Free trade of goods and services between free peoples is generally beneficial for both parties. But what travels under “free trade treaties” concerns many other issues besides trade.
And “Free Trade” within a terrible internal tax structure is not likely to help the great majority of people and may harm many. Intelligent discussion of free trade cannot be separated from creating an internal economy that works for everyone. My focus will be in the internal U.S. economy.
My specific objections to the current round of trade treaties:
- The surrender of sovereignty to corporate controlled arbitration.
- The extension of unreasonable “intellectual property” rules.
- The surrender of sovereignty with respect to regulatory control and taxation.
- The treating of trans-national rent flows as the equivalent of goods and services.
- Trade with slave labor countries is problematic from several perspectives.
- Externalities (mainly pollution) are not included in costs, which is to say they are socialized and not reflected in final product cost.
- Inadequate consideration of displaced workers.
Each of these points is worth a full position paper but for brevity’s sake I will just list them for now.