Response to pampango (Reply #27)
Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:16 PM
OrwellwasRight (3,844 posts)
40. FDR was dead by the time the GATT came into existence (1947)
and the date you give for the non-existent ITO (1948) is later than that. I am sure you are aware that FDR died in 1945. so any speculation that he would have agreed to the exact rules that were actually set up for either organization is just that: sheer speculation.
I never said FDR did not support the existence of open international markets. However, like everything in life, the devil is in the details. "Free markets" are great. Markets in which global corporations write the rules and game developing nations as to which can provide the lowest wages, weakest environmental laws, least labor rights, and greatest tax rebates is not. The GATT did not set up a system in which corporate power started writing the rules on global consumer regulations, foreign investor rights, and intellectual property, but the WTO did. Any statement that Democrats in general or FDR in particular supports such a system is pure speculation. Simply put, the GATT and the WTO are not the same thing. The WTO is a revolution in neoliberal hegemony, and does not promote "free trade." It promotes corporate power.
And I see you strategically overlooked my point about how the UN is different in structure than the WTO. The UN is a place to meet and discuss. It does not have enforcement power in many cases--it uses moral suasion. The WTO is the opposite: WTO panels can and do declare domestic laws such as labeling regimes on dolphin safe tuna illegal -- and countries will have a choice to change their laws or pay higher tariffs as penalties. How Americans choose to label their tuna is a domestic issue, and no commercial tuna interests should be able to tell Americans how we can and cannot label our tuna. To claim that FDR supported such nonsense is a bridge too far.
And you need to get over yourself on saying Dems support US trade policy. Depends on the survey and the day:
The fact is, Democrats oppose trade agreements that offshore jobs much more strongly than Republicans. You can keep spouting econ 101, David Ricardo platitudes about the benefits of "free trade," but the fact is that Ricardo's model was never built on the real world, and its assumptions certainly don't hold in a world in which capital is more mobile than labor and it moves across oceans seeking cheap labor and low regulations. So long as Democrats keeping schilling for global corporations by letting them write the rules on trade deals and then pushing those deals into law, the US will keep having its manufacturing move overseas, its wages suppressed, and its regulations challenges by foreign corporate interests.
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