Wake-up Call

Resist the Corporate State

Disastrous Effects of Free Trade

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by Craig Harrington EIC

January 24, 2010

The United States economy has lost over $7 trillion to international commerce in the past four decades, the majority of those losses have come in the past 10 years alone.

We know where the money is going: overseas.

We know how much of it is leaving this country: roughly $700 billion annually.

We know why this country is losing such astounding sums: “free trade”.

It is time to fix the situation and get America back on a path toward growth and prosperity once again. The only way to do this is by pursuing fair trade policies which counteract the decades of unsustainable imbalances brought on through “free trade.” We need policies that can be adapted quickly and that meet the needs of this nation first and foremost.

Many around the world argue that the United States has had its opportunity as the hyperpower, and now it is time to share the wealth. Still more argue that the U.S. is not yet doing enough to help the rest of the world grow economically. Unfortunately these critics overlook the fact that American prosperity was hard fought, it had to be earned. The U.S. cannot simply open the taps and give itself up as it has in the past, to do so would be to forsake its own citizens.

There are plenty of policies that this country could and should be pursuing instead of unregulated “free trade.” Perhaps the easiest of all the systems is the Import Certificate (IC) plan put together by none other than Warren Buffett. Buffett has used the free market dynamics of domestic and global trade to become the richest man in the world.

His plan would actually encourage trade and perhaps increase global commercial volume – which is the expressed intent of the WTO. It would do so while creating new lucrative markets for the exchange of ICs. The Import Certificate system operates seamlessly within the constraints of a naturally competitive market and everyone benefits.

Other more drastic plans include erecting tariff barriers, taxing imports, or instituting a domestic Value Added Tax system. The VAT is the most successful and widespread tax scheme in the world, yet the U.S. is the only developed country not employing one of its own.

There are many solutions to this complicated problem, and many ways in which the U.S. can correct the inherent imbalances of international trade. We can put together countermeasures or we can encourage other countries to drop their policies which hurt our economy. Regardless of what we choose, there is certainly a general consensus that something must be done.

Americans need to start electing politicians who will pursue fair trade at all costs. We need people like Senator Sherrod Brown who call for renegotiations of NAFTA and the WTO. We need political leaders who will fight for American workers and American interests while standing up to consortiums from overseas. This country cannot be a world leader if it is allowed to fall apart.

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