So (for the moment) the House refused to sign the blank check the Big Donors wanted: Obama-backed trade bill fails in the House
By David Nakamura and Paul Kane The Washington Post
June 12 2015
To the extent that the measure has faltered because a few Republicans rejected a measure in which as Michelle Malkin said yesterday
Congress gives up its ability to amend any trade deals under fast track, severely limits the ability to debate and lowers the vote threshold in the Senate from 61 to 51… Congress agrees to pre-agree to behemoth global trade pacts—sight unseen.
Tremendous credit is due to the Drudge Report
which became the go-to source of bad news about this atrocity (miss you, One Old Vet
Amongst the valuable items Drudge linked to was TiSA: A Secret Trade Agreement That Will Usurp America’s Authority to Make Immigration Policy
by Daniel Costa and Ron Hira posted on the Working Economics Blog
of the Economic Policy Institute. This was only posted by the EPI at 6-18 PM last on Thursday evening.
Since the GOP leadership proposing to try again next week this essay is imperative reading for Immigration Patriots.
The authors point out that the poisoned chalice is not the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (about which assurances that immigration is not effected have been given) but something called the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) about which there has been silence.
…there is little doubt that it will constrain the future ability of the United States Congress to regulate U.S. immigration policy. In fact, deregulating the U.S. work visa system, and therefore opening it up to foreign corporations that provide services (as opposed to goods) is the explicit purpose of an entire annex (section) in TiSA, entitled “Movement of Natural Persons.” The text was heretofore secret until Wikileaks published it on its website last week.
The proposals include elements which would
…prohibit member states from “maintain[ing] or adopt[ing] Economic Needs Tests, including labor market tests, as a requirement for a visa or work permit” in the sectors where commitments are made. (In other words, U.S. laws or regulations limiting guestworkers only to jobs where no U.S. workers were available would violate the terms of the treaty.)
A sweeping gap is torn in U.S. immigration enforcement by Section 3 which
...gets more specific about the sectors of the economy where member states will have to allow access to intra-corporate transferees, business visitors, contractual service suppliers, and independent professionals:Parties shall allow entry and temporary stay of [contractual service suppliers and independent professionals3] for a minimum of [X%] of the following sectors/sub-sectors:
(See if any family member works in these categories of employment!)
Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
Architectural services (CPC 8671)
Engineering services (CPC 8672)
Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674)
Medical & dental services (CPC 9312)
Veterinary services (CPC 932)
Services provided by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel (CPC 93191)
Computer and related services:
Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
Software implementation services (CPC 842)
Data processing services (CPC 843)
Data base services (CPC 844)
Other (CPC 845+849)
Research and Development services:
- R&D services on natural sciences (CPC 851)
- R&D services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)
Other business services
- Interdisciplinary R&D services (CPC 853)
- Advertising services (CPC 871)
Construction and related engineering services:
- Market research and public opinion polling services (CPC 864)
- Management consulting services (CPC 865)
- Services related to management consulting (CPC 866)
- Technical testing & analysis services (CPC 8676)
- [CH propose: Services incidental to manufacturing]
- Related scientific and technical consulting services (CPC 8675)
- Maintenance and repair of equipment (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment) (CPC 633 + 8861-8866)
- Specialty design services (CPC 87907)
- General construction work for buildings (CPC 512)
- General construction work for civil engineering (CPC 513)
- Installation and assembly work (CPC514+516)
- Building completion and finishing work (CPC 517)
- Other (CPC 511+515+518)
[CH propose: Financial Services][CH propose: Financial advisors]Tourism and travel related services:
- Sewage services (CPC 9401)
- Refuse disposal services (CPC 9402)
- Sanitation and similar services (CPC 9403)
[CH propose: Transport services[CH propose: Other services auxiliary to all modes of transport CPC]Recreational, cultural and sporting services:
- Hotels and Restaurants (CPC Ex. 641)
- Travel Agencies and Tour Operators services (CPC 7471)
- Tourist Guides services (CPC 7472)
Sporting and other recreational services (CPC 964)
The authors note
...the competitive advantage foreign companies will get from TiSA is the ability to provide cheaper services by importing much cheaper labor to supplant American workers. They’ll do this by paying their workers the much lower salaries they would earn in their home countries
The TiSA draft annex on Movement of Natural Persons would also likely restrict the ability of the current and future administrations to continue some of the basic immigration procedures it currently follows, such as requiring an in-person interview with L-1 applicants.
TiSA has been written in secret by and for major corporations that will benefit greatly if it becomes law. If the House of Representatives grants the Obama administration the fast-track trade promotion authority it seeks, the authority will be valid for six years, which means TiSA (like TPP) would also get an up-or-down vote in Congress without any amendments—making it very likely to pass and become law without the necessary democratic deliberations on immigration that such major changes should have. The leaked TiSA text makes it clear that contrary to the claims by proponents of fast-track trade promotion authority, the reality is that those voting for fast track are ceding key powers to make immigration law and policy to an unelected group of corporations and foreign governments.
They are absolutely right. This Fast Track legislation is designed to smuggle in the Immigration Acceleration aspect
of the Gang of 8 Bill. That is why President Obama wants it.
The Economic Policy Institute is an old-line leftist outfit which preserves an antiquated concern with the living standards of working people. They have been skittish about mentioning immigration in the past as James Fulford noted in 2013 in Happy Riot-Free Labor Day!—No Thanks To The Economic Policy Institute
. But here they have bravely forged a great Patriotic blade.
Considering the amount of money being lavished on Congresscritters this weekend Patriots had better use it.