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Secrecy Around TPP Causing Problems For Obama In Congress

The Most Transparent Administration In History™ is running into problems in Congress promoting fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) thanks, in part, to thesecrecy around the trade deal. Member of Congress are reportedly uneasy about the lack of transparency and discussion around a trade agreement that will have a major impact on the American economy and government.

Given what has already been leaked about the deal, it is becoming increasingly obvious why President Obama needs fast-track authority – the deal will include all sorts of terrible provisions and he will want to force members of Congress to vote on the entire bill up or down without amendments.

Members of Congress will undoubtedly face a lobbying campaign both by President Obama and multinational corporate interests to vote yes when the time comes – there will be no substantive “debate” on the bill just loud cries about trade in aggregate being important.

If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door. If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving. And no matter what, youcan’t discuss the details of what you’ve read. 

“It’s like being in kindergarten,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who’s become the leader of the opposition to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda. “You give back the toys at the end.”

One of the most important agreements in recent years and member of Congress can not even discuss it with the public? Since when does the White House get to classify a trade agreement anyway? This is not a matter of national security, people won’t get killed.

In truth, TPP is exactly the kind of legally binding deal that needs to be publicly scrutinized before Congress throws away its power to make amendments. And if the deal is so good why won’t Obama let the public see it?

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.