Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The WTO Trap

Expand Messages
  • Scott Darby
    The WTO Trap By William Norman Grigg The New American, January 10, 2005 The World Trade Organization, a Geneva-based body composed of foreign bureaucrats, will
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2005
      The WTO Trap
      By William Norman Grigg
      The New American, January 10, 2005

      The World Trade Organization, a Geneva-based body
      composed of foreign bureaucrats, will control our
      nation's economic destiny unless we get out -- now!

      A delegation of U.S. cotton farmers had their "day in
      court" on December 13, seeking relief from a damaging
      regulatory ruling. The "court" to which they made
      their appeal was a dispute resolution panel of the
      World Trade Organization (WTO), a 148-nation global
      body headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The U.S.
      cotton farmers were forced to appeal to the foreign
      "court" because the U.S. government illegally ceded
      part of our sovereignty to the WTO, and the farmers
      have been caught in the repercussion of that action.

      Last September, noted the December 7 Delta Farm Press,
      a three-member WTO panel ruled that a number of
      federal assistance programs for the cotton industry
      are "prohibited export subsidies" that created
      "significant suppression of world cotton prices in
      marketing years 1999-2002, causing 'serious prejudice'
      to Brazil's interests." This isn't to say that the WTO
      uniformly bans all such subsidies. Article 13 of the
      WTO Agreement on Agriculture allows national
      governments to provide agricultural subsidies, but the
      global trade body claims the authority to nullify any
      subsidy it deems inappropriate -- and to levy punitive
      fines and taxes to enforce its rulings.

      As has been its habit, the Bush administration reacted
      to the September decision by expressing resigned
      disapproval -- and an eager willingness to abide by
      the WTO's final decision. This left U.S. cotton
      farmers to seek relief from the same foreign globalist
      body that had issued the injurious decision. "We have
      been preparing our defense," explained John Maguire,
      senior vice president of Washington operations for the
      National Cotton Council. "The U.S. Government is our
      attorney in this case." What this means is that, "win"
      or lose, the Bush administration would validate the
      WTO's authority to regulate our nation's economic

      This was neither the first, nor the most recent,
      instance in which the WTO has issued a strongly
      anti-U.S. ruling. In March 2004, the body ruled that
      congressional legislation banning Internet gambling
      violates the terms of the General Agreement on Trade
      in Services (GATS). Described as a measure intended to
      facilitate free trade in services, GATS is not an
      agreement, or even a set of agreements. Instead, it is
      an open-ended process in which hordes of anonymous
      foreign bureaucrats review local, state, and federal
      licensing and certification standards, and other
      supposed impediments to the global free trade in
      services. Through the GATS process, all of our
      legislative processes are thrown open to challenge by
      foreign governments.

      Shortly after the U.S. presidential election, the WTO
      issued what would have to be considered its most
      dramatic ruling against U.S. interests. As summarized
      by Newsday, a November 26 ruling "approved punitive
      taxes long sought by the European Union and other
      countries because of a law they say unfairly protects
      U.S. steel companies and other industries." The law in
      question, commonly known as the "Byrd amendment,"
      authorizes the imposition of tariffs to protect
      various industries from "dumping" -- that is to say,
      the subsidized export of goods below production costs
      as a way of driving U.S.-based competitors out of the

      Under the Byrd amendment, formally known as the
      "Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000,"
      money collected through the tariffs could be paid to
      U.S. companies who file anti-dumping complaints. Over
      the past three years, some $700 million has been paid
      out. In response to a European Union complaint in
      2002, the WTO ruled that the Byrd amendment was
      "illegal." This is to say that a Geneva-based global
      body, composed of foreigners who are not accountable
      to U.S. citizens, presumed to exercise judicial review
      over a law that -- whether considered wise or foolish
      -- was properly enacted by Congress and duly signed by
      the president.

      The November 26 WTO ruling compounds that outrage by
      authorizing the imposition of "punitive taxes" against
      the United States. "While quite small initially,"
      noted Newsday, "the level of punitive duties will be
      reviewed each year and could rise sharply. The value
      of the sanctions, on everything from sweet corn to
      metals and textiles, hasn't been determined, but trade
      officials estimated them at more than $150 million a

      The WTO ruling clears the way for "the EU, Japan and
      five other governments � to slap tariffs on American
      imports � unless Congress repeals the so-called Byrd
      amendment," noted the Bloomberg financial press
      service. Surely President George W. Bush, a man
      reviled by his detractors as a "unilateralist" and
      hailed by his defenders as a stout defender of
      national sovereignty, rejected this brazen assault on
      our national independence and prosperity.

      Guess again.

      Asked about the ruling during a November 26 press
      conference at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, Mr. Bush
      replied: "We've worked hard to comply with the WTO.
      It's important that all nations comply with WTO
      rulings. I'll work with Congress to get into
      compliance." After promising to defer to the global
      body's supposed authority, Bush attempted to strike a
      resolute pose, mewling: "We expect the WTO, as well,
      to treat our trading partners as they treat us. And
      that's why, for example, I filed [a] complaint on the
      Airbus situation. We believe that the subsidies for
      Airbus are unfair for U.S. companies, such as Boeing."
      But this amounted to a tacit admission on Mr. Bush's
      part that he expected the WTO -- once again, a body
      composed of bureaucrats representing America's foreign
      economic competitors -- to protect our nation's
      Caught in the WTO Web

      President Bush's enthusiasm for WTO-supervised global
      "free trade" explains why "you could almost hear a
      collective sigh of relief" from foreign capitals over
      his re-election, stated the December 2 Christian
      Science Monitor. "Because of the administration's
      strong commitment to free trade, the United States
      looks ready to push for even more international
      agreements that trim barriers to commerce." But the
      "free trade" agreements in question -- which include
      the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the
      proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and
      Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and the
      WTO -- are not designed to bring about genuine free

      Properly understood, free trade results when a
      mutually beneficial exchange occurs between buyers and
      sellers, unimpeded by government intervention. The
      agenda being pursued by the Bush administration and
      its foreign cohorts, by way of contrast, defines
      attributes of national sovereignty as barriers to
      "free trade" and seeks to destroy sovereignty. At the
      same time, it builds a WTO-supervised global trade
      regime. The result would be the loss of our national
      independence and the delivery of our national economic
      destiny into the hands of foreign bureaucrats who have
      no interest in our continued prosperity.

      It is reasonable to believe that measures like the
      "Byrd amendment" and the cotton subsidies are poor
      policy choices by the federal government. Certainly,
      if the intent is to make U.S. exporters more
      competitive, the rational approach would be to reduce
      or eliminate the tax and regulatory burdens on those
      industries, rather than binding them more tightly to
      Washington through subsidies. But U.S. policies should
      not be decided by an international bureaucracy. And as
      we will shortly see, the logic of the misnamed "free
      trade" agenda requires that our central government
      manage trade according to the dictates of the WTO.

      Our Global Neighborhood, the 1995 report of the
      UN-aligned Commission on Global Governance, described
      the WTO as "a crucial building block for global
      economic governance.... The WTO and advanced regional
      groups such as the EU [as well as the envisioned FTAA]
      will increasingly be faced with the issue that will
      dominate the international agenda in years to come:
      how to create rules for deep integration that go way
      beyond what has traditionally been thought of as

      The WTO is intended to dictate the rules governing
      regional trade pacts such as NAFTA and the proposed
      FTAA. The European Union, on which the FTAA would be
      modeled, regularly defers to the WTO's jurisdiction,
      and -- as seen earlier -- the EU expects the United
      States to do the same. Completion of the FTAA pact
      would effectively compel our nation to submit to the
      WTO. Chapter II, Article 3 of the most recent draft of
      the FTAA states that signatory nations will comply
      "with the rules and disciplines of the World Trade

      The Constitution assigns to Congress the power of
      regulating commerce with foreign nations, as well as
      imposing taxes and tariffs. No provision of the
      Constitution allows Congress to delegate that power to
      any other element of the federal government, let alone
      foreign multilateral bodies like the WTO. And it
      should be remembered that economic integration, as the
      Commission on Global Governance intimated, leads to
      political integration and the loss of national
      independence. Thus Congress' approval of U.S.
      membership in the WTO was nothing less than an act of
      betrayal that borders on treason.

      A decade ago, Congress approved U.S. membership during
      a "lame duck" session of Congress. This was brought
      about through the bipartisan cooperation of
      then-president Bill Clinton and Republican
      congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.

      As Gingrich himself admitted in testimony before the
      House Ways and Means Committee, approval of WTO
      membership was nothing less than a "transformational"
      moment, a fundamental alteration of our system of

      I am just saying that we need to be honest about
      the fact that we are transferring from the United
      States at a practical level significant authority to a
      new organization. This is a transformational moment. I
      would feel better if the people who favor this would
      just be honest about the scale of change.... This is
      not just another trade agreement. This is adopting
      something which twice, once in the 1940s and once in
      the 1950s, the U.S. Congress rejected. I am not even
      saying that we should reject it; I, in fact, lean
      toward it. But I think we have to be very careful,
      because it is a very big transfer of power.

      Had Gingrich's professed reluctance been rooted in
      principle, rather than a case of rhetorical
      posterior-protection, he could easily have held up
      approval of the WTO until after the new Congress
      convened. But he and his co-conspirators (no other
      word is adequate) were desperate to thwart careful
      deliberation of the proposal by the new Congress,
      which was loaded with freshman members leery of
      entanglement in multilateral bodies.

      In any case, Gingrich accurately recounted the history
      of the WTO and its aborted predecessor, the
      International Trade Organization. Previous efforts to
      subordinate the U.S. to a global trade body had come
      to naught precisely because Congress was able to
      exercise its deliberative function. The WTO's backers
      didn't intend to allow our country a third chance to
      escape the WTO trap.
      Another House that Hiss Built

      In the aftermath of World War II, a coterie of
      international elitists proposed a constellation of
      multilateral economic organizations to supplement the
      United Nations: the World Bank, the International
      Monetary Fund, and the International Trade
      Organization (ITO). In 1947, a delegation of U.S.
      diplomatic officials attended a conference in Havana
      intended to finalize the framework for the ITO.

      Acting as chairman for the U.S. delegation to the
      Havana Conference was none other than Alger Hiss --
      the notorious Soviet agent who, along with Soviet
      official V.M. Molotov, had co-written the UN Charter.
      Hiss also served as secretary-general for the UN's
      founding conference in San Francisco. Critics of the
      UN have long described that disreputable body as "The
      House that Hiss Built"; the ITO was, in large measure,
      the work of the same treasonous architect.

      Although the Senate approved U.S. membership in the UN
      with only two negative votes in 1945, by 1947 public
      opinion regarding globalist institutions had shifted
      significantly, and Congress had followed the public's
      lead. Congressman Bertrand Gearhart (R-Calif.)
      described the Hiss-led delegation at Havana as
      "boatloads of smug diplomats, all-wise economists �
      experts, theorists, specialists and whatnots, sailing
      gaily from our shores to barter away � the little
      factory in Wichita, the little ship in Keokuk."

      When the final draft of the ITO pact was presented in
      March 1948, it met with insurmountable resistance from
      both Congress and the public. Although the ITO
      agreement was depicted "as a charter to 'free world
      trade,'" it was actually "a charter for trade
      control," noted George W. Malone (R-Nev.). "The result
      of its adoption would have been socialism, on a global

      Across the party divide, former Congressman Samuel B.
      Pettingill (D-Ind.) agreed with Senator Malone.
      Pettingill opposed the ITO "because it is part and
      parcel of international socialism, one-worldism, and
      the slow surrender of American sovereignty." The
      General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which
      the ITO was intended to enforce, "calls for a vast
      complex of multilateral negotiations with many nations
      in a sort of world super-legislature where we have one
      vote," continued Pettingill. "Once wrapped up in this
      spider web, it will be difficult indeed to recapture
      any independence of action."

      Business groups also spoke out in opposition to the
      ITO. "The entire document reflects an excessive
      acceptance of economic planning," protested the U.S.
      Chamber of Commerce. The National Foreign Trade
      Council warned that "if the United States subscribes
      to the charter it will be abandoning traditional
      American principles and espousing, instead, planned
      economy and full-scale political control of
      production, trade, and monetary exchange. The charter
      does not reflect faith in the principles of free,
      private, competitive enterprise."

      Not surprisingly, although two attempts were made to
      secure congressional approval for the GATT accord, the
      ITO charter was never presented to Congress for

      But for the Global Power Elite, "no" doesn't mean "no"
      -- but rather, "not yet." The same globalist,
      socialist body that had previously been decisively
      rejected was renamed the World Trade Organization and
      secured approval in 1994 -- thanks to the timely help
      of globalists in the Republican Party's leadership
      "Pincers Movement"

      The WTO and the United Nations, wrote Senator Malone
      in his prophetic 1958 book Mainline, are two arms of
      "a pincers movement � both on the domestic and on the
      international scene." One arm of that pincers was
      political -- the steady entanglement of our nation in
      international alliances and multilateral bodies,
      particularly the UN. The other arm was economic --
      created by the Trade Agreements Act of 1934, in which
      Congress ceded to the Executive Branch the power to
      control our nation's trade policy.

      Because of the 1934 act, wrote Malone, "the business
      and the enterprise of individuals now were considered
      in close connection to the policies of the State. The
      State would assist them in the expansion of their
      markets. Government would negotiate the channels of
      trade." In brief, "the State would determine trade,"
      and the president, not the Congress, would exercise
      that power.

      The president, in turn, was given the means to
      surrender that authority to foreign bureaucrats. And
      that betrayal has been carried out by a succession of
      presidents from both sides of the narrow partisan
      divide. As Malone warned more than four decades ago,
      "That power is now being increasingly invested in
      international groups, and removed from our Nation's
      control." As President Bush's deference to the WTO
      illustrates, that body is rapidly assuming control
      over our nation's economic destiny.

      The ideological bent of the WTO can be inferred by a
      brief examination of its director-general, Thai career
      politician Supachai Panitchpakdi. As Thailand's deputy
      minister of finance, Mr. Panitchpakdi "introduced the
      value-added tax system [and] laid the foundation for
      the establishment of the country's Export-Import
      Bank," notes his official vitae. As chairman of that
      country's International Economic Policy Committee, he
      led the campaign for ratification of the WTO and
      "ensured his government's full and faithful
      implementation of its obligations" under that body.

      As a graduate student at the Netherlands School of
      Economics (now Erasmus University), Panitchpakdi was a
      prot�g� of the late Jan Tinbergen, a Dutch physicist
      who won the 1969 Nobel Prize for economics. Tinbergen,
      a resolute socialist and advocate of central economic
      planning, donated his supposed expertise to the League
      of Nations in the 1930s and became an unofficial
      adviser to numerous non-aligned socialist governments
      following WWII. As a socialist, recalls an official
      Erasmus University bio, Tinbergen firmly believed that
      optimal economic and social conditions can be achieved
      by rational government policies. In later years he
      applied these ideas to the economic world order, but
      to his disappointment his proposals met with little

      Tinbergen passed away in 1994, shortly before the U.S.
      joined the WTO. It's fair to assume that, were he
      alive today, he would feel a measure of satisfaction
      over the unfolding WTO-administered global trade

      Panitchpakdi's term ends next August. The odds-on
      favorite to replace him is Pascal Lamy, a French
      official who has the support of the European Union.
      Lamy, "a French Socialist, will compete for the
      coveted Geneva seat in a race that -- at this stage --
      looks likely to include a Brazilian, a Mauritian, and
      a Uruguayan," noted a December 13 Reuters report.

      Get Us Out -- Now!

      But why should America's economic fortunes be placed
      in the hands of any foreign body, headed by any
      foreign official of any ideological background? The
      American colonists who withdrew from the British
      Empire fought a war rather than allow a distant,
      unaccountable parliament to claim the power in
      principle to impose taxes. Under the emerging global
      trade regime, the WTO is actually imposing punitive
      taxes against the United States, with the acquiescence
      and support of both the president and Congress.

      This need not continue. Under U.S. law, every five
      years (including this year) any member of Congress can
      introduce a "privileged resolution" to end U.S.
      membership in the WTO. Such a resolution must be
      brought to the floor for a vote within roughly three
      months of being introduced; it cannot be bottled up
      indefinitely or killed in committee.

      Five years ago, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) took advantage
      of this provision to force the full House to vote up
      or down on whether to get the U.S. out of the WTO.
      "[U.S.] membership in the WTO actually is illegal,
      illegal any way we look at it," Rep. Paul advised his
      colleagues in a 2000 speech on the House floor. "If we
      are delivering to the WTO the authority to regulate
      trade, we are violating the Constitution, because it
      is very clear that only Congress can do this. We
      cannot give that authority away. We cannot give it to
      the President, and we cannot give it to an
      international body that is going to manage trade in
      the WTO. This is not legal, it is not constitutional,
      and it is not in our best interests."

      "It is not up to the World Trade Organization to
      decide what labor laws we have, or what kind of
      environmental laws we have, or what tax laws,"
      continued Rep. Paul. Other countries "can toss their
      own sovereignty out the window if they choose. I
      cannot tell China or Britain or anybody else that they
      should or should not join the World Trade
      Organization.... I can, however, say that the United
      States of America ought to withdraw its membership and
      funding from the WTO immediately."

      Rep. Paul's 2000 measure calling for U.S. withdrawal
      from the WTO was lopsidedly rejected by a vote of 56
      to 363. But now that the WTO has begun treading on
      U.S. sovereignty, the result of a new vote to withdraw
      from the WTO could be radically different -- if enough
      informed Americans apply pressure on their congressmen
      to put America first.

      Readers are encouraged to ask their congressmen to
      support a resolution calling for U.S. withdrawal from
      the WTO. Click here for information on how to contact
      your own U.S. representative and senators.

      � 2004 http://www.stoptheftaa.org/ is a Campaign of
      The John Birch Society � Privacy Policy

      Scott Darby
      Stop the FTAA--the biggest threat to our soverignty

      Do you Yahoo!?
      All your favorites on one personal page � Try My Yahoo!
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.