Commerce Clause. Congress created fast-track authority through the Trade Act of 1974 to give the President of the United States the ability to negotiate without filibusters or amendments a “substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis” as a free market weapon against communist expansion around the world. Originally scheduled to expire in 1980, it was extended several times until the end of the Cold War that was marked by opening of trade with China, passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 1995 formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
WikiLeaks confirmed those suspicions by publishing a 95-page, 30,000-word partial draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership chapter on Intellectual Property Rights. The language “lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states.” Most troubling is the blatant effort to grant “policing” powers and “supranational litigation tribunals” that trump existing American laws regarding “individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy.” According to WikiLeaks, “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its cross-hairs.”