Imagine if President Reagan had introduced a massive treaty with the Soviet Union that would have imposed Russian laws upon the United States of America or if President Obama were to introduce a 29 chapter treaty with Saudi Arabia that would place a wide swath of issues and activities under Sharia Law. History would deem both Obama and Reagan traitors. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), if introduced into Congress, will be very similar, except instead having Russians or Islamists negotiate the bill, it is mostly transnational corporate lawyers and lobbyists who have crafted it.
It’s an over-simplification to assert that the TPP would be treasonous; that claim alone is not persuasive. Organizers from MoveOn.org and PeopleDemandingAction.org have been organizing Sunday evening conference calls to discuss and plan opposition to the TPP for a few months now. Guest speakers have been Naomi Klein, WA. State Senator Maralyn Chase, New Zealand’s Dr. Erik Monasterio, AFL-CIO’s Telfer Gebre, Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect, John Bonifaz of Free Speech for People, Friends of the Earth president Bill Waren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Prosperous America’s Michael Stum and, most recently, populist Jim Hightower.
After Hightower gave a short talk about the TPP on May 17th, he took questions from callers. One question from “Dave” requires a basic understanding of the TPP. It is not, as the President and others falsely claim, a “free trade agreement.” Only five of the twenty nine chapters are about free trade (low tarrifs, etc). Most of the remaining chapters are rules and regulations crafted by and for corporate actors, by and for the top 1%. The TPP is a negotiated, international, rigged, regulatory regime or treaty. The chapter on Regulatory Coherence would work to make corporate-crafted regulations on legislators consistent from the national to the local levels of government.
This is such an unprecedented undertaking, a new phrase is needed to describe it. The TPP would be an international, corporate coup des lois with legal enforcement tribunals detailed in the Investor State Dispute Settlement Chapter that function as mafia-like “justice.”
The logic of treason:
Dave asked (at the 67 minute mark of the call recording) Hightower to wordsmith the following:
Sovereignty is the right and ability of a nation to govern itself. The ISDS guts our Constitution by surrendering our freedom to govern ourselves and subjects us to corporate rule with no appeal. Since we didn’t lose a war, this secretly-negotiated surrender of our freedom is literally treason.
Hightower replied, “No need to improve on that.” In fact, it’s not just the Investor State Dispute Settlement that would gut our Constitution. The unconstitutional fast-track authority, the TPA, is being used to “grease the skids” and make passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership more likely. However, the TPP itself is worse than that.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership should be called the Treason Act because it would impose regulations upon the national legislatures and local governments of twelve countries as if they had been defeated in a war. The TPP is an act of war against middle class Americans’ standard of living, against the planet’s climate and against the poor people of 12 nations who will not be able to pay higher costs for life-saving prescriptions. People will unnecessarily die if the transnational corporations win this “war.”
The transpartisan collaboration to impose corporate rule upon the United States means that Obama will not be impeached for this act of treason, but he should be. He should also be arrested and indicted for treason, but he won’t be because the United States has become a corporate-state, a government of, by and for the corporations. Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Boehner are corporate collaborators helping to foist this coup upon the American people, and they will protect the corporate puppet in the White House from warranted impeachment and prosecution.
The transpartisan opposition to Obamatrade includes Rush Limbaugh, Fox News’Lou Dobbs, Mark Levin, Dick Morris, Phyllis Schafley’s Eagle Forum, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, the American Family Association, genuine free-traders at Prosperous America, the John Birch Society, tea party groups and a good portion of the tea party caucus in Congress among others on the right as well as MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Sam Seder of the Majority Report, Robert Reich, Public Citizen, MoveOn.org, Popular Resistance, Citizens Trade Campaign, Campaign for America’s Future, 2000+ progressive organizations and virtually the entire progressive caucus in Congress among others on the left.
Get informed; take action.
To find out more about this proposed, un-American treaty, see Expose the TPP’s “Newsroom.” To help stop this coup dead in its tracks, click the “Take Action” link and badger your representatives in Congress. Share the URL of this column with your friends, relatives, neighbors and strangers. Chances are good that they have no idea what is about to go down because the mainstream, corporate media is asleep at the wheel.
Update, 6/01/2015: Mark Ash at Reader Supported News has also made the case that the TPP would be an act of treason in his “TPP: The Case for Treason.”
Update, 6/25/2015: Rob Kall, Editor-in-Chief at Op-Ed News, makes the same case in his “Fast Track Trade Traitors Murderers and Enemies.”