Based on a tweet by Mark Knoller of CBS News, President Obama is going out to lunch today to discuss a Father’s Day outreach program. I suspect that meanwhile back at the White House, staff are sweating over what to do about a controversial leaked document which comes to light via Public Citizen, a non-profit founded by Ralph Nader. I confess that my gut reaction to seeing an affiliation with Nader on a story that undermines Obama is, “Another attempt at fouling-up a Democratic Party bid for presidency?”
Assuming this leaked document is indeed legit, Obama will face criticism from labor leaders and politicos from left and right.
According to the organization Public Citizen, a leaked TPP trade document reveals
“U.S. officials are rewriting swaths of U.S. law that have nothing to do with trade and in a move that will infuriate left and right alike have agreed to submit the U.S. government to the jurisdiction of foreign tribunals that can order unlimited payments of our tax dollars to foreign corporations that don’t want to comply with the same laws our domestic firms do.””
Public Citizen summarizes the most offensive revelations found in the document as follows:
- Limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
- Extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
- Establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and
- Allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms.
TPP refers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and may also stand for the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement. Using wikipedia as a reference, TPP “is a multilateral free trade agreement that aims to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region; specifically, Article 1.1.3 notes: “The Parties seek to support the wider liberalisation process in APEC consistent with its goals of free and open trade and investment.””
I found out about this leak through a story by Zach Carter of HuffPo but the leaked document itself was originally provided by Public Citizen.
About Nader. About Me.
I’m aware I could be unfairly critical of anything touched by Nader given his role in the 2000 presidential debacle. Public Citizen is a non-profit, consumer rights advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. It was founded by Ralph Nader in 1971 but Nader hasn’t had an official leadership position with the organization since 1980. [info courtesy of wikipedia]
As for my spin in this: I’m a Wisconsinite at best puzzled and at worst bitter over the minimal involvement Obama took in my state’s historic recall elections.
Read more and see the original leaked document at citizen.org