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Friday, 18 September 2015 17:54

Trans-Pacific Partnership Not Transparent Featured

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The lack of transparency in government has never been so low. The lack of transparency in government has never been so low.

People frequently believe that legislative bills, trade deals, acts and government contracts lack transparency or cleverly hide other unrelated measures innocuously inside seemingly routine language. In the case of a trade bill long ballyhooed by the Obama administration – The Trans-Pacific Partnership – there’s truth to their belief.

The Bill contains numerous chapters and one of them is 10 pages long and contains language that would require changes in U.S. immigration law governing foreign worker visas.

The entire copy of the trade deal has not yet been made part of the public record but a Freedom of Information Act request made by Knowledge Ecology International reveals that one of the Chapters is titled "Temporary Entry for Business Persons."

The Obama administration, long a self-proclaimed champion of “increased transparency for the federal government” has repeatedly denied the Trade agreement contains an immigration clause. In addition, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin an advocate of the deal has also maintained the bill contains no “immigration provisions.”

However, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has said adamantly that the trade deal did contain provisions allowing for increased immigration numbers. It has been reported that members of Congress who voted on the bill were only allowed to read a draft of the agreement and were not allowed to take a full text out of a closed room to study the language. Further, names of the members who did read the “draft” were not made public.

Curtis Ellis, executive director of the American Jobs Alliance calls the trade deal "a Trojan horse for Obama's immigration agenda." He notes that "one corporate trade association says bluntly that 'The TPP should remove restrictions on nationality or residency requirements for the selection of personnel.'"

Other commentators have jumped on the alarming implications of the language contained within the TPP.

Dick Morris, in a piece that appeared at Real Clear Politics, warned that the Partnership could cost Congress power in its ability to control immigration, a power granted to the body in Article I of the Constitution, which tasked the body to “establish a uniform rule for naturalization.”

“We could find ourselves back in the era before the 1920s when there were no restrictions on immigration and anyone from anywhere could come to our shores,” Morris wrote.

He pointed out that the Republicans pushing for the Partnership may just end up giving the Office of the President unchecked powers in this area.

Morris says that TPP, as a treaty, would become a “Law of the Land,” which would act as a shield against future repeals and amendments concerning its content.

“A new, Republican, president would be able to reverse Obama's amnesty plan, but not the open-border provisions of the TPP,” Morris wrote in his article.

Many have also pointed out how odd the lines of this opposition are in this age of politics, with Republicans siding with Obama over free trade reasons, and pro-labor Democrats protesting the TPP.

The Trade Agreement involves 12 countries from North and South America and Asia and would give U.S. Presidents fast-track authority to increase granting Visa to foreign nationals. So much for transparency.

Carl Conley

Read 3096 times Last modified on Friday, 18 September 2015 18:05

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