The Obama Administration has been pushing for authorization to negotiate trade treaties with foreign governments without input from the U.S. Congress. Congress will have the ability to approve or reject the completed documents without changes. This legislation is called “Fast Track” and has been approved for past Presidents. Obama just got that authorization.
Congress has always held the power to accept or reject treaties. Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution states when outlining the President’s powers “He shall have power, by and with the advise and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.” Notice the words “advise and consent” are included. When the Congress can make no changes, how do they advise? They don’t. These powers are given to the Senate and laws passed by the Congress can not change the Constitution unless they follow the proper steps to make such changes. Because past Presidents were unconstitutionally given temporary powers does not make the practice lawful.
Now let us examine several proposed treaties that will be before our government.
There is a trade treaty covering the United States and 39 countries covering the Pacific Rim. This is a free trade treaty which will allow commerce between the participants to flow with fewer restrictions than in the past. Similar to past treaties in wording and scope, the treaty is supposed to benefit all signatories. In practice, the past treaties moved more expensive manufacturing of products from the United States to foreign countries where manufacturing costs are lower, and bring these finished products back into American markets at lower costs. Instead of producing lower costs for the consumers, it instead produced larger profits for the companies, and no benefit for the American worker.
These treaties usually benefit only specific companies that have the capital to enter extensive lobbying. They are huge corporations that use their money to buy influence with our Washington pols.
American workers never seem to see any benefit from these agreements. The government even sets up special benefits for workers who are displaced by these treaties.
Another treaty under negotiation is with Iran over their nuclear program. Iran has been attempting to build an atomic bomb. Their progress was halted a few years ago when their computers were infected with a virus that retarded their progress by 6 months or so. Since then they have marched steadily toward becoming a nuclear power.
The Obama Administration has stated they will not permit Iran to develop a nuclear weapon under any circumstances. Then they said we will allow their nuclear development, but at a slower level and under constant inspection. Iran has said they will allow no inspections at all and they will continue their development at a pace they will control. Iran has also bought state of the art defensive systems from Putin and Russia. This is to stop any military strike to wipe out their progress. After all this, we are still negotiating with Iran. It is as though a deal, any deal, is better for Obama’s legacy than no deal at all.
Let us not forget that Obama made public Israel’s plan to attack the nuclear facilities several years ago. Iran has stated over and over that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. There is no question that when Iran develops their nuclear bomb, they will use it against all their enemies. Folks, that includes us.