Just because President Obama is going full-bore Captain Ahab on Mitt the Minnow does not mean he intends to harpoon the Moby Dicks of free market global capitalism. To the contrary, he is their keeper and protector. Look no further than his Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, described as "NAFTA on steroids". Actually, you can't look further because the negotiations are being conducted in so much murky secrecy that even United States senators are not allowed access to the details.
|Corporate Feeding Frenzy -- Exposed!|
But thanks to the Public Citizen consumer advocacy group shining a light into the murky depths, we are learning anew that although President Obama is attacking the offshoring and outsourcing of the man who wants his job, he is not attacking offshoring and outsourcing in general. In fact, he is a champion of sending our jobs overseas. We already got a hint of that when he signed the South Korean trade deal last year. That measure is estimated to cost 159,000 American manufacturing jobs. And the Panama part of the deal actually makes it easier for tax evaders like Romney to hide their millions offshore. And the Colombia part of the package allows us to ignore the worst record of labor and human rights violations on the entire planet. In effect, Obama has helped destroy more American jobs than Romney ever imagined in his most vivid vulture capitalist dreams. As a matter of fact, Obama got so much criticism from his base over his capitulation to transational corporations that he signed the final bill in secret. Only a few applauding oligarchs attended the Oval Office ceremony, as this noir-ish AP photo of the event attests:
|Barry and the Barracudas|
U.S. negotiators have tried to keep TPP negotiations totally below the radar, but even so opposition to the current "NAFTA-on-steroids-with-Asia" approach is escalating, which is good news for the public but a serious complication for the Obama campaign’s attack on Romney as a U.S. job offshorer.... President Obama is facing a growing chorus of opposition to what his trade negotiators are up to on the TPP from his base and from other Democratic elected officials, and given that his campaign seems to be honing in on job offshoring as a winning theme, he needs to redirect his negotiators from their current TPP agenda of NAFTA-on-steroids with all of Asia.The TPP is a lot more than the usual government give-away to the oligarchs. If passed, it will free the global banking Mafia from even the limited oversight they currently enjoy, severely limit access to medicines by the countries that need them the most, make it easier for unsafe products and chemicals to flood into the United States, and absolve multinationals from adhering to domestic environmental and health policies. Even the legal system will be subverted by star chambers run by corporate judges. According to Public Citizen, it's nothing but a global corporate coup, a power tool for the One Percent. (h/t Kat.)
You obviously won't be seeing any Rombama attack ads about TPP on your TV, from either side. That's because Mitt Romney wants this deal as much as Barack Obama does. It's one more indication of it not really mattering, in the long term, which one of these apparatchiks of the Duopoly wins the election. For another great overview of what TPP means for regular people, do read this Truthout piece by Brian Moench, titled "America the Beautiful: A Fire Sale for Corporations." If this doesn't send a chill right down your spine, nothing will. An excerpt:
TPP is much worse than NAFTA, which eviscerated middle-class jobs and wealth in the US. And this sellout to foreign corporations is not just a rogue brain cramp of President Obama. Mitt Romney demanded this agreement be signed months ago, and the notorious "climate change denying" US Chamber of Commerce can't get it signed fast enough. Romney has called Obama's the most hostile administration to business in recent history. If the TPP trade agreement is "hostile" to business, god help us if we have an administration, presumably Romney's, "friendly" to business.
If you thought that with Citizens United we had hit rock bottom in surrendering our democracy to the power of money, this TPP "trade agreement" would throw our democracy into free fall. Foreign corporations will be allowed to feast like termites upon America's natural resources, trash our environment and public health, violate our rights as American citizens and make us pay them if we try to protect ourselves.
With enough public outcry, maybe we can buy some time. Although TPP had been scheduled to go into effect this year, it looks like it might be delayed until 2013 because of... you guessed it... the feeding frenzy of the presidential campaign. Plus, the Japanese are not yet part of the talks, and the plutocrats want them to get on board the corporate gravy train too. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ever the mega-lobby of unfettered capitalism, is keeping its fingers crossed. The elites are couching their crime against humanity in spin designed to foment fear of Chinese competition, making it easier for the gullible hoi polloi to swallow their poisoned bait -- hook, line and sinker.