President Barack Obama is facing an onslaught of criticism over a document that was leaked concerning his Administration’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations. The document, which was leaked Wednesday morning, shows the Obama Administration bestowing massive new powers on multi-national corporations and a slew of broken campaign policies.
The trade negotiations have been kept so secret up until now that even members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, have complained about lack of access to the details of the negotiations. Their largest complaint has been that while Congress is being denied access to the trade negotiations data, corporate heads are routinely being included in the negotiations.
Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, is so angry over the blocked access that he is considering introducing legislation which will require President Obama to disclose to Congress the details of the negotiations. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has had to leak his own documents just to get the information out there. A group of other Senators have written a letter to Ron Kirk demanding information.
The leaked document is being posted by Public Citizen, a major critic of the Administration’s trade policies.
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch said in a written statement released today,
“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations,”
The newly leaked document is sure to outrage environmentalists, labor unions and financial reform advocates. The document says that the Administration is going to allow for rules which have been patently rejected by all three groups because they erode key protections provided by American law.
Under the agreement currently being negotiated and being advocated by the Obama Administration, U.S. Corporations would be subject to domestic laws on the environment, banking, regulations etc. The kicker is that foreign corporations that are doing business in the States would be allowed to take their complaints to an international tribunal which has the power to override American law and impose sanctions on the U.S. for not abiding by its rulings. These terms are the exact opposite of what Obama advocated in 2008 when he was running for President.
Obama said in 2008,
“We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors; require the privatization of our vital public services; or prevent developing country governments from adopting humanitarian licensing policies to improve access to life-saving medications,”
Yet, every promise is violated by this agreement.
Judit Rius, U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign went as far as to say,
“Bush was better than Obama on this. It’s pathetic, but it is what it is. The world’s upside-down.”