Obama is planning on pushing the TPP through Congress right after the November elections. If Hillary is elected, she would not be blamed for the TPP being ratified, if Trump is elected, he would not be able to stop it from being ratified.
As we just witnessed, Hillary’s appointees to the Democratic platform committee rejected opposition to the TPP as a part of the Democratic platform. A very curious move considering that both Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary and Bernie, say they oppose the TPP. Bernie’s appointees tried to include opposition to the TPP as a central plank in the party platform, but Hillary’s appointees voted to support the TPP. WTF?
What’s going on?
The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that Hillary Clinton plans on embracing the TPP if she is elected. And the fact that her appointees on the platform committee voted as they did proves that they received marching orders from Hillary herself.
Last year, Obama convinced Congress to pass Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority) for the Trans Pacific Partnership. Fast Track means that Congress agrees to let the administration negotiate the trade agreement fully and then present it to Congress with no debates, no amendments, no discussion whatsoever, just an up or down vote.
House Democrats broke with Obama by a whopping margin, voting against the president 152 to 28. It was the Republicans who passed Fast Track! The vote was 218 to 202 in favor. Of those 218 votes backing Obama, 190 were Republicans.
When TPP is again taken up by the House, it is unlikely that the 28 Democrats who voted for Fast Track will buck Obama on passage of TPP. In fact, due to Hillary, a number of those Democrats who voted no on Fast Tract may back TPP.
The only chance opponents to TPP have (with the exception of either Trump or Sanders being the president-elect) is flipping Republicans who supported Fast Track into voting No on the final trade agreement.
This approach would be much more effective than pleading with Obama to abandon TPP or trying to switch the 28 pro TPP Democrats.
Last year, the TPP was below the radar for most voters. Industry lobbyists had bribed enough Republicans to support the TPP that it enjoyed widespread support from Republican House Members and Senators.
Then Donald Trump happened.
Trump’s campaign lambasted US trade agreements, and opposition to existing trade agreements such as NAFTA, Normalized Trade Relations with China, Vietnam, South Korea, etc, were central to Trump’s campaign. As was, and is, Trump’s opposition to TPP.
Trump is not only the presumptive Republican nominee, but he has put TPP on the public’s radar.
More importantly to Republican Members of Congress, he has put TPP on the radar of Republican activists, Republican primary voters, and potential Republican primary candidates.
The threat of Republican incumbents drawing primary opponents over pro TPP votes may be our only strategy to defeat TPP.
Campaigns to flip Republicans could be coordinated with Trump operatives, tea-baggers, conservative organizations, animal activists, environmentalists, and labor unions.
We only have five months to stop Congress approving TPP.
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