May 12, 2015

"Senate Democrats handed President Obama a stinging rebuke on Tuesday..."

"... blocking consideration of legislation granting their own president accelerated power to complete a major trade accord with Asia."
The Senate voted 52-45 on a procedural motion to begin debating the bill to give the president “trade promotion authority,” eight votes short of the 60 needed to proceed. Republicans and pro-trade Democrats said they would try to negotiate a trade package that could clear that threshold.
The link goes to the NYT, where the top-rated comment is:
Why the rush to fast track this? Why can't we, the voters, see what's in this agreement? Why are the details secret? A full transparent discussion of the whole thing should be conducted before signing on to such legislation. Who will make money and who will lose money? Americans deserve to know what exactly is in this trade deal. It is not as though we don't have good reason to be suspicious about this.

22 comments:

MayBee said...

A stinging rebuke rather than obstructing him.


Interesting.

Coupe said...

Fast Tracks emptied the treasury in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MayBee said...

Obama is definitely big on the pass it to find out what's in it, isn't he?

Obamacare, this, Iran....

Sebastian said...

"Why the rush to fast track this? Why can't we, the voters, see what's in this agreement? Why are the details secret?"

"Fast track" essentially means an up-or-down vote. The agreement can't be completed until the parties know concessions they make will be reciprocated and passed as part of a package deal. The details aren't "secret." No fast track means actual agreement is much less likely.

khesanh0802 said...

I have been supportive of fast track in the past. It seemed to make the negotiators' job easier because they were assured that the treaty would not be completely destroyed by amendments and that trade offs made would stay made. On this one though as with the Iranian negotiations I think all the restrictions that can be put in place should be put in place.

Our experience under Obama has been that we can not trust any information coming out of the White House about anything. We also know that Obama and his appointees are terrible negotiators. To give them a free hand seems a bit foolish. It is certainly a lovely irony that it is the President's own party that is exhibiting a lack of trust.

sunsong said...

I'd like to see the republicans remind Obama that he poisoned the well with his immigration executive order and so he needn't look to them for a rescue on trade...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Republicans: obstructionist Party of No! clogging up the works with their racist opposition.
Democrats: bravely rebuking a popular but overreaching President, forcing negotiation and harmony to rule the day.

jr565 said...

" A full transparent discussion of the whole thing should be conducted before signing on to such legislation."
Even moreso considering this is supposedly the most transparent administration EVER!

AReasonableMan said...

Despite having a generally pro-trade viewpoint I have come to have very mixed feelings about these treaties. It seems that the principle achievement of free trade over the last two decades is that the US and Europe have financed the rise of China by buying plastic and electronic trinkets, most of which are now located in local landfills.

Jack Wayne said...

If you read the Federalist Papers you will find that Publius was very much in favor of secret treaties. Obama is just following the tradition of scumbags like Hamilton, Madison and Jay.

Rick67 said...

Why the rush to fast track this? Why can't we, the voters, see what's in this agreement? Why are the details secret? A full transparent discussion of the whole thing should be conducted before signing on to such legislation.

Why does that sound strangely familiar?

buwaya said...

" the US and Europe have financed the rise of China by buying plastic and electronic trinkets, most of which are now located in local landfills."

This is true of every country that has achieved economic takeoff since Bretton-Woods. The US opened access to its markets and in that way achieved its political goals. Germany and Japan were the first beneficiaries. Most of what they sold in their time as low cost exporters is in landfills too.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
This is true of every country that has achieved economic takeoff since Bretton-Woods.


But none of them have the clout that China will have, thanks to size and the quality of their human capital. The rise of China was probably inevitable but it seems that we have not played our hand as shrewdly as we might have and they have played their hand very shrewdly, by exploiting the low labor cost obsession of our manufacturing manager class.

CarlF said...

The left says only racists oppose Obama. Therefore, the left admits the Senate Democrats are racists.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Despite having a generally pro-trade viewpoint I have come to have very mixed feelings about these treaties. It seems that the principle achievement of free trade over the last two decades is that the US and Europe have financed the rise of China by buying plastic and electronic trinkets, most of which are now located in local landfills.

Where there is a demand, that demand will be met.


AReasonableMan said...
buwaya said...
This is true of every country that has achieved economic takeoff since Bretton-Woods.

But none of them have the clout that China will have, thanks to size and the quality of their human capital. The rise of China was probably inevitable but it seems that we have not played our hand as shrewdly as we might have and they have played their hand very shrewdly, by exploiting the low labor cost obsession of our manufacturing manager class.

You're assuming that the advantages are one sided. That assumption would be wrong.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
This is true of every country that has achieved economic takeoff since Bretton-Woods.


The Germans and Japanese were competitors but left our manufacturing base largely intact. China's strategy has been to hollow out our manufacturing base, making us dangerously dependent on them for much of our basic manufacturing infrastructure. It has been a brilliantly conceived and executed plan, even if much of it was made up as they went along.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
This is true of every country that has achieved economic takeoff since Bretton-Woods.

China's strategy has been to hollow out our manufacturing base, making us dangerously dependent on them for much of our basic manufacturing infrastructure.

Not true

n.n said...

Shades of executive discretion. Obamacare, multi-trillion dollar deficits, expanded wars, etc. revisited.

AReasonableMan said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
Not true


You are confusing employment levels, which it is true would have declined significantly even without China, with basic infrastructure.

Try to buy basic electric components not made in China, there are a few, but precious few, and everything is cheaper on AliExpress.

Much the same is true of furniture. They have also cornered the market in woodworking machinery. Even if you want to make furniture in the US you now have little choice other than to send large sums of money to China in order to do so.

Both on the high and low ends China has wiped our entire industries in the US. It is true that it has not succeeded completely, which is all that article shows, but it is doing a bang-up job nonetheless.

In the decades to come I predict that the geniuses that manage manufacturing in the US will be perceived as an unfortunate mix of Benedict Arnold and Gomer Pyle.

Phil 3:14 said...

"It seems that the principle achievement of free trade over the last two decades is that the US and Europe have financed the rise of China by buying plastic and electronic trinkets, most of which are now located in local landfills."

The irony here is he wants fast track to finalize a trade deal to counteract China: TPP

H said...

Please read Sebastien at 4:12 5/12. This by no means a secret treaty. It is an agreement to vote on the treaty (to ratify or not to ratify) without amending the agreement.

Any trade agreement is the result of months or years of negotiation: one country makes concessions, the other co entry makes concessions. So now imagine at the end of the process, Congress says, "a few of those concessions the US made -- we want to rescind those and keep all the concession made by the other country." Who would negotiate with the US under those conditions?

Countries with parliamentary systems don't have this problem because the executive and legislative leadership is one and the same.

Brando said...

The Democratic party lurches ever farther to the Left--there was a time when it was the party of free trade, and I don't believe any Democratic president in the modern era has been "anti" free trade. But Obama is no longer leading his party--the Occupiers are.

You know, I don't recall the Democrats ever voting so solidly against their president (only one Democratic senator voted in favor). This is a rather unprecedented rebuke, completely violating decorum. What is it about this particular president that is different from other presidents that would lead Democrats to treat him so rudely?

Could it be...his blackness? After all, unless I'm mistaken all these Democratic senators are white (only the GOP has a black senator).