Fast Tracking the End of U.S. Sovereignty

While President Obama was selling Obamacare, he repeatedly told the American people, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” But soon after Obamacare passed, the health cancellation notices went out.

Now President Obama is selling Obamatrade and has come up with a new lie. On May 8, 2015, he told an audience in Beaverton Oregon:

No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws.  This agreement would make sure our companies aren’t discriminated against in other countries. 

But Congress’ think tank has found that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the first of the trade agreements that Obama is negotiating, would indeed change U.S. laws. Senator Jeff Session reports:

[A]s the Congressional Research Service explains, the fast-tracked deal “would supersede existing U.S. law” and result in the U.S. being “bound by international law,” arbitrated by a global tribunal.

What is President Obama negotiating into TPP? The following all appear to be likely:

  1. Open immigration.
  2. No responding to currency manipulation.
  3. Unfair climate change standards.

Here’s how Obama-type trade agreements work: If any existing U.S. law or regulation violates the agreement, foreign businesses can sue the U.S. government for monetary damages through the agreement’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions. After paying a few billion-dollar fines, Congress is forced to change U.S. law.

Such fines are not needed in order for the dispute settlements in the trade agreement to function. The World Trade Organization arbitrates disputes without requiring that countries give up their sovereignty.

If both the Senate and House vote for Fast Track, then after Obama finishes negotiating TPP, there would be an up-or-down vote in each chamber (no amendments permitted) on whether to pass it. Governor Huckabee anticipates the atmosphere that would surround those votes:

President Obama is an expert at using chaos, controversy, conflict, and the threat of economic armageddon to advance his agenda. After all, the last thing we really fast-tracked was Obamacare. We know how that worked out for American families and businesses! Once negotiators come back with the finalized details of the TPP agreement, political pressure will force Congress to accept even a lousy deal….

If, on the other hand, either the Senate or House rejects Fast Track, Obama, or the President that follows Obama, could still finish negotiating TPP and then bring it before Congress. In such a case, though, Congress could thoughtfully preserve U.S. sovereignty by amending out the ability of the dispute arbitrator to assess fines upon governments.

Howard Richman with his father and son co-authored the 2014 book Balanced Trade: Ending the Unbearable Costs of America’s Trade Deficits, published by Lexington Books and the 2008 book Trading Away Our Future, published by Ideal Taxes Association.