Monday, 14 January 2019

Big Business Ignores Threat to National Sovereignty Inherent in USMCA

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Citing the importance of international trade, particularly with Mexico and Canada, for the American economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, big business interests in general, and agricultural associations such as the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), are all lobbying Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). While one can sympathize with the desire to increase the bottom line of U.S. businesses involved in exports, such as the corn growers, no concern whatsoever is expressed about the adverse effect such agreements as USMCA and NAFTA have on the continued national sovereignty of the United States (and, for that matter, Mexico and Canada).

Tom Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, took the occasion of his “State of American Business” speech to ask the Trump administration to not only drop tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico, but explained that this was important to do so as to advance the “free trade” agenda with even more nations.

“This would be an encouraging sign for all trading partners, including those we’re pursuing new market-opening agreements with, like Japan, the U.K. and the European Union,” Donahue said.

About three dozen business associations have linked in a lobbying effort to pressure Congress to ratify USMCA as quickly as possible, according to Politico.

NCGA not only supports USMCA, it opposes any action by the United States. to withdraw from NAFTA before it is fully replaced by the USMCA. NCGA argues that NAFTA has been very helpful for America’s corn farmers. According to NCGA, corn exports to Mexico and Canada have increased 300 percent since NAFTA’s creation in 1994.

NCGA opposes President Donald Trump’s threat to pull out of NAFTA as a way of pressuring Congress to approve USMCA. With recent corn exports to Mexico up 13 percent during 2017-2018, NCGA argues that it would put those vital corn markets at risk.

While it is typical for “free trade” advocates to tout this or that economic “benefit,” they seem to have little concern for the effect such deals as NAFTA, USMCA, TPP, and others have in diminishing the national sovereignty of the United States. Unfortunately, many otherwise conservative-leaning Americans laud “free trade” deals because they mistakenly believe they have something to do with free enterprise — but this is not true.

Deals such as NAFTA and USMCA are government-managed trade deals, rather than examples of laissez-faire. Worse than that, they necessarily create new governmental structures above that of national governments, including the U.S. government and the governments of the 50 states.

When Trump ran for president in 2016, he rightly criticized not only NAFTA, but also President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Three days after taking office, Trump directed the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) “to permanently withdraw the United States from TPP negotiations.” This heartened those Americans who understand that these “free trade” agreements threaten our nation’s continued independence and alarmed the globalists who see them as building blocks to a world government, often referred to as a “new world order.”

A question that those who are sincerely conservative should ask themselves is, if these “trade deals” were really examples of free enterprise at work, then why do some of the world’s most left-wing and socialistic politicians support them? For example, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland praised Trump’s USMCA as “a very progressive trade agreement.” In our own country, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who otherwise uses every opportunity to oppose Trump, heaped praise upon the president, saying that Trump “deserved praise” for his USMCA.

When one reads the details of USMCA, it is easy to understand why leftists such as Schumer and Freeland like it. Among the new chapters of USMCA not found in the original NAFTA are provisions on labor and the environment. Chapter 23 on “Labor” places the three signatory nations under the control of the International Labor Organization (ILO) by specifically committing them to the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) and the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization of 2008.

Increasingly, all in the name of “free trade,” Congress has repealed American laws to please international bodies. The 1946 Agricultural Marketing Act required meat producers to include a country of origin (COOL) label for any pork or beef sold in America. But when Canada protested that the COOL violated rules promulgated by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Congress meekly repealed the law, 300-131, in 2015.

With Britain struggling to leave the increasingly authoritarian European Union (EU), and other countries in the EU pushing back against the EU’s continued efforts to reduce the independence of its members, Americans should note that many want a similar super-state for North America, which would be called the North American Union (NAU).

Yet, for some, the surrender of our national sovereignty is worth it if it means a better bottom line for some multinational corporations. As English statesman John Harrington said, “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

Has the track record of these mega-corporations indicated, in any way, that they care more about the national sovereignty of the United States than about the compensations of their top executives?

In the end, the average American will not prosper from multilateral trade deals, but it is all within the game plan of international socialists, such as Karl Marx. In 1848, he spoke approvingly of “free trade,” arguing that it “breaks up old nationalities,” and “hastens the social revolution.”

USMCA NAFTA

Photo: AP Images

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