By William F. Jasper
Will the U.S. Congress vote to approve “free trade” agreements that are, according to the agreements’ authors, “living agreements” that will constantly change and “evolve”? This mutational feature of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should be of top concern to members of Congress — and their constituents. However, this critical aspect of the secretive agreements has received virtually no attention in the establishment media.
The final battles over the TPP and TTIP moved a giant step closer last week with the U.S. Senate’s flip-flop votes (see here and here) on ending a filibuster of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, also known as “fast track”) bill. The Senate’s reversal on May 14 has now set up the TPA bill for a vote in the Senate and House of Representatives. Under expedited TPA/fast track rules, Congress surrenders its ability to amend trade agreements, drastically limits debate, and rushes the complex agreements through the legislative process for an “up or down” vote. President Obama has made passage of the TPP and TTIP twin “partnerships” a top priority of his second term, and the GOP’s top leadership in Congress has been assisting his ObamaTrade agenda at every crucial step along the way.