Posts Tagged ‘TPP’
Obama’s neglect of our nearest neighbors and biggest trade partners has created deteriorating relations, a sign of a president who’s out of touch with reality. Problems are emerging that aren’t being reported.
Fortunately, the Canadian and Mexican press told the real story.
Energy has become a searing rift between the U.S. and Canada and threatens to leave the U.S. without its top energy supplier.
The Winnipeg Free Press reported that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned Obama the U.S. will have to pay market prices for its Canadian oil after Obama’s de facto veto of the Keystone XL pipeline. Canada is preparing to sell its oil to China.
Until now, NAFTA had shielded the U.S. from having to pay global prices for Canadian oil. That’s about to change.
Canada has also all but gone public about something trade watchers have known for a long time: that the U.S. has blocked Canada’s entry to the eight-way free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an alliance of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, and Singapore. Both Canada and Mexico want to join and would benefit immensely.
With the media’s “layers of fact-checkers,”
U.S. media dutifully reported Obama’s false claim that Canada, our top trading partner, is too protectionist
But the Canadians know the truth,
Canada’s take was far more blunt: “Our strong sense is that most of the members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would like to see Canada join,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in essence revealing that it’s the Obama administration alone that is blocking Canada, and suggesting that payback on energy was coming.
Things were even worse, if you read the Mexican press accounts of the meeting.
Excelsior of Mexico City reported that President Felipe Calderon bitterly brought up Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. government operation that permitted Mexican drug cartels to smuggle thousands of weapons into drug-war-torn Mexico. This blunder has wrought mayhem on Mexico and cost thousands of lives.
The mainstream U.S. press has kept those questions out of the official press conferences, while Obama has feigned ignorance to the Mexicans and hasn’t even apologized.
In short, the summit was a diplomatic disaster for the U.S. and its relations with its neighbors north and south.
It should have been the easiest, most no-brainer diplomatic task Obama faces.
Go read the whole thing, while at the same time keep in mind that Obama diverted the press conference into the issue of Obamacare and the SCOTUS.
And he got his Constitution facts wrong.
“Smart diplomacy”, folks, “smart diplomacy”…
In case you missed it, yesterday a summit took place between the three largest economies of North America: Canada, Mexico, and the USA. You would think this would be news as of itself, since it involves membership on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade zone.
Instead, Obama diverted the press conference into the issue of Obamacare and the SCOTUS, by cautioning the justices, to whom he referred to as “an unelected group of people,”
“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,”
It is outrageous enough that the president’s protest was inaccurate. What in the world is he talking about when he asserts the law was passed by “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act barely squeaked through the Congress. In the Senate it escaped a filibuster by but a hair. The vote was so tight in the house — 219 to 212 — that the leadership went through byzantine maneuvers to get the measure to the president’s desk. No Republicans voted for it when it came up in the House, and the drive to repeal the measure began the day after Mr. Obama signed the measure.
It is the aspersions the President cast on the Supreme Court, though, that take the cake. We speak of the libel about the court being an “unelected group of people” who might “somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.” This libel was dealt with more than two centuries ago in the newspaper column known as 78 Federalist and written by Alexander Hamilton. It is the essay in which Hamilton, a big proponent of federal power, famously described the Court as “the weakest of the three departments of power.” It argued that the people could never be endangered by the court — so long as the judiciary “remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive.”
It was precisely the separation of the courts from the other two branches, Hamilton argued, that gives the court its legitimacy.
With his statement, President Obama Goes on Record Opposing Marbury v. Madison.
it isn’t the job of the Supreme Court to do the job of Congress. Instead, its job is to determine whether or not what Congress has done is compliant with the limits the Constitution places on it. That’s it. There is nothing which requires the Supreme Court to “fix” laws that Congress has passed.
Obama’s assault on “an unelected group of people” stopped me cold. Because, as the former constitutional law professor certainly understands, it is the essence of our governmental system to vest in the court the ultimate power to decide the meaning of the constitution. Even if, as the president said, it means overturning “a duly constituted and passed law.”
So the joint press conference with Felipe Calderón and Stephen Harper accomplished…what?
1. Obama’s going after the Supreme Court as his bête noire, knowing they cannot respond.
2. It showed that the President needs a remedial course in judicial review.
3. It demonstrated to Mexico and Canada that they are mere side ornaments when it comes to Obama’s priorities: Critical issues that involve the three countries count for nothing.
Canadian officials have said that they have been willing to put everything up for negotiation—including, some officials say, dairy products and other issues such as a U.S. push for Canada to increase intellectual-property protections.
TPP joins a list of recent points of tension in the world’s largest trade relationship. Canadians were angered by “Buy America” provisions in last year’s U.S. stimulus plan, new surcharges imposed on Canadians traveling to the U.S. and regulatory delays in approval for the Keystone pipeline, a massive project to move crude from the oil sands of Alberta to U.S. refineries.
As a side note,
When you read the full transcript, note the condescending tone towards Calderón (“Felipe, Stephen and I are proud to welcome you here today”).
Don’t miss Judidical activism for me, but not for thee