Analysis of Secret Trade “Partnerships” (Pseudo Treaties) Which Bypass the Constitution

by Victor Sperandeo with the Curmudgeon



The weekend newspapers are filled with Friday's announcement that the U.S. Democratic Party voted down an important trade bill (the Trade Adjustment Assistance or TAA) that would help their own President advance “Free Trade Partnerships” between the U.S. and many other countries.    In a huge rebuke to President Obama, House Democrats voted to end assistance to workers whose jobs are displaced by global trade.  That move effectively scuttled legislation granting Obama trade promotion authority — the power to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended or filibustered by Congress.


Nancy Pelosi helped defeat the bill.  She said: “We want a better deal for America's workers.” 


{Victor: We all owe Ms. Pelosi a round of applause for her integrity in helping protect workers and the public at large or “we the people.”] 


Republican leaders were trying to gather support from their own party for TAA, a program they have long derided as a waste of money and a concession to organized labor. Eighty-six Republicans voted for the program, more than double the 40 Democrats who supported it. But the trade adjustment assistance bill failed when 303 voted against it.


Republican leaders then passed, in a 219-to-211 vote, a stand-alone bill that would grant the president the trade negotiating authority he sought. But that measure cannot go to the president for his signature because the Senate version of the legislative package combined both trade adjustment and trade promotion.


The defeat of TAA imperils the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposed trade agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations that affects 40% of the global economy.


The Curmudgeon and I have previously written about the Trans Pacific Partnership, which we called “A Deal Made in Secret by the Devil?


Let's look beyond the obvious to discuss why this is occurring and the meaning of these “Trade Partnerships” to elected Congressional Representatives and their constituents.  The cold hard facts and candid conclusions may surprise (or even shock) the reader.






TAA Explained and Why Democrats Voted It Down:


"Trade Adjustment Assistance" or TAA is a U.S. federal program to reduce the damaging impact of imports felt by certain sectors of the U.S. Economy due to so called “Trade Partnerships." 


The current structure features four components of Trade Adjustment Assistance: for Workers, Firms, Farmers, and Communities. 


So why is this important (welfare) program in a Free Trade treaty?  Free trade is about reducing taxes/tariffs on products sold to a nation and eliminating or reducing restrictions of products sold to a country, i.e. preventing protectionism. 


Question: If the Free Trade Partnership is so good why worry about the people who will lose? 


Answer: The Democrats have learned through NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that “free trade” agreements often hurt U.S. workers, many of whom were fired as producers hired cheaper labor in Mexico to build the same or similar products.


After decades of watching U.S. Presidents secure trade agreements from Mexico to South Korea, even in the face of opposition from their base, Democrats have broadly come to the conclusion that such trade agreements exacerbate income inequality (as the Curmudgeon and I have maintained consistently in these blog posts). Unions agreed in a big way!


Labor leaders and their rank and file feared that the emerging trade deal would accelerate the loss of blue-collar jobs that pay well. “The pay levels people would have to compete with are obscene,” said Larry Cohen, a former Communications Workers of America President, who led the coalition. There is evidence that freer trade has reduced the incomes of those without college degrees, he said.


“We are very grateful for all the activists, families, community leaders and elected officials who worked so tirelessly for transparency and worker rights in international trade deals,” Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. president, said in a statement. “This was truly democracy in action.”

“Enough is enough,” Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, said during the Congressional debate.  Many Dem's voiced much stronger negative opinions.


Republican House leaders are promising another attempt to pass the trade deal this week, but said it is up to Democrats to turn the bill’s chances around.  On “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Paul Ryan, who has guided the bill in the House, said President Obama “has a lot of work to do” to convince reluctant House Democrats to change positions and support the bill.   However, he said he’s “optimistic. I think this can be salvaged.”


OPINION: The Democrats are to be commended.  It's the opposite for the Republicans, who are selling out to big corporate interests while lying to "we the people" by saying that it's a good deal.  Led by Paul Ryan (see above quote), Mitch McConnell, and Ted Cruz, the Republicans are pushing these trade agreements.   Why?


They seem to be doing the bidding of the "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" and Fortune 500 companies.  Apparently, they are willing to “sell their souls” for campaign contributions to get re- elected.  In my opinion, America is for sale and that is why it is a sinking ship!




Sidebar:  The World's Power Structure

A very highly rated book titled: "Tragedy & HOPE:  A History of the World in Our Time" (1966) by Carroll Quigley is the ultimate insider admission of a secret global elite that has impacted nearly every modern historical event.  Professor Quigley shows how the Anglo-American banking elite were able to secretly establish and maintain their global power.  This massive hardcover book of 1,348 pages provides a detailed world history beginning with the industrial revolution and imperialism through two world wars, a global depression and the rise of communism. “Tragedy and Hope...”is the definitive work on the world's power structure and an essential source material for understanding the history, goals and actions of the "New World Order." 


Quigley was an esteemed professor of history at the Foreign Service School of Georgetown University and also taught at Princeton and at Harvard.  President Bill Clinton was a student of Quigley and named him as an important influence in his career. 


As a trusted and well respected insider, Professor Quigley had access to a variety of secret papers and sources from which he did his research for Tragedy & Hope. A famous quote and conclusion of the book was stated as such:   


"The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.  This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences." 


The history of power shows that the world's leaders attempted to build empires which acquired countries by winning wars.  That includes the Ottoman and Roman Empires, followed by Germany, Russia, etc. In the U.S. today, we have political “leaders” that try to accomplish the same thing using bribery by effectively buying laws and men that give them similar power.




Analysis of the TPP in light of Quigley's Quote:


When analyzing the TPP (and similar “trade agreements”) one should heavily consider Quigley's quote and observe the recent actions of global central banks.  Some critiques try to make his views sound like some conspiracy theory.  It most definitely isn't a conspiracy!


The TPP and TTIP are "classified," i.e. secret until passed, only then can you read it, but it can't be changed!  Congress can then vote it up or down, but it can become law by a simple majority vote. 


That's not what the Constitution's dictates, i.e. “the laws of this Republic, and the actual law of the land.”  By giving the President “Fast-Track” authority (TPA) it changes the Constitution's requirement of a “treaty” passing by super majority vote and therefore (illegally) circumvents the Constitution.




The Treaty Clause in the Constitution states:    


"In the United States, the term "treaty" is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from congressional-executive agreements and sole-executive agreements.[1] All three classes are considered treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal United States law. Distinctions among the three concern their method of ratification: by two-thirds of the Senate, by normal legislative process, or by the President alone, respectively. The Treaty Clause [2] empowers the President to make or enter into treaties with the "advice and consent" of TWO-THIRDS of the Senate. In contrast, normal legislation becomes law after approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives."



As the TPA negates the above Constitutional requirement, it breaks a Constitutional law over 225 years old (the Constitution was ratified by all 13 states May 29, 1790). 


Could this be due to bribery via campaign contributions for special laws that benefit major corporations (especially big pharma e.g.- the Healthcare Annex)? 


One Senator's Opinion:

 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions said clearly and honestly: "It appears there will be another attempt by Tuesday (June 16th) to force through new executive powers for President Obama. A vote for TAA next week is a vote to send fast-track to the President’s desk and to grant him these broad new executive authorities. If that happens, it will empower the President to form a Pacific Union encompassing 40 percent of the world’s economy and 12 nations—each with one equal vote.  Once the union is formed, foreign bureaucrats will be required to meet regularly to write the Commission’s rules, regulations, and directives—impacting Americans’ jobs, wages, and sovereignty. The union is chartered with a “Living Agreement,” and there is no doubt it will seek to expand its membership and reach over time. Fast-track will not only apply to the Pacific Union, but can expedite an unlimited number of yet-unseen international compacts for six years. There are already plans to advance through fast-track the Trade in Services Agreement, the goal of which includes labor mobility among more than 50 nations, further eroding the ability of the American people to control their own affairs. Americans do not want this, did not ask for it, and are pleading from their hearts for their lawmakers to stop it."


Time for Reflection:    

I respectfully suggest the reader think carefully about all this, especially "one nation has one vote” i.e. they are equal....Some of these nations are Brunei, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, and Vietnam! 


Kindly relate to Quigley’s quote and see if you agree with his premise? Further, recall this is all "secret" (in the U.S. it is "classified" or illegal to read it, unless you are a Congressman/woman allowed to read the text, but not take notes.

According to a Techdirt blog post, the TPP was literally written by corporate lobbyists.


“Of course when you have industry and government groups set up to be regular "advisors" on certain text (and there's a big revolving door between the two sides), you'd expect the relationship to be chummy and sociable. And it shouldn't be surprising to then see the US Trade Representative (USTR) take the lobbyists "template" and stick it right into the agreement. That's how all of this works, after all. But considering that the agreement is a secret agreement that the public and experts outside of those lobbyist "advisors" are not allowed to see, you have to wonder how it's even remotely possible for the USTR to have a full and fair picture of what those rules are likely to do or the impact on the public.”


Finally, think about this: If President Obama gets Trade Promotion Authority, Congress will not be allowed to change one word or amend trade agreements in any way.  Congress will have to vote it up or down to either pass or defeat it.  Still think it's a good idea?


Challenge for U.S. Politicians on “Trade Agreements:”


 Here are a few questions that most politicians won't answer: 


1.  Why would any Congressman (or Congresswoman) violate our Constitution by giving President Obama “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA) to negotiate secret trade agreements? 


Our Constitution states in Article 1, Section 8 that Congress controls the regulation of trade.    Why would Congress even consider voting on these secret trade agreements? 


2.   Why can’t the American people or the media/press see what is in these trade agreements?


The Communications Workers of America says that “600 corporate advisors — including Verizon and Wal-Mart — have been given access.”


3.  If these agreements are really “free trade,” then why do we need International Regulatory Bodies and regulations that rule over the countries involved?   See Prof. Quigley's conclusion for additional insight and perspective.


4.  As an example of past "free trade" treaties, what happened to the U.S. trade deficit from 1994 to date?  How did this effect our standard of living in terms of median income?


5.  What happened to the EU when 28 countries gave up their own sovereignty to unaccountable international commissions (e.g. the European Commission in Brussels and Luxembourg) in the name of a "European Union?


Other Opinions on TPP:

1. Dick Morris, former advisor to Bill Clinton 1978-1996, said:

"The TPP is nothing but an effort by the globalists to circumvent American sovereignty, transferring a host of issues from the control of the U.S. Congress and the various state legislatures to international trade courts."       

2.  Scott Powell in a June 9th IBD editorial: "Downside Of Fast-Track Trade: Authoritarian Decision Making" wrote:


"But as details of the trade pact get leaked, it’s becoming apparent trade liberalization may be only part of TPP. Much of the agreement’s language appears to be devoted to establishing global authoritarian decision-making on environmental, energy, labor and immigration policy."

Continuing... "As for trade policy, TPP would give multinational corporations new powers that would circumvent American sovereignty and transfer the negotiation and implementation into the hands of stateless and faceless regulators and bureaucrats, and away from congressional representatives and state legislators."          


Further as per Prof. Quigley's research....."Make no mistake: The longstanding goal of globalists is international rule by elitists and their bureaucrats unencumbered by fickle and changing democratic rule by sovereign states. No doubt some multinational corporate titans embrace TPP because of their success with regulatory capture of U.S. regulators, and assume that international bureaucrats would also be relatively easy to control — helped by the revolving door between regulatory bodies and the corporations they regulate."   


Conspiracy or Fact - CFR, Tri-Lateral Commission, Bilderberg Group:

 If the reader is cynical about elite, secretive groups that seem like a conspiracy, please consider the following:


The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), started by the first progressive President Woodrow Wilson's chief advisor Edward Mandell House in 1921.   The CFR has approximately 4267 members with an overwhelming number appointed to run critically important U.S. government departments.  For example, Ashton B. Carter, a Rhodes Scholar and CFR member, will be the twenty-seventh U.S. Secretary of Defense.  Twenty secretaries of defense total (almost 75% of all defense secretaries)—and eighteen of the last twenty defense secretaries (90% of the last twenty)—have been CFR members or analysts.


Of the last thirteen Secretaries of Defense, nine are still active CFR agents today:  Ashton B. Carter, Chuck Hagel, Robert Gates, William S. Cohen, William J. Perry, Dick Cheney, William Howard Taft IV, Frank Carlucci, and Harold Brown. This is virtually the same for past U.S. Secretary of State's.


The Tri-Lateral Commission, started in 1973 by founder David Rockefeller, has 170 members and has similar power.  The goal of the Tri-lateral Commission is to align the free world with the advanced communist states to organize a world government.


The Bilderberg Group was formed in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek Netherlands by Jozef Retinger and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and others.  It invites 151 members to its secret meetings currently held at Interalpen-Hotel in Austria. 


According to an article by Kevin McKenna in the Guardian, the Bilderberg Group claims that it promotes a better understanding and a spirit of goodwill between Europe and North America.  “It's where deals are made that calibrate the fragile eco structure of the global economy in such a way as to ensure that money will always be able to purchase real power and influence in this world.”


Paul McGuire of News with Views calls the clandestine group “the shadow government that rules the world.”

 “The vast majority of the media outlets in the United States are controlled by just six corporations who are controlled by the power elite who also control secret organizations like the Bilderberg Group, whose sinister plans are never exposed by the major media outlets. The Bilderberg Group is behind the trade treaties and its leaders are planning global government, which is the only real news story worth covering.”




All of the above research finally begs the question why is President Obama promoting what the Republicans are propagandizing as "free trade?"  During his six + years as President, Obama has not done anything to promote: free markets, capitalism, classic growth promoting initiatives, e.g. fiscal policy. So what is Obama's hidden agenda?             


My view is “back door control of the people,” using climate change/environment regulations, gun control, health care, taxes, and the ending of private property rights, etc. all while avoiding the laws in the U.S. Constitution.  Obama has certainly not been effective in working with Congress, which he deeply disagrees with.


As to the ethics of why the "selling out" of votes to corporate insiders as the Republicans have done, we turn to the words of HL Mencken – known as the "Sage of Baltimore:" 

"It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."




TPP "Trans Pacific Partnership"                                                                                                              

TTIP "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership"                                                                           

TPA “Trade Party Administrator"- aka "Fast -Track", or power to the President to negotiate the agreements without Congress consent          

TAA “Trade Adjustment Assistance"


The Curmudgeon


Follow the Curmudgeon on Twitter @ajwdct247

Curmudgeon is a retired investment professional.  He has been involved in financial markets since 1968 (yes, he cut his teeth on the 1968-1974 bear market), became an SEC Registered Investment Advisor in 1995, and received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from AIMR (now CFA Institute) in 1996.  He managed hedged equity and alternative (non-correlated) investment accounts for clients from 1992-2005.

Victor Sperandeo is a historian, economist and financial innovator who has re-invented himself and the companies he's owned (since 1971) to profit in the ever changing and arcane world of markets, economies and government policies.  Victor started his Wall Street career in 1966 and began trading for a living in 1968. As President and CEO of Alpha Financial Technologies LLC, Sperandeo oversees the firm's research and development platform, which is used to create innovative solutions for different futures markets, risk parameters and other factors.

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