GOP: TPP Doesn’t Rig Rules, Destroy Sovereignty Enough

Dave Johnson

“Establishment” Republicans are warning that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) might not have enough Republican votes to pass right away. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for example, said that President Barack Obama should not submit TPP to Congress for a vote before November 2016 election.

WaPo: “McConnell warns that trade deal can’t pass Congress before 2016 elections”:

McConnell, who previously supported efforts to enhance Obama’s trade negotiating powers, signaled that he was undecided on how he would vote on the deal, but he was clear that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be defeated if it were sent to Capitol Hill next spring or summer, as the administration was planning to do.

Doesn’t Rig Rules, Destroy US Sovereignty Enough

Do you think the reason TPP might not get enough establishment Republican votes is because of overwhelming public opposition to the deal (as voiced on the right by Donald Trump)? Do you think it is faltering because of the opposition of labor unions, environmental organizations, consumer groups, human rights activists and democracy/ good government proponents?

What planet are you living on?

The reason TPP might not get enough establishment Republican votes is that it does not destroy American sovereignty enough and does not rig the rules against working people enough.


The TPP contains a “corporate courts” provision known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS empowers corporations to sue governments if their laws or regulations impede profits. The case is brought up before a court consisting of corporate attorneys. The government’s courts, legislature, and the public can’t do a thing about it. ISDS in other “trade” agreements is so bad that it empowers tobacco companies to sue governments over efforts to try to help people quit smoking or keep kids from starting, because that cuts into tobacco company profits.

A Progressive Breakfast pointed out Friday, “Republicans unhappy with tobacco provisions. The Hill“:

“…McConnell has expressed support in the past for trade, he has warned the White House not to target tobacco growers in a final deal. The deal includes a provision that gives countries more power to regulate manufactured tobacco products, such as cigarettes, as part of any efforts to protect public health … The White House has argued that the tobacco provisions are narrowly focused on health issues and don’t affect the trade of tobacco leaf. But the move has already led to the loss of Republican votes on both sides of the Capitol.”

The post, “What You Should Know About That Completed TPP ‘Trade’ Deal,” explains what is going on with tobacco:

A “tobacco carve-out” … was added because the agreement contains investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that will allow corporations to sue governments that use laws or regulations to try to restrict what the companies do. These provisions restrict the ability of governments to protect their citizens so thoroughly that tobacco companies have used ISDS provisions in similar agreements to sue governments that try to help smokers quit or prevent children from starting smoking. TPP proponents felt that this carve-out will help TPP to pass, while the ability to limit other laws and regulations remains.

To try to help get TPP passed, negotiators put in a “tobacco carve out” that restricts tobacco companies from suing. So tobacco companies — and establishment Republicans — complain that this is “discrimination” because other corporations can still sue, no matter how harmful, dangerous, toxic, unethical, hazardous, painful, frightening, destructive, unhealthy, immoral, or otherwise horrible their product or service is, government’s can’t try to stop them and protect their citizens if it cuts into profits.

Pharmaceutical Companies Not Granted Long-Enough Monopoly

Republicans are similarly upset that TPP doesn’t grant a long-enough monopoly to pharmaceutical companies, thereby rigging the rules so they can charge astronomical, excessive, rent-seeking, impoverishing prices.

From the WaPo story:

Hatch has been concerned about provisions that would offer pharmaceutical companies that develop next-generation biologic drugs about eight years of protections for intellectual property, four years fewer than is currently available under U.S. laws.

The TPP grants these companies an eight-year monopoly on their products, in which time they can charge whatever they want, anywhere that TPP is in force. Eight years. This isn’t enough rule-rigging for them.

Don’t let these “conservative” politicians pretend they are for anything except rigging the rules for the giant corporations and billionaires that fund their campaigns, and hire them at lucrative, obscene reward-salaries after they leave office.

Get updates in your inbox