Pacific trade deal cedes sovereignty to multinational commission

Nov. 5, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement against adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which regulates 40 percent of the global economy, will continue to outsource American jobs overseas, fail to do anything about currency manipulation, and once adopted, will create an international, unelected commission with broad authority to implement and interpret the agreement without any votes of Congress. These regulatory and judicial powers of the commission, in Article 27.2.2 of the agreement, will be akin to rogue agencies and activist courts in the U.S., that regularly issue edicts contrary to the law passed by elected representatives.

“While U.S. Trade Representative provided a chapter summary on its final provisions that it would take votes of Congress to amend the agreement and to allow other countries to dock into the agreement, the text of the agreement is not nearly so explicit, leaving significant concerns about how the trade agreement will function and whether U.S. representative democracy will be meaningful in its wake. Before any agreement is ratified, the language must be much stronger to make the need for Congress’ approval clear. A chapter summary is not the agreement itself. The danger of a runaway commission is too great for this to be ignored.

“But since Congress is forbidden from amending the agreement under terms of the fast track trade authority granted President Obama earlier this year, and the agreement will not be fixed later, the only recourse for members who share this concern is to simply vote no. Chile managed to get a provision into the agreement adhering to its Constitution explicitly into Article 27, but the U.S. could not? It’s not as if these concerns were not raised prior to the close of negotiations, making the lack of language explicitly safeguarding Article One and Two congressional prerogatives in the U.S. Constitution particularly inexcusable. This concern is exacerbated by President Obama’s on-going contempt for these prerogatives as demonstrated by his regulatory overreach and pen and phone approach to dictating policy.”

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