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Canard of the Week: Free trade Agreements

The government is notorious for creating terms that are utterly devoid of truth.  Affordable Care Act leaps to mind.  So I will occasionally dedicate space to the vetting of a fun canard.

This week, free trade agreements.

Does anyone know who Fred Hochberg is?  I didn’t until today.  He is the present head of the Import-Export “Bank” of the United States.  This is a government monster created by, get this, executive order in the 1930s to finance trade to other countries; trade so risky and/or worthless, that no bank would bother to get involved.  It has since grown into a cabinet level function of the government.  Have you ever heard of this creature?  No? Well, too bad, because keeping this obvious moral hazard alive is the price we are paying for an example of this week’s canard.

The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), some people calling it the Asian free trade agreement, is by itself a red herring.  It is touted by supporters as a bill designed to help American goods get to market.

Problem:  There is nothing FREE about it.  This (and What is called “Fast Track) is an example of Congress once again handing its power to the executive branch ostensibly to foster faster trade deals with foreign countries and “help the American worker”.  (I am blowing raspberries.)  How could anything negotiated by a few heads of state, always done in the interest of selected corporate “winners” and handed to our Legislative branch for an up-or-down vote without amendment be called free?  Further, in this case, the power is being handed to the man who set back-to-back billion dollar records for selling influence to major corporations.  A man with only two desires applicable; the acquisition of personal power (he only has two years left and is in dire need of a success) and selling the aforementioned influence.   This will set him up for his multimillion dollar paydays after he leaves office.  Even if we had a 100% pure and honest broker in the oval office, there would be nothing free about this or any other trade deal that would be made by anyone other than the parties buying and selling their goods.

In order to get enough liberals to vote for this free trade myth, McConnell – who appears to be missing a jaw bone as well as a spine – agreed to make the survival of the Import-Export “Bank” part of the bill.  Of this move, Mitch said that although he doesn’t support the phony bank, those that do support it are entitled to a vote.  Aww, too bad his predecessor didn’t feel that way when Obamacare was rammed through without real debate or substantial amendment and one-sixth of our economy was being hijacked.  At the time, McConnell was on all fours, pants around his ankles saying, “Do me again, Harry!”

Anywho, according to AP’s, this all came with the “usual presidential phone calls, closed-door Capitol meetings and urgent, private pleadings. [Emphasis mine]

A cute side note:  The president stayed up late into the night making phone calls to keep this bill alive.  Hmmmm… Well where the hell was he on 9/11/12?  NOWI want more personal power so I’ll stay up all night in order to get it.  THEN: Someone is attacking my ambassador in Libya? Oh well, do what you can.  I have a fund-raiser tomorrow.  I have to go night-night. 

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