Newsflash:
Rob Zerban Trans Pacific Partnership Passing the TPP: Not so fast
Monday, 19 May 2014 16:50

Passing the TPP: Not so fast

Written by  Dave Anderson | Boulder Weekly

A rebellion is breaking out in the Democratic Party, but it’s not like the 1960s when the party was torn apart over the Vietnam War and civil rights for blacks. In those days, Democrats were united in support of the New Deal/Great Society approach to economics. Today, the situation is reversed. There isn’t any significant split over foreign policy or social issues. Now Democrats are divided over economics.

Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect notes: “As Southern whites fled the party [in the 1960s over civil rights], Democrats welcomed socially liberal financial elites who had rejected the GOP’s rightward turn on racial and gender issues. This mix of Wall Street bankers and high-tech entrepreneurs has become a major source of Democratic funding. Their perspectives have dominated the party’s economic policies, beginning with former Goldman Sachs CEO Robert Rubin’s tenure as Bill Clinton’s Treasury secretary and continuing through the Obama presidency with such protégés as Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner. During Clinton’s presidency, Rubin et al. deregulated the financial industry and crafted free-trade accords that decimated American manufacturing. The dot-com boom and low unemployment levels of the late 1990s convinced the Rubinistas that they had found the key to generating good jobs in a nation that had been losing them for at least 25 years.”

Rubin’s vision for prosperity died with the crash of 2008, but his devotees in the Obama administration limited the push for stricter financial regulation and emphasized protecting banks more than homeowners.

Many progressives had been quiet about their criticism of President Obama until after he won re-election. Then this summer they successfully challenged Obama’s expected appointment of Larry Summers to the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve.

Democrats are having a big battle right now over a gigantic “free trade” agreement called “NAFTA on steriods.” The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret among 12 Pacific Rim economies, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Recently Wikileaks released the “intellectual property” chapter of the TPP, which reveals that it involves an expansion of protectionism rather than free trade. Economist Mark Weisbrot notes that this chapter is “one of 24 (out of 29) chapters that do not have to do with trade. This chapter has provisions that will make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to get patents, including in developing countries; have these patents for more years; and extend the ability of these companies to limit access to the scientific data that is necessary for other researchers to develop new medicines. And the United States is even pushing for provisions that would allow surgical procedures to be patented — provisions that may be currently against U.S. law.”

Opponents of the TPP made significant progress in the House in November as 174 lawmakers from both parties indicated their unwillingness to grant the president authority to “fast-track” the TPP to a Congressional up-or-down vote. Under this Nixon-era procedure, there is no debate.

The 151 Democrats opposing fast-track include 18 of 21 full committee ranking members and 72 subcommittee ranking members; Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn; Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel; Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chairs Rosa DeLauro and Rob Andrews; and 35 of 48 Democratic Steering and Policy Committee members; 19 of the short list of Democrats who voted for the 2011 U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement; 26 of the 51 members of the New Democrat Coalition; and eight of the 14 members of the Blue Dog Coalition. It is impressive that about half of the New Democrat Coalition (the reincarnation of the Democratic Leadership Council) took this stand because this group typically supports free-trade agreements.

The 23 House Republicans opposing fast-track included both moderates and Tea Party sympathizers.

Rep. Jared Polis, who is a member of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus (which strongly opposes the TPP) and the New Democrat Coalition, hasn’t come out against fast-track. Neither have any of the other Colorado members of the U.S. House of either party.

Since we are a “swing state,” progressives have a big challenge. We have to get outside our comfort zone in Boulder and reach out to more conservative Coloradans. We should certainly share our views with politicians, but ultimately we need to create more grassroots “street heat.”

It’s time to turn that heat up on Polis and our other representatives.

Respond: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

Original article on Boulder Weekly

Read 3877 times

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Zerban Campaign

  • Meet the Man Who's Trying to Force Paul Ryan to Look for a Real Job
    Meet the Man Who's Trying to Force Paul Ryan to Look for a Real Job

    Once again, Koch brothers cash will face off against a people-powered campaign in Wisconsin this November. The race is for a House seat in the first Congressional District, a seat now held by Paul Ryan. His challenger – the first serious challenge he's faced in 14 years in Congress – is Rob Zerban, a restaurateur and County Commissioner.

    Written on Sunday, 02 September 2012 17:49 Read more...
  • The Real Cost of the Ryan Budget
    The Real Cost of the Ryan Budget

    Everywhere I go during my campaign — parades, farmers markets, even the local deli — I keep hearing the same thing from Wisconsin voters. “We need real representation,” they tell me, “representation that’s focused on the people and what we need.”

    Written on Thursday, 09 August 2012 19:51 Read more...
  • Zerban Submits 230% of Required Nomination Signatures Today
    Zerban Submits 230% of Required Nomination Signatures Today

    "The message is clear: Paul Ryan must be held accountable for his 14 years of failed decisions"

    Written on Saturday, 02 June 2012 01:34 Read more...
  • A Man Who Looks Paul Ryan's Storm Dead in the Eye
    A Man Who Looks Paul Ryan's Storm Dead in the Eye

    "He had a minor in economics," Rob Zerban says of his opponent. "What experience does he have to say that he's the great budget oracle?" "The people of the First District can see where that budget impacts their lives. Their bridges start to crumble. We've got 16 bridges on federal highways alone in the district that have been declared structurally deficientm and that doesn't include county and local municipal bridges.

    Written on Friday, 27 April 2012 01:52 Read more...
  • Rob Zerban Has My Vote in 2012
    Rob Zerban Has My Vote in 2012

    Typically during an election cycle, it often comes down to voting for the lesser of two evils. You choose the one who supports the issues most meaningful to you – or at least doesn’t outright defy them. It can be difficult to encounter a candidate who personifies the conviction and integrity you would imagine only in a perfect political world.

    Written on Sunday, 15 April 2012 18:11 Read more...
  • Rob Zerban Statement on Paul Ryan’s FY2013 “Path to Poverty”
    Rob Zerban Statement on Paul Ryan’s FY2013 “Path to Poverty”

    Today, Rob Zerban, Democratic Congressional challenger to Congressman Paul Ryan, released the following statement in response to the introduction of Paul Ryan’s FY2013 “Path to Poverty” budget.

    “In yet another misguided handout to Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, Congressman Paul Ryan today introduced his latest budget plan, designed to place the blame for his 14 years of poor decisions squarely on the backs of our hardworking families.

    Written on Sunday, 15 April 2012 18:07 Read more...
  • WI-01 Rob Zerban Campaign Kickoff Tour Highlights
    WI-01 Rob Zerban Campaign Kickoff Tour Highlights

    When I began this campaign, I made a commitment to serve as a voice of the people- not of corporations.

    I have been putting that into action. In the last few weeks, I have been working overtime to kickoff my campaign with rallies across the district.

    Written on Monday, 12 March 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • John Nichols: How Rob Zerban forced Paul Ryan to defend Internet freedom

    The American Civil Liberties Union, Free Press and the Save the Internet campaign have made it clear that the Stop Online Piracy Act poses a genuine threat to human rights advocacy and whistleblowing on the Web.

    Written on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:00 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of