The globalist modus operandi of handing over to the president immense powers to act unilaterally without Congress may now come back to bite them. During the recent presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump often railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), charging that it was hollowing out American industry, costing hundreds of thousands of Americans good-paying jobs, and promising to do something about it were he to be elected.
Turns out, the provisions of NAFTA may very well allow President Trump to act on his own to change tariff rates, force negotiations to modify the pact, or even withdraw the United States from it.
With NAFTA blamed for job losses in the industrial Midwest, Trump was able to crack the so-called Blue Wall of the Democrats, taking the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio in the election. It is the best a Republican candidate has done in this area, sometimes referred to as “the Rust Belt,” since Ronald Reagan was on the ballot.
In October, Trump vowed to begin the process to either force changes in NAFTA or even scrap the agreement. And he can do so without congressional approval.
Chapter 22 of NAFTA permits each chief executive of the three members of NAFTA (the United States, Canada, and Mexico) to exit the deal, simply by giving six months' written notice.
Scott Miller of the Center for Strategic and International Studies admitted that Trump has the power to take the United States out of NAFTA, on his own, without any approval by Congress: “Congress has delegated authority [on trade] to the president over the last 100 years.”
But Miller predicts that President Trump would face stiff opposition were he to make good on his threat to end American involvement in NAFTA. He cautioned that Trump’s promise to impose higher tariffs on imports from selected countries such as China and Mexico to protect domestic industry would lead other nations to retaliate by placing tariffs on U.S. exports.
Miller added that North America now has an “integrated supply chain,” and thus, withdrawal from that supply chain would hurt American companies.
Mexican and Canadian officials have already spoken out against any changes in NAFTA. One Mexican official said, “We do not see the need to renegotiate NAFTA. We believe it has been an extremely successful agreement.”
No doubt it has been — for Mexico. But what about for the United States and American workers?
Writing in Forbes magazine in 2014, Joann Muller, an international automotive analyst, said that in the previous five years, new car and truck production in Mexico had nearly doubled, from 1.7 million vehicles per year in 2009 to an estimated 3.2 million vehicles in 2014.
Eighty percent of Mexican-produced cars are exported, with about two of every three sent to the U.S.
It is little wonder that the Mexican government thinks that NAFTA, which went into effect on January 1, 1994, has been a highly successful deal.
But, as bad as NAFTA has been economically for Americans, there are other very serious drawbacks as well. In the 1990s, free-market economist Murray Rothbard denounced NAFTA’s claim to be just a “free trade” agreement.
“On the surface,” Rothbard wrote at the time, “NAFTA dealt with a few puny tariffs covering a small fraction of American trade. So why the fuss and feathers? Why did the Clinton administration pull out all the stops, throwing caution to the winds by openly and shamelessly buying congressional votes?”
And why did the entire establishment of both parties, Big Business, Big Finance, Big Media, ex-presidents, and former secretaries of state all enthusiastically support the deal?
“It was not about trade, certainly not about ‘free’ trade,” Rothbard insisted. “The fight was about foreign policy, about the globalist policy that the United States has been pursuing since Woodrow Wilson, and certainly since World War II. It was about the Establishment-Keynesian dream of a New World Order. NAFTA was a vital step down the road to that order.”
TNA Senior Editor William F. Jasper, echoing Rothbard’s opinion, summarized what NAFTA was really about: “The planet is quietly being divided up into regional blocs ruled by an unelected and unaccountable cabal.”
NAFTA is not the ultimate goal here, any more than the European Common Market was the final stop in Europe. Just as a seemingly innocent coal and steel agreement in the 1950s evolved into a growing authoritarian European Union (EU), NAFTA is seen by globalists here as a step toward a North American Union (NAU). Robert Pastor, professor of international relations at American University, and a strong supporter of NAFTA’s ultimate goals, wrote in Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the globalist CFR, “NAFTA was merely the first draft of an economic Constitution for North America.”
It should emphasized that opposition to NAFTA and the globalist ambitions of those who support it is not a partisan issue. While Democrat President Bill Clinton pushed NAFTA through Congress, he did it with broad Republican support. Then, when Republican President George W. Bush took over as president, he intended to build on the foundations of NAFTA to create an economic union of North America.
In 2006, Jerome Corsi, writing in Human Events, said, “Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA SuperHighway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minnesota.”
Corsi noted, “The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming North American Union,” which he described as a “new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico.”
While strongly supported by Texas Governor Rick Perry, supposedly a conservative Republican, construction of the highway was also being driven by a coalition of various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private organizations. For example, the North American SuperCorridor Coalition received $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to plan the Super Highway “as a 10-lane limited-access road (five miles in each direction) plus passenger and freight rail lines running alongside pipelines laid for oil and natural gas.” The goal was to merge the three North American nations into one transportation system.
President Bush signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) agreement in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005, with President Vincente Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada in order to reduce bottlenecks in trade between the three countries and to create a regulatory framework to govern that trade. This clearly sounds like the creation of a super-national government for North America.
Corsi concluded that this was likely why Bush had no desire to “secure the border with Mexico.” What Bush wanted to do with the SuperHighway, Corsi argued, was to “create express lanes for Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods into the heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any U.S. union workers on the docks or in the trucks.”
It is clear that NAFTA has destroyed many good, high-paying jobs in the United States. The globalist elites recognize this, and they recognize that this is an issue that must be addressed. Their solution, however, is startling: Writing in The Internationalist, a blog of the globalist CFR, Stewart Patrick opined that national governments needed to “intervene in the market to pursue full employment and other social welfare goals.”
So, workers displaced from good jobs in factories or transportation because of NAFTA, or other such so-called free trade agreements, can take comfort in the fact that they can draw social-welfare benefits. Instead of a paycheck, they can now expect food stamps. Or perhaps the government can “intervene in the market to pursue full employment.” These globalists clearly do not believe in the concept of the free market, but rather believe in government interventionism.
No wonder Trump carried Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. One way he could now repay those voters who put him in the White House is to cut out the sovereignty-killing cancer called NAFTA, and help restore the American Dream for millions of American workers.
As Rothbard explained at the time NAFTA was passed, “In the first place, genuine free trade doesn’t require a treaty or trade agreement. NAFTA is called a trade agreement so it can avoid the constitutional requirement of approval by two thirds of the Senate. If the establishment truly wants free trade, all it has to do is repeal all our numerous tariffs, import quotas, anti-dumping laws, and other American-imposed restrictions on trade.”
Rothbard argued that was a better alternative than “socialistic intervention and planning by a supranational NAFTA commission or Brussels bureaucrats accountable to no one.”