What Is The Situation With The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) ?


Three weeks ago, MSNBC led a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama that primarily concerned his administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.  During the interview, the host gave the president a platform to fire back against criticism the plan has been getting from opponents like Senator Warren.  The president said she was “wrong.”

In an interview with Matt Bai of Yahoo News recently, the President reiterated his statement against the progressive leader Warren. “She’s absolutely wrong,” he said.

One of the strangest things about the trade deal TPP is the secrecy surrounding it.

It is so secretive that in March, the New York Times wrote an article about it in collaboration with WikiLeaks – the Julian Assange leak website.

NYT:   “The chapter in the draft of the trade deal, dated Jan. 20, 2015, and obtained by The New York Times in collaboration with the group WikiLeaks, is certain to kindle opposition…”

If Senator Warren is wrong, then why can’t the American public know the details of the trade deal? What we do know is that across the board, the TPP is going to open the door for foreign lawsuits against the U.S.  It has also been claimed that the U.S. lost over 5,000,000 jobs from the last big trade deal, NAFTA.

Free Speech TV discusses it.

MSNBC Hardball: Obama Says Elizabeth Warren Is Wrong On TPP


On Tuesday afternoon three weeks ago – April 21st – MSNBC led a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama that primarily concerned his administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

This interview got a lot of attention among liberal pundits, many of whom feel that Massachusetts Senator Warren (D) was right and the deal could lead to the export of jobs and lowering of wages.

During Obama’s two terms in office, the U.S. has experienced slow, steady economic growth and economic indicators are up. Is it appropriate to risk a downturn or negative impact on the economy?

In the MSNBC Hardball interview, the host gave the president a platform to fire back against criticism the plan has been getting from opponents like Senator Warren.  In it, the president said she was “wrong.”

The TPP Trade Deal


Ed Schultz of MSNBC is upset with the president over the TPP trade agreement. There is general agreement on the left that large trade deals such as NAFTA end up hurting the U.S. by making it easier for American corporations to ship jobs to factories overseas, where wages are lower.

There is also evidence that trade with the U.S. is getting more lopsided and trade deficits have become larger since NAFTA, the last trade big trade deal. The TPP is also supposed to be a bigger trade agreement than NAFTA.

Another issue on the table: why is the TPP such a secretive trade agreement?

Does Clinton Have Issues With Unions And The TPP?

The likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has yet to show her feelings towards the latest effort to pass “fast track” trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

However, that could happen as soon as Monday morning when she takes the stage with prominent labor leaders at a Washington event put on by a liberal-leaning political think tank.

What she says could improve or worsen her position with unions, Democratic colleagues in Congress, the business community, and/or the sitting president, Barack Obama.

Liberal Democrats urging Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to get in the presidential race want Clinton to clarify her position as early as possible, given the fact that there is pending action in Congress on a “fast track” trade promotion authority bill, said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America.

Sroka said that some of the first questions she is asked as a presidential candidate could be about TPP and fast track.

“There’s lots of reasons that people are excited about getting Elizabeth Warren into the presidential race, but her outspokenness in the battle against TPP … is something that speaks to the progressive base’s concerns and is attracting people to this campaign.”

Union groups, including the AFL-CIO labor federation, also have deep concerns about the prospective trade pact with Japan and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific that, along with the United States, represent more than 40 percent of world gross domestic product.

“Every single thing in our trade deals should be openly discussed and subject to public oversight and the full legislative process,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a recent speech. “There should be no question about that. Fast track is wrong and undemocratic. It’s a rotten process, and the American labor movement intends to kill it.”

The labor federation fears the deal will encourage companies to move more jobs overseas, suppressing wages in the United States.

Obama wants Congress to approve the legislation quickly so he can wrap up the TPP pact and submit it to Congress for a vote later this year.

Trade promotion authority would allow him to submit trade agreements, like the proposed TPP, to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote without any amendments.

The next president – whoever it is – could also use the authority to negotiate a deal bringing China into the pact.

Trade promotion authority is also known as “fast track” because of its expedited voting procedures that union groups and many progressive Democrats don’t like.

Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, used the “fast track” procedure to win approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute blames for hundreds of thousands of lost jobs.

Clinton voted against the fast-track legislation the last time it was approved in 2002, although her husband repeatedly pushed for the same authority when he was president.

However, as Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton was closely associated with the agreement.



(Updated article)

Media Refuses To Cover Trans Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed trade agreement between 12 “member” countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, The U.S.,  and Vietnam.

There have been complaints that the agreement will benefit the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the average person.

Wikipedia states that economist Joseph Stiglitz, organized labor, and The Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic and Policy Research argued that the TPP could benefit the wealthy but result in further job losses and declining wages.

“In December 2013, 151 House Democrats signed a letter written by Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and George Miller (D-CA), which opposed the fast track trade promotion authority for the TPP. Several House Republicans opposed the measure on the grounds that it empowered the executive branch. In January 2014, House Democrats refused to put forward a co-sponsor for the legislation, hampering the bill’s prospects for passage.”

Noam Chomsky, Senator Bernie Sanders, economist Paul Krugman, and economist Robert Reich have all complained that the TPP would lower wages for average people and help the wealthy become richer.

According to sources, the trade agreement has also largely been negotiated in secret. According to Wikipedia, Senator Ron Wyden, Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Alan Grayson have all complained about the level of secrecy surrounding the negotiations.

Secular Talk looks at the reasons why the media is ignoring the issue.

Secular Talk