Wednesday, 17 October 2018

U.S. Trade Rep Informs Congress of Intent to Restart “Free Trade” Talks With EU

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Robert Lighthizer (shown), Trump’s globalist U.S. trade representative, condescended on Tuesday to inform Congress of his office’s intent to restart negotiations on a "free trade" agreement with the European Union. This would essentially result in the resurrection of the failed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), without directly calling it the TTIP. Following a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, Lighthizer made clear that trade talks were also commencing with Japan and Great Britain (after its exit from the EU next year). In a statement released Tuesday, Lighthizer said, “We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results to American workers, ranchers and businesses.” The goal, he said, is to achieve “fairer, more balanced” trade with these U.S. partners.

Unstated is another goal: to develop the entangling alliances that President Washington first warned about in 1789 that lead to a global government. National sovereignty, being given up piece by piece, eventually would be replaced with unelected bureaucrats beholden only to those who appointed them.

That’s the problem with the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) masquerading as the new and improved NAFTA and now given a new name in Mexico, T-MEC. As we pointed out at The New American,

USMCA confers the power to regulate trade on such global bodies as the World Trade Organization, International Labor Organization, and the United Nations, via such conventions including the Law of Sea treaty, over U.S. trade policy….

The globalist bureaucrats in charge can alter the agreement, including tariffs, without the consent of Congress, which is unconstitutional. [Only] the Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to regulate trade.

But Congress has been more than willing to abrogate its responsibilities by giving over to the Executive Branch more and more power to negotiate these trade deals. Under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the president, through his trade representative, can negotiate international trade agreements that Congress can only approve or deny but cannot amend. Once Lighthizer and his globalist staffers and negotiators are done completing these trade agreements, he will present the package, all wrapped up in a bow, to Congress, to vote up or down, yea or nay, in or out.

The New York Times exposed the sham back in July when the President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to back off on their tariff wars and instead, in Trump’s words, “work to lower tariffs and other barriers.” This was music to the Times’ ears:

The United States was pursuing much the same under Mr. Obama through a deal called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. And the collapse of the deal still smarts for large segments of American and European business who had fervently hoped to create a trans-Atlantic version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Now, however, all is forgiven. Using the USMCA as the model, Lighthizer will now start negotiations with the European Union and Japan in 90 days, while agreeing to keep Congress informed of his progress along the way.

It shouldn’t take long. After all, as Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which has been promoting international trade for its members since 1914, put it: “Most of the deal is stuff we were already on the verge of agreeing on in the TTIP negotiations, before that deal got deep-sixed after Trump’s election.”

Which raises the question: Is Trump aware of what’s going on? Or is he so enamored of Lighthizer’s ability to swing deals that he’s willing to overlook what’s happening to U.S. national sovereignty? As the Huffington Post celebrated the new USMCA/T-MEC agreement, it pointed out that “the majority of the ‘new’ items in the deal … were negotiated over a period of years by the Obama administration as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).”

It added:

In fact, at least half of the men and women standing behind Trump during his Rose Garden ceremony praising the new deal were the same career service staff who negotiated nearly identical provisions in TPP, which Trump had railed against….

It is unclear whether Trump understands or cares that many of the elements in his new “USMCA” were present earlier in TPP.

If Lighthizer’s plans to start negotiating new “deals” with the EU and Japan bear the fruit of further abrogation of national sovereignty, Congress will still have to vote on it, even if limited (by its own hand) to yea or nay. That’s still enough time for activists to pressure their representatives in the next Congress to vote nay. And more than enough time for the president to reconsider just how important those deals are in exchange for the giving up of Constitutional prerogatives in the process.

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 Photo: AP Images

An Ivy League graduate and former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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