You may have heard about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the media. If you haven't, get ready because that's what they will be talking about endlessly soon. In Monday's blog post, I discussed the Fast Track Authority that Congress often grants to presidents.
Because the United States Constitution grants the Executive branch authority to negotiate with foreign nations and it grants Congress the authority to set terms of international commerce, the two branches of government need to cooperate to achieve the highest goals for our country. Within the President's Cabinet are several Cabinet-rank positions. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet The United States Trade Representative is one of them. It is currently held by Ambassador Michael Froman. The website for this agency is www.ustr.gov
I do not know yet whether or not I support the TPP, but I do know that I support our President. I have supported him now for 10 years, first as my Senator and now as my President. During that time I've never seen evidence that he has anything but the best interests of the American people as his primary goal. That said, I want to take a fair look at the climate of criticism surrounding the TPP.
If you Google the topic, you will find that almost all the media articles are against this trade deal. The most frequent criticism by far is that it's all done in secret and no one, not even Congress, knows what's in the deal. First, I'd like to say that negotiations are done in confidentiality. That's how the process has any chance of success. Years ago, I was on my teachers' union negotiation team. The first item agreed upon was that none of the parties at the table would discuss particulars until we'd reached an agreement. Then, once that happened, the agreement was made public and the parties involved had their chance to view the details and vote on the agreement. This is exactly how the TPP is being done. If you are interested in the agenda and goals of this delicate negotiation, they are available for you to read: https://ustr.gov/tpp
So, the next time you hear one of the talking heads rant about the "secrecy" surrounding the TPP negotiations, you will know why and hopefully not see it as some nefarious plot to sell our country out to other nations. More to come on other criticisms of the TPP