Conservative talk show hosts across the country are training their fire at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial trade agreement they now refer to as “Obamatrade.”
The House of Representatives is set to vote Friday on Trade Promotion Authority legislation that would authorize the Obama administration to negotiate the TPP and other deals, then present the finished agreement for an up-or-down vote that cannot be altered. Corporate lobbyists have applied increasing pressure on undecided lawmakers of both parties.
For wavering House Republicans, the same radically conservative, anti-Obama echo chamber that energized their party during the past several elections has emerged as anti-TPP.
Nationally syndicated host Mark Levin on his show Wednesday evening slammed big business lobbying over the agreement. “Don’t you see the pressure waged by the Chamber of Crony Capitalism and all the rest?” Levin remarked, referring to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest corporate lobbying group in Washington.
Levin warned, “They’ll say, you see, we voted for free trade, now we’re on a level playing field — when they’re screwing us!”
A number of other leading conservative talk radio hosts devoted air time to trashing the deal on Wednesday. Lars Larson told his listeners that Obama could not be trusted to negotiate a deal in good faith, and that they should contact their representatives to register their disapproval. Sean Hannity brought on Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to discuss “this ridiculous Obamatrade.”
Several hosts, including Larson and Levin, specifically asked their audience to visit a website called Obamatrade.com, which provides anti-TPP activists with a set of tips for persuading lawmakers to oppose the deal.
Radio show hosts on the right and left have decried how the deal has been negotiated in total secrecy. And increasingly, they both say that the deal will serve largely to enrich corporations over the interests of the public.
“They’re pushing this through not because of the American people or capitalism, but because they’re cronies and they’re corporatists, and they’re telling us to stick it,” Levin said.
(This post is from our blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Photo: Conservative talk radio hosts have directed their listeners to websites like www.obamatrade.com to organize opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (obamatrade.com)