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Posts tagged ‘Fast-Track’

Today’s Politically INCORRECT cartoon by A.F. Branco

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Orange Man Good

Trump has given the world a huge Christmas present through his warp-speed and fast-track programs.

COVID Vaccine Fast-TrackPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Three ways GOP could save trade bill

waving flagBy Scott Wong and Mike Lillis – 06/15/15

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GOP leaders have no good options as they scramble to resuscitate a trade package that is critical to President Obama’s economic agenda. Congressional Republicans and Obama suffered a jarring defeat on Friday, when trade opponents voted down a workers’ aid bill in a bid to scuttle a larger Senate-passed package that would pave the way for a sweeping trade pact with Japan, Vietnam and nine other Pacific Rim nations. The opposition came from Republicans, who widely reject the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program on ideological grounds, and from Democrats who saw taking down TAA, a program they’ve long championed, as their best chance to sink an accompanying bill allowing trade promotion authority (TPA), also known as fast-track.

Although the House passed the TPA bill the same day, the rule governing the process requires approval of the TAA bill before fast-track can reach the president’s desk. Monday saw a flurry of phone calls and meetings between party leaders, including one between Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). GOP leaders huddled Monday in Boehner’s office but they didn’t settle on a path forward. By Monday night, the Speaker’s office announced that the House would buy more time, voting on a rule Tuesday that would give the chamber until July 30 to take another vote on TAA.

But earlier in the day, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had warned: “The longer something like this sits out there, the harder it is to bring it back.”

Here are three possible scenarios that could play out in the coming days and weeks: 


What might be the easiest of several options is still a heavy lift for backers of the president’s trade agenda.

As GOP leaders have suggested, the House could soon vote again on the workers aid program — a vote that, if successful, would send the fast-track legislation to Obama’s desk. The challenge is that, following Friday’s 126-302 vote against TAA, Obama and Boehner need more than 90 lawmakers to switch their votes from no to yes. And after bucking the president and voting to derail his trade package on Friday, there are few political upsides for Democrats to reverse course now. Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), a pro-trade Democrat, said Monday that he’s pushing the idea of sweetening TAA to provide Democrats more incentive to get on board — something along the lines of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) recent proposal to include a highway funding bill alongside trade legislation.

“I think we could get a few more Republicans, but the question is: How do you get more Democrats over here?” Cuellar said.

While it’s highly improbable Democratic rebels would switch their TAA votes en masse, there are a handful who expressed a willingness to reconsider their votes the second time around. Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), who like Obama is a Chicago Democrat, initially told his colleagues during a closed-door caucus meeting last week he would vote for the aid bill and against fast-track. But when the vote was called Friday, he reneged and voted against both.

His spokesman said Gutiérrez “wanted to make clear that he opposed TPA.”

On the GOP side, leadership aides have said they don’t expect to add many more Republicans to their TAA tally. They’ve topped out at around 93 GOP yes votes, and Democrats must vote for TAA if they don’t want the multibillion-dollar program to expire in September, aides said. But one GOP lawmaker predicted there were dozens of other Republicans prepared to switch their votes to yes if there was movement on the Democratic side of the aisle. “I think that there are probably 30 to 40 Republicans that would change their vote from no to yes, and so they are trying to get another 30 to 40 Democrats from no to yes so that they can move it forward,” the GOP lawmaker said Monday.Reality 2

Lawmakers watching Friday’s failed TAA roll call on the electronic vote board said there was a group of Republicans who waited until the last second to cast their vote, suggesting they might be open to supporting the aid legislation. They included North Carolina Reps. Richard Hudson and George Holding, GOP sources said, though a Hudson aide denied he would flip his vote. Another possible yes vote is conservative Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who had been whipping support for the fast-track bill but voted no on TAA. “People like that could potentially switch,” the GOP lawmaker said. 


The Senate-passed trade bill, which combined TAA and TPA, was cobbled together to attract enough bipartisan support to defeat a Democratic filibuster. It just squeaked by, with 62 senators — including 14 Democrats — voting in favor.

House GOP leaders decided to split the package into separate votes, hoping there would be enough Democratic support to move the TAA piece, while Republicans would do the heavy lifting on TPA. That strategy collapsed when Democrats, behind Pelosi, killed TAA. If TAA fails a second time, GOP leaders might decide to push the Senate package as a whole. Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.), another pro-trade Democrat, predicted Monday that they have the votes to pass it, though it would be a nail-biter due to opposition on both sides of the aisle.

“I don’t think there’s some magic formula that President Obama can put on the table and make all of the Democratic concerns about TPA disappear. And I don’t think there’s some magic formula that John Boehner can put on the table to make all of the Republican concerns about TAA disappear,” Connolly said. “I don’t think there are any easy options here.”

A House Democratic leadership aide said Monday that there wouldn’t likely be any significant Democratic defections, making the whip counting easier for Republicans whipping the vote. “Any Democrat who is already on the record supporting TPA has a very clear, vested interest in seeing it pass,” said the aide, whose boss supports Obama’s trade agenda. Liberalism a mental disorder 2


A third option: The House could vote again on just the fast-track bill and either send it to the Senate or try to merge it with the Senate-passed package.

But both of those scenarios have their challenges. Because a stand-alone TPA bill would not be tied to a workers’ aid provision, aides believe the legislation would lose support from the 14 Senate Democrats who helped pass it last time. The absence of the TAA legislation would also erode support in the White House. Cuellar said he’s been in several conversations with administration officials since Friday’s vote, and they’ve vowed not to back any trade package that excludes the additional help for workers displaced by trade deals. “They personally told me they’re not going to deal without TAA,” he said.

But McCarthy, in a briefing with reporters Monday, didn’t rule out that option.

Cristina Marcos and Jordan Fabian contributed to this report, which was updated at 8:18 a.m. on June 16.Picture3 freedom combo 2

REPEAT Politically INCORRECT Cartoon

waving flagWhat’s In It?

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For those of you that did not know, have not been following this tyranny, or you might have forgotten, I offer the following explanation.

Fast track (trade); from Wikipedia

The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Also called trade promotion authority (TPA) since 2002, fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

In October 2011, the Congress and President Obama enacted into law the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the South Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and the Panama–U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement using fast track rules, all of which the George W. Bush administration signed before the deadline.[10]

In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that renewal of the authority is a requirement for the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which have been undertaken as if the authority were still in effect.[11] In July 2013, Michael Froman, the newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative, renewed efforts to obtain Congressional reinstatement of “fast track” authority. At nearly the same time, Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Froman about the prospect of a secretly negotiated, binding international agreement such as TPP that might turn out to supersede U.S. wage, safety, and environmental laws.[12] Other legislators expressed concerns about foreign currency manipulation, food safety laws, state-owned businesses, market access for small businesses, access to pharmaceutical products, and online commerce.[10]

In early 2014, Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Dave Camp introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014,[13] which sought to reauthorize trade promotion authority and establish a number of priorities and requirements for trade agreements.[14] Its sponsors called it a “vital tool” in connection with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and trade negotiations with the EU.[13] Critics said the bill could detract from “transparency and accountability”. Sander Levin, who is the ranking Democratic member on the House Ways and Means committee, said he would make an alternative proposal.[15]


If the President transmits a fast track trade agreement to Congress, then the majority leaders of the House and Senate or their designees must introduce the implementing bill submitted by the President on the first day on which their House is in session. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(c)(1).) Senators and Representatives may not amend the President’s bill, either in committee or in the Senate or House. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(d).) The committees to which the bill has been referred have 45 days after its introduction to report the bill, or be automatically discharged, and each House must vote within 15 days after the bill is reported or discharged. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(1).)

In the likely case that the bill is a revenue bill (as tariffs are revenues), the bill must originate in the House (see U.S. Const., art I, sec. 7), and after the Senate received the House-passed bill, the Finance Committee would have another 15 days to report the bill or be discharged, and then the Senate would have another 15 days to pass the bill. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(2).) On the House and Senate floors, each Body can debate the bill for no more than 20 hours, and thus Senators cannot filibuster the bill and it will pass with a simple majority vote. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(f)-(g).) Thus the entire Congressional consideration could take no longer than 90 days.


Fast track agreements were enacted as “congressional-executive agreements” (CEAs), which must be approved by a simple majority in both chambers of Congress.

Although Congress cannot explicitly transfer its powers to the executive branch, the 1974 trade promotion authority had the effect of delegating power to the executive, minimizing consideration of the public interest, and limiting the legislature’s influence over the bill to an up or down vote:[18]

  • It allowed the executive branch to select countries for, set the substance of, negotiate and then sign trade agreements without prior congressional approval.
  • It allowed the executive branch to negotiate trade agreements covering more than just tariffs and quotas.
  • It established a committee system, comprising 700 industry representatives appointed by the president, to serve as advisors to the negotiations. Throughout trade talks, these individuals had access to confidential negotiating documents. Most members of Congress and the public had no such access, and there were no committees for consumer, health, environmental or other public interests.
  • It empowered the executive branch to author an agreement’s implementing legislation without Congressional input.
  • It required the executive branch to notify Congress 90 days before signing and entering into an agreement, but allowed unlimited time for the implementing legislation to be submitted.
  • It forced a floor vote on the agreement and its implementing legislation in both chambers of Congress; the matters could not “die in committee.”
  • It eliminated several floor procedures, including Senate unanimous consent, normal debate and cloture rules, and the ability to amend the legislation.
  • It prevented filibuster by limiting debate to 20 hours in each chamber.
  • It elevated the Special Trade Representative (STR) to the cabinet level, and required the Executive Office to house the agency.

The 1979 version of the authority changed the name of the STR to the U.S. Trade Representative.[18]

The 2002 version of the authority created an additional requirement for 90-day notice to Congress before negotiations could begin.[18]

Arguments in favor[edit]

  • Helps pass trade agreements: According to AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson, Trade Promotion Authority is “critical to completing new trade agreements that have the potential to unleash U.S. economic growth and investment”. Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, also said “the United States might become less competitive globally if it disengaged from seeking further trade openings: ‘If you’re not in an agreement—that trade will be diverted from us to someone else—we will lose out to another country'”.[19]
  • Congress is allowed more say and members are shielded: According to I.M. Destler of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, fast track “has effectively bridged the division of power between the two branches. It gives executive branch (USTR) negotiators needed credibility to conclude trade agreements by assuring other nations’ representatives that Congress won’t rework them; it guarantees a major Congressional role in trade policy while reducing members’ vulnerability to special interests”.[20]
  • Assurance for foreign governments: According to President Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III, “it is extremely difficult for any U.S. President to negotiate significant trade deals if he cannot assure other nations that Congress will refrain from adding numerous amendments and conditions that must then be taken back to the negotiating table”. The very nature of Trade Promotion Authority requires Congress to vote on the agreements before they can take effect, meaning that without TPA, “those agreements might never even be negotiated”.[21]

Arguments against[edit]

  • Unconstitutional: Groups opposed to Trade Promotion Authority claim that it places too much power in the executive branch, “allowing the president to unilaterally select partner countries for ‘trade’ pacts, decide the agreements’ contents, and then negotiate and sign the agreements—all before Congress has a vote on the matter. Normal congressional committee processes are forbidden, meaning that the executive branch is empowered to write lengthy legislation on its own with no review or amendments.”[22]
  • Lack of transparency: Democratic members of Congress and general right-to-know internet groups are among those opposed to trade fast track on grounds of a lack of transparency. Such Congressmen have complained that fast track forces “members to jump over hurdles to see negotiation texts and blocks staffer involvement. In 2012, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) complained that corporate lobbyists were given easy access while his office was being stymied, and even introduced protest legislation requiring more congressional input.”[23]


  1. Imperial President Obama has kept the contents of his bill “EXTREMELY HIGH SECRECY”, allowing NO ONE, NOT EVEN HIS OWN MARXIST/SOCIALIST/ PARTY.
  2. After a lot of screaming by Congress, and the Senate (YES, even from his own MARXIST/SOCIALIST/ PARTY), he would allow one person at a time, without cell phone, recording device or note taking material, to enter a top secret room, under guard, to read the bill.
  3. Imperial President Obama wants Congress and the Senate to vote to approve the bill, BEFORE THEY ALL CAN FIND OUT WHAT IS IN IT!!!!!!!! Sound familiar?????

Now you can better understand Branco’s humor in his cartoon. Do we really want a tyrant like Imperial President Obama to have unfettered trade agreement approval and the safeguards of the ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES destroyed?

Another Leaked Trade Agreement, Another Reason to Oppose Fast Track

Posted by: David Singh Grewal Headshot , Associate Professor of Law, Yale Law School 06/04/2015 Updated: 06/04/2015 4:59 pm EDT

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Yesterday, WikiLeaks released 17 documents from a little known trade agreement now under negotiation. The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) will cover services ranging from professional work to e-commerce and financial services among the United States, the European Union, and 23 other countries. As with other new trade agreements — notably, the two massive trade deals currently under review with our Asian and European allies — the TiSA negotiations remain classified. And as with those other trade deals, the negotiating texts — which reveal the positions that our government advocates for at the deal-making stage — are to be kept classified for five years after the agreement has been finalized, whether it comes into force or fails.Picture1

Services are big business in the new global economy, comprising an estimated 75% of the U.S. economy. And unlike cross-border trade in goods — largely covered by the WTO — the governance of the trade in services is more haphazard and much less long-standing. The WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a complicated agreement with various opt-in and opt-out clauses, which allow WTO members a degree of autonomy in deciding which services areas they commit to open to foreign competition. One rationale for this degree of autonomy — which is unlike the more general discipline on the trade in goods — is that services aren’t simply comparable “goods” to be traded. They are the product of complex national regulatory regimes and implicate important legislative decisions. To a first order of approximation at least, a barrel of crude oil is a barrel of crude oil, but what banking or architecture or e-commerce is varies widely across national contexts.

Imperial President ObamaThe TiSA represents, in essence, a first step in crafting a new global regime for governing the cross-border flow of services. A great deal of the work that any services agreement must do is definitional, since services can be amorphous and are often controlled by national licensing schemes or one kind or another. Liberalizing the trade in services thus runs up against the difficulty of defining when a national law constitutes improper “discrimination” against foreign competitors in a service sector. As might be imagined, liberalizing agreements often have a deregulatory effect, as different national licensing and oversight regimes are harmonized downwards. And since important services from broadcasting to utilities to health care are provisioned publicly in a wide range of countries, these trade agreements can have a privatizing effect, requiring countries to open sectors to private competition or to eliminate government support.

In the case of TiSA, academics and activists studying the leaked drafts have already noted some of this deregulatory and privatizing pressure. Longstanding systems of public service provision in areas ranging from transport to broadcasting to utilities look likely to be come under new scrutiny. Financial regulations and safeguards — including Dodd-Frank — may be further eroded under this agreement, under the guise of financial service liberalization. Equally worrying are the negotiations covering e-commerce, which reveal U.S. efforts to oppose the “data localization” that privacy advocates support as a buffer against surveillance. Other points of concern will surely emerge over the coming days from the leaked drafts.

But as we take in each new revelation, we must not lose sight of the broader context. The Obama administration’s proposed trade agreements — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and now TiSA — are not really about “free trade” as conventionally understood. They represent instead the inauguration of a new form of global governance, which proceeds under the mantle of trade liberalization. What these agreements deliver are new forms of cross-border regulation, often with sweeping and understudied impacts on the domestic economy. The regulation of our utilities, our roads, our health-care systems, our banks, our media now comes through a mechanism developed in the post-war era to address high tariff rates.Picture2

And there is one overriding fact to bear in mind over the coming week. The same “fast track” authorization that will soon be debated in the House of Representatives doesn’t just concern the controversial TPP and TTIP. Later this year or next, it will be used to provide special, expedited review for TiSA as well. For fast track — now called “Trade Promotion Authority”–will last for six years. Thus, after Obama’s term is finished, through the next Presidential administration, and until 2021, the special treatment decided on this coming week will be used to push through future “trade” agreements that may address any activity that crosses a border — which is to say, almost anything of importance in today’s world.muslim-obama

culture of decietWhat the latest WikiLeaks release reminds us is that fast track won’t just be used to pass the TPP. It will also be used to pass the TTIP, the TiSA, and future agreements not yet leaked — perhaps not even yet imagined. If the House authorizes fast track next week, we should expect even more “government by trade agreement” over the coming years. Behind closed doors, in the offices of lobbying firms and corporate boardrooms, law firms and foreign ministries, smart people working for special interests will be empowered to reshape the world, through secret negotiations, and under the banner of “free trade.”Picture3

The author is an Associate Professor at Yale Law School, where he teaches international trade law.

Contact your Congress person, and your Senator and let them know that we do not want our Tyrant i n Chief to destroy anymore of our Founding Father’s Constitution, or what is remaining of our Liberty.freedom combo 2

One More Step to Usher In the Anti-Christ

Uprising as Obama plans to skirt Congress on ‘New World Order’

Protest planned against ambitious free-trade agreement

Published: 20 hours ago

About Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D., is a WND senior staff reporter. He has authored many books, including No. 1 N.Y. Times best-sellers “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command.” Corsi’s latest book is  “Who Really Killed Kennedy?”

NEW YORK – Can ordinary citizens protesting on the Internet block the Obama administration’s plan to ram through Congress one of the most ambitious globalist, “free-trade agreements” ever negotiated?

Very quietly, opposition is building on the Internet to oppose legislation that may be introduced as soon as Jan. 8. The measure would grant President Obama what is known as “fast track authority” to ram through Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership with limited debate and no opportunity to propose amendments. The international trade agreement, negotiated largely in secret by the Obama administration, is regarded by globalist free traders as a cornerstone of the emerging “New World Order.”

A Facebook page has been created to call for a “Anti-TPP Twitter Storm” on New Year’s Day beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

“Anti-TPP Twitter Storm Wednesday 1/1/14 @ 4 p.m. PST/7 p.m. EST, the whole world will tweet and post an ANTI-TPP hashtag (to be announced) with posts about why people should stop the Trans Pacific Partnership,” the Facebook page reads.

“The goal of this ‘hashtag storm’ is to get this hashtag trending on both Twitter and Facebook, so we can inform the public about the dangers of the Trans Pacific Partnership and agitate people to ACT to stop the TPP. Join us and help expose the corporate coup known as the Trans Pacific Partnership.”

Obama’s ‘two –ocean’ free-trade agenda

As WND previously reported, Obama, in his State of the Union address Feb. 12, announced a two-ocean globalist free-trade agenda:

“To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he said. “And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”

For the first time, a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative within the Executive Office of the President was made public to expand the ongoing negotiations for a free-trade zone with Pacific Rim countries to include a a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European Union countries.

Now there is no doubt the Obama administration has decided in the second term to double-up on a globalist agenda to develop massive new free-trade agreements across both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, adding a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TAP, to what is being developed as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Fast-track authority

WND has reported Obama administration plans in development for the past two years are ready be implemented as Democrats in Congress plan to pass the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement with a simple majority vote that would skirt the two-thirds vote in the Senate that the U.S. Constitution requires to ratify a treaty.

The strategy centers on what is known as “fast track authority,” a provision under the Trade Promotion Authority that requires Congress to review a free-trade agreement, or FTA, under limited debate, in an accelerated time frame that is subject to a yes-or-no vote by Congress without any provision for Congress to modify the agreement by submitting amendments. Fast-track authority is also intended to reassure foreign partners that the FTA negotiated by the executive branch will not be altered by Congress during the legislative process.

A report released Jan. 24 by the Congressional Research Service, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress,” makes clear the Obama administration does not have fast-track authority to negotiate the TPP, even though the office of the U.S. Trade Representative is acting as if it were in place:

The present negotiations are not being conducted under the auspices of formal trade promotion authority (TPA) – the latest TPA expired on July 1, 2007 – although the Administration informally is following the procedures of the former TPA. If TPP implementing legislation is brought to Congress, TPA may need to be considered if the legislation is not to be subject to potentially debilitating amendments or rejection. Finally, Congress may seek to weigh in on the addition of new members to the negotiations, before or after the negotiations conclude.

The CRS report states that the TPP is being negotiated as a regional free-trade agreement that U.S. negotiators describe as a “comprehensive and high-standard” FTA that they hope “will liberalize trade in nearly all goods and services and include commitments beyond those currently established in the World Trade Organization (WTO.)”

That the Obama administration is treating the TPP like a TPA and not a formal treaty obligation strongly suggests the Obama majority will seek passage of the TPP by a simple majority vote in Congress.

Still, the impact of the TPP will be equivalent to a formal treaty obligation in that agreements made within the TPP will be designed to supersede U.S. law with the regional authorities as specified within the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

So, the last hurdle the Obama administration faces in making the TPP law is to get Congress to vote fast-track authority as the terms under which the TPP will be introduced to Congress.

As a consequence, one of the few remaining strategies left to opponents of the TPP is to urge Congress to vote against giving the Obama administration fast-track authority when the issue comes up for debate, possibly as early as next week.

Advancing the NWO agenda

The globalists advising the Obama administration appear to have learned from the adverse public reaction to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, during the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama has avoided the leader summit meetings that exposed to a critical alternative news media the international “working group” coordination needed to create international free-trade agreements.

Globalists have learned from the adverse reaction that such internationalist adventures as the Trans-Texas Highway, known as the NAFTA Super-Highway, will only succeed if such initiatives are pursued covertly with a determination to ridicule anyone who dares contemplate its larger purpose of increasing global sovereignty.

The Obama administration has shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, The last joint statement issued by the newly formed North American Leaders Summit, operating as the rebranded SPP, was issued April 2, 2012, at the conclusion of the last tri-lateral head-of-state meeting held between the U.S., Mexico and Canada in Washington, D.C.

Now, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration appears to have leap-frogged SPP ambitions to create a North American Union by including Mexico and Canada in the TPP configuration.

The 10 nations involved in the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

A graph presented in the CRS report on the first page shows the reach of the agreement across the Pacific, including Peru and Chile in South America; Australia and New Zealand; Malaysia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia; Singapore; and Japan.

As seen in the North American detail below, trade from Canada extends down into roughly Oklahoma in the United States, and trade from Mexico extends north roughly to Colorado.

At the same time, trade from Mexico is seen both as extending up into the United States, reaching across the Pacific Ocean to the Asian and Pacific Rim nations involved in the FTA.

International tribunal dispute resolution

A leaked copy of the TPP draft makes clear in Chapter 15, “Dispute Settlement,” that the Obama administration intends to surrender U.S. sovereignty to adjudicate disputes arising under the TPP to the processes of an international tribunal.

Disputes involving interpretation and application of the TPP agreement, according to Article 15.7, will be adjudicated by an “arbitral tribunal” composed of three TPP members whose purpose under Article 15.8 will be “to make an objective assessment of the dispute before it, including an examination of the facts of the case and the applicability of and conformity with this Agreement, and make such other findings and rulings necessary for the resolution of the dispute referred to it as it thinks fits.”

The TPP draft agreement does not specify that these arbitral tribunals must render decisions in compliance with U.S. law or that the decisions of the arbitral tribunals are invalid should they violate or otherwise contravene U.S. law.

Investment disputes under the TPP appear to be relegated for resolution to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an international authority created by 158 nations that are signatories to the ICSID Convention created under the auspices of the World Bank.

The TPP draft agreement specifies that foreign firms from Trans-Pacific signatory countries that seek to do business in the U.S. can apply to the arbitral tribunals to obtain relief under the trade pact from complying with onerous U.S. laws and regulations, including environmental regulations and financial disclosure rules.

Because the TPP agreement places arbitral tribunals created under TPP above U.S. law, the Obama administration appears to be intent on creating a judicial authority higher than the U.S. Supreme Court. The tribunal could overrule decisions U.S. federal courts make to apply U.S. laws and regulations to foreign corporations doing business within the U.S.

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