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Big Tobacco Eyes Easing Restrictions Via TTIP

Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” — John F. Kennedy, February 26, 1962

If Kennedy was right, then the United States and its partners in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) must be very afraid indeed of their people.

Despite a promise made only weeks ago by the EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström to “publish detailed and extensive reports of the negotiations,” key documents recording details of negotiations between Big Tobacco and the EU were heavily redacted before being posted on the official EU website.

Virtually every word of the documents recording correspondence with and minutes of meetings with tobacco lobbyists and representatives of the governments of the United States, Japan, and the European Union was blacked out before being made available online.

In one example typical of the amount of pre-publication editing, a 14-page letter from British American Tobacco revealed fewer than five percent of the text. What was visible was little more than the written version of small talk.

Another egregious example of what the EU and U.S. trade representatives consider “access” and “transparency” is a single page memo of a meeting with lobbyists working for Philip Morris. In that offering to openness, even the date was redacted!

Activists in Europe have requested the full record of these meetings, supposing that they would reveal efforts by multinational tobacco conglomerates to include revocations of national (American, Japanese, and European) restrictions on the advertising, buying, and selling of tobacco.

An EU watchdog organization specializing in monitoring corporate lobbying is preparing to file a complaint with an EU government agency to force Big Tobacco and the representatives of the TTIP member nations to expose to the people of all interested countries the full, unredacted record of these critical conversations.

Regardless of the true purpose of these meetings, the fact that the participants want them kept secret is telling.

What is certainly not secret is the fact that U.S. law will be abrogated by whatever agreements the trade negotiators work out in secret with the tobacco industry and other segments of big business that see an opportunity to circumvent the Constitution and promulgate new, more favorable, less restrictive regulations.

Constitutionalists in America and friends of liberty and economic freedom on both sides of the Atlantic are fully aware that the TTIP is not to the liking of any right thinking person.

Speaking of the damage to representative, republican government lurking in the TTIP, The New American’s senior editor, William F. Jasper, writes:

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposes to begin “deep and comprehensive” integration between the 28 member states of the European Union and the United States. Over the course of the past several years, we have published many articles detailing the dangers posed by these (still officially secret) agreements. We are bringing together here, in abbreviated form, 10 of those reasons why every American — whether identifying as Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, Tea Party, liberal, conservative, or constitutionalist — should oppose both of these proposals.

Jasper goes on to list 10 reasons to oppose the TTIP.

It is that word “integration,” though, that should evoke the greatest resistance from Americans and Europeans who understand our common legacy of individual liberty and the trouble that is caused by political consolidation.

Again, Jasper’s analysis is noteworthy:

The TPP/TTIP architects are drawing from the “success” of the European Union. In the development of the European Union — from its origin as the European Coal and Steel Community to the Common Market to the European Community to, finally, the EU — this subversive mutational process has been referred to as “broadening and deepening.” Broadening (or “widening”) refers to the constant expansion through addition of new member-states; deepening refers to the constant creation of new supranational institutional structures and continuous expansion and usurpation by regional authorities of powers and jurisdiction that previously were exercised by national, state, and local governments. The “living,” “evolving” treaties and agreements of the EU have eviscerated the national sovereignty of the EU member-states and increasingly subjugated them to unaccountable rulers in Brussels under the rubric of “integration,” “harmonization,” “an ever closer union,” “convergence,” “pooled sovereignty,” “interdependence,” and “comprehensive cooperation.”

Of course, the most relevant and revealing question is why would negotiators — corporate and government — continue trying so hard to conceal the content of their negotiations if the deal were good for Americans?

In his exposé, Jasper points out that that “transparency” deception isn’t confined to the European politicians:

The Obama administration has audaciously claimed that the TPP and TTIP processes are “completely transparent,” and President Obama has publicly claimed to be peeved by charges (false charges, he says) that there is any secrecy involved. But the president is talking utter nonsense, if facts mean anything. It is a fact that after more than three years of (secret) negotiations, the administration still has not made the draft texts of either of the agreements available to the public.

When it comes to keeping Americans in the dark about multinational, unconstitutional trade deals, Obama has proven himself quite capable of cooking up some whoppers:

In a press conference attended by this reporter in December 2013, it was admitted that in the official document outlining the deal, the Obama administration makes clear that an agreement will not be chiefly focused on matters related to international trade, but rather “behind-the-border” (read: domestic) policies such as health, environmental, and monetary policy. As with so many of the other panoply of recent trade deals, multinational corporations operating within the United States and the EU are achieving quasi-governmental power and using that authority to limit the ability of U.S. and EU courts to enforce domestic laws, particularly those that the corporate interests deem detrimental to their bottom line.

If the globalist and corporate interests in the United States and Europe successfully silence the outrage of the opposition on both sides of the Atlantic and achieve adoption of the agreements, then the integration of the United States with regional blocs in the Pacific and Atlantic will rush headlong toward completion and the ultimate surrender of sovereignty will ride up rapidly on its heels.

As it stands today, despite the redactions, it appears that the right of Americans to elect those empowered to make laws is being repealed by corporate lobbyists meeting safely behind a thick veil of secrecy.


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