Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Obamas NAFTA: Picking The Bones Of American Workers

A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ...NAFTA logo, Image via WikipediaFrom Denny: America does not want the NAFTA trade deals sending more of our jobs out of the country. What is Congress doing? They are arguing over whether they should still give money for retraining workers who lose those jobs to bad trade pacts: NAFTA.

Are they crazy? Why is Congress not creating more jobs inside America or choosing to hold onto jobs here? Why the big rush to send them overseas?

There is the official program name for retraining workers: Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) that basically amounts to the equivalent of a burial insurance policy for jobs lost to really bad trade policies that screwed over the American worker.

There are three Bush era NAFTA deals at the moment that will adversely affect American workers and affect national security:

South Korea

What is President Obama doing right now? He's signing one of those ugly trade deals with South Korea to create yet more job loss. Didn't we elect this guy to create jobs - not send more millions overseas? This Korean deal will actually increase our trade deficit, create another huge job loss and undermine our national security. Yeah, way to go, Congress and Mr. President, just screw over the entire country while you are at it.

The Columbia trade pact

There goes the leverage America needs to deal with all kinds of human rights abuses like murdered unionists, forced displacements, Afro-Colombians and human rights defenders. Since the deal those problems have been found to be far worse now than when the deal was signed in 2007.

The Panama trade pact

Oh, why is this one not a brain teaser for even the most politically naive? Turns out this trade deal makes it more difficult for the U.S. government to go after tax-dodging multinational corporations.

Why NAFTA on these three deals is a bad idea and damaging to America:

* They limit regulations of financial services
* Offshore accounts are promoted as foreign investor privileges
* They have very weak labor standards (expect people taken advantage of and poor quality products)
* They are designed for limits on imported food safety and inspection
* The most outrageous of all: Multinational corporations actually get the privilege to demand compensation from our government, taking our tax dollars, for when they claim there are violations of the trade deal. 
* It gets worse: Multinational corporations get the privilege to circumvent our American state and federal laws, and, instead go in front of foreign tribunals to get our tax dollars.

Read that as NAFTA has completely taken away the rights of everyday Americans and the courts of the United States from dealing with these multinational corporations who are increasingly raiding our national treasury and throwing American workers out of jobs by the millions.

The meager off-set arrangements to take some of the sting out of the huge profits for the other side are not enough to satisfy the average American:

* supplemental deal on autos for Korea
* labor “Action Plan” for Colombia
* a limited tax information exchange agreement for Panama

Most Democrats oppose these plans and the trade deals yet the Republicans keep pushing them through along with the help of President Obama.  Contact your members of Congress and tell them to stand down on sending American jobs overseas. Tell them to rein in multinational corporations that have become the scourge on the American middle class.

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