In his 2013 State of the Union speech, President Obama not only promoted passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but he also announced: “We will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.” He claimed that this new initiative is needed “because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying jobs.” Obviously, anyone who heard or read the speech was led to believe that our current President favors jobs for the American people. After completing four years in office, however, the nation hasn’t seen any significant decrease in the unemployment rate, and many of the jobs that have been created are positions in government.
For the motives behind these two “free trade” deals, we should consider what occurs when free trade is sold to the people as a job-creator. An honest look at Europe shows that free trade rhetoric throughout that region ushered in the now-dominant European Union and the loss of sovereignty for its 27 member nations. The undeniable fact is that these proposed economic unions lead to political unions. The long-range goal of a world government is the real goal here — not jobs, or increased flow of goods, or better relations with others. Trade agreements constitute one of the more certain routes to achieving this goal. But, according to its champions, advancing toward their world government objective has to be done piecemeal.
In his infamous 1974 essay “The Hard Road to World Order,” Council on Foreign Relations heavyweight Richard N. Gardner outlined steps that would lead the United States into a UN-controlled new world order. Once implemented, his plan would accomplish, as he stated, “an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece.” One of his recommended steps called for trade agreements that “will subject countries to an unprecedented degree of international surveillance over up-to-now sacrosanct ‘domestic’ policies.”
Similarly, Zbigniew Brzezinski (another CFR heavyweight) has long championed ending sovereignty in favor of world rule. In his 1970 book Between Two Ages, he wrote of the need for a “piecemeal” approach to achieve the overall world government. The way he expressed it called for “forging of community links” through trade arrangements among the United States, Western Europe, and elsewhere. Like Gardner, he saw trade pacts as a path to world government.
Now we see U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chairman Thomas Donohue calling for bold action to complete TTIP negotiations. Others from the CFR and like-minded organizations have dutifully proposed whatever might be needed to bring all of the nations of the world to heel. One revealing hurdle these planners are determined to overcome is the widespread desire to “Buy American.”
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso are enthusiastic supporters of the TTIP. Both note that the existing transatlantic trade is already the world’s largest. If so, why is a new trade agreement needed? They provide no answer as they urge appropriate officials of the United States and European Union to start talks that will lead to creation of the proposed pact. On February 13, President Obama joined Van Rompuy and Barroso in a joint statement urging the start of negotiations for a TTIP. This “Joint Statement” (released by the Council on Foreign Relations) also noted that trade between the U.S. and the European Union “is already the world’s largest, accounting for half of global output.” Again we ask, why is this new trade agreement needed? The answer, of course, is that its goal has far less to do with trade than it does with entanglements that lead to world government.
Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to start the process to create the TTIP. Their letter had signatures from 15 other senators. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the committee’s ranking Republican Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have thrown their support behind the idea. European backers of the proposal include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. And an article in the CFR’s Foreign Affairs makes note of “new frontiers” that would have to be watched such as “the U.S. shale market.”
In a recent speech, European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated that the TTIP should be created in order to aid in “the development of global rules.” The aforementioned article published by Foreign Affairs suggested that the proposed TTIP would help the participants “maintain their sway over global economic governance.” To date, there is no revealing mention of the United Nations in any of these announcements. But the UN is surely to be the enforcer of the “global rules,” most likely through its World Trade Organization.
Another Proposed Pact in the Pacific
Meanwhile, moves toward accomplishing a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue with the Obama administration hoping to classify it as something other than a treaty so as to avoid needing two-thirds approval in the Senate. As Jerome Corsi has pointed out, one real danger in the TPP is that it will create an international tribunal that will have jurisdiction over any disputes that may arise. This body would have power to supersede the authority of our nation’s Supreme Court, just as a NAFTA tribunal already issues rules that countermand decisions of our nation’s courts. President Obama wants to proceed toward the TPP preferably with “fast track authority” that would bar amendments being added to the measure by Congress. Former Michigan Governor John Engler, now heading the Business Roundtable, is solidly behind recreating this Congress-skirting procedure, known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired in 2007.
On March 1 the Obama administration released its 2013 trade policy agenda that calls on Congress to establish Trade Promotion Authority, which means debate in Congress about fast-track authority could well begin as early as this spring.
Regarding timing for the TPP and TTIP agreements, the goal of the advocates for the TPP is to have it approved by Congress by the end of this year. Then, they will work to gain congressional approval of the TTIP agreement with the EU by 2015. This does not give us much time, but just as we stopped the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and slowed down the North America Union (NAU), we can beat them again.
You should start letting your representative and senators know that you oppose granting Trade Promotion Authority to the president and that you also oppose congressional approval of the TPP and TTIP trade pacts when they are submitted.
(This article was orginally published in the April 2013 issue of the JBS Bulletin, and is posted here on JBS.org with permission.)
(The interlocking portions of the globe graphic via Shutterstock.)