A message from the National Farmers Union is alerting all members that legislation is before Congress to grant President Barack Obama ‘fast-track’ trade authority. Both the National and Ohio Farmers Union have come out against fast track authority for any president.
“We oppose fast-track negotiating authority for the president,” said NFU President Roger Johnson earlier this year.
“Trade agreements must be a fair deal for all parties – farmers, workers, and consumers, both in the United States and abroad. Previous trade deals haven’t lived up to this standard, so Congress should have full opportunity to review and amend provisions of a trade agreement, consistent with the U.S. Constitution,” Johnson said.
The Ohio Farmers Union passed a ‘special order of business’ at its annual convention in January coming out against fast track authority. From our special order on trade concerns:
The Ohio Farmers Union opposes congressional passage of so-called Trade PromotionAuthority, also known as “Fast Track” trade authority. Fast Track allows for executive branch negotiation of trade agreements and constrains Congress to a simple, up and down vote on the entire agreement with no chance for amendments. The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the “power … to regulate commerce with foreign nations.” Congress should not relinquish this authority and push the multitude of economic and human rights issues inherent in today’s trade agreements further away from being influenced by the American people through their representatives to Congress.
Congress has just introduced Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. This bill will all but ensure that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would go through. It hands over the Constitutional authority of Congress to review trade agreements to the President. Many members of Congress have yet to declare their position on TPA. They need to hear from their constituents, like you, that TPA is the wrong course for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.
Promises of expanded trade benefiting U.S. farmers and rural communities have been made during the debates for NAFTA, CAFTA, and the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreements and now the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These benefits have failed to materialize. Instead, rural communities have been roiled by profound economic instability. The trade deficit was $505 billion in 2014, a full 3 percent drag on our nation’s GDP.
Even agriculture, which typically has a surplus in trade, has suffered the consequences of free trade. On the three year anniversary of the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement, agricultural exports to Korea have stagnated, growing an estimated zero percent, yet agricultural imports from Korea have increased 28 percent under the free trade agreement.
Because of the secrecy of the negotiating process, it is impossible to know whether domestic laws such as Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) and other policies to strengthen rural economies, including vital reforms that would reduce our existing trade deficit, are being traded away.
We urge lawmakers to reject fast track and ensure all future trade agreements address the substantial trade deficit.
Do you agree? Let your representatives know! Find your Representative(s) here and your Senators here.
Ray Tapajna says
Free trade is a term to cover an economic system that divorces investments from production leaving investments free to do their thing without being concerned about the dignity of workers and the value of workers and labor relating to the common good of a society.
Frankly free trade is evil. It violates the social gospel and the common
good in society. It degrades and deflates the value of workers and
labor. It smashed the real free enterprise system. It divorces
investments from production and moves factories anywhere in the world
for the sake of cheaper labor costs. It frees investments from their
responsibilities of supporting human dignity in the workday. It denies
workers their right to property which is the fruits of their labor.
It puts workers on a global trading block to compete with one another
for the same jobs down to the lowest levels of wage slave and even child
It caused a revolution in Mexico when giant agricultural corporations
subsidized by government put subsistence living farmer out of business.
Several Mexican bishops called it cultural death. It had to bailed out
in 1995 when Pres Clinton had to rush billions of dollars to Mexico to
save the peso and the Mexican economy even though more than 4000 U.S.
factories were moved to Mexico. It has government act as brokers and
dealers with government controlling the process not trading partners.
It is sad to see so many conservatives participate in this evil process.
They know millions of workers have lost their jobs due to it and free
trade had to bailed out again in a massive way in 2008 when Pres Obama
took over. He bailed out big money interest on the top and ignored the
suffering of millions who lost everything due to free trade. Hurricane
Katrina in New Orleans exposed a vast underclass living in a silent
depression. It took a hurricane to reveal the situation. In many major
cities in the inner cities, as many as 50 percent of young blacks are
unemployed. Overall the unemployment reporting is fiction. About 60
percent of all workers are living in economic limbo missing in action
from any real reporting of their situation. The underground economy is
filling the void. The term underemployment has lost its meaning. It is
more normal than regular forty hour a week jobs.
How can any person of good will want to keep something like this going.
It is a broken system in more ways than one
View – For whom the bell toll- listing the companies and jobs lost in
just 1998 while Pres Clinton was declaring prosperity at http://tapsearch.com/workers-dignity-betrayed
http://tapsearch.com/confessions-for-history. See lists of relating
site references at http://tapsearch-master-site.page.tl