Sunday, April 24, 2005

Opposing CAFTA and the FTAA: the "Free Trade" Trap

What follows is a departure from the pattern established in previous posts, as rather than post articles by others with a brief introduction this is a rough transcription of my notes, with appropriate commentary, on William F. Jasper's talk to a group assembled here in Greenville the other evening (April 21, 2005) on why it is necessary to oppose and defeat the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Jasper's talk was entitled "The Free Trade Trap."

The year 2005 could well be a Year of Decision--much as 1917 was. This is not Bircher speculation; it was decided in 1994, the year of the Miami Summit of the Americas was held, launching a ten-year effort to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The projected completion date for the FTAA: 2005. It would need 218 votes. The FTAA could be voted on and defeated--which would be a major setback--or not sent to the floors of Congress for a vote if it was clear that its advocates didn't have the necessary votes. Both North and South Carolina are battleground states, since both lost huge quantities of jobs courtesy of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which went into effect in 1994. Since we are talking about gradualists--people who advance their bids for power in stages rather than try and take it all at once--an intermediate step seemed necessary. This intermediate step is called the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Its purpose is to extend NAFTA to six more nations: the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala. A no vote on CAFTA would delay both it and the FTAA for at least two years, since 2006 is an election year and most politicians will not risk having voted for trade pacts that cost Americans jobs being thrown in their faces during an election year.

The purpose of the FTAA is far greater than CAFTA. It sets out to integrate the Americas and the Caribbean--the North and South American continents, plus everything in between--into a single "trade bloc" on a par with the European Union (EU). The EU nations have given up their currencies and control over their economic destinies, and are gradually losing their sovereignty as independent nations in the face of the emerging quasisocialist megastate, ruled over by internationalist bureaucrats. Is this what we want to happen to the United States of America, once a Constitutional republic? The real issue with NAFTA, CAFTA and the FTAA is not merely lost jobs and a diminished standard of living for hundreds of thousands of Americans (although that is a valid issue in its own right) but whether the U.S. will continue to survive as an independent, sovereign nation. Or will it follow the fate of European nations, absorbed very gradually into a supra-American megastate? The latter would mean integration and convergence: first economic and then political and social, with the FTAA at the center, effectively replacing whatever is left of Constitutional government in the U.S. Unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats would be in charge, operating at an international level. The FTAA would expand NAFTA to encompass all 34 "democracies" in the Western hemisphere.

Both Democrats and Republicans have embraced CAFTA and the FTAA (as they did NAFTA). Bill Clinton supported them. President George W. Bush supports them today. Advancing the cause of the FTAA is central to Bush's foreign policy with respect to the other nations of this hemisphere--an important reason why his Administration has done nothing to control the influx of illegal aliens across our Southern border with Mexico. Business leaders also support these agreements. CEOs of major multinational corporations expect to profit handsomely from outsourcing more jobs for cheap Central American labor. (Even Hispanics are worried that the operations that moved from the United States to Mexico following NAFTA will move further south as corporations search for still cheaper labor.)

Mr. Jasper's discussion converged on four key points that must be kept firmly in mind when assessing and evaluating CAFTA and the FTAA--and explain why these trade agreements ought to be scuttled rather than embraced.

(1) These agreements are frauds. They have nothing to do with genuine free trade. They will introduce megaregulations and supersized international socialism.

(2) They are traps, designed to snare Americans and bring American enterprise under the control of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN).

(3) They are processes--constantly changing, with add-ons and new stipulations, so that there are no checks and balances, no ways to contain the increasing power of globalist bureaucrats.

(4) They are treasonous. They would effectively abolish the U.S. Constitution, rendering Constitutional government obsolete. This is treasonous because our President, each of our Senators and all our Representatives presumably took an oath when he assumed office--to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

Expanding on each of these:

(1) What, precisely, is free trade? The activity of mutual, agreed-upon exchanges of goods and services between individuals, one the seller and one the buyer. To say this activity is "free" is to say it can take place without government-imposed barriers. There is no need for huge international "agreements" to ensure that free trade can take place. All that needs to be done is to ensure that "no government-imposed barriers will exist between prospective traders in nations A, B, and C," other than perhaps common horse sense legal barriers against force and fraud, and legal mechanisms to punish those who violate these legal barriers. None of this describes NAFTA and the WTO, or CAFTA and the FTAA. The final version of NAFTA was 1,700 pages long. The document that created the WTO was 23,000 pages long! These documents have grown by thousands of pages, none of them discussed or debated on the floors of Congress, much less voted on by the Americans they may directly effect! NAFTA created international tribunals capable of overruling America's courts (even the U.S. Supreme Court!). The FTAA has been called NAFTA on steroids! It would create still more internaitonal agencies, and they would cover not just trade but myriad other activities including property and land management, transportation, health care, education, and so on. These agencies would be inculcating socialism throughout the Americas. Our largest trading partner under the FTAA would be Brazil--run by an essentially Communist regime, that of Luis de Silva, who also sponsored the Sao Paulo Forum, a meeting ground for terrorist groups including Al Qaeda. All such governments obviously favor the FTAA, because it would transfer to them from the U.S. (i.e., from U.S. taxpayers) hundreds of billions of dollars. The FTAA, although a document still in progress, already contains thousands of pages of regulations, to be interpreted at an international level. Americans would be subject to the direct authority of globalist bureaucrats.

In 1998, the Chile Summit of the Americas added hundreds more pages to the FTAA, including materials promoting "cultural values" (presumably including "diversity" and such).

(2) CAFTA and the FTAA are traps, as were NAFTA and the WTO. With these earlier agreements this may have not been evident to the naive. But there is no excuse this time, now that we now that NAFTA (Chapter 11) set up tribunals arrogating for themselves the authority to arbitrate trade disputes involving U.S., Canadian and Mexican firms. Jasper cited an article from the Sacramento Bee entitled "NAFTA Court is Law of the 3 Lands" (April 18, 2004). This is all flying "under the radar screen," as law professor Peter Spiro observes approvingly (see also an article from him in the 2000 volume of Foreign Affairs, the flagship journal of the Council on Foreign Relations which has been advancing the cause of world government since its founding by globalists in 1921).

Henry Kissinger--archglobalist globe-trotter--said of NAFTA, that it is "the most creative step toward a New World Order" (this was before the Miami Summit of the Americas).

In The New Republic (January 17, 2000), Robert Wright wrote in his Continental Drift column, that "world government is coming. Deal with it." He begins by observing that the so-called "conspiracy kooks" are turning out to be right, as power and resources have begun to flow from national to international agencies and entities. Wright, like Kissinger and Spiro, approves, sees the emergence of world government as necessary.

The Founding Fathers essentially believed in free trade but did not see it as trumping every other consideration. It should be noted again that free trade is not what we are looking at here. We are, rather, looking at trade micromanaged and controlled by an elite element including people in our government, in business (politically well-connected multinational corporations), and in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) attached to the UN.

(3) CAFTA and the FTAA are processes. Jasper observed that the FTAA isn't a single agreement. It includes all the materials from the various Summits of the Americas, without the kinds of checks and balances characteristic of Constitutional government, and full of the brand of open-endedness characteristic of those who cannot say for sure (or are unwilling to say for sure) how these agreements will play out in practice, allowing new powers to be given to international agencies. This almost guarantees that globalist bureaucrats will use every means at their disposal to increase their power without accountability either to Americans or to the citizens of any of the other countries involved. Doubtless the most power-hungry in the growing bureaucratic class will rise to the top of the globalist food chain.

This model follows that of the EU, which was sold to Europeans originally as a "six-nation free trade zone" but now includes 25 nations. There are two terms to watch out for, given the European experience: broadening and deepening. Broadening involves geographical expansionism. In this sense, CAFTA is a broadening of NAFTA, and the FTAA is a proposed broadening of CAFTA. Broadening, that is, means horizontal regional integration (a term the documents employ quite openly). Then there is deepening. Deepening includes vertical integration beginning with economies and rapidly moving to cultural and finally political systems. The European nations gave up their indigenous currencies and adopted the euro. Deepening then proposes to integrate policies ranging from property and land management, agriculture, transportation, health care, education, and so on. Under the FTAA, these would be applied to the entire Western hemisphere including the U.S.

Both George W. Bush and Mexican president Vicente Fox have come out in favor of making the FTAA akin to the EU.

It goes without saying that the FTAA includes components regarding immigration. If the U.S. Congress signs onto the FTAA, the problem of illegal immigrants will be solved by "fiat": a policy of entirely open borders will allow anyone to migrate anywhere else!

Among the consequences will be the completion of the destruction of America's middle class that arguably began with NAFTA. Millions more Americans will go pinwheeling over the economic cliff as their country becomes a third world nation, as native-born Americans will be unable to survive competing with Hispanics willing to work for pennies on the dollar!

Leaders in America's business community support this monstrosity! No doubt, many CEOs see themselves getting richer (and no doubt those who control the media will announce that "the economy is booming," as they did in the late 1990s when CEO salaries skyrocketed to the point where they actually began to skew the statistics). Robert Bartley, in a revealing Wall Street Journal article, proposed a Constitutional Amendment (possibly tongue-in-cheek): "There shall be open borders." Elsewhere he has stated his belief that "the nation-state is finished."

How long has this been in the works. Above we mentioned the creation of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations in 1921. It was created in response to the defeat of proposed U.S. membership in the first attempt at creating an incipient world government in Europe, the League of Nations.

One can go back further, to the Cecil Rhodes Round Table groups that began in 1891 following Rhodes's own will which reserved part of his fortune for the creation of a "secret society." Rhodes advocated recreating the British Empire and retaking the U.S. by economic means.

Or one can go back still further, to the British Fabian Society, a socialist group founded in 1883, was instrumental in assisting Rhodes in making contacts throughout England to build up his secret society. Arnold Toynbee, British historian and member of the Fabian Society and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the British equivalent of the Council on Foreign Relations), said in 1931: "We are at present working ... with all our might to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local states of the world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands."

The elites have no moral scruples about lying to the public--although they are quite open about their intentions in their own writings, which they can assume that the sheeplike masses will never read.

Richard N. Gartner, a former UN ambassador, wrote in Foreign Affairs in 1974 of "an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece ..."

In other words, this scheme aimed at undermining U.S. sovereignty did not happen overnight. Unfortunately, this probably means it cannot be stopped overnight. If it can be stopped at all.

(4) CAFTA and the FTAA are treasonous. They involve the dismantling of our Constitutional system of government involving checks and balances by those who swore an oath upon taking office to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution was written by men who did not trust power--including their own. This loss of mistrust of power has been eroded over the past two and a quarter centuries of time, until our elites see more and more centralization and central planning as the solution to everything.

Not to mention the effects on America's pocketbooks. We are looking at specific mechanisms here than can be identified.

Enrique Iglesias--President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)--has stated that billions of taxpayer dollars have been funnelled through its mechanisms to support NAFTA's initiatives. CAFTA and the FTAA will increase these, building up infrastructure in Central and South American nations--roads, highways, bridges, buildings, etc., until their towns and cities begin to look more and more like ours. We will see a transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. to Central and South America ($450 billion a year is the projected amount from the U.S. to Latin America). Look for phrases like infrastructure development.

Then, with that infrastructure in place and an abundance of cheap labor, the corporations will move their operations to those regions en masse! The "marketplace" will take over. Hundreds of businesses in the U.S. will be simply wiped out overnight--including every business that does not outsource its jobs to Central and South America for cheap labor.

Americans will be lucky if they can find jobs delivering pizzas. Eventually, if this scheme plays out, most Americans will be unable to afford pizzas!

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