IT’S NOT THE CONFEDERATE FLAG, BUT …
|| By FITSNEWS || Whatever one thinks of the Confederate flag, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on either side of that debate arguing in support of slavery. Sure there are those who reside at the fringes of any public discourse, but
Which is why it’s so ironic America’s first black president – who has been an unmitigated disaster for black Americans – is making sure his crony capitalist trade deal will benefit one of the world’s worst countries for human trafficking.
According to Reuters, Obama’s State Department – led by John Kerry – is upgrading the nation of Malaysia from “Tier 3” to “Tier 2” status on its annual human trafficking watch list.
Really? This upgrade comes a month after a mass grave of 139 people was uncovered on the country’s border with Thailand – part of network of slave camps hidden deep in the jungle. It also comes amid a decline in prosecutions for slave traders in the Southeast Asian nation.
“Human-rights advocates had expected Malaysia to remain on tier three this year given its slow pace of convictions in human-trafficking cases and pervasive trafficking in industries such as electronics and palm oil,” The (U.K.) Guardian reported.
That didn’t happen …
So why is Obama’s administration trying to cut Malaysia a break the country doesn’t deserve? That’s easy: “Tier 3” nations aren’t permitted to participate in Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“I thought the list of betrayals in the Obama administration’s trade agenda couldn’t swell any further,” David Dayen wrote last week for The Fiscal Times.
He was wrong.
From Dayen’s piece …
I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that the State Department would, at the bidding of the White House, undermine the integrity of a report that shames countries’ indifference to slavery within their borders. But it’s a complete perversion of the logical steps America normally takes to impact other countries’ human rights records. Instead of hitting them with sanctions until they improve — Tier 3 status can lead to withholding of foreign aid — the administration is instead granting Malaysia trade benefits and then hoping for more influence once they’re inside the trading regime. It looks nakedly political, a reward for Malaysia’s involvement in TPP.
Plus, these slaves produce the very goods that would get duty-free access to U.S. markets under the TPP. Forced labor is reportedly high in the agriculture, electronics and textile industries in Malaysia, yet the United States is apparently willing to overlook that to complete the trade deal. So consumers like you and me who unwittingly buy things made in Malaysia could be implicated in the slave trade as well.
This website wrote exhaustively in opposition to Obamatrade – debunking the GOP’s claim that the deal was “free trade.” It isn’t. We’ve also written extensively on how TPP is bad for the national economy and for the economy here in South Carolina.
Hell, supporters of the deal even pushed for a massive taxpayer subsidy to cover all the jobs it was going to cost American workers.
Lawmakers who voted to advance this dangerous deal sold out American workers and consumers – all so politicians in Washington D.C. could gift-wrap competitive advantages to wealthy Wall Streeters and Hollywood liberals (including the taxpayer-subsidized outsourcing of U.S. jobs).
Thanks to the votes of “Republican” lawmakers – including U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and U.S. Reps. Trey Gowdy, Tom Rice, Mark Sanford and Joe Wilson of South Carolina – Congress now has absolutely no say in the negotiation of TPP.
No public hearings will be held. No amendments can be offered. The legislation – which includes no protections against foreign currency manipulation, privacy invasions or the erosion of the rule of law in America – cannot be filibustered.
It gets a simple up or down vote.
Graham, Scott, Gowdy, Rice, Sanford, Wilson and their “Republican” allies in Washington have one more chance to make this right. If they fail to do so, then they are complicit not only in the loss of jobs here at home … but the enslavement of human beings around the globe.