The WTO Is Detrimental to Our Economic Health
Americans want strong leaders and a strong economy, but it will be impossible to manage our country for our own benefit as long as we are committed to the disastrous “free trade” agreements our leaders have foolishly signed. These agreements allow foreign countries to unfairly and irresponsibly make decisions that affect our economy and our lives.
Our “free trade” agreements (FTAs) are the main reason we have, in only a short period of time, descended from a productive, independent, and largely debt-free country to one that is unproductive and heavily indebted.
Here are a few examples of the detrimental effect of free trade on the United States:
- Our trade deficit is now around $600 billion. This means we are sending $1.2 million out of the country every minute, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in trade alone.
- Our 2012 national budget deficit was over $1 trillion.
- The accumulated national debt is over $17 trillion.
- Total consumer debt in the U.S. is $11 trillion.
- Student loan debt is over $1 trillion.
- One in every five home loans is financially underwater.
The two main things contributing to this unsustainable situation are “free trade” and our membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“Free trade” allows unrestricted, uncontrolled access to our economy for goods made overseas at labor costs far below ours, sometimes as low as $2 per hour, tariff- and duty-free. We cannot compete with these labor costs, so we must outsource our manufacturing or see our factories go bankrupt. This renders us uncompetitive and sends the middle-class jobs we once depended on overseas, devastating our economy.
The WTO manages all “free trade” agreements and adjudicates disputes under its charter — which usurps our Constitution. These conditions, which we mistakenly signed onto, make it impossible to manage our country for our benefit. By signing the agreement with the World Trade Organization, the U.S. Congress agreed to concede a major portion of our sovereignty and undercut our democratic legislative process, including:
- Conforming U.S. laws, regulations and administrative procedures to the will of the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
- Subjecting all federal, state and local laws and practices that affect trade to international review by the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
- Allowing any WTO member country to challenge federal, state and local laws and practices as trade impeding (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
- Taking all trade disputes to the WTO judiciary – giving the WTO final jurisdiction over all trade altercations. No appeal exists outside of the WTO (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
- Empowering the WTO to enforce its rulings by imposing fines on the United States until we comply
As you can easily see, the WTO agreements we signed have usurped our Constitution and prevent us from managing our own economy.
We must get out of these agreements or else we will continue to see a flood of imports destroy our domestic manufacturing base. We will see more jobs shipped overseas, and we will see America increasingly dependent on debt for its lifestyle until that debt becomes unmanageable. If we reach that point, life as we know it could become unrecognizable.
We do not have to go down this path. We can still remove ourselves from these agreements and restore America’s economic strength. Write, call or visit the offices of your elected officials and tell them in no uncertain terms that you want trade policies that work for the United States not the current failed policies.