Ryan says Congress has “Super NAFTA” fast track votes – Jeff Miller STILL won’t say if he’s one of them
By Deborah Nelson
May 17, 2015
Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) said there are enough U.S. House votes to pass “fast track” authority for secret “NAFTA on Steroids” trade pacts in the Far East and Europe. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) told ABC “This Week”, today, that the Senate also has enough votes to pass the measure.
“We will have the votes. We are doing very well. We’re gaining a lot of steam and momentum,” House Ways and Means Committee Chair Ryan remarked on CNN’s State of the Union program this morning.
Is District 1 U.S. House Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Chumuckla) one of those votes?
Nobody knows, because Mr. Miller STILL won’t respond to “Fast Track” vote questions.
He told a Milton Tea Party group, November 11 of last year, that he’s a free trade supporter, but did not elaborate on his Fast Track vote.
Panhandle Politico emailed the following questions to Miller’s Communications Director, Dan McFaul, on 14 May. We have asked the Congressman’s office numerous times about his position on TPP before that, and to date, have not received an answer.
The questions we emailed this week were:
NAFTA was passed with “fast track” Presidential approval voted in by Congress. President Obama is seeking the same for TPP. Is Rep. Miller in favor of giving President Obama “fast track” authority?
Congress and the public have not been allowed to read or debate the content of ongoing TPP negotiations, except in a guarded room with no opportunity to take photos, notes or bring in experts. Leaks suggest the agreement contains Investor State Lawsuit provisions. Those provisions allow foreign nations to sue (in secret, extrajudicial tribunals) American local governments for “lost future revenues” they allege are caused by local government policy. NAFTA, CAFTA and other past agreements contained Investor State provisions. Is Rep. Miller concerned about President Obama’s efforts to pass far-reaching trade legislation with limited public disclosure and debate over its content?
Would Rep. Miller comment on concerns Investor State Lawsuit provisions will compromise the sovereignty of the American people?
NAFTA, CAFTA and the Korean Free Trade agreement were all followed by a steep loss in American jobs to offshoring. Is Rep. Miller concerned more jobs may be lost from TPP?
Is Rep. Miller planning to run for the U.S. Senate?
President Obama is seeking “fast track” approval authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership “free trade” pact, which has been called “NAFTA on Steroids.” Fast Track would also apply to a separate, U.S.-Europe deal called the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). TAFTA is also called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Fast Track would allow Obama to sign the agreements before Congress approves them. They would then go to the House and Senate for a yes or no vote, with no chance for amendment and limited debate.
NAFTA was passed with “fast track” approval. So were The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and similar 2011 pacts with South Korea, Panama and Columbia. Presidential Fast Track authorization has since expired.
America’s trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled, to $14 billion, since the Korea pact was signed, according to U.S. Census figures released May 5, as reported by Public Citizen. Exports to Korea decreased 6 percent ($2.7 billion) while imports increased 19 percent ($11.3 billion) in three years.
“The trade deficit increase equates to the loss of more than 93,000 American jobs in the first three years of the Korea FTA, counting both exports and imports, according to the trade-jobs ratio that the Obama administration used to project gains from the deal,” according to Public Citizen.
More at: http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=5501
TPP negotiations have been closed to the public, including Congress and the press. The secret talks include Obama administration trade envoys, representatives from foreign governments participating in the pact, and over 500 banks and corporations. Congressional members now have limited access to view the agreement’s text in a sealed room, but may not bring other people or take notes or photos.
The agreement has been criticized for removing Congress’ authority to control immigration.
Watchdog group Public Citizen also says leaks show the agreement contains provisions to offshore American jobs, roll back Wall St. reforms, reduce Internet freedom, ban “Buy American” policies, raise medicine costs, expose Americans to unsafe food and allow foreign corporations to dictate American government policy.
Although the public have been banned from TPP proceedings, a number of leaks affirm the agreement contains investor state lawsuit provisions.
Investor state lawsuits allow corporations, including non-American ones, to sue governments for policies they allege “interfere with profits.” Taxpayers foot the bill for “damages.” Investor State lawsuits are mediated in secret tribunals, subject to United Nations rules.
“Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues,” according to Public Citizen. The group has challenged secretive trade processes and “free trade” provisions in NAFTA, CAFTA and other agreements they contend harm America’s economy.
Miller has refused to comment on whether he supports granting President Obama “fast track” authority to approve “free trade” pacts without full Congressional scrutiny and debate.
Reach Congressman Miller at 850-479-1183.