By Kelleigh Nelson:
In 1992, President Bill Clinton promised that NAFTA would result in an increase in the number of high quality jobs for Americans, that it would reduce illegal immigration. Ross Perot warned that just the opposite would happen. He warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a “giant sucking sound” as thousands of businesses and millions of jobs left this country. Most Americans chose to believe Bill Clinton. Well, it is 24 years later and it turns out that Perot was right and Clinton was dead wrong.
Our newly elected president has stated time and again that NAFTA was the cause for American jobs being decimated. The North American Free Trade Agreement has done far more than destroy over 30% of our manufacturing. Our economy (jobs), our healthcare, and academic education have all suffered. William F. Jasper, summarized what NAFTA was really about: “The planet is quietly being divided up into regional blocs ruled by an unelected and unaccountable cabal.”
NAFTA is seen by globalists here as a step toward a North American Union (NAU). Robert Pastor, professor of international relations at American University, and a strong supporter of NAFTA’s ultimate goals, wrote in Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the globalist CFR, “NAFTA was merely the first draft of an economic Constitution for North America.”
Big Business, Big Finance, Big Media, ex-presidents, and former secretaries of state all supported the deal. Murray Rothbard was right when he said, “The fight was about foreign policy, about the globalist policy that the United States has been pursuing since Woodrow Wilson, and certainly since World War II. It was about the Establishment-Keynesian dream of a New World Order. NAFTA was a vital step down the road to that order.”
Our President-elect has promised to do something about it, and the best thing he could do is to scrap NAFTA in its entirety! Chapter 22 of NAFTA permits each chief executive of the three members of NAFTA (the United States, Canada, and Mexico) to exit the deal, simply by giving six months’ written notice. Trump should do it the very first day in office!
Scott Miller of the Center for Strategic and International Studies admitted that Trump has the power to take the United States out of NAFTA, on his own, without any approval by Congress: “Congress has delegated authority [on trade] to the president over the last 100 years.”
Let’s hope Trump has the courage and fortitude to save us from this horrid trade deal!
Who started these trade deals anyway?
Heritage Foundation and NAFTA
The 1993 Annual Report of the Heritage Foundation of Washington, D.C., dedicated to their twentieth-year celebration, stated the following:
The idea of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) originated with Heritage Fellow Richard Allen and has long been advocated by Heritage policy analysts…. The idea of creating a North American free trade zone was first proposed by Heritage Distinguished Fellow Richard Allen in the late 1970s, refined by then Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, and further developed in a major 1986 Heritage Foundation study.
Please note that Richard V. Allen is a member of both the rightwing Council for National Policy, and the globalist Council on Foreign Relations.
Former Heritage President, Ed Fuelner
In Lee Edwards’ 2013 book, Leading the Way: The Story of Ed Feulner and the Heritage Foundation, on page 233 Edwards states,
“Heritage played a crucial role in the debate on NAFTA, signed by President George H.W. Bush, Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney on December 17, 1992. Consistent with its belief in free trade and with Ed Feulner personally involved, the foundation supported NAFTA from beginning to end; Heritage’s support came naturally inasmuch as the idea of such an agreement had first been broached by Richard Allen, Ed Feulner’s long-time colleague, before Reagan was elected president. Ed Feulner invariably describes the passage of NAFTA as one of Heritage’s most important ‘scalps’ or victories.”
“One of Heritage’s most influential papers was a state-by-state survey compiled by analyst Doug Seay. The survey showed that forty-two governors, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, strongly favored the agreement because it would create thousands of new jobs and improve the economy of their states.”
They were wrong, and they knew it.
Jobs, Living Standards, and the Economy
NAFTA was the door through which American workers were shoved into the neoliberal globalist labor market.
By establishing the principle that U.S. corporations could relocate production elsewhere and sell back into the United States, NAFTA undercut the bargaining power of American workers, which had driven the expansion of the middle class since the end of World War II. The result has been 20 years of stagnant wages and the upward redistribution of income, wealth and political power.
Despite the pro-Trade rhetoric of Heritage and our politicians, the central goal of NAFTA was not “expanding trade.” After all, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada had been trading goods and services with each other for centuries. NAFTA’s central purpose was to free American corporations from U.S. laws protecting workers and the environment. Moreover, it paved the way for the rest of the neoliberal agenda in the US—the privatization of public services, the regulation of finance, and the destruction of the independent trade union movement.
The inevitable result was to undercut workers’ living standards all across North America. First, it caused the loss of some 700,000 jobs as production moved to Mexico.
Second, NAFTA strengthened the ability of U.S. employers to force workers to accept lower wages and benefits.
Third, the destructive effect of NAFTA on the Mexican agricultural and small business sectors dislocated several million Mexican workers and their families, and was a major cause in the dramatic increase in illegal alien workers flowing into the U.S. labor market. This put further downward pressure on U.S. wages, especially in the already lower paying market for less skilled labor.
Fourth, and ultimately most important, NAFTA was the template for rules of the emerging global economy, in which the benefits would flow to capital and the costs to labor. In other words, the corporations got rich, and the workers got shafted. Thus, NAFTA is both symbol and substance of the global “race to the bottom.”
Talk about the American worker getting royally screwed! I remember listening to talk radio at the time, and Chuck Harder worked endlessly to inform the American people of the imminent dangers of NAFTA.
NAFTA and American Health Care
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is an act passed by Congress in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospital Emergency Departments that accept payments from Medicare to provide an appropriate medical screening examination to individuals seeking treatment for a medical condition, regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. Participating hospitals may not transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment except with the informed consent or stabilization of the patient or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.
The good side is that patients with emergency conditions are being taken care of; they must have an evaluation exam, and they have to be stabilized. The negative side is that EMTALA is the largest unfunded mandate [on providers] that the government has ever instituted. Congress, through Medicare, gave $1 billion of our tax dollars to help these Medicare hospitals, but that has now expired.
Who is picking up these costs? Every American taxpayer — not to mention medical facilities and insurance companies who turn around and raise their rates for everyone else. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the current cost of treating uninsured immigrants who entered this country illegally at all levels of government to be $4.3 billion a year, primarily at emergency rooms and free clinics. This doesn’t take into account the billions being absorbed by in-patient care delivered by hospitals.
In March of 2016, Newsmax claimed there are 61 million illegal aliens in America, and Breitbart mentioned 30 million in August of 2015. Whatever the case, we know that for 20 years the media has said 11-12 million illegals are in America, and it is far more.
NAFTA and American Education
Illegal aliens cost America’s states over $761 million per year in our school systems, and six chapters of NAFTA have a direct impact on the public education system.
Under NAFTA, education in all three countries was to be privatized. Privatization is the transfer of a government organization to a private entity.
The rise of charters is the prime example, touted by both the left and right. The privatization effect of charters goes much further, both for-profit, and not-for-profit charters conform schools to principles of privately run enterprises. Despite much evidence to the contrary, competition is touted as the high virtue that makes charters superior. Their very ability to exclude is an important factor in the success, for the few charters who actually are successful. Remember that charters are tax funded! Yet, they do not report to local school boards!
Should taxpayer dollars intended for schools be permitted to generate a private profit? I don’t think so!
Educators knew from following the NAFTA negotiations that turning public education into a commodity for sale in the capitalist marketplace was a central component of the agreement. They understood that at stake was not just public education, but the very idea of the “public.”
Part of the dialogue that has come out of NAFTA was from United States Information Agency Director, Joseph Duffey. In a September 12, 1993 Washington Times article, he stated that he expects the North American countries to succeed in achieving a sense of regional community (regionalism is communism) where the quest for a common community of nations in Western Europe has foundered. He’s talking about a North American Union (NAU), just like the European Union.
He went on to say, “We’re trying to reverse the tradition of nationalism and people, who in looking to their identity, look backwards to the past. Instead, we want them to look to the future.” In other words, Americans should no longer think of themselves as Americans whose founders were for freedom, liberty and individuality, but rather as world citizens, or citizens of the NAU.
Chapter 11 of NAFTA establishes the principle that foreign investors should be granted the same facilities as national investors, without any restrictions.
Chapter 12 of NAFTA (cross-border commerce of services). The new NAFTA rules have accelerated the imposition of new evaluation methods in education, developed by private institutions and based on standardized tests. Such tests are an effective means to restrict access to higher education and to assign young people coercively to technological schools that are not their vocational choice.
Key words are “education reform,” “standardized tests,” “state standards,” all of these are part and parcel of the destruction of education via Common Core, which actually started in the 1960s with mastery learning, and which was accelerated with NAFTA.
The Free Trade Agreement got the ball rolling for the development of skills standards by the newly formed National Skills Standards Board. It was endorsed by the U.S. Labor Department Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) study originated under Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole. This eventually led to the School-to-Work Opportunities Act and the dumbing down of American education curriculum for global workforce training.
With all of this emphasis on “standards” it should be pointed out that NAFTA allows exchanges of all categories of professionals, with those coming from Mexico and Canada having met their own countries’ standards, not necessarily equal to those required in the United States.
If this process evolves the way most of these exchange processes have in the past, that disparity will be addressed in one of two ways—by changing U.S. standards to match foreign standards, or by altering both NAFTA nations’ standards to align with international standards like ISO 9000 or ISO 1400 monitored by UNESCO. This should be of concern to professional organizations in the United States. See page 315 in The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America to see the impact on education in the US by the signing the North American Free Trade Agreement.
As Murray Rothbard explained at the time NAFTA was passed, “In the first place, genuine free trade doesn’t require a treaty or trade agreement. NAFTA is called a trade agreement so it can avoid the constitutional requirement of approval by two thirds of the Senate. If the establishment truly wants free trade, all it has to do is repeal all our numerous tariffs, import quotas, anti-dumping laws, and other American-imposed restrictions on trade.”
No wonder Trump carried Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. One way he could now repay those voters who put him in the White House is to cut out the sovereignty-killing cancer called NAFTA, and help restore the American Dream for millions of American workers.
President-elect Trump, dump NAFTA your very first day in office!
© Copyright by Kelleigh Nelson, 2016. All rights reserved.