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Pacific Trade Deal ‘Suicidal’ for U.S.

Congress is inching toward fast tracking a Trans-Pacific Partnership that critics call “suicidal.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused President Barack Obama of lying about her and other TPP opponents.

By approving “fast track authority,” the House and Senate will authorize corporate tribunals and international lawyers to dictate the terms of the controversial TPP trade deal.

NAFTA on SteroidsWikileaks reported that secret clauses in TPP, as with NAFTA, can override U.S. financial regulation, labor laws and health laws. It would also knock out current “Buy American” and other procurement regulations.

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach said on C-Span’s “Washington Journal,” that such measures would never get through Congress.

Any foreign investor from a TPP country could drag the U.S. into an international tribunal of three corporate attorneys to demand compensation for a “Free Trade Agreement” violation, Wallach said. There are no dollar limits on damages, and no appeal.

Paul Gallagher, an economist with LaRouchePac, has called the fast-tracking of TPP “suicidal.”

Nevertheless, the sweeping trade deal is being pushed by Obama, and it has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. Fast-track authority was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee this week.

There are pockets of resistance, however. Presidential pre-candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made a spirited attack on TPP in an interview with National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” Monday.

“We should be doing are things that make our economy stronger here at home. And it’s my concern that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, this deal which is urged by big corporations, many of whom have off-shored jobs and many of whom have off-shored their profits, is bad for America’s economy,” the Democrat said.

“It is a race to the bottom, a chasing of lower wages abroad, and I believe that that does nothing to help us build a stronger economy here at home.”

O’Malley said he was “appalled by the notion that we’re not allowed, as Americans to read this agreement, before our so-called representative institution of Congress votes on it.”

Democrats’ falling out with Obama peaked Saturday when Warren, D-Mass., accused the president of making “untrue” claims about his opponents — including herself.

Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called on the president to immediately declassify the negotiating terms of TPP, The Hill reported.

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