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"Free-Trade" Packs: Job Loss to Lost Sovereignty to Police State

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Years ago, the world's corporate elite lusted over the wealth generated by the American economy. So, they devised the concept of globalization and created multi-national 'free-trade' packs such as NAFTA, WTO and GATS, which allowed them access to our markets to partake of our wealth. Originally, it was done under the guise of restoring war-torn Europe and Asia, but these countries are now more than able to compete on their own without the help of "free-trade". But, yet these packs are still in play today, growing in number and power to the detriment of the American people.

Most Americans are aware of the economic devastation that the "free-trade" packs are doing to our country. Disloyal corporate heads are displacing hundreds of thousand American workers and replacing them with imported cheap foreign labor or exporting their good paying jobs to countries with pools of near-slave labor. Most of these Americans are then relegated to sub par jobs with their families in desperate straits. Some are even left homeless, living in their cars.

Many of America's brightest young people are bypassing college (men in particular) because of the massive number of high tech and science jobs being sent overseas or filled here with cheap foreign graduates. It is heartbreaking to think of what could have been for many Americans if not for the evaporating opportunities brought about by globalization.

The formally great United States is being deindustrialized by globalization. Since 1978, 14,449 US companies have been sold to foreign buyers for a total acquisition amount of $1,777,738,035,222. These American industries couldn't compete with the cheap goods protected by "free-trade" that were flooding US markets and as a result they failed and were bought up by the foreign firms with their profits from their US sales. How many products stamped "made in America" have you seen lately in the stores? Ramifications include our cities being eroded by the mass exodus of their industrial base and our dependence on the rest of the world for our many needed goods, which has national security implications.

But it's even more crucial for Americans to become aware that these "free-trade" packs are also undermining American sovereignty. In the case of the WTO, Congress is prohibited from passing legislation that violates its bylaws. In other words, our agreement with the WTO curtails what laws Congress is allowed to pass concerning US industrial policies. The WTO is fixed so that each member country has only one vote with no veto powers for anyone. Even though the United States is the benefactor, it only has equal footing with every developing country with cheap goods to dump on our markets.

WTO bylaws include:

  • Congress must change US laws to conform to WTO statutes.
  • All decisions will be determined by the votes of WTO members.
  • The WTO will settle all trade disputes, monitor national responses and enforce its decisions. WTO rulings are final. The WTO can impose trade sanctions and fines on the US if we don't comply. If the US loses a WTO dispute, plaintiff nations may select which US industries will be sanctioned.
  • All WTO members are subject to amendments voted for by two-thirds of the members.
China is a special case in point. Its unchecked flooding of our markets with cheaply made goods has created 26% of the US $725.8 billion trade deficit. The Economic Policy Institute reported that, between 1997 and 2006, the massive US/China trade imbalance took 2,166,000 US jobs, the bulk of which (1.8 million) were lost after China joined the WTO in 2001. Proponents of this affiliation wrongly claimed that China's trade surplus would decline and US employment would bounce back.

China subsequently bought up vast quantities of US government securities with their dollar profits from the trade imbalance. As a result, they have attained the ability to blackmail the US. A quick sell-off of these government securities would send interest rates spiraling up, possibly crash the dollar and spark a recession.

Furthermore, China has gained significant leverage over U.S. foreign policy. Under Bush, the U.S. trade deficit with China has soared astronomically, increasing our dependency on China as a source of foreign exchange currency into which the U.S. Treasury sells its debt. With average Americans sans savings and strapped with huge personal debt and unaffordable mortgages, Bush's spiraling military spending cannot be covered by more taxes. Consequently, Bush is forced to obtain financing for his wars from foreign treasuries, particularly China. It was China that covered the largest part of the tab for Afghanistan and Iraq. And, if China were to cease buying U.S. Treasuries, Bush and Cheney's warmongering would be over. Bring home the troops!

The WTO and other "free-trade" packs are developing into a virtual shadow, one-world dictatorship with the authority to override the sovereignty and laws of the U.S. and other countries and hamstring their ability to protect the most basic health and human rights of its citizens. In fact, corporations can complain they have lost 'potential future profits' from a government's enacted public welfare laws and the government can be ordered to pay compensation to the corporations.

It's their agenda to hand over every country's natural resources and government-provided public services such as water supplies, health care and public education to the international corporate sector to be sold as commodities for the highest profits the market will bear. Those who cannot afford these privatized services will do without. An example is Bush strong-arming Iraq's puppet government to cede 70% of Iraqi oil for privatization by the oil companies.

Soon, there will be no more democratic countries and the corporate elite will rule the world. A major step will be transforming the three sovereign nations in the North American continent into one super regional political and economic entity dubbed the "North American Union". Currently, it is masquerading as a tough replacement for NAFTA, which failed to boost Mexico's economy, and is being called the "Security and Prosperity Partnership". But, as early as 2010, boundaries will be redefined so immigration control will be around the three countries and not between them. Eventually, a non-elected governance board will be formed along with a tribunal with supremacy over the U.S. Supreme Court. Public discourse as well as a vote within each nation as to the will of the people is being disallowed. The "North American Union" will in the end be an enormous despotic police state in which civil liberties will be stripped from its citizens to squash dissent and anti-terrorism, as usual, will be the ruse.
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Dan Merica is a political cartoonist and opinion writer battling the right wing scourge now devastating our country. His work is posted on his website,
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