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View Diary: What the polls say about free trade (219 comments)

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  •  alas, tariffs are a non-option. (3+ / 0-)

    WTO says they are a no-no, and WTO makes the rules, not us.

    Of course the good Merkan Patriots will swell out their chest and proclaim "fuck the WTO--we can take 'em". The reality is that we can't---every nation that has tried to defy the WTO (including the US) has surrendered abjectly shortly afterwards. No nation, not even the big bad US of A, is strong enough to stand against the entire world economy--particularly when our own "American" corporations will not support us in that fight.

    Like it or not, we no longer set our own trade policies. No nation does.

    •  WTO is Opt-Out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willie2011, Dirtandiron

      We are not forever bound by our membership, we can leave at any time and for any reason. Or simply use that leverage to renegotiate the terms.

      •  riiiggghhhhtttttttt. (0+ / 0-)

        Good luck with that. I'd love to watch the reaction against any politician from either party who makes such a proposal--it will make the furor against the "Buy American" provisions in the stimulus bill look like a Sunday dinner party. The corporados will squash him or her like a bug.

        We will no more leave WTO than we will leave the UN.

        •  I could convince any random voter (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, j1j2j3j4

          that "Free trade" is bad for the country.  Hell, I wouldn't even need to, look at the polling data in the diary, the American voters already know the truth.

          Are you saying we are no longer a democracy?  That we don't control the policy agenda of our own government? The first party that clearly differentiates itself by taking the people's position on trade will have an enormous advantage.  The only reason it won't happen is because people like you say it can't.  It can, all we have to do is demand it.

          You could challenge both parties effectively as a third party on this issue alone.  Perot made waves on this issue and the downsides of "free trade" hadn't even been felt yet.  With Unemployment where it is, defending the status quo would destroy any party that opposed significant change on trade policy.

    •  We have the option of taxing crude oil imports ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      ... even inside the WTO framework.

      To the extent that the WTO is built broken in subservience to the neoliberal economic fantasies, it may require rebuilding.

      And balanced trade institutions for reciprocal trade in finished goods with, eg, Latin America and Africa could be established that would step sideways through WTO regulations ~ not being presently forbidden, so long as the US and its balanced trade partners opposed new rules to undermine them, then they would continue to be allowed.

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      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 09:52:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt any of that would pass the corporados (0+ / 0-)

        without a fight, which would pretty much make it a political impossibility.

        And as a matter of pure practicality, I think the best option is to force Fair Trade provisions right at the center--into the WTO rules themselves.  After all, the G20+ bloc has already demonstrated that the WTO can be beaten from within.

        I doubt the US is really all that interested in lots of bilateral treaties--the only reason most of them were negotiated to begin with was because the nationalist neocons didn't like the WTO and preferred to try and go it alone.

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