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Time to Say Goodbye to the WTO

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The following article was written by Phyllis Schlafly and appeared in the Eagle Forum here.

The World Trade Organization just ruled against the United States again. A “dispute resolution panel” of WTO representatives from Pakistan, Portugal and Switzerland ruled that U.S. laws requiring Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) violate free trade.
It’s time for the United States to wave goodbye to this impertinent new-world-order bunch of bureaucrats in Geneva (a sort of Economic United Nations) who think they can dictate our trade policies. That’s unconstitutional anyway because the U.S. Constitution specifically gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations.”

The WTO is based on the one-country, one-vote pattern. That means the United States has no veto and only one vote out of 153 nations, the same vote as Cuba or Grenada or Rwanda. The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Board deliberates and votes in secret, decides trade disputes, and cannot be vetoed by any nation.

Americans want to know where our foods come from, especially since nearly two-thirds of the fruits and vegetables and 80 percent of the seafood we eat come from foreign countries where health and sanitary standards are not remotely equivalent to ours. And we have a right to know, despite impudent foreigners who seek to deny us that right, and some U.S. retailers who want to conceal, how many foreign meats are ground into hamburger.

We’ve had media coverage of the deadly E.coli outbreak in Germany, but very little coverage of the production peculiarities common in Communist China, where fish is raised in waters containing raw sewage disguised with dangerous drugs and chemicals. Several years ago, China sold us pet food containing melamine, a chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers, causing hundreds of our dogs and cats to die.
Some news has leaked out about China’s peculiar and life-threatening food manufacturing industry. Incidents include the 300,000 babies sickened by milk tainted with melamine, the 286 wedding reception guests who were hospitalized after eating pork contaminated with Clenbuterol (a drug that makes pigs grow faster), the watermelons that exploded because of overuse of a chemical, the raw pork that emits a blue light from phosphorescent bacteria, the meals that are cooked using oil dredged from sewers behind restaurants, the pork disguised as beef, and soy sauce made using human hair clippings.

A new U.S. food safety law requires the Food and Drug Administration to inspect 600 foreign food facilities within a year, and more thereafter. That doesn’t reassure us in the slightest because it’s just a drop in the bucket of the problem. The FDA inspects only one percent of imports from China.

The 2002 and 2005 Farm Bills required retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of muscle cuts and ground beef (including veal), lamb, pork, chicken, and goat meat; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; perishable agricultural commodities; peanuts; pecans; ginseng; and macadamia nuts. The requirement on fish went into effect in 2005 and on all the other foods in 2008.

A couple of years ago, the WTO ruled against our Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was designed to protect our people against the social and financial costs of internet gambling. Ruling that our law interferes with free trade in “recreational services,” the WTO gave Antigua and Barbuda the go-ahead to punish us by violating U.S. copyrights and trademarks.

How did we get in this fix where foreigners presume to override the U.S. Constitution, our laws, and our sovereignty? It was a cozy political deal between the New World Order and free-trade activists in both political parties.

First, the 14-page WTO agreement was surreptitiously added to the 22,000-page revision of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) legislation. No publicity was given to the WTO’s Article XVI which obligates the United States to change our laws, regulations and administrative procedures to conform to WTO.

Second, Clinton and Congress bypassed the Treaty Clause in the U.S. Constitution (that requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate). They declared WTO passed as an executive agreement, which calls for only a simple majority in both Houses of Congress.

WTO was scheduled for a vote on October 5, 1994, but after a flood of phone calls from constituents urging a No vote, President Bill Clinton, House Speaker Tom Foley, and Republican leader Newt Gingrich cooked up a deal to pass WTO in the December 1994 Lame Duck session. That session included the votes of more than 80 Members who had been defeated in the Republican landslide of November 8, or were retiring.

Anybody who says the WTO means “free trade” insults the common sense of Americans. The WTO is not free trade at all, but is a supra-national body that sets, manages and enforces WTO-made rules to dictate global trade.

It’s time to pull out of the World Trade Outrage.

10 Responses to “Time to Say Goodbye to the WTO”

  1. A Mann says:

    It was in December 1994 that China devalued their currency 40 percent against the US dollar. This move coinciding with the WTO agreement is the origin of our troubles today.

    • Hugh Campbell says:

      China’s 40% devaluation of its currency against the Dollar in 1994 and subsequent hard-peg to the U.S. Dollars appears to have contributed to the Asian Crisis in the late 1990s.

  2. stephen verchinski says:

    Lets not forget though that our own Federal Reserve System has bet against the dollar. They hold a grand portion of our current debt.

  3. Mo says:

    These WTO decisions sounds like Soviet style central economic planning. Every country should decide what policies are right for them. Some trade panel that meets in secret should not decide what sectors and industries within countries are going to benefit at the expense of others.

  4. Maggie says:

    There is no limit at all to the scope of minutia that the meddling WTO will stick its nose into. Country of origin labeling? How about contents or ingredients or anything else, needing the approval of the almighty WTO? A ruling like this ought to be the very last straw for the WTO, no matter which countries such a ruling is for or against. Some things are just totally out of bounds.

  5. China Watcher says:

    Mo and Maggie: Your frustration is understandable, but the alternative to the rule of law (which turns on minutiae) is the law of the jungle (which turns on brute strength). The US is not self-sufficient in raw materials, critical inputs or finance. I’d rather fight legal battles in US courts and the WTO than go toe to toe with China in a battle of will and resources.

    • Vince Costantino says:

      It’s time for a grass roots massive call to boycott the dumping grounds for Chinese products until and unless tariffs are reinstated and or quotas developed that compels domestic investment in manufacturing on our shores. When we begin to achieve the desire outcome WalMart, Target, Home Depot and the like will lobby congress, all with the financial power and “voice” of Citizen’s United, to push USA first policies to recoup lost sales

      • Fred List says:

        Yes! Actually that’s what the people of China did in the early 1900′s versus the English and especially the Japanese. Their boycotts helped foster the early industries that later formed the basis of prosperity in Hong Kong, Taiwan and later on the Mainland itself. Unfortunately, this history is often overlooked because it doesn’t fit in with the “free trade is wonderful everywhere and always” narrative promoted by many US economists.

  6. Vince Costantino says:

    Watch Sir James Goldsmith’s interview with Charlie Rose on Youtube. He predicted the devastation and we are living with the aftermath of WTO and NAFTA since the 90′s. I’d like to know if Dr. Laura Tyson will recant her statement about the benefits of so-call Free Trade. Post the link to the interview and send it to all of your friends. The video needs to go virile. It’s time to reinstate tariffs to rebuild the USA and insource jobs back for our citizens and future generations.

  7. Theresa Niel says:

    Both political parties have been taken over by special interests but we could get the people to try to change or go door to door to each member of congress or not re-elect any of them refusing to sign trade reform petition. ?

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