When it comes to international trade agreements both the Democrats and the Republicans have both failed the American people. When candidate Obama was running for the presidency in 2008 he criticized Hillary Clinton for siding with NAFTA. Now as president he’s signing us on to similar if not worse agreements.
Just look at what two trade agreements portend for these shores.
Designed to grease the wheels of world commerce, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would force the U.S. and other participating countries to “harmonize” food safety standards. That means all countries that sign on to the agreement would be required to abide by the lowest common denominator standards of all participating governments. So for instance, say Vietnam allows higher residues of veterinary antibiotics in seafood than the U.S. allows, and Vietnam and the U.S. both sign on to the TPP. As a trade partner, the U.S. could be forced to lower its standards to allow for imports of seafood from Vietnam – or face a lawsuit by the seafood exporter for depriving the company of future sales of its products in the U.S.
This is what U.S. Trade Representative is all about. Our elected leaders are selling out their own people in favor of multinational corporations who will benefit from cheap imports into the United States. Sure they’ll talk about how much the country will now be able to export overseas but this never turns out to be exactly the case.
I read about this WTO ruling against China earlier this week and was meaning to blog about it.
The decision announced today by the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a huge victory for American workers. In clear and unequivocal language, the WTO stated that China’s decision to limit the export of key raw materials violated the commitments China made when it joined the WTO.
People don’t realize how protective an economy China really is. They manipulate their currency and restrict imports. In this case China restricted exports of raw materials because it went against their national economic interests.
Now the WTO is interfering with how we label beef. You can tell this was a bad move because the Cattleman’s Beef Association loves the ruling. I bet they love E. coli too. These people are responsible for Barbara Kowalcyk’s two year old son dying from E. coli.
Consumers, ranchers, farmers and legislators worked hard to pass the labeling rules after seeing ground beef horror stories in Schlosser’s movie and book Fast Food Nation.
Heck, even free marketeers will be upset with the WTO ruling, since labeling transparency allows the consumer to make the free choice as to what kind of product they want to buy without the government dictating the outcome.
I have to agree with Public Citizen when they say:
WTO interference in these types of labeling schemes are likely to further erode support for so-called "trade" deals.
Until we can get trade deals right for the American people then I say no more.