Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Senator Warren Is Still Wrong

During his interview with Chris Matthews, President Obama said that Senator Elizabeth Warren was wrong about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The Senator responded with a blog post on her web site.
The Administration says I’m wrong – that there’s nothing to worry about. They say the deal is nearly done, and they are making a lot of promises about how the deal will affect workers, the environment, and human rights. Promises – but people like you can’t see the actual deal...

If most of the trade deal is good for the American economy, but there’s a provision hidden in the fine print that could help multinational corporations ship American jobs overseas or allow for watering down of environmental or labor rules, fast track would mean that Congress couldn’t write an amendment to fix it. It’s all or nothing.

Before we sign on to rush through a deal like that – no amendments, no delays, no ability to block a bad bill – the American people should get to see what’s in it.
First of all, you'd think that Senator Warren hasn't seen what's in the deal so far. You can click through and read her whole post. She never mentions anything in particular that she objects to. And yet, as President Obama said the other night, the administration has held over 1,700 briefings with Congress as the negotiations have progressed.

But all that aside, on her point about the deal being secret. Yes, as it is being negotiated, it is not available to the public. But here's what's in the bill granting so-callled "fast-track" trade authority.
The bill would make any final trade agreement open to public comment for 60 days before the president signs it, and up to four months before Congress votes. If the agreement, negotiated by the United States trade representative, fails to meet the objectives laid out by Congress — on labor, environmental and human rights standards — a 60-vote majority in the Senate could shut off “fast-track” trade rules and open the deal to amendment.
So the public will have four months to review TPP once negotiations have been completed BEFORE Congress votes on it. When it comes to the objectives laid out by Congress, here's what they include:
In all, the bill sets down 150 negotiating objectives, such as tough new rules on intellectual property protection, lowering of barriers to agricultural exports, labor and environmental standards, rule of law and human rights. Reflecting the modern economy, Congress would demand a loosening of restrictions on cross-border data flow, an end to currency manipulation and rules for competition from state-owned enterprises.
Once the deal becomes public, Senator Warren will have four months to round up 60 votes to end "fast-track" authority if she feels that the negotiating objectives were not met.

I know that for much of the progressive world, Senator Warren has become the great liberal hero of our time. But that doesn't exempt her from being wrong. And on this one, that's exactly what she is right now.


  1. She doesn't have the chops to round up 60 votes. In fact her bellyaching just might have the opposite of her desired effect.

  2. The language of the last round of negotiations was totally public. S. 1900 that was denied fast track authority, languished but contains most of the same provisions. That this is "secret" means it's the worst KEPT secret in history. I deal fairly often with people who screech about how it's destroying the universe - but when I mention reading, you know, the bill, the comeback is "I don't have time for that!" This is the Left equivalent to "climate deniers" - refusing to read original source material automatically makes you NOT an expert. If all you hop on is the pony ride of the circular firing squad writings, you are not just disingenuous, you are an outright liar.

    1. Sometimes the Fashionable Left sounds and feels too much like the Tea Party, and displays the same level of ignorance.

  3. Plus, WikiLeaks released the Investment Chapter Consolidated Text.
    I don't need 60 days to decide this "Free" Trade pact is a terrible idea. The expectations of business investors is not the public's business. There is no reason for the people to be mitigating the political risks of business investors, either domestic or foreign.

    1. Now go read it. Of course, it might take *you* more than 60 days...

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. "Sometimes the Fashionable Left sounds and feels too much like the Tea Party..."

      You mean they're quick to throw out an insult of someone's intelligence if they disagree with them?
      Doctor Mike, heal thyself.

  4. "And yet, as President Obama said the other night, the administration has held over 1,700 briefings with Congress as the negotiations have progressed."

    Pray tell, where can I find these meetings in the Congressional Record?


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