Is the TPP Dead?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he opposes giving the President new fast-track powers. In his the State of the Union, President Obama asked Congress to work on “tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority” - the name of proposed fast-track legislation. However, on Wednesday when asked about it, Harry Reid said “I'm against fast track.” Reid told reporters that he would not guarantee floor time for the proposal, saying “everyone would be well advised not to push this right now.”
So, does this mean that the TPP is as good as dead? The middle class is toast unless we radically rethink our country’s trade policy. And the best way to start rethinking our trade policy is to ditch the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. For over 200 years after the founding of the Republic - our economy was built on a system of tariffs. Everything worked fine until the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan abandoned the system of tariffs that had worked so well for centuries and ushered in the golden era of so-called “free-trade.” Nixon had already put the United States on the "free-trade" path in the 1970s - but things really took off in the Reagan years. Every President since, including Democrats like Bill Clinton, has followed Reagan's lead by slashing tariffs and signing us on to free-trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA.
This has been a disaster for the American working people and that disaster would worsen under the TPP. If President Obama doesn’t get fast tracking powers it’s going to be very hard - maybe even impossible for him to get Congress to pass the TPP. Democrats and Republicans alike oppose the deal, and without party leadership on board, getting the TPP through Congress will cost a lot of what remaining political capital he has left. Thankfully, Harry Reid who is a former boxer, may have just given the TPP a knockout punch.


disaffected Johnny's picture
disaffected Johnny 9 years 8 weeks ago

I don't give a damn if we are left alone in the world without a trading partner. I don't want to be enslaved by any corporate plutocracy.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago

Good for you Harry Reid. You may have just made up for everything else you've done.

ScottFromOz 9 years 8 weeks ago

Here in Oz, we would be delighted if the TPP was killed off. Our lower house here have taken it upon themselse to signal that they will unilaterally sign the TPP without even letting our senate look at the agreement first. Nor are they going to give the "great unwashed" the opportunity to view the enslavement document that we will be signed up for. It is all being conducted under great secrecy at the behest of the organisations behind the deal. Of course they want it kept secret as otherwise the general population might revolt against it.

Although it will have profound implications for working people in this country, our media hardly ever mention it. Hmmm, I wonder why....

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 9 years 8 weeks ago

??? yup! so why is it that i live in beautiful sunny southern california and just north of me are miles and miles and miles of rich yummy goodness, nuts, oranges, grapes, artichoke, maters, onions, garlic and who knows what other cornicopia of yummy good things are growing out there that i have yet to see, and yet? i go to my local grocery store and all the produce is from mexico? hmm, go figure, free trade i guess!!! and by the way? I AM SO SICK OF ALL THE JUNK MADE IN CHINA! YOU BUT IT. YOU PLUG IT IN. YOU USE IT. IT BREAKS IN 2 YEARS...hmmm, food for thought....

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ Well said. I remember that it was Carter who mandated registration for selective service when I turned the age. If it were any other clown in office who mandated such I might not be here right now. I trusted the man and as such here I am. We do owe President Carter much as a nation. I fully agree with your assertion that little has happened in the realm of leadership in this country since JFK.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago

Three cheers for Harry Reid!!! I agree with Marc; this makes up for everything else ole Harry has done… and I might add, hasn't done.

The impact this has had on my feelings towards our president are something else again. I view Obama's efforts to shove this past Congress to be a loathesome, contemptible act of treason. For Obama to pontificate about restoring the middle class while pushing for "NAFTA on steroids" goes beyond hypocrisy; it is betrayal to the nth degree. And since the TPP would strip us of our sovereignty as a nation, it is indeed treasonous. Nothing would please me more than to see that bastard impeached and thrown in the slammer, along with Bush and Cheney and all those war criminals he's let off the hook.

Regarding the lack of media coverage the TPP, a matter of such momentous importance, has received: "Humm, I wonder why" sez ScottFromOz... heh-heh. Yeah Scott, you know the answer as well as I do. Like I've said, we have no media; just a worthless, lying sack of shit.

We're still suffering the consequences of NAFTA, which shoved so many of us into poverty, into debt, homelessness and worse. It has raped our labor force, depriving tens of millions the most basic right of any human being: the means to earn a decent, honest living and feed one's family. It leaves millions of young adults twisting in the wind with bleak prospects for any semblance of financial security to work towards. I think it will be a long time yet before the damage caused by NAFTA has faded into history… if the human race even lasts that long.

Reflecting back on the presidents we've had in my lifetime, I can think of one who has not screwed us in a major way. Of all the presidents since Kennedy, only Carter stands out for me in this regard… but it would not surprise me if someone came up with a strong argument against Carter's nose being clean. (Through the years I've heard various people judge Carter for having been "ineffective" as president, although I've always regarded such comments with suspicion, considering the source. Those who judge Carter that way tend to be conservatives whose world view I've no use for anyway. But Carter is the only president I can recall who didn't get us into a war... or throw us under the proverbial bus.)

The TPP is a huge threat to what little remains of the so-called "American dream". It's already been cut to shreds by Reagan, Bush #1, Clinton, Bush #2… Now Obama, if he had his way, would deliver the coup d'etat, killing that dream forever. I really hope Harry Reid stands his ground here. I never expected this from Harry; I didn't think he had it in him. Occasionally people can surprise us, and not all surprises are bad. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago

Oops! Sorry Marc; had I seen your response, I wouldn't have edited out that last type-0 (SIGH). You know how it is... Sometimes my perfectionism gets the better of me! - AIW

dianhow 9 years 8 weeks ago

Greedy lobbyists Powerful Corps Corrupt Billionaires run the USA . NAFTA CAFTA Anti US trade policies must go NO TPP NO Keystone pipeline . Must Bring Glass Steagal back. Must End Citizens United. Must Raise min wage. That will be a good start . The people have lost their POWER VOTE Call E mail Protest Demand Follow through

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 8 weeks ago

AIW -- First I need to say that NAFTA, CAFTA and TPP are awful and will destroy our democracy. That said, I think Obama's naivety is killing us, not his hypocrisy.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago

"Chuck", whether it's President Obama's naivety or his hypocrisy that's killing us, the end result is the same. What is abundantly clear, as it has been from the start, is that this man is not the kind of leader we need! Especially now, in such desperate times.

Dowdotica, you make a great point about the insanity of imported fruit, the same or similar to what is produced here. I come originally from California, which (for all I know) could be the "citrus capitol of the world"! And I've had similar thoughts, browsing the produce section of the grocery store, when I've encountered a display of (for example) oranges from New Zealand, which I've encountered a number of times. Geographically, ya can't get further away than that without leaving the friggin' planet. It really is crazy how we live. - Alice I.W.

mrbrannon68's picture
mrbrannon68 9 years 8 weeks ago

The last time our governments were controlled so completely by oligarchs and plutocrats was during the Gilded Age (1870-1905). Unlike today, we still had a free press and a progressive movement, plus the courage and leadership of President Theodore Roosevelt. During those times, we had a very influential periodical magazine that was established and led by C.C. McClure. The McClure magazine became a real force for change. Its reporters were some of the best writers of the time. McClure insisted that any article appearing in the magazine must be thoroughly investigated and resources personally interviewed and fact checked. Articles must never be influenced by individual bias or political in nature. McClure wanted only the truth to be published in the magazine. One of McClure’s best reporter was Lincoln Steffens, whose investigations into political corruption within States greatly influenced changes. The New York Times praised his articles and stated: “When Americans really agree that corruption is treason,” the editors argued, “the traitors will be punished, not legally alone, but as [Benedict] Arnold was, by the insufferable and blasting scorn of his fellow-men.” *

I strongly believe that those who hold public offices, but really serve industries and the wealthy, to be Traitors! They are traitors for failing to uphold our Constitution, as they swore to do in their oath of office, and the people they represent. We will never hear or read the information a free press provided during this age of our history, because we no longer have a free press. Since, the 1980’s we have passed laws allowing the wealthy to buy up all the institutes of communications, thus turning the “free press” into propaganda machines of disinformation. The “right” likes to blame the liberal press, when in fact that it no longer exist. So, what are we to do now to inform the public about the treasonist TPP tready? How can we use the internet in a way that will attract large followings and serve as a free press?Thom is doing a good job, but how do we grow his audience? I constantly write to the President and my reprentatives and posting information on the web. I have tried to use YouTube with little success. Any ideas?

*Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2013-11-05). The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden

N Z Sarah's picture
N Z Sarah 9 years 8 weeks ago

Frozen vegetables from CHINA! Here in NEW ZEALAND, sold under a now previously reputable brand.TheTPPA will bring more of this insanity. The corporates who do the shipping are the only ones making the money and are using massive amounts of oil to do it. The TPPA will bring only war if it is allowed because the people of the Pacific will have to resist to survive.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago

Mr. Brannon, I appreciate your comments. We seem to be on the same page.

Sarah, I hear ya. This is what corporate fascism is all about. Crazy-making, isn't it? Corporate thugs have created a new world order where profits trump everything from ethics to simple common sense, prevailing over the interests of the environment, world peace & stabilitty; over life itself. Sickening, and scary... - AIW

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 9 years 8 weeks ago

AMERICA does not export products any more. AMERICA exports jobs.

THE rich job creators have fulfilled their part of the social agreement. THEY have created millions of jobs out of the country. REPUBLICANS favor big business, and big business favors exporting jobs out of the country to increase profits. THE AMERICAN worker had been hurt enough by NAFTA, CAFTA, SHAFTA, and KORUS. THEN when the unemployed AMERICAN worker can not find a job, republicans call him/her lazy and wanting to live off UNCLE SUGAR and then want to cut the AMERICAN worker's unemployment insurance. WHEN the unemployed AMERICAN worker does manage to find a job he/she takes a 10-20-30% pay cut along with the local - state - and federal taxes she/he pays. EVERY article, every sentence, every word of the TPP needs to be open for debate. BIG business has written this secret trade agreement without any input from labor leaders .

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 8 weeks ago

jkh6148 -- Yea verily

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