Internet Articles (2015)
he Bush Administration suffered a serious political setback in its effort to win Congressional approval of the Central America Free Trade Agreement [CAFTA] which was first proffered in 2001. CAFTA could very well become George W. Bush's NAFTA. Only in Bush's case, it will be his last hurrah rather than his first. NAFTA was the first major bill signed into law by former President Bill Clinton at the onset of his first term. Had Bush managed to get CAFTA enacted in 2001 or 2002 he would never have won a second term. John Kerry would now be the 44th President of the United States and the US Senateand perhaps even the House of Representativeswould be back in the hands of the Democrats who have a bevy of liberal judges standing off in the wings waiting for their chance to reinterpret the US Constitution from the bench. While he remains steadfastly a social conservative, Bush has lost the nationalistic moorings that elected him and his ship of state is sailing in the cold, turbulent waters of internationalism. And even though at this moment Bush appears to be fighting his benefactorStandard Oil and the Seven Sistersover their opposition to his opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration and the drilling of new wells as well as building new oil refineries, he remains a member in good standing in the utopian puppet master club.
Americans discovered in the late 1990s that regional or hemispheric trade agreements were never meant to bring jobs to America. They learned that NAFTAand thus, CAFTAwere specifically designed by the transnational industrialists, bankers and global merchants who virtually own the economies of the industrial world, to drain entire industries from the United States in order to provide jobs to the human capital of the third world in Central America who will become the primary consumers of goods in the 21st century. Likewise the industrial nations of Europe will fuel the economies of the emerging nations in Africa and the underbelly of Asia with their jobs since the industrialized nations, due to product saturation, have become nothing more than replacement markets to the industrial community.
Congress came close to enacting CAFTA in 2001. It passed in the House of Representatives by a one vote margin. Fortunately for America, it failed to clear the Senate. The trade agreement was reworked. In 2003 the retooling was complete, but Bush could not find enough votes in his own party to enact it. He needed some help from the other side of the aisle. The pro-free trade New Democrats Coalition in the House of Representatives joined the free traders in the GOP. However, two weeks ago, due to intense lobbying by the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council which didn't feel CAFTA properly protected the collective bargaining rights of Central American workers, the New Democrat Coalition pulled their support, collapsing Bush's chances of getting CAFTA enacted.
Bush reached deep into his political bag of tricks and called on those who would profit most from CAFTA. He invited the presidents of six Central American countries to Washington to quietly lobby wary Republicans and the wayward New Democrat Coalition. Answering his call were Costa Rican president Miguel Rodriguez, Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez, El Salvador president Francisco Perez, Guatemalan president Alfonso Calrera, Honduran president Ricardo Maduro, and Nicaraguan president Arnoldo Aleman.
They have an uphill struggle on their hands since not only do they have Democrats to win over, they have to win over about a third of Republicans since the GOP is not solidly behind Bush on this one. Several Republicansparticularly from farm and textile Statesare determined to buck the Administration on CAFTA. Even the US Senate, which is generally amiable to trade agreements is resisting CAFTA because they know that right behind CAFTA is the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas [FTAA] a hemispheric trade agreement that will prove to be the Achilles Heel of the American economyand for the jobs of several Senators and Congressmen who sold out the American people for a second time. Remember the adage: "Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me." Well, Congress...the American people means it. They believed you the first time. Now they know betterand they figure you'd know better, too. This is your last chance to get it right.
It is important for working class labor union members to understand what is going on with CAFTA and what went on with NAFTA. If the AFL-CIO had not sold out to the globalists for a seat at the feast-laden table of the New World Order in 1993, between 2.5 to 4 million jobs would have remained in the United States because the Democratic votes to enact it would not have been there. Instead, the American workers were sacrificed as much by their own labor unions as industry when the North American Free Trade Agreement was pushed through Congress by the Clinton Administration. If you recall, in 1994, the Democrats were rewarded for NAFTA by losing control of both the House and Senate. It would do the Republican Party good to keep that thought in mind when CAFTA comes up for a vote since America now understands that CAFTA, like NAFTA, is a jobs transfer bill.
The House New Democrat Coalition, which traditionally supports trade deals announced that it was withdrawing its backing of CAFTA because the AFL-CIO believed the terms of the trade agreement did not put sufficient pressure on the Central American governments to create American-style collective bargaining rights for their workers. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher [D-CA], chair of the coalition, said: "We are ardent supporters of free trade, but this deal reduces our ability to enforce labor standards." She was right, but the Democrats under Clinton initiated the jobs giveway under pressure from the princes of industry who needed to supply jobs to the human chattel of the third world since they are human capital of the 21st century. Abortion has not only decimated the consumers of the 21st century in the industrialized world, it has destroyed the taxopayer base as well. Government can't subsidize the poor if there is no middle class from which to take.
In reality, the only people the New Democrat Coalition wanted to protect—learning from their errors in 1993— were the labor unions who discovered their "right" to unionize all of the jobs going to Mexico and beyond did not mean much without collective bargaining laws which favored them. Tauscher, who has signed on as a willing partner of the continued American jobs drain on behalf of big laborif the GOP agreed to force collective bargaining rights on the governments of Central America who get those new American factories. Tauscher wins whether CAFTA is enacted or not. If it is, she will keep the financial support and the political endorsement of big labor, and she will easily be reelected. If it fails, Bush gets the blame and she becomes part of the party that opposed the jobs drain_and she will easily get reelected. Her resume takes on a pro-American jobs aura that does not really exist. In politics, the perception of reality becomes truth because truth is always hidden behind the smoke and mirrors of politics. In the inside-the-beltway shell game, only the politician who is owned by someone you should abhor gets reelected.
Congressman Adam Smith [D-WA], an ardent free-trader, became luke warm on CAFTA because, he said, the Caribbean Basin Initiative (the trade agreement now in effect) can be rescinded by Congress at will if the governments of Central America don't improve labor relations when askedwhere CAFTA, once enacted, cannot be rescinded. The AFL-CIO is making sure it doesn't repeat its NAFTA mistakessanctioning the jobs drain from America on a handshake understanding that all of the factories transferred from the United States were theirs to unionize (since the AFL-CIO can't afford anything in writing that shows it sacrificed labor union members in America to get twice as many union members in the emerging nations)but without any labor laws to guarantee them collective bargaining and binding arbitration rights.
The Bush Administration countered that the International Labor Organization considers Central America's labor laws to be generally in line with core universal labor standards around the world. Under CAFTA, the only option is to fine nations that fail to enforce international labor standards. The fine is $15 million per infraction. Money seized through fines is sent to that nation's Labor Ministry for use to improve labor standards in that country. Bush Administration Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has attempted to deflect the fact that CAFTAlike NAFTAis a jobs drain bill that will remove even more American factories from the United States and transplant them in the impoverished nations in the Caribbean whose citizens possess few consumer products because they lack the means to buy them (where the US market, like those in the other industrial nations, have reached 99.99% saturation and have become replacement buyers rather than first time buyers).
Johanns told the media that CAFTA is important to the United States because it will lower the steep Central American tariffs on US farm products. At least the Bush people aren't stupid enough to try to convince out-of-work Americans that CAFTA will create more jobs in the United States. However, there was still something wrong with his argument. Free trade agreements are supposed to be just thattariff free. Would someone please explain to this West Virginia hillbilly what America gets out of this deal if our Central American trading partners get to slap tariffs on American goods going into those nations, but products made in their countries at the expense of the American work force can be returned to America for sale in American retail outlets without tariffs that protect the manufacturers who have remained loyal to the American people? Frankly, it is the lack of tariffs that bothers the American sugar industry. The very powerful sugar lobby in the South opposes any measure that will give Caribbean sugar plantations access to American markets. Today, Caribbean sugar is barred from importation. If the textile industry used the lobbyists the sugar industry uses, the Arrow dress shirt or Wrangler work shirt you wear to your American job would be made by an American in a factory in North Carolina that no longer exists.
Under CAFTA, Caribbean nations would be allowed to to export 100 thousand metric tons of sugar to the United Statesout of some 7.8 million metric tons of sugar consumed annually by the American people. While 100 thousand metric tons is infinitesimal by comparison, the sugar lobby knows from experience that once the door is cracked, imports will flood this great nation and make it economically weaker.
Further, over the past four years Bush has pushed five trade agreements through Congressthe first of them negotiated by Bill Clinton with Jordan before he left office. Bush's trade agreements were with Australia, Chile, Morocco and Singapore. The anti-free traders in both parties know if Bush is not stopped now he will force the FTAA to a vote before he leaves office in 2008 since the unified global economy of the New World Order demands it.
A week or so ago House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] made it clear to the AFL-CIO in a speech that the House Democratic Caucus would not support CAFTAin its present form. "As Democratic leader," she said, "I'm here to tell you that Democrats will not support the Central America Free Trade Agreement in its current form." However, when she runs for re-election next year the liberal media will drag out all of her anti-CAFTA speeches and paint her as a pro-jobs Democrat when in fact she is simply a big labor politician who doesn't really care a flyspeck for the working manas the Democrats then paint every GOP Congressman and Senator in every farm and textile State with a wide, red paint brush as a member of the party that sold out the American workers even if they vote against CAFTA.
Congressman Michael Michaud [D-ME] held an anti-CAFTA rally outside of the Capitol on May 10. Several members of Congress, labor leaderswho, of course, benefit extremely if CAFTA is amended to force Central American governments to provide binding arbitration rights to striking workersand hundreds of union members who were shipped in to serve as a "working man backdrop" for the photo-op by the AFL-CIO, echoed their protest to the passage of CAFTA. "Today," Michaud said, "we are in front of the Capitol Buildinga symbol of prosperity and hopeto tell President Bush that we are sick and tired of waving from the shores as one more job is being outsourced. We are here to tell him that it's time to get off the fast track of lost jobs and shattered dreams and onto the right track of fair trade and more opportunities."
Trade promotion authorityfast trackingdoes not permit Congress to amend treaties. CAFTA is just one more bad piece of legislation that is designed to increase the global consumer-base for the world's transnational merchants, bankers and industrialists who are engineering the global economy at the expense of the American wage-earner (which, of course, is why the AFL-CIO is lobbying so hard to add binding arbitration to the billthey know that Michaud's statement is true only with respect to treaty ratifications). When a treatyany treatyis sent from the State Department to the Senate, the Senate is required to give it an up-or-down vote for ratification. If the President has a photo-op and signs a treaty before it is sent to the Senate for ratification, the treaty becomes legally-binding upon this nation even if the Senate rejects itas it did with the Kyoto Protocol.
According to the 17th century Law of the Nations (a treaty enacted by the nations of Europe long before the fledgling British, French and Spanish colonies in the New World became the United States), once the king, president, prime minister or premier signs a treatyeven if it is not approved by that nation's parliament or legislatureit becomes binding upon that nation for all time. But at this moment, CAFTA can be killed. As soon as the House and Senate leadership feels comfortable that they can roll this albatross out onto the floor of both Houses for a voice vote (neither house wants their fingerprints found on the "yea" button since America knowsJohanns feeble excuse notwithstandingCAFTA like NAFTA was designed to provide American jobs to third world workers since they are tomorrow's consumers. Tomorrow's human capital. Or, as Chevron put it recently in one of their globalist green ads: people are human energy. And, America is the fuel that be consumed to feed the fire of the global economy.