Rick Jensen, 5/15/2015 [Archive]

Obama Should Release Trade Agreement Details

By Rick Jensen

President Obama is "personally" offended his own party refuses to allow him to "fast track" the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

Considering the details are hidden from everyone except select international insiders negotiating the fate of American workers, the American public should be "personally" offended by Obama and the Republicans willing to go along.

Republican Pat Buchanan asks, "Where is the liberal morality in passing laws to ensure U.S. workers a living wage and clean and safe conditions, and then, through fast track and free trade, signaling their bosses that they can evade these laws by shutting factories here, moving their plants to Asia, paying coolie wages, and subjecting Asian workers to conditions that would earn a U.S. industrialist a tour in Leavenworth?"

In 2013, Obama was fighting for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership when the liberal Economic Policy Institute crushed Obama's claims of gaining hundreds of thousands of jobs, reporting, "U.S. trade with Mexico after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has cost the United States nearly 700,000 jobs through 2010. U.S. trade with China has certainly failed to deliver on the promised benefits of growing exports. Since that country entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the U.S. has lost 2.7 million jobs through 2011 due to growing trade deficits with China."

Today's TPP is no exception to American job loss.

When was the last time the U.S. had an international trade advantage? Over four decades ago.

Economists estimate "free trade" has cost a cumulative 29 million American jobs between 1992 and 2011.

Left-wing news site Slate reported in February that liberal activist Matthew Covington pleaded with Republican David Young at an Iowa event commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, "to beware of the executive overreach that Obama would be engaging in if he secured fast-track powers. 'I said, 'This is such a large trade deal and the Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate that, not the president. This would give the authority to the president. But we elected you to give you that authority, to see what's in this trade deal, to make sure it doesn't jeopardize Iowa values.'"

If that sounds more like a Tea Party American than a liberal, you've noticed a political convergence surrounding free trade.

Pathetically, Ted Cruz has acquiesced to Obama, but fellow Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul promises a "no" vote on the deal, telling The Hill he's "hesitant to give blanket authority on stuff we haven't seen."

Paul noted that he might support the trade agreement if he were about to see it, but warned that the Obama administration doesn't want the American people to find out the details "because they're afraid that if the public knows what we are going to vote on, that somehow that would destroy the republic."

Bottom line: Obama's economic policies failed dramatically. For the first time in history, 93 million Americans seeking work can't find jobs. He is desperately seeking a legacy with a secret deal with Iran, free trade or anything besides the Unaffordable Care Act that he can call a "success."He has failed to earn Americans' trust to negotiate in our interest.

Senate Democrats are feigning disagreement, seeking phony amendments designed to create the false narrative that they're concerned about American workers.

Unfortunately, his record does not foretell a good ending for any of this.

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©Copyright 2015 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is Delaware's award-winning conservative talk show host on WDEL, streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm — 4pm EST. Contact Rick at rick@wdel.com, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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