE mutually exclusive.

It IS possible to pay Lip Service to the American Working Class,
but advance the agenda of the 1% behind the scenery.



&NR=1


You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their excuses.
[font size=5 color=green]Solidarity99![/font][font size=2 color=green]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/center]

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #18)

Thu May 24, 2012, 07:29 PM

19. And if you notice Ron Wyden is doing the same thing.

At the end of his statement Wyden says he supports the agreements even though he just admitted he has no idea what the actual contents are.

A casual reading might give you the impression Senator Wyden is making a pro-labor stand but he's really doing just the opposite. Cory Booker could learn a lesson or two from this old pro.

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Response to pa28 (Reply #19)

Thu May 24, 2012, 08:29 PM

22. Actually, his words at the end of his statement speak for themselves:

 

My intent is to do everything I can to see that this legislation is advanced quickly and becomes law, so that elected Members of Congress can do what the Constitution requires and what their constituents expect.

I yield the floor.

http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/blog/post/iycmi-wyden-statement-introducing-congressional-oversight-over-trade-negotiations-act

The words "so that elected Members of Congress can do what the Constitution requires and what their constituents expect" are exactly the right words that a responsible Senator should say when representing his constituants and when finding it necessary to introduce legislation so that he and others can have access to the information that the "A team" lobbyists already have.

If you are interpreting his words "My intent is to do everything I can to see that this legislation is advanced quickly and becomes law," without his qualifying words that follow in the same sentence, as meaning that he is doing the opposite of making a pro-labor stand and that he is unconditionally supporting the pending free-trade agreement regardless of what it provides, then you are obviously interpreting the phrase out of context. And you are reading it too narrowly.

You would have more support for an interpretation that he is anti-labor if he had a history of being anti-labor. He doesn't. That is one reason why many of his pro-labor constituents vote for him.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #18)

Thu May 24, 2012, 07:57 PM

20. Tell that to the German and the Swedes. They have stronger union and more free trade

than we do.

Not only can one be pro-trade and pro-labor, but countries with the strongest unions also have the highest levels of trade, including 'free trade'.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #18)

Fri May 25, 2012, 08:55 AM

31. Which may give us some inkling

as to why he's been so lame on the Union fights in Wisconsin and other states.

"Comfortable shoes" indeed.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 09:48 PM

25. Well, that's just changetastic.

Good for Wyden.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:31 PM

26. Thank you, Senator Wyden.

I think we are getting to know a potential presidential contender in 2016.

Reading further, I don't think I want to know him any better than I do. Thanks for those who alerted me to Wyden's conservative side and his support for these horrible agreements.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 11:22 PM

27. For everyone's info,

I understand that drafts that have been leaked indicate it's our worst nightmare on nearly every issue – internet freedoms, pollution, bank regulation, labor protections, GMO foods, generic medicines, etc., etc.

More info at Public Citizen: http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=3306&q=tpp .

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 02:27 AM

29. important - "NAFTA on steroids" does not even *begin* to describe this monstrosity

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 08:35 AM

30. Change the terms of the debate

Stop calling these free trade agreements and when anyone calls them one, correct them pointing out that these "free trade agreements" are nothing more than "cheapest labor agreements". They are intended to make it possible for big business to off shore more American jobs in the process of shopping for the cheapest labor rates possible. These agreements are inherently unAmerican and are totally unDemocratic.

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Response to bl968 (Reply #30)

Fri May 25, 2012, 09:06 AM

32. "Cheapest-labor agreements" is the more accurate buzz phrase. I'm going to borrow it.

 

Many of the people who are misusing the language for their own deceptive purposes learned from Orwell or others how to use double-speak.

War is "defense."
Free airport feel-ups are "pat downs."
Anti-union laws are "right to work laws."
And, as you point out, cheapest-labor agreements are now "free-trade agreements."

Next, we'll probably find out that some persons who have strong anti-democratic track records are "Democrats."

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