It's not often that I criticize the Obama administration. I tend to find more interesting things to discuss coming out of the GOP camp. But this one is really upsetting to me, and should be to most people.
For a while now, apparently, the Obama administration has been working out a trade deal with a number of other countries. Congress has been kept mostly in the dark about this, which is new for this sort of thing, and many representatives and senators have been demanding more access to records. Well, in a recent leaked document, the American People are getting a look at this trade deal. And it's not pretty.
Essentially, the trade deal is designed to encourage the growth of foreign companies domestically. The deal would make it so that companies that are based in other countries (China, for example) do not need to abide by the laws of the United States when operating here. The same goes for American-based companies operating in other nations. The domestic companies would be at a severe disadvantage because of this, since they would still have to abide by federal laws and regulations. So, if a company is not large enough or otherwise unable to compete internationally, they're going to be sunk by foreign competitors.
And that's not all. Apparently, the deal would also force companies to air grievances in an international tribunal, and bring complaints against other companies or countries to this group for recompense. So, instead of the US being able to go after foreign countries for their practices in our borders, the government would have to take their complaints to this tribunal, which would make the decision. And since the tribunal would be made up of business lawyers rotating into and out of judge positions and positions as advocates for the various companies being represented, it appears as though businesses will be getting a lot of flexibility from this oversight organization.
All in all, this looks to be an appalling bill. In fact, the only American companies that will benefit from this at all will be those who operate heavily in foreign countries. But think, for a moment, about what this will mean for foreign companies in the US. Complete immunity from our domestic laws and regulations to protect the environment and consumer health and wellness. Complete immunity from national investigation and prosecution. And who knows how consumers will redress grievances to these companies, if there are no national laws that affect them? It's a mess.
So, I sincerely hope that this plan is scrapped. At this point, there is no saving it. I hope that there is enough public outcry over this that it will be laid to rest, and we can have more sensible agreements from now on. If this were to go through, you can bet there'd be serious repurcussions for years to come.