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©2012 Scott C. Tips
Do you remember when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) were proposed and passed? (Well, CAFTA didn't really pass, except through legislative trickery.) Promises were made about the abundant benefits that would fall into the laps of its signatories, but especially into the lap of the United States. None of those promises were ever kept, except to the large corporations in partnership with their government concubines.
And "Free Trade" as a name in those agreements' titles? That was a misnomer if there ever was one. Those incredibly lengthy documents were all about "Managed Trade" and not the free market. If they had truly been about free trade, then it would have taken one-page, maybe two (for the signatures) to set forth the parties' agreement: "All tariffs and trade barriers between and among the signatory parties are hereby eliminated." So, the Agreements are nothing but a costly joke and a way to usher into our lives a soul-numbing harmonization that already is reducing our freedoms into dim memories and pat slogans of patriotism.
Now arrives yet another insult to our freedoms – the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which some are already describing as "NAFTA on steroids." The TPP, as it is called, is a very-secretive, multi-national trade agreement currently being negotiated among eleven different Pacific-Rim countries and pushed by both Republicans and Democrats. In its fourteenth round of negotiations – which just finished in Leesburg, Virginia, as you read these words – the parties hope to make wide-ranging changes to all parties' laws, rules, and regulations. (See http://www.ustr.gov/tpp)
Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, the United States, and recent newcomers Mexico and Canada (since June 2012) are the negotiating partners. China is a noticeable absence, but the office of the United States Trade Representative has announced that it hopes that 40% of the World's population will eventually be covered by this Agreement. In the same way that the European Union sprang from the loins of the European Economic Community (another free-trade partnership), I see the TPP as the real debut of the global World Government for which some have been so fervently working.
Secrecy Par Excellence
The TPP is so secretive that even Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate committee charged with jurisdiction over "trade" agreements like the TPP, has been blocked from reviewing the United States' own negotiating proposals. Yet, 600 corporate representatives – excuse me, lobbyists – have full access to TPP documents and a special role in negotiations for the United States, let alone all of those other lobbyists acting with the other participating countries.
When you consider that even the World Trade Organization allows its own negotiating texts to be issued to the public, this secrecy is rather strange. Stranger still is that the parties to the TPP have agreed that they will not make public any of their negotiating texts until four years after the deal has been concluded or abandoned!
Couple this secrecy with the feeble coverage by the mainstream press and you have the typical recipe for disastrous surprises for the citizens of these eleven countries as their own laws and customs are overturned.
Here's the Rub
So what will this "trade" agreement do? Well, since it is so secret, we don't really know the full extent of what good or harm it will do. But, some parts of the texts have leaked out and they are not pretty.