TPP & TTIP Are Sketchy When It Comes To Labor Unions And Sovereignty Rights

The TPP and TTIP conditions have not been released to the public, according to freespeechTV.  They have been (mis-)represented in America’s press as “trade” deals, but instead they’re actually about sovereignty, writes Eric Zuesse of The Huffington Post.

They’re about America and the other participating countries giving their democratic sovereignty – on regulation of consumer protection, worker protection, finance, and the environment – over to panels.  The panels’ members will be selected by the large international corporations that have been working with President Obama’s Trade Representative for years to create these “trade” treaties, writes Zuesse.

If some corporation “C” under these “trade deals” brings a case to one of those panels and says that country “X” has any regulations regarding the environment, consumer protection, worker protection, or finance, that are stricter than the ones that are set forth in TPP and TTIP, then country X will be assessed to pay a fine to corporation C, for “unfair trade practices” against that corporation.

So, laws in the TPP or TTIP supercede the laws of the U.S. in that regard.

These corporate panels will constitute a new international “government,” with the power to fine countries for exceeding the regulations that are set forth in these international ‘trade’ treaties, writes The Huffington Post.

President Obama’s Trade Representative, Michael Froman, has told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s not a  violation of workers’ rights, and it is nothing that is of concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or enforcement.

On April 22nd, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, wrote an article titled “AFL-CIO’s Trumka:  USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t A Violation,” and reported that, “Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader disagreed with such claims Tuesday, revealing that administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.”

So, would the U.S. be helpless to change things if a country like Columbia murders union leaders?

This is and will be the low level playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in the TPP and TTIP, just as it is already, in the far-smaller NAFTA, according to The Huffington Post.

“Trumka (of the AFL-CIO labor union) said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.”  And it looks like under the TPP, there is little that America could do about it.

(Updated article)

Huff Post Poll Shows Most People Have No Idea What A House Benghazi Investigation Just Found

When the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released a report on the Friday before Thanksgiving clearing U.S. officials of multiple accusations leveled after the 2012 Benghazi attacks, it didn’t seem to get the public’s attention.

Eighty-four percent of Americans said they had heard little or nothing about the report’s release, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Just 28 percent knew the investigation didn’t find evidence of intelligence failures before the attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, or wrongdoing in officials’ response to the attacks.

A nearly equal 25 percent thought the report found wrongdoing. The remaining 47 percent weren’t sure.

Partisanship (obviously) had a lot to do with people’s guesses as to what the report said.

Although Republicans were significantly more likely than others to say they had paid at least some attention to the results of the investigation, they were also the most likely to get it wrong, saying by a 10-point margin that it blamed, rather than absolved, U.S. officials.

Democrats, by a 20-point margin, said it vindicated the officials, while those independents who offered an opinion were about evenly split.

Opinions on how the Obama administration handled the Benghazi attacks two years ago also remain split along party lines. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say the administration deliberately misled the American people, by 79 percent to 19 percent.

The House committee found that early wrong statements by Obama administration officials were caused by conflicting information rather than purposeful deception.

As recently as this June, most Americans supported further investigation into Benghazi, and while the GOP’s interest has long outpaced that of other groups, overall focus on the story has been low for many months.

In 2013, a Gallup poll found that just 21 percent of Americans were paying very close attention to congressional hearings on the attacks. By June 2014, the number had moved down to 19 percent.