FAST TRACK Negotiating Authority For Trade Agreements! The Global Economy Is A SCAM Only Benefiting The Self-Centered Capitalists Around The Planet, Not The Average Working People In Any Country. Whenever Anyone Speaks Favorably About Free Trade Agreements Or Fast Track Authority, You Know Instantly That Person Is A) A Naïve, Propagandized Sponge Or B) A Lying Aristocratic Wannabe Or C) All The Above! World Problems Are Ubiquitous & Innumerable, But Solutions For Economic Problems Posed By Corporations & Governments INVARIABLY Favor Only Those With Deep Pockets & Avarice As Their Prime Directive, Not Average Working People. And These ‘Leaders’ Generally Spout Some Variation Of TINA (There Is No Alternative). What They Mean Is “No Alternative, Which Allows Capitalist Rogues To Profit Immensely On The Backs Of Average Working Stiffs!” Never Trust Anyone, Who Espouses These ‘Solutions’ – Political Poison Can Be Made To Please The Senses – At Least Until It Becomes Law!

 

BLANK CHECK FOR CORPORATISTS

& POLITICOS

 

Fast track (trade)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Also called trade promotion authority (TPA) since 2002, fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

 

Contents

 

Enactment and history

Congress started the fast track authority in the Trade Act of 1974, § 151–154 (19 U.S.C. § 2191–2194). This authority was set to expire in 1980, but was extended for eight years in 1979.[1] It was renewed in 1988 for five years to accommodate negotiation of the Uruguay Round, conducted within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).[2] It was then extended to 16 April 1994,[3][4][5] which is one day after the Uruguay Round concluded in the Marrakech Agreement, transforming the GATT into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Pursuant to that grant of authority, Congress then enacted implementing legislation for the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Area, the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

 

In the second half of the 1990s, fast track authority languished due to opposition from House Republicans.[6]

 

Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush made fast track part of his campaign platform in 2000.[7] In May 2001, as president he made a speech about the importance of free trade at the annual Council of the Americas in New York, founded by David Rockefeller and other senior U.S. businessmen in 1965. Subsequently, the Council played a role in the implementation and securing of TPA through Congress.[8]

 

At 3:30 a.m. on July 27, 2002, the House passed the Trade Act of 2002 narrowly by a 215 to 212 vote with 190 Republicans and 27 Democrats making up the majority. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 64 to 34 on August 1, 2002. The Trade Act of 2002, § 2103–2105 (19 U.S.C. § 3803–3805), extended and conditioned the application of the original procedures.

 

Under the second period of fast track authority, Congress enacted implementing legislation for the U.S.–Chile Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the Australia–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Morocco Free Trade Agreement, the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.–Oman Free Trade Agreement, and the Peru–U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement. The authority expired on July 1, 2007.[9]

 

In October 2011, the Congress and President Obama enacted into law the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the South Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and the Panama–U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement using fast track rules, all of which the George W. Bush administration signed before the deadline.[10]

 

In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that renewal of the authority is a requirement for the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which have been undertaken as if the authority were still in effect.[11] In July 2013, Michael Froman, the newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative, renewed efforts to obtain Congressional reinstatement of “fast track” authority. At nearly the same time, Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Froman about the prospect of a secretly negotiated, binding international agreement such as TPP that might turn out to supersede U.S. wage, safety, and environmental laws.[12] Other legislators expressed concerns about foreign currency manipulation, food safety laws, state-owned businesses, market access for small businesses, access to pharmaceutical products, and online commerce.[10]

 

In early 2014, Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Dave Camp introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014,[13] which sought to reauthorize trade promotion authority and establish a number of priorities and requirements for trade agreements.[14] Its sponsors called it a “vital tool” in connection with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and trade negotiations with the EU.[13] Critics said the bill could detract from “transparency and accountability”. Sander Levin, who is the ranking Democratic member on the House Ways and Means committee, said he would make an alternative proposal.[15]

 

Procedure

If the President transmits a fast track trade agreement to Congress, then the majority leaders of the House and Senate or their designees must introduce the implementing bill submitted by the President on the first day on which their House is in session. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(c)(1).) Senators and Representatives may not amend the President’s bill, either in committee or in the Senate or House. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(d).) The committees to which the bill has been referred have 45 days after its introduction to report the bill, or be automatically discharged, and each House must vote within 15 days after the bill is reported or discharged. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(1).)

 

In the likely case that the bill is a revenue bill (as tariffs are revenues), the bill must originate in the House (see U.S. Const., art I, sec. 7), and after the Senate received the House-passed bill, the Finance Committee would have another 15 days to report the bill or be discharged, and then the Senate would have another 15 days to pass the bill. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(2).) On the House and Senate floors, each Body can debate the bill for no more than 20 hours, and thus Senators cannot filibuster the bill and it will pass with a simple majority vote. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(f)-(g).) Thus the entire Congressional consideration could take no longer than 90 days.

 

Negotiating objectives

According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress categorizes trade-negotiating objectives in three ways: overall objectives, principal objectives, and other priorities. The broader goals encapsulate the overall direction trade negotiations take, such as enhancing the United States’ and other countries’ economies. Principal objectives are detailed goals that Congress expects to be integrated into trade agreements, such as “reducing barriers and distortions to trade (e.g., goods, services, agriculture); protecting foreign investment and intellectual property rights; encouraging transparency; establishing fair regulatory practices; combating corruption; ensuring that countries enforce their environmental and labor laws; providing for an effective dispute settlement process; and protecting the U.S. right to enforce its trade remedy laws”. Consulting Congress is also an important objective.[16]

 

Principal objectives include:

 

  • Market access: These negotiating objectives seek to reduce or eliminate barriers that limit market access for U.S. products. “It also calls for the use of sectoral tariff and non-tariff barrier elimination agreements to achieve greater market access.”
  • Services: Services objectives “require that U.S. negotiator strive to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade in services, including regulations that deny nondiscriminatory treatment to U.S. services and inhibit the right of establishment (through foreign investment) to U.S. service providers.”
  • Agriculture: There are three negotiating objectives regarding agriculture. One lays out in greater detail what U.S. negotiators should achieve in negotiating robust trade rules on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The second calls for trade negotiators to ensure transparency in how tariff-rate quotas are administered that may impede market access opportunities. The third seeks to eliminate and prevent the improper use of a country’s system to protect or recognize geographical indications (GI). These are trademark-like terms used to protect the quality and reputation of distinctive agricultural products, wines and spirits produced in a particular region of a country. This new objective is intended to counter in large part the European Union’s efforts to include GI protection in its bilateral trade agreements for the names of its products that U.S. and other country exporters argue are generic in nature or commonly used across borders, such as parma ham or Parmesan cheese.”
  • Investment/Investor rights: “The overall negotiating objectives on foreign investment are designed “to reduce or eliminate artificial or trade distorting barriers to foreign investment, while ensuring that foreign investors in the United States are not accorded greater substantive rights with respect to investment protections than domestic investors in the United States, and to secure for investors important rights comparable to those that would be available under the United States legal principles and practices.”[17]

 

Scope

Fast track agreements were enacted as “congressional-executive agreements” (CEAs), which must be approved by a simple majority in both chambers of Congress.

 

Although Congress cannot explicitly transfer its powers to the executive branch, the 1974 trade promotion authority had the effect of delegating power to the executive, minimizing consideration of the public interest, and limiting the legislature’s influence over the bill to an up or down vote:[18]

 

  • It allowed the executive branch to select countries for, set the substance of, negotiate and then sign trade agreements without prior congressional approval.
  • It allowed the executive branch to negotiate trade agreements covering more than just tariffs and quotas.
  • It established a committee system, comprising 700 industry representatives appointed by the president, to serve as advisors to the negotiations. Throughout trade talks, these individuals had access to confidential negotiating documents. Most members of Congress and the public had no such access, and there were no committees for consumer, health, environmental or other public interests.
  • It empowered the executive branch to author an agreement’s implementing legislation without Congressional input.
  • It required the executive branch to notify Congress 90 days before signing and entering into an agreement, but allowed unlimited time for the implementing legislation to be submitted.
  • It forced a floor vote on the agreement and its implementing legislation in both chambers of Congress; the matters could not “die in committee.”
  • It eliminated several floor procedures, including Senate unanimous consent, normal debate and cloture rules, and the ability to amend the legislation.
  • It prevented filibuster by limiting debate to 20 hours in each chamber.
  • It elevated the Special Trade Representative (STR) to the cabinet level, and required the Executive Office to house the agency.

 

The 1979 version of the authority changed the name of the STR to the U.S. Trade Representative.[18]

 

The 2002 version of the authority created an additional requirement for 90-day notice to Congress before negotiations could begin.[18]

 

Arguments in favor

  • Helps pass trade agreements: According to AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson, Trade Promotion Authority is “critical to completing new trade agreements that have the potential to unleash U.S. economic growth and investment”. Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, also said “the United States might become less competitive globally if it disengaged from seeking further trade openings: ‘If you’re not in an agreement—that trade will be diverted from us to someone else—we will lose out to another country’”.[19]
  • Congress is allowed more say and members are shielded: According to I.M. Destler of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, fast track “has effectively bridged the division of power between the two branches. It gives executive branch (USTR) negotiators needed credibility to conclude trade agreements by assuring other nations’ representatives that Congress won’t rework them; it guarantees a major Congressional role in trade policy while reducing members’ vulnerability to special interests”.[20]
  • Assurance for foreign governments: According to President Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III, “it is extremely difficult for any U.S. President to negotiate significant trade deals if he cannot assure other nations that Congress will refrain from adding numerous amendments and conditions that must then be taken back to the negotiating table”. The very nature of Trade Promotion Authority requires Congress to vote on the agreements before they can take effect, meaning that without TPA, “those agreements might never even be negotiated”.[21]

Tabacco: That’s NOT TRUE (“might never even be negotiated”), but if they are never negotiated – GOOD RIDDANCE!

Arguments against

  • Unconstitutional: Groups opposed to Trade Promotion Authority claim that it places too much power in the executive branch, “allowing the president to unilaterally select partner countries for ‘trade’ pacts, decide the agreements’ contents, and then negotiate and sign the agreements—all before Congress has a vote on the matter. Normal congressional committee processes are forbidden, meaning that the executive branch is empowered to write lengthy legislation on its own with no review or amendments.”[22]
  • Lack of transparency: Democratic members of Congress and general right-to-know internet groups are among those opposed to trade fast track on grounds of a lack of transparency. Such Congressmen have complained that fast track forces “members to jump over hurdles to see negotiation texts and blocks staffer involvement. In 2012, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) complained that corporate lobbyists were given easy access while his office was being stymied, and even introduced protest legislation requiring more congressional input.”[23]

 

Renewed Interest

As recently as May 21, 2015, the United States Senate has utilized the fast-track process to move a trade bill between the U.S. as well as Japan and 10 other countries. On June 12, 2015, following a surprise visit from President Obama to Capitol Hill, the House voted on three amendments related to trade, including the renewal of trade promotion authority. The House overwhelmingly voted against a related measure, Trade Adjustment Assistance, which would have had to have passed in order for the rest of the trade measures to go through. Therefore, TPA ultimately failed in the House but will be voted on again in the future.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_track_%28trade%29

Tabacco: To read entire Article, Click on URL immediately above!

 


http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2015/05/12/motion-advance-fast-track-legislation-fails-senate

“Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an especially bad idea. After six years of negotiations, the text is almost complete. Yet under the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan Fast Track bill, the pact would remain secret from the public until 30 days after its text is locked. That this would occur 60 days before the formal signing ceremony is irrelevant, because it would be too late to fight for needed changes.”

Tabacco: That’s why Obama is doing it this way – on purpose! Skunks generally come in Black & White, but some come in Black or White! And you thought a Black Democrat would behave like Martin Luther King, not former Governor, George Wallace! You should have known better – can you say, “Clarence Thomas”!

 

COMPLETE TEXT BELOW:

 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 – 3:30pm

Public Citizen

Contact:  Symone Sanders, ssanders@citizen.org 202-454-5108

Motion to Advance Fast Track Legislation Fails in Senate

Statement of Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

 

WASHINGTON – The Fast Track train went off the rails today. The U.S. Senate vote was supposed to generate momentum for Fast Track in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it’s in deep trouble, with almost every House Democrats and a significant bloc of GOP opposing it.

 

The only reason to upend the required procedures for a “revenue bill” and bring up Fast Track in the Senate first was to get a huge victory to build momentum in the House. But that strategy backfired and Democrats in the House remain committed to standing up for their beliefs that the trade package would do a lot more harm than good.

 

President Barack Obama would now enjoy broad support for a forward-looking trade agenda if only he had implemented the reforms he announced as a candidate, including to “replace” the Fast Track procedure created by Richard Nixon with a more inclusive, democratic mechanism. Instead, Congress is unlikely to revive the 1970s Fast Track trade authority Obama seeks.

 

Congress has denied Fast Track for all but five of the past 21 years, with 171 Democrats and 71 GOP rejecting President Bill Clinton’s request in 1998. Since 1988, only Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have convinced Congress to delegate Fast Track authority.

 

Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an especially bad idea. After six years of negotiations, the text is almost complete. Yet under the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan Fast Track bill, the pact would remain secret from the public until 30 days after its text is locked. That this would occur 60 days before the formal signing ceremony is irrelevant, because it would be too late to fight for needed changes.

 

The rhetoric being used to sell the trade package is really far off from the reality of what is in it. It is like being in the twilight zone. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we know the TPP includes an expanded version of the investment provisions found in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that incentivize the offshoring of high-wage American jobs and the investor-state dispute settlement system that exposes U.S. policies to attack in foreign tribunals.

 

The administration chose to use the weak labor and environmental standards that President George W. Bush included in his last trade deals. It was the 2007 Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA), not the TPP, that was the first U.S. trade agreement to have labor and environmental standards it in core text enforceable by the same terms as the commercial provisions. A 2014 Government Accountability Office investigation found these labor and environmental standards now also used for the TPP failed to improve working conditions.

 

What has leaked out already is deeply troubling. Many members of Congress who – unlike the public – are allowed to read the TPP are warning us that this is a bad deal.

 

At Nike, President Obama said that those concerned about the TPP rolling back food safety, environmental or financial regulation “are making stuff up” and no trade agreement can do that.

 

In fact, that already has happened repeatedly under past pacts. The “sovereignty” provisions found in Section 8 of the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan Fast Track bill are nothing new and appear in implementing legislation for past U.S. trade agreements under which U.S. food safety and environmental policies have been rolled back already. Examples of rollbacks due to trade deals include:

 

  • Gutting rules about importing only food that “meets or exceeds” U.S. safety standards, so we now import food that does not meet U.S. standards; and
  • Rolling back environmental laws and regulations – from Clean Air Act regulations to U.S. labeling of dolphin- tuna and more.

 

Please see the top reasons to oppose Fast Tracking the TPP and the Myths vs. Facts about the Fast Track Legislation.

 

###

 

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

 

The TPP (TransPacific Partnership)

& Fast Track RULES:

 

1 – US Government TPP website only lists dates of meetings, countries touching Pacific Ocean that were Invitees (China EXCLUDED), but NOTHING about Content or Objectives. {For that or any Relevant Information, we must rely on Julian Assange and Wikileaks! Julian is currently a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Should he leave that Safe Haven for any reason whatsoever, he would be ARRESTED on the spot. Isn’t it convenient how WHISTLEBLOWERS are always guilty of some unmentionable crime!}

 

2 – The MSM rarely even mentions TPP, and never explains it, mainly because it is so hard for them to gain information from ‘reputable’ sources, all of whom must keep their Traps Shut on this Matter!

 

3 – US Senators (including both in your State) may go into a room in which documentation is present, but they may not remove, photocopy, transcribe into a recording device or in any way duplicate those TPP documents. When they leave the room, only their memories go with them.

 

4 – If and when the TPP Initiative comes before our Legislators for a Vote, Senators may vote Yea or Nay but may NOT offer any Amendments or Changes of any kind!

 

I bet you thought the KGB was an historical relic – WRONG! It is alive and functioning in Washington, DC! And the current President of USA SECRETS & SUBTERFUGE is a BLACK DEMOCRAT! Can you believe it!

 

Thank GOD for that Whistleblower & PATRIOT, who has risked life, limb and Income:

 

JULIAN ASSANGE!

                    

 

 

 

Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.

 

 

If Tabacco is talking about a subject that nobody else is discussing, it means that subject is more, not less important, and the Powers-That-Be are deliberately avoiding that Issue. To presume otherwise completely defeats my purpose in blogging.

 

 

Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!

 

In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.


T.A.B.A.C.C.O.  (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People


 

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One Response to FAST TRACK Negotiating Authority For Trade Agreements! The Global Economy Is A SCAM Only Benefiting The Self-Centered Capitalists Around The Planet, Not The Average Working People In Any Country. Whenever Anyone Speaks Favorably About Free Trade Agreements Or Fast Track Authority, You Know Instantly That Person Is A) A Naïve, Propagandized Sponge Or B) A Lying Aristocratic Wannabe Or C) All The Above! World Problems Are Ubiquitous & Innumerable, But Solutions For Economic Problems Posed By Corporations & Governments INVARIABLY Favor Only Those With Deep Pockets & Avarice As Their Prime Directive, Not Average Working People. And These ‘Leaders’ Generally Spout Some Variation Of TINA (There Is No Alternative). What They Mean Is “No Alternative, Which Allows Capitalist Rogues To Profit Immensely On The Backs Of Average Working Stiffs!” Never Trust Anyone, Who Espouses These ‘Solutions’ – Political Poison Can Be Made To Please The Senses – At Least Until It Becomes Law!

  1. admin says:

    Secretive TPP Talks Continue at Luxury Hotel in Hawaii

    Trade ministers from Pacific Rim countries are continuing secret talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact at a luxury hotel in Hawaii. The talks are the first since Congress granted President Obama fast-track authority to push the deal through Congress on an up-or-down vote with no amendments. Japanese Trade Minister Akira Amari cited progress in the talks.

    Akira Amari: “All things considered, with the 12 nations involved, we’re working toward a completed result by the upcoming deadline.”

    Leaked drafts show a provision of the TPP would allow foreign corporations to sue countries in special tribunals over laws they say could hurt their future profits. This comes as a Canadian gold-mine developer has filed a request for arbitration with a similar tribunal, the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, after protests in Romania stalled efforts to build Europe’s largest open-pit gold mine.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/7/29/headlines#72910

    Republished by Tabacco

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