Tuesday, June 16, 2015

207.9 - Outrage of the Week: Obama thinks TPP more important than stopping slavery

Outrage of the Week: Obama thinks TPP more important than stopping slavery

Let's close out the week with our other regular feature, the Outrage of the Week.

It involves an interesting bit of what one report called political ju-jitsu in the Senate passage of Trade Promotion Authority on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (I told you I'd get back to it.)

The final bill included an amendment to bar any country engaging in human trafficking from getting the benefits of the trade deal.

Human Rights Watch declared that "It's simply incomprehensible why anyone could be against this amendment," which seems a reasonable enough sentiment.

So you know who is against it? The Obama administration.

Why? Because the amendment would affect Malaysia, which is one of the 12 nations involved in negotiating the deal. Our own State Department considers Malaysia to be among the world's worst offenders in human trafficking, in, more directly, slavery, home to some of the worst abuses on this, with a government that has no formal plans to change its ways. This amendment would keep Malaysia out of the TPP, which Obama claims is a deal-breaker on the whole thing, and so he wants the provision out.

Which means the O gang is so intent on scoring this deal for the transnational corporations and trade banks that would be the primary beneficiaries of it that it is fully prepared, to even in effect argue for, allowing Malaysia to continue active involvement in the international slave trade.

How can they justify this? They can't.

They claim that Malaysia being in the pact is only way to encourage it to improve its labor standards. It's the same nonsense we always hear when some portion of our elite wants to ignore injustices and cruelties when it benefits their interests: If we're just nice enough to them, they'll get better. We've heard this crap before; we heard it in the case of apartheid in South Africa, where the mantra was not "free trade " but "constructive engagement." It was bull then, it is bull now.

In fact, the State Department has downgraded three countries on this score - Panama, Colombia, and Morocco - since they entered into trade pacts with the US.

But the O gang and their supporters in Congress want to ignore all that in order to please the CEOs, the transnational corporations, and the banks. To call it an outrage hardly does it justice.

I'll say it again, as many times an necessary: These people are not on your side. And don't you ever forget it, not for one second.

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