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Democrats Hurt Their Own Base With Trade Pacts

Democrats love free trade agreements, even though they destroy their own powers traditional base, the working people of the United States.

Remember NAFTA, the gift of Bill Clinton and enthusiastically supported by Hillary? It took an independent, eccentric presidential candidate – Texas plutocrat Ross Perot – to point out that the real losers would be American workers.

Other big losers included the environment and government transparency, since NAFTA, like subsequent trade deals, provides for secret tribunals in which corporations can sue sovereign [sic] nations is their laws get in the way of profits, tribunals which never release transcripts nor even detailed reports on the facts and arguments presented.

But Obama is pushing hard for an agreement that will give corporations even greater power and allowing them to escape the last vestiges of taxation.

It’s called the Trans Pacific Partnership, and one of its leading opponents is a legislator who also fought against NAFTA. He’s the only socialist in the national legislature, Vermont’s independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and he’s launching a national petition drive against the surrender of national sovereignty to transnational corporations and banksters.

From his website:

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.

    The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.

    Further, all Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the ‘fast track’ process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests.

    The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China. These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories. These corporately backed trade agreements have significantly contributed to the race to the bottom, the collapse of the American middle class and increased wealth and income inequality. The TPP is more of the same, but even worse.

TPP is much more than a ‘free trade’ agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system. If TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.

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