The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may not be dead after all: House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady wants to “re-negotiate” Obamatrade during President-Elect Donald Trump’s first term.
Brady said the GOP-controlled Congress should defend TPP, called by some the “nascent European Union,” which the outgoing Obama administration reportedly abandoned after Trump’s election. Reuters reports:
“Republicans are going to continue to support the freedom to trade,” the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said.
When it comes to the controversial TPP, which president-elect Donald Trump has opposed, Brady said the plan was defensible.
“Don’t withdraw, renegotiate,” he told a panel of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. “There is plenty that levels the playing field. Renegotiate. Fix the problems that exist today. Let’s find a way to move forward.”
TPP, which is not simply a “trade deal” but the creation of a new global governing structure, of weighs in at 5,554 pages and can only be reviewed in a secret, secured room in Washington, D.C. by congressmen and aides with certain security clearances. Under current fast-track rules, it cannot by amended or filibustered by Congress.
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who backed Trump in the GOP primaries, has criticized TPP in the strongest of terms:
This is, by definition, anti-democratic. 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…
Among the TPP’s endless pages are rules for labor, environment, immigration and every aspect of global commerce – and a new international regulatory structure to promulgate, implement, and enforce these rules,” Sessions said. “This new structure is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission – a Pacific Union – which meets, appoints unelected bureaucrats, adopts rules, and changes the agreement after adoption…
These 5,554 pages are like the Lilliputians binding down Gulliver. They will enmesh our great country, and economy, in a global commission where bureaucrats from Brunei have the same vote as the United States. Clearly, powerful forces will have their voices heard and find ways to profit immensely from this conglomeration. But what of everyday wage-earning Americans? By nearly a 5:1 margin, they believe such deals reduce wages – not increase them. Because this deal lacks currency protections, it will further the bleeding of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, allowing our mercantilist trading partners to take advantage of our continued refusal to protect our own workers.
Trump also slammed TPP repeatedly on the campaign trail.
“If [Hillary Clinton] is elected President she will adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership and we will lose millions of jobs and our economic independence for good,” Trump said in late June. “Just as she has betrayed the American worker and trade at every single stage of her career and it will be even worse than the Clinton’s NAFTA deal. And I never thought it could get worse than that. We will lose jobs. We will lose employment. We will lose taxes. We will lose everything. We will lose our country.”
There is “no way forward” for the 12-nation agreement now, Obama administration officials told reporters after Nov. 8. If Republicans in Congress resurrect the multi-nation agreement, it’s likely to be vetoed by President Trump.