Why America Must Leave the World Trade Organization Now


After World War II, America was on the rise. The Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan were defeated. It was time to rebuild. To tighten ties with our allies and help rebuild Europe, new global organizations were created to unite against the perceived next threat to democracy: communism. Thus were the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, born. Along with the World Bank and IMF came the International Trade Organization (ITO), an agency of the United Nations, and, separately, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Even with the GATT, there was no international organization for trade that stood on its own like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Thus in 1995, after decades of debating, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was created to oversee global trade both as the organization for negotiation and as a judiciary body, functioning as a ruling body over trade disputes.

While this may seem at first glance to be beneficial to the United States, the reality is that it spits in the face of everything the American Revolution stood for.

After the American Revolution, the United States became a country in its own right. No longer would citizens have to bow to foreign masters on the other side of the Atlantic. Yet both Republicans and Democrats alike threw out the ideals of independence by signing the WTO charter.

Our agreement to join the WTO was an agreement to conform our laws to the will of the WTO. It resembles our federal government, consisting of three branches—executive, legislative, and judicial—but the resemblance to our democracy stops there.  The toothless executive branch accomplishes little; the legislative branch never votes.  Each member nation gets one vote in the decision-making process, but the reality of this system is that members spend all of their time in never-ending negotiations.

Unfortunately for the United States, the judicial branch of the WTO does function. The diplomats that set the system up failed to understand what adding lawyers to the process would do to the U.S. After complaints are filed, the two nations have a year to work out their differences. After this, if their dispute has not been resolved, they bring their cases before a WTO court. The United States Trade Representative’s office could appoint the judges that review cases, but they refuse for fear of how it would look if we lost these disputes. They leave it up to the WTO’s executive branch to choose a foreign panel. Is it any wonder why we always lose?

The WTO judgments are stacked in favor of foreign nations that do not care about the American people. We lose two-thirds of the cases brought against us — an overwhelming majority. There is no higher court of appeals outside of the WTO.

Our only course of action is to get out of the WTO now. Please contact your congressperson and the President today and demand we withdraw from the World Trade Organization immediately.

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