Magazine article The New American

The "Free Trade" Agenda Threatens Our Rights: New Free Trade Agreements with Pacific Rim Nations and the European Union Would Lead to the End of Our Independent Constitutional Republic That Has Secured Our Rights since 1787

Magazine article The New American

The "Free Trade" Agenda Threatens Our Rights: New Free Trade Agreements with Pacific Rim Nations and the European Union Would Lead to the End of Our Independent Constitutional Republic That Has Secured Our Rights since 1787

Article excerpt

It was not so very long ago when a 33-year-old attorney spent much of his time during two seasonably hot weeks in his second-floor apartment in an Eastern city drafting an important document on a portable writing desk of his own design. Finally, a clean copy of his draft was submitted to an assembly of delegates, of which he was a member.

Next, he spent an excruciating two and a half clays while this assembly, sitting as a committee of the whole, edited every line of his draft. Finally, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved what we now know as "The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson.

Our most precious heritage as Americans is contained in the Declaration:

  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
  equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
  unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
  pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are
  instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent
  of the governed.

Although the Articles of Confederation provided legitimacy for the new nation during the War for Independence, it took the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to provide a government that would adequately secure our rights. And it has for over 220 years.

Among other things, the above passage from the Declaration of Independence established our nation as unique in asserting that our rights come from God and that governments are instituted to secure these rights. Although we all remember the Declaration as listing our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we don't as easily remember that it says that these three rights are only "among" our other God-given rights. Many of these other rights were spelled out in the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the new Constitution that were proposed by Congress on March 4, 1789, and ratified by the states as of December 15, 1791.

Many of our rights are at the heart of the big news stories of the present day. For example, our right "to keep and bear arms" (Amendment II) is being threatened by the UN Arms Trade Treaty, gun control bills in Congress, and Obama administration initiatives in response to the Newtown school shooting and the Zimmerman verdict. Furthermore, our right "to be secure in [our] persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" (Amendment IV) is being infringed by massive government surveillance of our personal phone calls, e-mails, and other online activities. And in a last example, our right not to be "deprived of ... property, without due process of law" (Amendment V) is being violated by the implementation of the UN's Agenda 21 by local, county, and state planning bodies.

So you're probably thinking, yes, I know about our rights and how they are secured by our government, but what's this got to do with the free trade agenda?

Fake Free Trade

In brief, the connection is that the rights that we prize as Americans are secured by the independent republic that was established by the Constitution in 1787 that we know as the United States of America. However, contrary to the meaning conjured up in our minds by the innocent-sounding term "free trade agreement," such agreements generally create partnerships that affect many other areas beyond trade, set up supranational tribunals and governing bodies, and, in general, greatly diminish the independence of the parties to the agreement. To the extent that our nation loses its independence, to that same extent it loses its ability to secure our rights.

In this special issue of THE NEW AMERICAN we are not arguing against "free trade" policies that have led to lower tariffs and lower export subsidies over the past couple centuries. However, we are taking issue with what we are referring to as the "free trade agenda" that has emerged in recent decades and that has led to numerous so-called free trade agreements since the 1990s and the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. …

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