Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 4 (6 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Obama's Trade War Against Warren Wounds His Party -- and His Legacy

By       Message Richard Eskow     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/18/15

Author 77715
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Campaign For America's Future

From youtube.com/watch?v=7RteMstd7es: Obama: Elizabeth Warren Is Wrong About The TPP
Obama: Elizabeth Warren Is Wrong About The TPP
(Image by YouTube)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Well, this is awkward. A few days ago President Obama literally laughed off Sen. Elizabeth Warren's concern that his so-called "fast track" provision, which would limit Congressional power regarding trade deals for the next six years, endangers 2010's Dodd/Frank financial reforms.

- Advertisement -

"I'd have to be pretty stupid" to sign an agreement that did that, the President said. He was reportedly laughing as he said it.

Just four days later, Canada's finance minister used a similar trade deal to challenge the "Volcker rule," a key provision of Dodd/Frank. "I believe -- with strong legal basis -- that this rule violates the terms of the NAFTA agreement," Joe Oliver told a banking conference.

As we were saying: awkward.

- Advertisement -

Informed Sources

Many well-informed observers have echoed Warren's concerns, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. "The president is making some fairly nasty remarks about people on the other side, that they don't understand we're in the 21st century," said Stiglitz. "Actually, we do. I don't think he understands what's happened in the last third of a century."

Another critic was Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, who wrote that "Senator Warren is entirely correct."

In fact, the White House appears to be playing word games when it insists that, as paraphrased by Politico's Ben White, "the fast-track bill currently before Congress includes language that expressly forbids changing U.S. law without congressional action." That may technically be true. But, by lowering the bar for Senate ratification of trade deals, it makes it easier to pass provisions that would change U.S. law.

Did the president and his team make a mistake in promoting fast-track, or did they knowingly back a provision that could undermine financial reform? Johnson rather convincingly concludes that "the latter, unfortunately, seems more likely."

Despite these well-informed objections, President Obama isn't content to merely rebut Warren's criticism. He has also been attacking her in gratuitously personal terms and was, in the words of interviewer Matt Bai, "unusually irritated" when asked about her objections.

- Advertisement -

"The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else," Obama told Bai. "And you know, she's got a voice that she wants to get out there ... (but) her arguments don't stand the test of fact and scrutiny."

Some very well-informed sources disagree.

Corporate Courts

Fast-track isn't the only part of the president's trade initiative that threatens American laws. A provision in past trade treaties, and which reportedly is also included in TPP, cedes enormous power to secret, corporate-backed extrajudicial "courts." It's called Investor-State Dispute Resolution (ISDS).

Warren explained how ISDS works: "... highly paid corporate lawyers ... go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next." She told Greg Sargent of The Washington Post that ISDS "doesn't directly tell countries to repeal regulations. It imposes a financial penalty, which has caused countries to change their regulations..."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It


Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz