Diary

TPA & TPP: Senator Jeff Sessions' letter to President Obama

[mc_name name=’Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’S001141′ ]’ Office has just published a letter to President Obama outlining his opposition to the TPP.  The letter is a followup to one he apparently sent earlier seeking clarification about what he read in the treaty.  That letter went unanswered.

The core of his objections in the letter are quoted below (emphasis mine):

The letter, which received no reply, asked several fundamental questions Congress ought to have answered before even considering whether to grant the executive such broad new powers. Among those, I asked that you make public the section of the TPP that creates a new transnational governance structure known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission. The details of this new governance commission are extremely broad and have the hallmarks of a nascent European Union, with many similarities.

Reviewing the secret text, plus the secret guidance document that accompanies it, reveals that this new transnational commission—chartered with a “Living Agreement” clause—would have the authority to amend the agreement after its adoption, to add new members, and to issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental, and commercial policy. Under this new commission, the Sultan of Brunei would have an equal vote to that of the United States.

The implications of this new Pacific Union are extraordinary and ought to be discussed in full, in public, before Congress even contemplates fast-tracking its creation and pre-surrendering its power to apply the constitutional two-thirds treaty vote. In effect, to adopt fast-track is to agree to remove the constitutional protections against the creation of global governance structures before those structures are even made public.

I would therefore ask that you provide to me the legal and constitutional basis for keeping this information from the public and explain why I cannot share the details of what I have read with the American people. Congress should not even consider fast-tracking the transfer of sovereign power to a transnational structure before the details of that new structure are made fully available for public review.

I have read some other commenters here who are noting that [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] is backing the TPP.  That may be so but he has not given me a reason to do so.  Senator Sessions on the other hand is making clear why he opposes the deal and is pushing publicly for what Cruz and others should too: Stopping the Fast Track until the deal is public and until we have a say.