By Harold Pease, Ph. D
The Washington Post recently disclosed the coming to fruition, after nearly a decade and 19 secret meetings, of a huge trade agreement known as the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP, “which when finished, will govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports” and “26 percent of the world’s trade.” It will be the law of the land for the United States and 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region without the input of a single U.S. member of Congress. This in violation of Article I, Section I of the U.S. Constitution that mandates that all legislative powers reside in the House and Senate and in no other body. In fact, members of Congress have not been allowed to even see the treaty whereas privileged corporations have no problem with access.
Critics, mostly Democrats and Tea Party proponents, resent the secretive nature of the agreement’s origin. Those feeling especially threatened include: global health advocates, environmentalists, Internet activists and trade unions. “The treaty has 29 chapters, dealing with everything from financial services to telecommunications to sanitary standards for food” demonstrating the wide variety of areas believed to be affected by it, but again, it is the secretive nature of it that is most offensive. Apparently TPP participants signed “a confidentiality agreement requiring them to share proposals only with ‘government officials and individuals who are part of the government’s domestic trade advisory process’.” That excludes you, me, the media, and Congress.
The Post acknowledges that the agreement “encompass a broad range of regulatory and legal issues, making them a much more central part of foreign policy and even domestic lawmaking.” Such is curious. The Constitution requires the approval of your two U. S. Senators and your House member for every regulation upon you. There exists no language that any other individual or body—especially an international body—can perform this function. And, international law should not affect “domestic lawmaking.” You have the right to know that these three have read every rule emanating from the federal government upon you. The admission that the TPP will influence foreign policy is interesting as only the U.S. Senate may influence foreign policy as per Article II, Section II. Giving a “more central part of foreign policy” to an international agency virtually voids the Constitution in this area and would have been thought treasonous by our Founders.
The Post identified “60 senators (who) have asked for the final agreement to address currency manipulation.” Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, both Democrats, have been especially vocal about the Obama “Administration’s refusal to make draft text available.” Were it not for unintended leaks, notably that of Wikileaks in early November, who published the chapter on intellectual property, this and so much more would still be off limits to the media and everyone else. This chapter alone raised many questions about copyright protections and obviously this treaty, while billed as just a trade agreement, included music, film, books, the Internet and appeared to be potentially, as one critic called it, the treaty to “restrict access to knowledge.” And this is but one of 29 chapters.
The implementation procedure of the internationalists was to gain consensus among the countries signing it, then present it to both branches of Congress for a simple, without debate, up or down vote. Again, this procedure flies in the face of the Constitution. Treaty making, an agreement between two or more countries, is a shared power with the Executive Branch. The President “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.” President Barack Obama has not sought advice, indeed he has not even allowed the Senate to read his treaty until finished, even then he will accept no changes in it. Then he will present it to both houses for a simple majority instead of only to the Senate for a two-thirds vote as constitutionally mandated. All this blatant deception was to wrap up in Singapore in early December to be presented “fast tract” to Congress before Christmas as a done deal.
Law by a single man excluding Congress nullifies the latter and should be an impeachable offense. International law imposed by an army of unelected bureaucrats is not freedom. The Trans Pacific Partnership siphons decision-making power from the elected to the non-elected in a foreign land and will affect every American. Any Congressman who supports such violates his oath of office “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” as has the President.