Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty

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Barack Oba­ma is secret­ly nego­ti­at­ing a glob­al eco­nom­ic treaty which would destroy thou­sands of Amer­i­can busi­ness­es and mil­lions of good pay­ing Amer­i­can jobs.  In oth­er words, it would be the final nail in the cof­fin for America’s eco­nom­ic infra­struc­ture.  Oba­ma knows that if the Amer­i­can peo­ple actu­al­ly knew what was in this treaty that they would be scream­ing mad, so the nego­ti­a­tions are being done in secret.  The only peo­ple that are allowed to look at the treaty are mem­bers of Con­gress, and even they are being banned from say­ing any­thing to the pub­lic.  Amer­i­can work­ers are about to be bru­tal­ly stabbed in the back, and thanks to all of this secre­cy and para­noia they won’t even see it com­ing.

The name of this new treaty is “the Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship”, and it is being tout­ed as per­haps the most impor­tant trade agree­ment in his­to­ry.  But very few peo­ple in this coun­try are talk­ing about it, because none of us are allowed to see it.  An arti­cle that was just released by Politi­co detailed the extreme secre­cy that is sur­round­ing this trade agree­ment…

If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship trade deal the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion is hop­ing to pass, you’ve got to be a mem­ber of Con­gress, and you’ve got to go to clas­si­fied brief­in­gs and leave your staff and cell­phone at the door.

If you’re a mem­ber who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the base­ment of the Capi­tol Vis­i­tor Cen­ter and be hand­ed it one sec­tion at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leav­ing.

And no mat­ter what, you can’t dis­cuss the details of what you’ve read.

This treaty is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child liv­ing in this nation, and yet it is deemed so “impor­tant” that none of us can know what is in it?

Are you sure that we still live in a Repub­lic?

This treaty will cov­er 40 per­cent of the glob­al econ­o­my, and U.S. offi­cials hope that the EU, Chi­na and India will become mem­bers even­tu­al­ly as well

Right now, there are 12 coun­tries that are part of the nego­ti­a­tions: the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, Aus­tralia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mex­i­co, New Zealand, Peru, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam.  These nations have a com­bined pop­u­la­tion of 792 mil­lion peo­ple and account for an astound­ing 40 per­cent of the glob­al econ­o­my.  And it is hoped that the EU, Chi­na and India will even­tu­al­ly join as well.  This is poten­tial­ly the most dan­ger­ous eco­nom­ic treaty of our life­times, and yet there is very lit­tle polit­i­cal debate about it in this coun­try.

If the EU, Chi­na and India did even­tu­al­ly join the treaty, that would essen­tial­ly make it a trade agree­ment for the entire plan­et.

This is a real­ly big deal, and it should be open­ly debat­ed by the Amer­i­can peo­ple.  But instead, Barack Oba­ma has cho­sen to shroud the entire process with as much secre­cy as pos­si­ble.  Not only that, he also wants Con­gress to give him fast track nego­ti­at­ing author­i­ty.  If Con­gress does that, they would essen­tial­ly be say­ing that they blind­ly trust Oba­ma to nego­ti­ate a good treaty for us.  At the end of the process, Con­gress would be able to vote the treaty up or down, but would not be able to amend it.

That sounds insane, right?  Well, if you can believe it, Repub­li­cans in the Sen­ate are quite eager to give Barack Oba­ma this author­i­ty.

And this is not just an eco­nom­ic treaty.  The fol­low­ing is an excerpt from one of my pre­vi­ous arti­cles

It is basi­cal­ly a gigan­tic end run around Con­gress.  Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Oba­ma has deeply want­ed for years are in this treaty.  If adopt­ed, this treaty will fun­da­men­tal­ly change our laws regard­ing Inter­net free­dom, health­care, copy­right and patent pro­tec­tion, food safe­ty, envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards, civ­il lib­er­ties and so much more.  This treaty includes many of the rules that alarmed Inter­net activists so much when SOPA was being debat­ed, it would essen­tial­ly ban all “Buy Amer­i­can” laws, it would give Wall Street banks much more free­dom to trade risky deriv­a­tives and it would force even more domes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing off­shore.

We can’t con­sume our way to pros­per­i­ty, and we can’t bor­row and spend our way to pros­per­i­ty.  In order to be pros­per­ous as a nation, we have got to cre­ate at least as much wealth as we con­sume.  But instead, we are doing just the oppo­site.  We are con­sum­ing wealth like mad even while our eco­nom­ic infra­struc­ture is being absolute­ly gut­ted.  We have lost thou­sands of busi­ness­es and mil­lions of jobs already, and this new treaty will make things much worse.

And of course even­tu­al­ly even the ultra-cheap labor on the oth­er side of the plan­et will be replaced.  This is some­thing that is already hap­pen­ing in Chi­na.  Just today there was a news sto­ry about a new man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty in Chi­na that will use only robots

Con­struc­tion work has begun on the first fac­to­ry in China’s man­u­fac­tur­ing hub of Dong­guan to use only robots for pro­duc­tion, the offi­cial Xin­hua news agency report­ed.

A total of 1,000 robots would be intro­duced at the fac­to­ry ini­tial­ly, run by Shen­zhen Even­win Pre­ci­sion Tech­nol­o­gy Co, with the aim of reduc­ing the cur­rent work­force of 1,800 by 90 per­cent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chair­man of the company’s board, was quot­ed as say­ing in the report.

The com­pa­ny did not give a fig­ure for the invest­ment in the fac­to­ry, but said its pro­duc­tion capac­i­ty could reach a val­ue of 2 bil­lion yuan (US$322 mil­lion) annu­al­ly.

All of this is very bad news for Amer­i­can work­ers.  Whether it is ultra-cheap labor on the oth­er side of the globe or new tech­nol­o­gy, big cor­po­ra­tions are con­stant­ly look­ing for ways to pro­duce things less expen­sive­ly.

But in order to have a mid­dle class, we have got to have mid­dle class jobs.  The mid­dle class in the Unit­ed States is steadi­ly dis­ap­pear­ing, and nei­ther polit­i­cal par­ty seems very con­cerned about this at all.

Even with­out this new trade treaty, our trade deficit with the rest of the plan­et con­tin­ues to grow even larg­er.  We just learned that the month­ly U.S. trade deficit for March rose to $51.4 bil­lion.  That was the largest month­ly trade deficit since Octo­ber 2008.  If you will remem­ber, in Octo­ber 2008 we were expe­ri­enc­ing the worst finan­cial cri­sis since the days of the Great Depres­sion.

And if you take oil out of the num­ber, our trade deficit for the month of March would be the worst ever record­ed.

Thank you Barack Oba­ma.  Your trade poli­cies are real­ly “work­ing”.

Because the trade deficit was much worse than expect­ed, that is going to push the GDP num­ber for the first quar­ter into neg­a­tive ter­ri­to­ry

Greg Daco of Oxford Eco­nom­ics says he expects the wider than expect­ed trade deficit to prompt the gov­ern­ment to revise its esti­mate of 0.2% growth in U.S. gross domes­tic prod­uct for the first quar­ter to a 0.5% con­trac­tion.

That means that if we have anoth­er con­trac­tion in the sec­ond quar­ter, we will offi­cial­ly be in a reces­sion.

In fact, we could be in a reces­sion right now (accord­ing to the offi­cial gov­ern­ment def­i­n­i­tion) and not even know it yet.

One of the biggest rea­sons why the U.S. econ­o­my has been strug­gling so much in recent years is due to our trade poli­cies.  If we had bal­anced trade with oth­er nations, our cumu­la­tive eco­nom­ic growth since mid-2009 would have been near­ly 20 per­cent high­er

Since ris­ing trade bal­ances sub­tract from eco­nom­ic growth, the increase in this real non-oil goods deficit has now cut cumu­la­tive U.S. eco­nom­ic growth after infla­tion by a stun­ning 19.49 per­cent since the recov­ery tech­ni­cal­ly began in mid-2009.

Are you start­ing to see why I get so fired up about trade?

But instead of encour­ag­ing big cor­po­ra­tions to do what is right for the Amer­i­can peo­ple, our sys­tem great­ly rewards com­pa­nies like Apple that proud­ly send jobs off­shore.  The fol­low­ing is an excerpt from an out­stand­ing arti­cle by Andrew Zatlin

Nine years, a tril­lion dol­lars in sales, and almost no tax­es paid. That’s just the start­ing point for won­der­ing about Apple’s actu­al con­tri­bu­tion to the US econ­o­my.

Apple’s suc­cess drags down the US GDPThe behe­moth that is Apple sold almost 200M phones last year, none of which were made in the US or used com­po­nents made here. Instead of export­ing $100B in iPhones, the US import­ed $50B. That $150B swing mat­ters in terms of bal­ance of trade, GDP and jobs. If you want­ed to improve the US econ­o­my, there’s no bet­ter place to start than with Apple and smart­phones.

Apple under­mines the US man­u­fac­tur­ing base. Assem­bly mat­ters and man­u­fac­tur­ing mat­ters more. There was a time when Apple could have assem­bled phones and tablets in the US, but that would mean spend­ing an extra $5 per phone since that’s approx­i­mate­ly the extra labor cost to build that $700 phone here instead of in Viet­nam or Chi­na. Assem­bly may not be a com­pet­i­tive, val­ue-add step but it does employ a lot of peo­ple.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it would also cut Apple’s prof­its by $1B, shrink­ing the company’s annu­al net income from $45B to $44B. Apple wouldn’t notice a drop in prof­its of $1B because it’s not putting its cash to use: Apple has $200B in cash con­ve­nient­ly parked out­side of the US, not doing any­thing. On the oth­er hand, assem­bling in the US would employ tens of thou­sands of peo­ple.

You can read the rest of that great arti­cle right here.

Our trade poli­cies mat­ter.  Decades of incred­i­bly fool­ish deci­sions have ripped our eco­nom­ic infra­struc­ture to shreds, and we are slow­ly but steadi­ly com­mit­ting nation­al eco­nom­ic sui­cide.

Now, Barack Oba­ma is absolute­ly deter­mined to deliv­er the fin­ish­ing blow, and it is all being done in secret.

When are you going to wake up and start get­ting angry Amer­i­ca?