Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Granpa Graham's Corner: NAFTA

What is NAFTA?
The North American Free Trade Agreement is an international commercial agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada that was passed by Congress by a margin of 234-200 in 1993 under truncated "Fast Tract" trade voting procedures. Congress voted on what is called "implementing legislation" WHICH INCORPORATED THE NAFTA TEXT ITSELF INTO U.S. FEDERAL LAW (caps mine). Thus NAFTA'S rules are binding upon federal, state and local governments. Unlike the trade agreements that preceded it, NAFTA'S scope extended far beyond traditional trade matters, such as tariffs and quotas setting terms for sale of goods across borders. Instead NAFTA included extensive rules limiting how the U.S. government can regulate foreign investors here, the ownership and domestic regulation of foreign-owned services being provided within the United States, and even how your tax dollars can be spent. NAFTA'S foreign investor protections ALSO ESTALISHED INCENTIVES FOR U.S. FIRMS TO MOVE P RODUCTION OFFSHORE (caps mine), promoting a race-to-the-bottom in wages for workers. NAFTA also set limits on environmental and safety standards. One result: we exported good jobs and imported unsafe food. The agreement also included special provisions requiring the United States to open its roads to Mexico-domiciled trucks.

A lot of this is news to me and seems to me to be something that we all ought to know about. You might be interested in looking at http://www.SSP.GOV to learn about some of our officials working on that.

Granpa Graham

1 comment:

grizaham said...

And the more i read about our government the more my head hurts. It also makes canadian winters look not too bad... Oh Canada?

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