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GREAT OP-ED in LA TIMES on the TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (EVEN if it DID made me LAY DOWN!) PONDER if a PRESIDENT JOHN BOLTON would ADOPT a TPP?

Here is a fabulous op-ed on the sovereignty killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.  A few highlights:

But foremost among all these issues is the devastating effect the agreement would have on jobs and the American middle class. Americans were promised 20 years ago that NAFTA would bring an unprecedented economic boom and 200,000 jobs in the first year. The three of us doubted those promises and voted against it. The data on NAFTA’s outcomes make clear that the concerns we and other critics had were warranted.

Tell me more!

In 1993, before NAFTA, the U.S. had a $2.5-billion trade surplus with Mexico and a $29-billion deficit with Canada. By 2012, that had exploded into a combined NAFTA trade deficit of $181 billion. Since NAFTA, more than 845,000 U.S. workers in the manufacturing sector — and this is likely an undercount — have been certified under just one narrow program for trade adjustment assistance. They qualified because they lost their jobs due to increased imports from Canada and Mexico, or the relocation of factories to those nations.

Even worse, NAFTA has been used as a model for additional agreements, and its deeply flawed approach has resulted in the outsourcing of jobs, downward pressure on wages and a meteoric rise in income inequality.

For example, to sell the NAFTA-style U.S. agreement with South Korea passed in 2011, Obama said it would support “70,000 American jobs from increased goods exports alone.” In reality, U.S. monthly exports to South Korea fell 11% in the pact’s first two years, imports rose and the U.S. trade deficit exploded by 47%. This led to a net loss of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs in this pact’s first two years.

Preach it brother!  Flawed free trade agreements that hurt sovereignty and also hurt US jobs and industries!  So who wrote this op-ed:  Pat Buchanan?  No.  Ron Paul?  Nope?  Ross Perot?  Nada!

It is retiring Congressman George Miller from California and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Louise Slaughter of NY.  All progressive Democrats.

I think I have to lay down for a while to get my head around this:  Sandy Sanders agrees with Cong. George Miller!

***

Now that I’m back on the my feet, here’s two more tidbits from the article:

But this agreement would force Americans to compete against workers from nations such as Vietnam, where the minimum wage is $2.75 a day. It threatens to roll back financial regulation, environmental standards and U.S. laws that protect the safety of drugs we take, food we eat and toys we give our children. It would create binding policies on countless subjects, so that Congress and state legislatures would be thwarted from mitigating the pact’s damage.

Finally a hint of the loss of sovereignty issue in bold above.  And more below:

We can invest in our own infrastructure, manufacturing and job training. We can work harder to address issues like currency manipulation, unfair subsidies for state-owned enterprises in other nations and global labor protections. We can enter deals that increase U.S. exports while doing right by our workers and our priorities, and we can address the real foreign policy challenges in Asia with appropriate policies instead of through a commercial agreement that could weaken the United States and its allies.

What we should not do is blindly endorse any more unfair NAFTA-style trade agreements, negotiated behind closed doors, that threaten to sell out American workers, offshore our manufacturing sector and accelerate the downward spiral of wages and benefits.

Pat Buchanan is owed an apology.  So is Ross Perot.
Finally, I’d say this:  President John Bolton would not negotiate a secret trade agreement that compromises our national sovereignty.  That’s why I like Ambassador Bolton right now in 2016.  He’ll protect the right to keep and bear arms through opposing the UN Small Arms Treaty, supports homeschooling and parental rights by opposing the UN Child Treaty and the UN Disabilities Treaty, and will oppose foreigners trying to impose their will on us through UN Human Rights reports and treaties such as CEDAW and the Rome Treaty (The International Criminal Court).  Let’s not worry about gay marriage (the solution is take the word “marriage” out of the state codes, replace it with a civil union or domestic partnership that includes gays, protect the church’s right to define “marriage” and open the courts to gay divorces.  That is my position and not necessarily Bolton’s!) or abortion – Bolton will protect our right to decide this issue domestically by not presenting CEDAW to the Senate.
I also contend that Bolton will not support useless wars.  Yes he did support Iraq and Afghanistan.  But he opposed the war in Kosovo, Syria and Libya (although he did call for the assassination or exile of Gadhafi).
Here is Bolton on Kosovo:
The real lesson of Kosovo is that “international law” in political and military matters is increasingly exposed as an academic sham. While Mr. Clinton’s policy is wrong, he has complete justification for NATO’s actions, and neither he nor his supporters need to resort to exotic legal theories to find the requisite authority. If nothing else beneficial emerges from this crisis, perhaps it will at least give us a more realistic sense of the limits and inadequacies of the chimera of international legal theorizing.
And Syria:
“I would not have referred the matter to Congress, and I think if I were a member of Congress, I would vote against an authorization to use force here,” former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said on FOX News. “I don’t think it’s in America’s interest. I don’t think we should, in effect, take sides in the Syrian conflict. There’s very little to recommend either side to me, and I think the notion that a limited strike, which is what the president seems to be pursuing, will not create a deterrent effect with respect either to Syria’s use of chemical weapons or, more seriously, Iran’s nuclear weapons program. So, all in all, since I don’t see any utility to the use of military force in Syria in this context, I would vote no.
And Libya:
Obama’s rationale for intervening–protecting Libyan civilians–tugs at the heart strings, but conveys no strategic U.S. interest.
We need a sovereignty President and Ambassador John Bolton is best for that.  He is not a reckless interventionist but will weigh intervention against the US national interest.  I will have a future column in why Bolton is more libertarian than people realize.  Now I think I have to lay down again at the idea that I agree with Congresswomen DeLauro or Slaughter.  Walk me up with it is 2016!  🙂

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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