Is the World Trade Organization (WTO) Running Our Country?
Since its creation in 1995, the WTO has been a major obstacle in America’s ability to stay competitive in the world market. Our nation has become handcuffed— forced to increase free trade with countries that have few to no laws regarding workers’ rights, child labor or environmental protection. This means these countries can manufacture at a vastly lower rate, and American companies will have no choice but to do business with them in order to stay competitive.
The United States government has tried on countless occasions to protect our industries, but the World Trade Organization (WTO) regularly rules against us. In fact, the U.S. loses nine out of every 10 cases brought to the WTO—requiring changes to laws, and damaging the American economy.
There are many examples of WTO rulings against the U.S.:
- In 2002, Brazil challenged U.S. federal subsidies on its imported Brazilian cotton. The WTO ruled against the U.S., and eventually gave Brazil permission to impose tariffs totaling nearly $830 million on American-made products such as cars, textiles, electronics and media.
- In 2010, the U.S. attempted to ban uninspected chicken products from China that may be harmful or toxic. The WTO ruled against the U.S., stating that the ban was not in accordance with its regulations, and putting American consumers in harm’s way.
- In 1995, Venezuela challenged U.S. regulations on imported gasoline. The WTO ruled against the U.S., preventing us from protecting our oil manufacturers.
- In 2004, two Caribbean states challenged U.S. prohibitions on cross-border gambling, a ban put in place to protect against money laundering and other dangerous exposures. The WTO ruled against the U.S., stating the ban breached a global deal which liberalized trade in services — in this case being online casinos.
- In 2010, anti-dumping duties imposed by the U.S. on Brazilian orange juice were challenged. The WTO ruled against U.S., opening the door for around $400 million dollars in Brazilian orange juice to be shipped there each year.
- This year the WTO ruled against U.S. laws that protected American consumers by placing country of origin labels on certain foods. Now, thanks to the WTO, American consumers do not know where their food comes from, and are not able to protect themselves from potentially contaminated foreign food.
As long as the United States is ruled by the WTO, these problems are not going to go away. U.S. leaders need to request an emergency timeout from these trade pacts, a procedure for which the WTO has a clearly established process. Also, either Congress or the president could initiate an end to the United States’ WTO membership altogether.
America needs to take action immediately in order to stop the WTO from holding its hammer above the entire nation’s head.