Friday, 08 February 2019

USMCA: Democrats to the Rescue? Not So Fast!

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After months of relative silence about the newly revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), intended to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Democratic lawmakers are now posturing against its passage and implementation — or so it would appear.

In a February 6, 2019 press release, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.; shown), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Jared Golden (D-Maine), and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) responded to President Trump’s State of the Union, in which he praised the new USMCA.

“The text of the agreement — which many House Democrats have urged needs to be changed to address issues on prescription drug costs, labor and environmental standards, and outsourcing incentives — was signed by all three nations on November 30, 2018,” the release read in part. 

The Democratic lawmakers explained that the USMCA would not pass in its present form in the House of Representatives, which their party controls. Instead, they suggested the agreement may have to be re-opened for negotiations with Mexico and Canada in order to make their even more progressive changes.

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“Talking to other members, my strong first impression is that there’s a lot of work needed on access and cost of Rx drugs in NAFTA 2.0 to get committee support and House passage,” tweeted Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade.

Furthermore, the progressive prescription drug, environmental, and labor changes that Democrats want would be on top of the already progressive provisions contained in the current and final text of the USMCA. Following the November 30 signing ceremony, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the leftist Liberal Party of Canada Chrystia Freeland described the USMCA as a “very progressive trade agreement.”

Among the progressive elements in the USMCA are the pursuance of “sustainable development” and adherence to the United Nations Law of Seas Treaty, as well as other UN biodiversity conventions in Chapter 24 on the environment, pro-LGBTQ “gender identity” protections in the workplace in Chapter 23 on labor, unrestricted flow of “migrants” and workplace protections for them and other “non-nationals” in both Chapters 17 and 23, the “economic integration” of North America in Chapter 26 on competitiveness, and the establishment of a EU-style “Free Trade Commission” to serve as the administrative or governing body for a nascent North American Union framework in Chapter 30 on administrative and institutional provisions, among other infringements on American sovereignty and liberty found in the agreement.

Rising Democratic opposition to the USMCA is not motivated out of a rekindled love for God and country or jealousy for American sovereignty. Rather it is a continued outgrowth of the “#resist” all things Trump movement that has permeated the American Left like a malignant tumor.

Congressman Rosa DeLauro, who had positive things to say about the USMCA when its initial text was released in October, is now, in her toxic intransigent anti-Trump fervor, bashing the agreement for not being progressive enough. “With a national audience watching, President Trump failed to move the needle on the changes necessary to protect American workers and consumers in his NAFTA 2.0 agreement,” she said. “Democrats would be willing to support a deal that puts working people first by ending outsourcing incentives and sets forth a trade template that supports American workers. However, the text is simply not there yet.” Further adding, “I appreciate the work United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has put in throughout this process, and I look forward to continuing discussions on making these important changes to support American workers and their families.”

In other words DeLauro and other House Democrats will only support the USMCA if Lighthizer, who is a longtime veteran member of the globalist pro-one world government Council on Foreign Relations, adds additional leftist goodies and provisions to satisfy their progressive sweet tooth. Thus, Democratic opposition to the USMCA could easily be neutralized if the agreement is made even worse to their hard leftist and globalist satisfaction.

It is possible that at least some of these onerous proposals could make their way into the yet-to-be introduced USMCA Implementation Act, thus forgoing the arduous task of reopening negotiations with Canada and Mexico, though Mexico's government has since changed hands from the neoliberal trade-globalist Peña Nieto regime to that of hardline Marxist socialist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). A simple way to satisfy Democratic criticism would be to add strong domestic enforcement for the aforementioned progressive tenets already in the USMCA through its congressional implementation legislation.

Unfortunately, none of the statements made by Democrats against the USMCA addressed the issue of American sovereignty or the potential of entering into a EU-style North American Union. In fact, prior to the Brexit vote in the U.K., then-President Barack Obama went to the U.K. to convince Britons to vote to remain in the EU, against Brexit. Thus it is no surprise Democrats have not expressed any concerns over the prospects of the United States being subsumed in an EU-style supranational state.

While one might hope that the Democrats stop-and-resist all things Trump fervor along with their unyielding pursuit for an even more uber-progressive North American trade agreement would lead them to in turn reject the current renegotiated USMCA, it’s important to recognize that Congress could still pass a USMCA implementation bill without the majority of Democratic votes.

In November 1993, the Democrats held an even larger majority in the House (256 Democrats, 175 Republicans, 1 Independent) and also a majority in the Senate (56 Democrats, 44 Republicans). On November 17, 1993, by a vote of 234 to 200, the House passed the NAFTA Implementation Act (H.R. 3450). Despite the Democratic majority, the act passed with a majority of Republican votes; 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats voted to pass the NAFTA Implementation Act. Likewise, in the Senate, the Democrats again split, enabling a majority of Republicans (34 senators) along with 27 Democrats to pass the bill, while the majority of Senate Democrats (28 Senators) along with 10 Republicans voted against it.

USMCA NAFTA

Now, as of February 8, 2019, in the House of Representatives, Democrats hold a slimmer majority of 235 seats to the Republicans 198. Meanwhile in the Senate, Republicans have a 53 seat majority. In other words, history likely could repeat itself in the House, where a majority of Republicans and handful of Democrats (likely made up of the so-called moderate or centrist, pro-trade New Democrats) garner enough votes to force a vote and ensure passage of a USMCA implementation bill, followed by a likely easier passage in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The politics of the situation underscores the urgency and necessity to inform lawmakers in both the House and Senate about the USMCA and how it would threaten American sovereignty and independence. Concerned about the possibility of losing our national sovereignty to a potential EU-style North American Union, The John Birch Society has launched an action project called “Get US Out! of NAFTA & Stop the USMCA.” As its title suggests, the JBS initiative is intended to both formally withdraw the U.S. from the original NAFTA and to reject the new USMCA, thus eliminating the blueprint and framework for the economic integration of North America and future NAU.

Rather than relying on Democrats to potentially stop the USMCA, concerned citizens passionate about America’s national sovereignty should consider joining The John Birch Society and taking part in its action project to help save American liberty and independence.

Americans have a choice to spend their sunset years telling their future children and grandchildren what it once was like to be free and independent, or for them too to enjoy the continued blessings of American freedom and independence, being untethered to a supranational, continental, regional, oceanic, or world government. Now is the time to make that determination. Which will it be?

Photo Rosa DeLauro: Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia

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