the President thought it worth trying, and I acquiesced. I prepared a plan of treaty for exchanging the privileges of native subjects, and fixing all duties forever as they now stood. Hamilton did not like this way of fixing the duties, because, he said, many articles here would bear to be raised, and therefore, he would prepare a tariff. He did so, raising duties for the French, from twenty-five to fifty per cent. So they were to give us the privileges of native subjects, and we, as a compensation, were to make them pay higher duties.The deal ultimately fell through-- Jefferson saw it as a Machiavellian scheme by Hamilton to try to irritate England-- but it shows how tariffs were an important aspect of American foreign policy from the administration of George Washington up until Bill Clinton got us into the World Trade Organization, thus eliminating most tariffs and trade "restrictions," letting multinational corporations instead of sovereign nations write the rules of international business. To solve the crisis of the disappearance of America's middle class, the United States should follow Jefferson's lead and protect American workers. We should pull out of the WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, and other multilateral treaties that give corporations the power to enforce their will on our government and our workers. This will again allow us to impose leveling tariffs on work done overseas. Offshore labor can then be set in price-- by adding tariffs to it-- to equal a living wage in the United States. If a company wants to hire people to answer the phone in India for $2 per hour, fine. Let them do it-- and pay a $10-per-hour tariff on top of the $2 hourly wage. If somebody wants to manufacture a computer in China with $10 worth of labor that would be worth $100 in the United States, no problem-- just impose a $90 tariff on it when it's imported. Most companies will simply return to the United States for their labor, and those that don't will enhance government coffers with funds that can be used for national health care and the education of our workforce. This is easily doable. By walking away from the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty and the Kyoto accords, George W. Bush showed Americans that we really do have the power to simply ignore or disavow international treaties to which we've already committed. It's time to apply that experience to the WTO, GATT, and NAFTA and return to our Founders' ideal of a nation in which the rules of trade and business are, as Jefferson said, "very much guided" by the interests of We the People rather than by a handful of multinational corporations.