Sessions slams massive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement: ‘This is, by its definition, undemocratic’
WASHINGTON — Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions eviscerated the just-made-public 5,554 page Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Thursday afternoon, calling it “by definition, anti-democratic.”
“The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership runs 5,554 pages. This is, by definition, anti-democratic,” Sessions said in a press release Thursday afternoon. “No individual American has the resources to ensure his or her economic and political interests are safeguarded within this vast global regulatory structure. The predictable and surely desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern. It puts those who make the rules out of reach of those who live under them, empowering unelected regulators who cannot be recalled or voted out of office. In turn, it diminishes the power of the people’s bulwark: their constitutionally-formed Congress.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership currently includes the twelve countries of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States.
In June of this year Congress voted to reestablish a so-called “fast-track” for trade treaties by approving Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), giving President Obama permission to finalize deals with only an up-or-down, simply majority vote by Congress.
Without TPA, trade deals would have been subject to amendment and had to have conquer a 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate.
Sessions revealed that the text of the TPP creates a Commission, which alone has the authority to amend the agreement, among many other power.
“This global governance authority is open-ended,” Sessions warned. “It covers everything from the movement of foreign nationals: ‘No Party shall adopt or maintain…measures that impose limitations on the total number of natural persons that may be employed in a particular service sector. . . in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test’; to climate regulation: ‘The Parties acknowledge that transition to a low emissions economy requires collective action.’”
“These 5,554 pages are like the Lilliputians binding down Gulliver,” Sessions continued, referencing the tiny creatures who hold down the title character in the classic Gulliver’s Travels. “They will enmesh our great country, and economy, in a global commission where bureaucrats from Brunei have the same vote as the United States.”
To remedy the loss of Congress’s power, and prevent the TPP from being ratified, Sessions called on his colleagues to take the agreement off of the TPA’s fast track.
“The vote should be held under regular Senate and Constitutional order,” he concluded, “and it should be held when voters can hold their lawmakers accountable – not during an unaccountable lame duck session.”
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— Elizabeth BeShears (@LizEBeesh) January 21, 2015