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Trade Agreements: TTPA, TTIP

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  • Trade Agreements: TTPA, TTIP

    Obama appears to be making a big push to get the TTPA trade agreement (described fairly accurately I think as "NAFTA on steroids") signed off in the next couple of months, which he seems to think will be one of the crowning achievements of his presidency.

    The Republicans currently appear to be playing into his hands, with bills in both the house and the senate currently proposing to give Obama more power to sign such agreements without congress having ever seen them and to limit the ability of the house and senate to alter such agreements ("fast track").

    This agreement would creating sweeping international laws binding on its signatory nations, preventing those countries enacting future laws to protect workers, consumers, or the environment, that would harm multinational corporate interests. It would make it easier for multinationals to outsource jobs. It would give multinational corporations the power to sue governments for any actions the government took which might cause a loss in "expected profits". It essentially amounts to a significant handover of power from democratically elected governments to multinational corporations, with those governments significantly renouncing their ability to exert future control over the activities of multinational corporations. Because these trade deals are being negotiated in secret, the public (and congress) only knows what is contained in them due to ongoing leaks throughout the negotiation process.

    One Democrat (Bob Casey) recently commented that the lobbyists are out in force on this, with there being more lobbyists talking to the politicians on this issue (from the multinational corporations in favor of the agreement) than any other issue at all. Obama himself is extremely strongly in favor of these agreements - a significant reversal from his 2008 pre-election policy position when he claimed to be against NAFTA and other such trade agreements.

    Under pressure from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (who have consistently been opposed to such trade agreements, and are making a big issue of it), Hillary Clinton this week also expressed her opposition to such agreements (although I'm not sure people actually believe her claimed stance - her husband signed NAFTA).

    The media appears extremely reluctant to cover it, with most people seemingly not knowing what the TTPA or TTIP even are. Ironic, given they are probably the single biggest issues of our time.

    Currently it appears that the TTPA will pass due to the Republican control of both houses, as the Republicans seem willing to cede power to Obama and to foreign interests on the issue.

  • #2
    If this is the same deal I think you're talking about, I also oppose it... If this is the agreement that I think it is, then that doesn't bode well.
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    • #3
      For those interested in getting a better general understanding about these agreements and what's in them:
      The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP or TPPA) is between the US and 11 countries around the pacific, while the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is between the US and the EU. Both appear to be very similar in content and are both currently under negotiation. The TPP is almost ready for final sign-off, which is why it's currently in the news, while the TTIP isn't finalized yet.

      The basic idea behind both agreements is to create an environment favorable for foreign investment within these countries, by limiting the power to the governments to enact laws to regulate or control the activities of corporations, and granting a wish-list of laws to multinational corporations to provide for them the type of environment they prefer to operate within. Advocates claim that the resulting freedom for multinationals to outsource, globalize, and increase foreign investment, might increase GDP by as much as 1% over the next decade. Opponents claim that there is likely to be massive job-losses from outsourcing, and fear the consequences for workers, consumers, the environment, and the economy as the governments involved cede their rights to be able to properly protect those interests.

      These articles give a break-down as to what people are afraid these two 'trade agreements' will lead to. (I use the phrase 'trade agreements' loosely because these are about setting up a system of international law that overrides the legislation that individual countries are capable of passing, not about trade per se.)

      Here is a good 11 minute youtube opinion piece discussing the issues of the TPP.

      There was also a nice rant recently by Ed Schultz on MSNBC telling Obama where he can shove the TPP.
      Last edited by Starlight; 05-01-2015, 10:24 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Starlight View Post
        Currently it appears that the TTPA will pass due to the Republican control of both houses, as the Republicans seem willing to cede power to Obama and to foreign interests on the issue.
        Well, it's "Free Trade". FREEDOM!!!!!

        Also lots of profits for the elites. What's not to love?

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        • #5
          Finally, an issue Starlight can be in full agreement with vdare.com on.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oops, I see in the OP and thread title I consistently got the acronym wrong as TTPA rather than TPPA. I guess it's like "mind your Ps and Qs" but instead with Ps and Ts?

            Comment


            • #7
              Senate Democrats this week blocked the bill that Republicans proposed in order to give power to Obama to 'fast-track' trade deals. In a vote almost entirely down party lines, the Republican senate voted to give more power to Obama to allow him authority to bypass congressional oversight of the details of trade negotiations, with the Democrats in the senate voting against it.

              Apparently the Republicans want Obama to have more power to negotiate without oversight?!?

              Unfortunately today there is breaking news that an agreement has been struck. This suggests that in a re-vote next week, a small group of pro-corporate democrats in the senate will switch their votes and vote with the Republicans to give Obama these new powers.

              ~sigh~

              Once again we see Obama betraying the left and revealing his right-wing corporatist leanings.

              Once again we see ignorant and naive Republican voters betrayed by their own representatives, who are desperate to give more power to Obama because it furthers the interest of the multinational corporations who fund their political campaigns, rather than stand up for any of their supposed principles. And because tea party and republican voters are too ignorant, incompetent, and ill-informed, those politicians are once again not going to pay any price for their betrayal. It's a rather depressing train-wreck to watch.

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              • #8
                International corporations and globalism in general are inherently left wing. Obama is not betraying anybody, he "gets the message", unlike Warren.

                It's also amusing that you think most Democrats don't support this. It's all a sideshow, if Republicans rebelled against it Democrat votes would magically materialize.
                Last edited by Darth Executor; 05-13-2015, 10:09 PM.
                "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                  For those interested in getting a better general understanding about these agreements and what's in them:
                  The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP or TPPA) is between the US and 11 countries around the pacific, while the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is between the US and the EU. Both appear to be very similar in content and are both currently under negotiation. The TPP is almost ready for final sign-off, which is why it's currently in the news, while the TTIP isn't finalized yet.

                  The basic idea behind both agreements is to create an environment favorable for foreign investment within these countries, by limiting the power to the governments to enact laws to regulate or control the activities of corporations, and granting a wish-list of laws to multinational corporations to provide for them the type of environment they prefer to operate within. Advocates claim that the resulting freedom for multinationals to outsource, globalize, and increase foreign investment, might increase GDP by as much as 1% over the next decade. Opponents claim that there is likely to be massive job-losses from outsourcing, and fear the consequences for workers, consumers, the environment, and the economy as the governments involved cede their rights to be able to properly protect those interests.

                  These articles give a break-down as to what people are afraid these two 'trade agreements' will lead to. (I use the phrase 'trade agreements' loosely because these are about setting up a system of international law that overrides the legislation that individual countries are capable of passing, not about trade per se.)

                  Here is a good 11 minute youtube opinion piece discussing the issues of the TPP.

                  There was also a nice rant recently by Ed Schultz on MSNBC telling Obama where he can shove the TPP.
                  I agree with you for the most part, but your view of "tea party" is skewed. Though the establishment Reps in office tout themselves as tea party candidates, it's only a name they tout. They all vote for bail-outs, they all vote for NDAA, they all vote for more defense spending, they all show support for gun control reform, they all show support for immigration reform, they all express little concern about the militarization of police. The fact you believe they really represent tea party principals proves it's working like a charm. Opposition of TPP and what it represents is very much alive in the independent news media arena where most of those who express support for tea party principals are found and have been sounding the alarms about it ever since it was introduced.
                  "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                    International corporations and globalism in general are inherently left wing.


                    Globalization of trade has long been the hobbyhorse of ultra-right-wing pro-free-market economists.

                    It's also amusing that you think most Democrats don't support this. It's all a sideshow, if Republicans rebelled against it Democrat votes would magically materialize.
                    Ah the conspiracy where what people vote for is not at all what they actually believe... and where Democrats and Republicans despite being opponents on the surface are really working together...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                      Globalization of trade has long been the hobbyhorse of ultra-right-wing pro-free-market economists.
                      Pro-free market is not what makes someone ultra right wing. The moral underpinning of globalization of trade is equality: the idea that you should not be banned or restricted from selling your goods in another country on account of your race, creed or religion. The right only became associated with it because of American politics. America's founders were far left, so its conservatives will be far left in many ways.

                      Ah the conspiracy where what people vote for is not at all what they actually believe... and where Democrats and Republicans despite being opponents on the surface are really working together...
                      Obama was the Elizabeth Warren of his time when he was a senator. He doesn't have to worry about re-election, and yet he does corporate bidding. Why? Oh yeah, because it's all a sham. The Democratic party is fretting about losing too much of the white vote so they have to put up some theater where they pretend to oppose something right before it passes.
                      "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                      There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                        Pro-free market is not what makes someone ultra right wing. The moral underpinning of globalization of trade is equality: the idea that you should not be banned or restricted from selling your goods in another country on account of your race, creed or religion. The right only became associated with it because of American politics.
                        As per usual, what you've said is totally ridiculous, and totally wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                          As per usual, what you've said is totally ridiculous, and totally wrong.
                          As per usual you have nothing interesting, intelligent or informative to contribute.
                          "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                          There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Starlight View Post


                            Globalization of trade has long been the hobbyhorse of ultra-right-wing pro-free-market economists.

                            Which is why one of the greatest recent attempts to establish free trade, ie. the EU, is supported by right-wingers, and those who oppose it are primarily left-wingers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                              Which is why one of the greatest recent attempts to establish free trade, ie. the EU, is supported by right-wingers, and those who oppose it are primarily left-wingers.
                              The EU is a complex behemoth and the reasons people support or oppose it commonly have nothing whatsoever to do with trade, so that's not a good example.

                              Globalization of trade is widely opposed by unions as it is usually regarded as a threat to domestic labor markets, as outsourcing production and closing local manufacturing plants is a fairly common result of free trade. The left has a general history of advocating for protectionist trade policies. I'm a bit confused you want to debate this really: It's a fairly basic fact that unions tend to favor left-wing political parties (and vice versa), and that unions tend to oppose free trade agreements. Anyone who doesn't understand that has probably missed political science 101. Here, for example, is the US's biggest union leader hating on the TPP.

                              In contrast, the owners of large companies are commonly enthused by globalization as they see in free trade the potential to sell their products into bigger markets, and to reduce their overheads through outsourcing. So freeing up trade is typically something the rich and wealthy and big-business owners are in favor of.

                              To give a few specific examples: Adam Smith, and Milton Friedman strongly supported free trade, while Karl Marx was strongly against it.
                              Last edited by Starlight; 05-14-2015, 06:38 AM.

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