WikiLeaks Seeks to Illuminate Secretive Trade Deal as Republican-Led Congress Seeks to Empower Obama with Fast-Track Authority

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multinational trade agreement concerning 40% of the world economy that is currently being negotiated behind closed doors between representatives of multinational corporations and the following 12 countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam). (Note: Although the TPP is branded as a trade deal, only 5 of the 29 chapters are believed to concern international trade). President Obama made the TPP a top priority of his administration and his strongest supporters in Congress are within the Republican majority. In fact, the Republican-controlled Senate has already passed a bill that would provide President Obama with fast-track authority to help him finalize negotiations of the TPP, and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on fast-track authority tomorrow. (Note: Fast-track authority was euphemistically rebranded as trade promotion authority in 2002.) As explained by Public Citizen:

Fast Track was an extreme and rarely-used procedure initially created by President Richard Nixon to get around public debate and congressional oversight. Fast Track is how we got into the job-killing, wage-flattening North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). … Fast Track allowed the executive branch to unilaterally select partner countries for "trade" pacts, decide the agreements' contents, and then negotiate and sign the agreements – all before Congress had a vote on the matter! Normal congressional committee processes were forbidden, meaning that the executive branch was empowered to write lengthy legislation on its own with no review or amendments. These executive-authored bills altered wide swaths of U.S. law unrelated to trade – food safety, immigration visas, energy policy, medicine patents and more – to conform our domestic policies to each agreement's requirements. And, remarkably, Fast Track let the executive branch control Congress' voting schedule. Unlike any other legislation, both the House and Senate were required to vote on a Fast Tracked trade agreement within 90 days of the White House submitting it. No floor amendments were allowed and debate was limited.

Meanwhile, as corporatist politicians from both parties goosestep with the Obama Administration to advance global corporate hegemony, WikiLeaks seeks to inform the American people (and the world) about the nature of the largest trade deal in history. After already publishing draft-versions of several of the 29 TPP chapters, WikiLeaks has announced that it will provide a reward of $100,000 (raised via crowdfunding) to whoever leaks the entire text of the TPP!

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