While I am often accused of bashing Republicans while looking away from the sins of the Democrats, this is not the case. After all, I have written posts critical of Democrats. I will, of course, say that the Republicans generally seem to do more things that are in need of criticism-perhaps because the Democrats are known for being a bit weak and passive.
While I will most likely to continue to favor Obama over Romney, I do have serious concerns about some of the policies and actions of the Obama administration (such as the administration’s policy regarding assassination). Thanks to a recent leak, I now have concerns about Obama’s trade policy.
One concern that seems to be bipartisan in nature is that the administration seems to have provided corporations with more information than has been provided to congress. While Republicans are general pro-corporation, at least some of them seem dismayed by this approach. I agree with this concern. While the people who run the corporations are concerned parties, congress is still the legislative body in this country and hence should be at least as well informed by the administration as the corporations are.
A second concern that should also worry the left and the right is that the agreement being pushed by the Obama administration would allow foreign companies operating on US soil to appeal our laws to an international tribunal that could overrule our laws and impose sanctions on us.
For folks who are seen as left leaning, the obvious concerns are that foreign companies could be allowed to violate our labor and environmental laws in ways detrimental to Americans. Ironically, American corporations have often taken actions aimed at allowing them to be exempt from laws in other countries (or to simply see to it that the laws allow them to do as they wish). While corporations do see clear advantages in being able to operate without the burden of such regulations, the price of such freedom is invariably paid by the people impacted by this freedom. That is, the people who are economically exploited and subject to the environmental damages inflicted by said corporations. Since I have been consistently opposed to corporations using there power to the detriment of people overseas, I am opposed to the United States being treated as a third world country.
Folks who are not left leaning should also be concerned about this agreement. First, while the agreement will allow foreign corporations to potentially violate United States law and regulations, American corporations will not be exempt (unless, of course, they cease to be American corporations-and this new agreement would give them an incentive to do so). This could give foreign corporations an unfair advantage over American corporations. In addition to being unfair, it should also dismay those who are supporters of American corporations. Second, this agreement would allow an international tribunal to override the sovereignty of the United States. While folks on the right generally oppose regulation, they generally also rail against attempts to impose on United States sovereignty. Of course, the past criticism from the right on this matter has typically been in regards to more stringent environmental regulations and other things that might seem to be coming from the left side of the political spectrum. Some on the right might sing a different tune when the imposition is to allow foreign corporations to ignore the laws of the United States.
Given the above arguments, I have two main points. The first is that the administration needs to change its approach to dealing with foreign corporations. To be specific, as much as I dislike Congress, I contend that they need to be kept properly informed. They are, after all, a branch of the government. The second is that the proposed agreement is unacceptable.