Posts Tagged ‘Max Baucus’

From Elizabeth Swager of Oregon Fair Trade

Dear friends,

The Senate vote today was a tough loss. We’ve seen several victories along the way. We defeated the Camp-Baucus fast track bill last year, and stopped the original Ryan-Hatch-Wyden bill in the House just a little over a week ago. But Republicans and the White House were able to make enough sweetheart deals that cloture for Fast Track passed with a single vote, 60-37.

We have a lot of be proud of here. Our struggle against Fast Track built a movement. Allies from labor, enviros, immigrant rights, access to medicines came together on a common front. We united against the largest most powerful corporate interests in the world, and we came so close. It’s a true testament to your good work and will lay the foundation for the next episode in the battle for people over profits.

As you know, next is stopping the TPP itself. Proponents know there is little time to pass the TPP with the upcoming Presidential campaign cycle and Congressional elections on the way. We have built tremendous momentum in this fight, if we keep it victory is within reach.

Thank you for all your incredible work.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Swager
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

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The United States’ biggest business group remains optimistic that Congress will pass “trade promotion authority” this year, despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s unsurprising opposition to the legislation.

“We’re clearly not dead yet. It’s only Feb. 3,” Christopher Wenk, senior director for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in an interview. “We’ve only just begun in terms of pushing this issue. We’ve made a lot of headway.”

Wenk said he was encouraged by statements U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough made over the weekend about President Barack Obama’s intention to push for the bill despite Reid’s widely reported comment that it would be a mistake to pursue it now.

“I’m against fast track,” Reid said. “I think everyone would be well-advised not to push this right now.”
Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if Obama planned to back off legislation, McDonough said, “No. … We think this is really important. Sen. Reid has been a great friend of the president’s. We’ll continue to work on this. His position on trade has been clear from the beginning.”

In other words, Harry Reid is siding with the middle class, unlike Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, who constantly wages war against the middle class. President Obama, of course, is pushing for the “final solution” to the destruction of the middle class by the Trans Pacific Partnership, by giving himself fast track authority, which would limit debate and result in only an up or down vote, thereby eliminating any congressional amendments.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, is a longtime opponent of trade agreements, including three recent agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, which he allowed to come to the Senate floor in 2011, even though he voted against all three pacts. Reid also opposed trade promotion authority in 2002, the last time Congress approved the bill.

The White House hopes that Reid won’t let his personal opposition to trade agreements, which dates back at least to his 1993 “no” vote on the North American Free Trade Agreement, stand in the way of Obama completing two big trade pacts with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the 28 nations of the European Union.

Many Democrats oppose TPA because they believe trade deals make it easier for companies to ship jobs overseas and keep wages low in the United States. But most Republicans and at least some Democrats support the legislation because they believe trade agreements create jobs and boost economic growth. However, there is not one piece of evidence that free trade treaties have created any net new jobs, but plenty of evidence that they’ve killed plenty of jobs and redistributed massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Obama, Kerry, Wyden, Hagel, and the entire Republican Party know this, although they will often be less than truthful about the facts.

Click on the link below for the rest of the story.

Senator Harry Reid Opposes Fast Track Authority–Politico.com

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Why is President Obama so intent on secretly raising prices of pharmaceutical products, stifling Internet freedom, and redistributing massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent via the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest income redistribution scam ever? Why do so many Republicans and Democratic politicians support this secret scam? Just follow the money, like the story does below, and you’ll have your answer.


This post originally appeared at Maplight.org.

The United States is currently engaged in secret negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multinational trade agreement with the goal of liberalizing trade among a dozen or so countries that border on the Pacific Ocean. A draft of the TPP chapter on intellectual property that was recently published by WikiLeaks shows that the U.S. has been pushing the other countries involved in the negotiations to make their laws on copyright, patents and trademarks more agreeable to U.S. companies in the film, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals industries, among others.

Aside from select members of the Administration, the only people with full access to the working documents on the TPP negotiations are the members of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) trade advisory system, including the 18-member Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15). Members of ITAC-15 include representatives from businesses and industry groups like the Recording Industry Association of America, Verizon, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; no public-interest groups, academics, or other non-industry experts serve on the committee.

The industry trade advisory system was created by Congress, and membership is partly based on recommendations made from senators and representatives. The organizations represented on ITAC-15 include several top political spenders, who combined have given millions of dollars to members of Congress in recent years.

Data: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to current members of the Senate and House of Representatives from Political Action Committees (PACs) and employees of organizations represented by the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15), from Jan. 1, 2003 – Dec. 31, 2012. Data source: OpenSecrets.org

■The 18 organizations represented by ITAC-15 gave nearly $24 million to current members of Congress from Jan. 1, 2003 – Dec. 31, 2012.
■AT&T has given more than $8 million to current members of Congress, more than any other organization represented by ITAC-15.
■House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has received $433,350 from organizations represented by ITAC-15, more than any other member of Congress.
■Democrats in Congress have received $11.4 million from organizations represented by ITAC-15, while Republicans in Congress have received $12.6 million.
■The members of Congress sponsoring fast-track legislation, which would allow the President to block Congress from submitting amendments to the TPP, have received a combined $758,295 from organizations represented by ITAC-15. They include Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus ($140,601), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Members Orrin Hatch ($178,850), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp ($216,250), House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Devin Nunes ($86,000), and House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions ($136,594).
Organizations Represented by the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15) Contributions to Congress Since 1/1/2003
AT&T $8,056,939
General Electric * $5,262,753
Verizon $5,021,681
Johnson & Johnson $1,812,170
Cisco $1,413,198
Biotechnology Industry Organization $551,792
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America $546,155
Recording Industry Association of America $493,986
Mylan Inc. $473,050
Gilead Sciences $196,150
Entertainment Software Association $114,650
Zippo $25,250
Accessory Network Group $4,100
Copyright Clearance Center $860
Infectious Disease Research Institute $500
U.S.-China Business Council $0
MDB Capital Group $0
Coalition for Intellectual Property Rights $0
Grand Total $23,973,234

* Excludes contributions from GE Financial Assurance.

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“That giant sucking sound predicted by Ross Perot commenced 20 years ago last week. It is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) vacuuming up U.S. jobs and depositing them in Mexico.

Independent presidential candidate Perot was right. NAFTA swept U.S. industry south of the border. It made Wall Street happy. It made multi-national corporations obscenely profitable. But it destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of American workers.

NAFTA’s backers promised it would create American jobs, just as promoters of the Korean and Chinese trade arrangements said they would and advocates of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal contend it will. They were — and still are — brutally wrong. NAFTA, the Korean deal and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization killed American jobs. They lowered wages. They diminished what America cherishes: opportunity. They contributed to the very ill that President Obama is crusading against: income inequality. There is no evidence the TPP would be any different. American workers need a new trade philosophy, one that protects them and puts people first, not corporations.”

Click on the link below for the complete story.

Fast Track to Poverty–Huffington Post


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The primary purpose of NAFTA was to lower wages in the United States and Mexico, export US jobs to Mexico, and then take the difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages and redistribute them to the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, higher dividends and rising share prices. The scam worked like a peach, thanks to the efforts and support of President Bill Clinton and then Wall Street Congressman Ron Wyden.

Wyden’s argument for supporting the treaty, like so many others, was that it would increase US exports to Mexico and therefore create jobs. That was a carefully crafted lie used by supporters of NAFTA, and Wyden knew it. The US had a trade surplus with Mexico before NAFTA, and immediately after the illegal treaty took effect, the US began to develop the massive trade deficit with Mexico that it has today. And the reason? US corporations, many of whom provided congressman and now Senator Wyden with plenty of campaign contributions and perhaps other perks, exported jobs to Mexico, and then exported the products to the United States. (By the way, NAFTA received only 64 percent of the vote in the Senate, but the US Constitution requires 66 percent for a treaty to become legal. Therefore, the implementation of NAFTA is illegal.)

The treaty allowed US corporations to export their government subsidized agricultural products and poultry and devastated Mexico’s large farming community. Other US corporations exported their Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani made clothes and shoes to Mexico and virtually wiped out those industries.

The Mexican poverty rate is about the same as it was before NAFTA, about 52 percent, but that’s not counting the millions of Mexicans that fled to the US illegally since and because of NAFTA. Mexican GNP growth slowed dramatically since NAFTA, which means that NAFTA destroyed any chance that nation had of moving most of its citizens into the middle class.

Now Wall Street Senator Ronnie Wyden and Wall Street President Barack Obama are trying to ram through the latest income redistribution scam in the midst of the worse US economic expansion of the last eighty years. It’s called the Trans Pacific Partnership and involves twelve nations.

The treaty has been written in secret meetings. We only know a few things about the treaty through leaked documents, and none of them are good for the working people of the world because everything in the treaty is designed to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, via higher medicine prices, for example. Yes, that’s right. This is a trade treaty that is negotiating higher prices for the 99 percent, as well as massive legal protections for the pirates of Wall Street, and that’s why we call him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, a keen supporter of the TPP.

Besides the above, the primary purpose of the TPP appears to be to lower wages in the United States, Mexico, and a few other nations, just like NAFTA was designed to do.

Vietnam is a part of the TPP negotiations and that nation has the worst human rights record among the participating nations, and it also has the lowest wage rates.

Expect jobs to be exported from the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and other participating nations of Latin America to Vietnam. El Salvador is expected to lose over 225 thousand jobs in the textile industry alone if the TPP becomes law. The US is expected to lose around 200 thousand jobs in the same industry. Industry after industry will export jobs from these nations to Vietnam. The result will be millions more unemployed people in Latin America, driving down wage rates there, and driving millions to illegally seek economic refuge in the United States, which will also be suffering from severe job loss, wage declines, and this will result in a weakening of the tax base, and a massive redistribution of income to the tune of hundreds of billions, and perhaps trillions, of dollars a year, from the 99 percent to the 1 percent.

This is what Wall Senators like Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch, Max Baucus, Mitch McConnell and Wall Street President Barack Obama, and Wall Street Congressmen Earl Blumenauer, David Camp and John Boehner desire the most.

Call your congresspersons, call your senators, let them know you’re opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership, and that you’re opposed to Fast Tracking it. Fast Track is what is going to be voted on the House of Representative soon. If congress votes for fast track, it means little debate will be allowed on the TPP, no revisions can be made, and there’s only a straight up or down vote. Fast track is simply another way for criminal congress people to pass a secret treaty they don’t want you to know about.

Check out a similar story below.

Mexicans Regret Twenty Years of NAFTA==the Guardian UK

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From Citizen’s Trade Campaign, January 9, 2014

Words in parenthesis are mine.

Earlier today, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced “Fast Track” legislation that would enable the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other free trade agreements (Income Redistribution Treaties) to be signed by the White House before the public gets to see them, and then rushed through Congress circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures.

Please ensure that the Camp-Baucus “Fast Track” bill is dead on arrival by writing your Members of Congress now.

Literally millions of people throughout the world have complained about the extreme secrecy of the TPP negotiations. They’ve argued that the public desrves the right to know what is being proposed in our names for a twelve-nation pact that will set rules governing an estimated 40% of the global economy — rules that not only dictate tariff levels, but also energy and environmental policy, medicine patents, financial regulations, “Buy Local” preferences, food safety, consumer labelling and more.

While the public has been shut out of the TPP negotiating process, hundreds of corporate lobbyists — representing companies like Walmart, Cargill and Chevron — have had access to the texts. This double-standard has assured that the TPP has been written in corporations’ interests, with little regard for working families, the environment or public health.

Now Representative Camp and Senator Baucus want even Congress to give up its constitutional authority to assure that trade agreement provisions are written in the best interests of the constituents they serve. Tell Congress to oppose this outrageously undemocratic manuevering and demand real oversight over the TPP.

Together, we can defeat this outdated, Nixon-era policymaking process. Thanks to your efforts, last year, over three-quarters of House Democrats and a good number of Republicans signed letters voicing their opposition to Fast Track. We need to encourage those Congresspeople to stay strong in what is certain to be an onslaught of corporate lobbying, and we need to demand that the others side with constituents over Wall Street and the Business Roundtable.

Unfortunately, corporate lobbyists are already on the attack in support of this awful bill. They’re pressing for Fast Track hard, hoping to get their ducks in a row for a quick vote. We need your help ensuring that Congress understands that the Fast Track vote is a priority.

TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to vote against the Camp-Baucus “Fast Track” legislation.

From me.

One final word needs to be said about President Obama’s war against the middle class. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is his treaty, and besides everything outlined above, this treaty will also redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent, in the United States and outside. It will drive millions of Latin Americans out of the textile industry and into the US illegally, also increase the exportation of jobs from the USA, and the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages overseas will go into the pockets of the super rich, thereby destroying much of our tax bases for schools, medicare and other social safety net programs.

Why are our schools destitute for money? The answer is simple. Free corporate income redistribution treaties from NAFTA to CAFTA and the TPP, have redistributed our middle class incomes to the rich, and that means our tax bases have been redistributed to the 1 percent as well. The TPP will only make things worst for schools.

The treaty will also undo what little Wall Street regulation there is, and tie the hands of any future president who might want to regulate the pirates of Wall Street in the future.

The US and probably the world is heading for the worst Great Depression in 80 years, and probably worse than the one in the 1930s. The TPP will only make it worst. Oh, and by the way, did I mention that Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports the TPP and Fast Track? Oh, that’s right! He’s Wall Street’s senator!

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Wall Street Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus and House Ways & Means Committee Chair David Camp are expected to introduce their Fast Track bill as soon as Congress reconvenes in early January. In other words, Baucus and Camp are preparing the final, crushing legislative knockout punch to the middle class by redistributing more income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and weakening the political power of the 99 while strengthening that of the 1 percent, and all via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution scam of all time, and which is being pushed by Goldman Sachs Obama administration.

That’s why the White House had a full cabinet meeting last week to discuss how the entire administration will be pushing the TPP, and corporate lobbyists are not taking the holidays off either. They’ve already begun their full court press.

Fast Track authority allows the Senate and the US House of representatives to vote yes or no on the TPP without debate. There will, of course, be a ton of pressure put on senators and congress people by corporate lobbyists and members of the Obama regime.

It is critical that members of the 99 percent take advantage of the two weeks before the bill’s introduction to continue pressing members of the U.S. House of Representatives especially to oppose Fast Track. Now is the time to continue thanking Members of Congress who have already spoken out against Fast Track, and to registering your deep disappointment with any Member of Congress who has not.

If you represent an organization, it is not too late to request a holiday recess meeting with a Member of Congress to discuss Fast Track. If you’re acting as an individual, please take some time to do a “drop-in” office visit and leave a note asking your Representative to commit to opposing Fast Track. You can bring a holiday card you get your friends and family to sign — or one of the recent op-eds about the TPP linked to below.

Talking points about Fast Track are attached to help prepare you for any conversations you may have with Representatives or their staff.

For more information on the TPP, click on the links below.

What the Corporate Press Doesn’t Want You to Know: The US Biggest Trade Deficit Isn’t With China. It’s With a Most Unexpected Source, the One the Corporate Press, Your Government, and the Parasites of the 1 Percent Don’t Want You to Know–Johnhively.wordpress.com

Stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Global Revolt Against Corporate Domination-Truthout.org

Five Graphs And a Video That Will Make Your Blood Boil: Lies of the US Propaganda Media, The US Jobs Crisis! The Mystery is Solved–JohnHively.wordpress.com

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