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The Free Trade Area of the Americas Threatens Freedom in the US

Jeff Lindsay

Would Americans ever choose to transfer of sovereignty to unelected foreign bureaucrats who could intrude upon almost every facet of life? Absolutely not. But we are unknowingly being asked to do exactly that in the deceptive name of "free trade and prosperity" under an internationalist scheme called the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

The Free Trade Area of the Americas is a massive, bureaucratic effort to create something like a European Union in this hemisphere, with thousands of jobs going south and massive transfer of power to unelected officials. If ever there was a time to speak up for liberty, this is it.

William F. Jasper in "The Unfolding FTAA Battle," The New American, May 3, 2004, offers a well-reasoned perspective on the dangers that the FTAA scam pose for liberty. FTAA is a huge extension of the principles behind NAFTA, aimed at increasing international government, not strengthening the United States. An excerpt from Jasper's article follows:

FTAA conferences, ministerial meetings, working papers and reports make it very clear that the FTAA's designers intend for the new organization to usurp authority over such issues as environment, labor, wages, health care, education, foreign aid, welfare, housing, taxation, investment, agriculture, narcotics control, immigration, border control, counter-terrorism, etc. In short, virtually every area that traditionally has been the purview of the nation-state and its political subdivisions would be internationalized. . . . [T]he "free trade" label has been, and is being, used to sucker Americans into believing that it will magically boost exports by all parties involved and lead to greater prosperity for all. In reality, the FTAA is a blatant assault against our national sovereignty that would saddle Americans with an ever-expanding bureaucracy of unelected and unaccountable administrators who would exercise ever-increasing control over our lives. At the same time, it would greatly accelerate the exodus of U.S. industries and jobs overseas, while also greatly increasing the waves of immigration into the U.S. from Latin America.
Following the EU Model

The proposed FTAA represents a huge expansion of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect 10 years ago, in 1994. NAFTA was promoted as a trade pact that would stimulate booming prosperity by freeing and increasing trade between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. While some of the giant U.S. corporations and selected industries have profited handsomely from NAFTA, its overall effect was to speed up the hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs and industry to foreign countries.

The FTAA promoters refer to their new project as a "broadening and deepening" of NAFTA. The broadening aspect refers to the expansion of NAFTA from its original three members to 34 nations of the Western Hemisphere. The deepening aspect refers to the increased sphere of jurisdiction that the new regional entity would assume over areas besides trade. When NAFTA was launched, this magazine pointed out that beneath all the glowing rhetoric about trade there was another hidden agenda: to bring about hemispheric political and economic union, ultimately, with a full-blown regional government modeled after the European Union. And we pointed out that like the EU, which rapidly has been destroying the sovereignty of its members, NAFTA would work to erode U.S. sovereignty and reduce us, eventually, to vassalage under a regional behemoth. This was clear from a reading of the basic NAFTA documents, as well as from the occasional candid admissions of its prominent one-world backers.

Henry Kissinger, for instance, writing in support of NAFTA in a July 18, 1993 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, said of the agreement : "It will represent the most creative step toward a new world order taken by any group of countries since the end of the Cold War, and the first step toward an even larger vision of a free-trade zone for the entire Western Hemisphere." NAFTA "is not a conventional trade agreement," Kissinger said, "but the architecture of a new international system."

NAFTA supporter William Orme Jr., author of Continental Shift: Free Trade and the New North America, was even more explicit. In a 1993 pro-NAFTA article for the Washington Post, Orme pointed out that when NAFTA was first proposed, "critics in all three countries claimed that its hidden agenda was the development of a European-style common market." And they were right, Orme conceded:

Didn't Europe also start out with a limited free trade area? And, given the Brussels precedent, wouldn't this mean ceding some measure of sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats? Even worse, would this lead to liberalization and collaborative policy making in many other sensitive areas, from monetary policy and immigration to labor and environmental law?
NAFTA's defenders said no. They argued that the agreement is designed to dismantle trade barriers, not build a new regulatory bureaucracy. NAFTA, declared one congressional backer, "is a trade agreement, not an act of economic union."

Yet the critics were essentially right. NAFTA lays the foundation for a continental common market, as many of its architects privately acknowledge. Part of this foundation, inevitably, is bureaucratic: The agreement creates a variety of continental institutions — ranging from trade dispute panels to labor and environmental commissions — that are, in aggregate, an embryonic NAFTA government.

Yes, we, the NAFTA critics, were right. NAFTA could never have won passage in Congress if more of our fellow Americans had understood what truly is at stake. If only a few tens of thousands more citizens had been informed and motivated to contact their senators and representatives, NAFTA very likely would have been sent down to a crashing defeat. A change of only 18 votes would have been sufficient to stop NAFTA in the House of Representatives. A change of only two votes in the House could have killed the very dangerous Trade Promotion Authority, which was approved 215-212 in 2002.
The margin of victory (or defeat) may turn out to be just that close in the upcoming battle over CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, for which the White House could seek congressional approval before the end of the year. CAFTA, along with a host of bilateral trade agreements, is an important part of the piecemeal approach that the administration is using to build incremental support for the final FTAA push.

One of the first FTAA steps that globalists are pushing for is passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Write your elected officials in Washington now and urge that they CAFTA and the FTAA. Seriously, America's future depends on it.
Clearly, if free trade is what a country wants, they can lower tariffs and reduce barriers WITHOUT creative a massive international regulatory body. Massive government is always inimical to "free" anything. The reason for creating more government is for power-hungry elitists to have more power. Simple but true. One of the keys to liberty is constraining and even crippling government so that no one body or person or movement can gain control over a nation. Checks and balances and restraints on power are what the Constitution and liberty are all about. The FTAA is a threat to all that. Please, speak out and oppose it!