Last Friday’s meeting of the DNC platform drafting committee in St. Louis yielded the best evidence yet that President Obama intends to ram the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) through a lame duck congress after the November election. The TPP is the most sweeping trade agreement in history, and is opposed by Democratic Party leaders like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold and Elizabeth Warren, as well as organizations as diverse as the AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women, the United Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, and the National Farmers Union.
Clinton delegates at the meeting voted down a platform proposal that would have put the party on record saying Congress should not take up the TPP this year. A Sanders campaign press release included this statement:
Sanders said it was “inexplicable” why Clinton allies on the panel at a meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, voted down proposals on trade that both Sanders and Clinton embraced as candidates. “It is hard for me to understand why Secretary Clinton’s delegates won’t stand behind Secretary Clinton’s positions in the party’s platform,” Sanders said.
The reason why, in my view, is obvious: Obama intends to bring this up in the lame duck congress, and Clinton and her delegates don’t want to buck him on it.
So who will Obama call on to champion the TPP in the House? 3rd congressional district Representative Ron Kind. Kind was Obama’s go to guy on fast track authority for the trade deal last Spring, and recently re-iterated his support for the TPP when he announced his ” Dairy Action Plan.”
So what’s the best way to defeat the TPP in a lame duck congress? Defeat Ron Kind in the August 9th primary. Kind’s primary challenger, Myron Buchholz, has made opposition to the TPP wellknown since first announcing his run last February, pulling a trailer behind his van in parades all over the district with large signs that read: ” Stop Bad Trade Deals, NAFTA, Panama, TPP “ If Ron Kind is a lame duck himself come November 9th, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be a TPP champion with any clout in the House.
Wisconsinites deserve to know, right now, where Ron Kind stands on the prospect of the largest trade agreement in history being passed through a lame duck congress. Who do you stand with, Mr. Kind, the Dem party leaders and the many hundreds of allied organizations who oppose the TPP? Or do you stand with Wall Street and the corporate board rooms who are eager to see it pass? Which side are you on, Ron?