Out-Of-Touch Congress Needs TPP Education Before Too Late
With negotiators trying to bring TPP pact talks to a conclusion in the next few months, the U.S. Congress doesn’t seem to notice that they’re just a few weeks away from weighing whether to grant President Barack Obama fast-track authority to usher the evolving treaty into law untouched by lawmakers’ hands.
Thanks to the extreme secrecy, the White House argues is essential to forging a deal, with which the 12 participating nations have negotiated, U.S. lawmakers know very little about what will emerge. Adding fast-track to secrecy would make it even more difficult for them to have any sort of say to address major sticking points surrounding TPP -- including its potential economic impact, power to supersede national laws and its unbalanced deal-making process that gives corporate interests the upper hand over the public interest.
Observed Ben Beachy of interest group Public Citizen to The Nation recently: “For corporations, the TPP is a convenient back-door means of undermining public interest policies that they oppose but are not able to undermine through domestic legislation.”
Back in June, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson managed to gain access to a TPP draft, which he called “a gross abrogation of American sovereignty.”
What’s the American public to do? Get out there and raise hell during this month’s congressional recess. Unless you tell them what to do with TPP, they’ll just march in lock-step with the White House and multi-national corporations that stand to benefit. For congressional town hall info, see: http://www.accountablecongress.com/.