Opinion

Trade Agreements Are Not Free Trade

Mike Siegel Host, The Mike Siegel Show

Here is a Free Trade Agreement that could be signed by all nations and still honor their sovereignty:

Every nation has the right to trade with any other nation under the terms and conditions established and agreed upon by those nations.

Why does free trade in its pure form require more than that?

Instead we have hundreds or thousands of pages in the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, KORUS, and all other trade agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

These are not embodiments of free trade. These are documents stripping away national sovereignty for the benefit of the multi-national corporations which donate tens of millions of dollars to political candidates for their support of these trade agreements.

Multi-nationals would love to eliminate borders as they have done in the European Union and are in the process of accomplishing in North America through NAFTA at the expense of American jobs and our economy.

We know that NAFTA has cost at a minimum 800,000 jobs in America since 1994. We know that since the Korea-U.S. agreement, we have increased our trade deficit with that country. Every one of these agreements has made it easier for corporations to move to third world countries, pay menial wages compared to legitimate wages for American workers, and then ship their products into America with no consequence because of these agreements.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts legislature passed a bill to prohibit doing business with Myanmar (formerly Burma) due to their brutal human rights violations. That legislature was given the bad news that they had no authority to pass this bill since GATT prohibited states from voting such a policy.

Even worse is the fact that unelected Boards of these trade agreements make the policy decisions on complaints filed by one country against another.

What happened to the Congress and its Constitutional responsibility under the Commerce Clause to set trade policy? Apparently the members were too busy collecting campaign contributions from the very multi-nationals which benefit from these trade agreements given sanction by a Congress they bought and paid for.

Do we know the quality of food products coming from third world countries placed on display in our supermarkets? No, because the trade agreements protect those countries from scrutiny. Do we know what environmental degradation takes place from trucks coming in from Mexico with products for sale in this country? No because they do not have emissions tests as each state in America requires of us and our automobiles.

And, of course, sovereignty is a thing of the past in the eyes of these globalists since they want the planet to be one free market for them. The consequence is hundreds of billions of dollars per year in trade deficits. We are unable to get our products into Japan, China or Mexico in the way they get their products into the United States. President Reagan went to Japan with Lee Iacocca, CEO of the Chrysler Corporation and other U.S. executives, but failed to change the closed door trade policy of Japan in trying to create a market there for American products.

Ask yourself why these corporations funnel over $80 million per election cycle for moderate Republicans running against true conservatives in their party. The reason is simple. These Republicans have been bought off to support trade agreements.

Ironically, it was Democrat House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt who opposed NAFTA precisely because of the loss of American manufacturing jobs it would cause. As a Congressman from St. Louis, he knew the devastating impact this policy would have.

He was prophetic along with many others. The Maquiadora companies primarily in northern Mexico are mainly American companies that relocated from our homeland and are given huge tax breaks, cheap labor and sell back to the United States consumer.

Recently we learned that Carrier Air Conditioners fired 1300 employees in Indiana and moved to Mexico. The Ford Motor Company is building a multi-billion dollar plant in Mexico. The beat goes on for these corporate giants.

Unless this trend is reversed, national borders will become meaningless. That is the ideal world for these corporate empires. That is why both Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were the pariah of this movement and the mainstream of both parties.

We know that most of the jobs created during the Obama years have been marginal, part-time, and low paying service jobs. That cannot stand any longer if we are to have an inclusive and vibrant economy.

We need to reverse this quagmire, reform the agreements we have or terminate them, bring back manufacturing jobs to America, and Yes, make America Great Again.

Remember what “Free Trade” is:

Every nation has the right to trade with any other nation under the terms and conditions established and agreed upon by those nations.