If President Obama negotiates a massive new trade bill but doesn’t tell the general public about it, can it still go into effect? Can it still deplete our jobs and prosperity, the way past trade agreements like NAFTA and the recent Korean trade agreement have? Can it still lead to a destructive trade deficit?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

After 19 rounds of negotiations between the United States and several Asian countries like Japan and Vietnam, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is still a mystery. This is because much about these negotiations have been kept intentionally a secret.

Only five of the TPP’s 29 chapters actually deal with trade issues. A leading principle of our nation’s laws is they are not subject to review by non-American institutions and observers. Yet this agreement freely gives up U.S. Sovereignty. These so-called trade agreements don’t just govern trade; they actually put foreign bodies in charge of American laws like so called “green” energy standards.

The TPP will be a direct attack on American jobs as more livestock will be imported from Australia and New Zealand and more agricultural products will be imported from South America. It will attack our production jobs by giving companies an even greater financial incentive to send such jobs overseas than they already have now.

Despite these concerns and the complete lack of transparency throughout the process, Obama wants to “fast track” this agreement and prevent members of Congress from amending or changing any single provision. Using Fast Track, Obama can sign trade agreements before Congress has an opportunity to vote on them.

With all of this in mind, it’s clear that every American should confront TPP with a resounding “no.” It is time for Congress to exercise its authority and reject the fast tracking of TPP.

Alan Hahn

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