Regional Scheme for the Pacific Rim

By:  William F. Jasper
08/27/2013
       
Regional Scheme for the Pacific Rim

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would start an EU-type bloc for the entire Asia Pacific region — but the details are being kept secret from Congress and the American people.

With little fanfare or public notice, the Obama administration has pushed full speed ahead over the past year with negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a so-called free trade agreement loaded with potential for enormous political and economic harm for Americans. The TPP, which currently involves 12 nations — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam (Japan is negotiating for membership and is likely to join soon) — is really intended as an interim arrangement, on the road to an expanded Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) that would include all 21 nations of the grouping known as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). That includes China and Russia.

The architects and promoters of the TPP and FTAAP frequently point with admiration to the “integration” process of the European Union (EU) as the model they would like to see implemented for the Asia-Pacific rim nations. As with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been designed to follow the EU example of relentless widening and deepening, constantly eroding national sovereignty, while building “transnational governance” that is not restrained by the checks and balances of national constitutions.

Secrecy vs. Transparency

If there is one word that is used more often than “reform” by governments, politicians, and international organizations — and abused even more frequently and egregiously — it is “transparency.” As with the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the White House and the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office regularly proclaim their commitment to transparency while doing everything possible to hide their actions from their constituents. The USTR’s “Fact Sheet: Transparency and the Trans-Pacific Partnership” is intended to give the impression that the Obama administration is forthrightly providing the American people with all the up-to-date information they need to accurately evaluate the agreements that are being made in their name, and that would, if accepted by Congress, devastatingly impact their lives, their liberty, and their future.

The USTR “Fact Sheet” cites as evidence of its transparency efforts the number of consultations it has held with its selected trade advisory committees and privileged “Civil Society stakeholders.” It states, for instance:

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