Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved 

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Comment:  It appears we are caught in the middle of a nightmare from which we are unable to wake. While the president insists we must accept the global economy, we can see the devastating effects of this system of global banking, mounting famine and starvation, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the massive decline in wages and the standard of living here in the US.  If this is what a global economy does, and if unlawful trade agreements are constructed to facilitate this, I say we reject it totally; it is killing us all.

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In what would seem a coincidence at the federal level, within days of  S.510 the fake food safety bill sailing through the Senate, an agreement was finally reached on the South Korean Trade Agreement.  Bear in mind this is NOT a lawful, constitutional treaty as described in the Constitution; this is an executive agreement between governmental corporations.  It is not the supreme law of the land, although it will be sold to the public as if it is. 

While Obama claimed that car makers and agricultural producers would benefit I have to wonder:

  • If people in the US can’t afford these autos, what market does Obama think will be available in South Korea where the poverty level is so high?
  • If we have 22 million out of work here, and we know that trade agreements historically signal the massive loss of jobs,
  • 48 million families now on food stamps and a food crisis building, why would we be shipping any agricultural products out of the country? 

It appears that the South Korean Trade Agreement (SKTA) was stalled out while the interested party’s waited for S.510 to pass the Senate.  In a public statement just this morning, regarding the SKTA, Obama claimed that this would benefit business and most especially car manufacturers and agriculture.  He claimed that the huge reduction in tariffs would increase exports by 11 billion.  Maybe so; but at what cost to the country overall?  S.510 was necessary before this deal could be struck as it will allow South Korea to “self-inspect” and only allow a physical inspection once a year and then only if South Korea agrees to let the inspector in.  The deal includes no limits on imports meaning the claimed import value of 6 billion is most likely a fictional number that will see huge trade deficits detrimental to the US economy surface again as they have with China. 

This trade agreement was held up until South Korea could be assured that s.510 fake food safety bill, focused on a free-trade free-for all for agricultural products, with the FDA acting as enforcer was a done deal and that there would be no tariffs….they could dump all the crap in here they could load into cargo with no penalties for underselling our producers; no tariffs which would have kept our economy stabilized and protected our wage base. 

The agreement does not include any agreement on the beef issue; an issue said to be worked out later.  Maybe Mr. Obama is not aware that we presently do not produce enough beef to feed our own population; why would we be negotiating to export any beef?

What are tariffs?

Generally, these are fees, duties, customs, and other assessments on goods coming into the country.  These tariffs are meant to prevent imported goods from being dumped into our domestic markets at a price that undercuts our producers and which would drive down our wages and by extension our standard of living.  In any event, tariffs ensure that a country such as China, who is notorious for its slave labor wages and low standard of living, does not dump cheap goods into our markets driving down the price of comparative goods here. South Korea is equally renowned for its poverty, low wages and extraordinary low standard of living.

China, and now South Korea, is able to undercut our producers because of low wages and living standards and by artificially devaluing its currency. A tariff in this situation would protect the wages of American workers by assessing a tax equal to the difference between the costs of production here, and the undervalued currency and costs in China and in South Korea on all goods imported from these countries into the US.  Of course, those tariffs have been discarded as a result of the World Trade Organization insistence that this creates a “barrier to trade”.  

Tariffs protect the wages, standard of living and currency issues here in the US. Yet every so-called “trade agreement” rejects tariffs in favor of the “global economy”; an economic model that is systematically destroying one nation after another. 

That term, “barrier to trade” is part and parcel of each and every trade agreement.  It is a term used to strike down any financial, environmental, labor costs or other barriers  erected by any country in self defense; erected to prevent environmental destruction or devastation, or to prevent multi-national corporations from raping and pillaging a country and its economy.

Any country that attempts to erect self-protecting laws and regulations is targeted by the World Trade Organization with trade sanctions that can and often times do include cutting off food and medical supplies and multiple other efforts to isolate and harass and crush the non-compliant.

While many corporate agricultural groups are probably cheering right now, the rest of us should be shaking in our shoes.  S.510, the fake food safety bill was not about food safety; it was and is a trade bill forcing all agricultural products into international trade leaving the US with no surpluses and reserves and leaving the US vulnerable to the massive food shortage being staged around the world.  Those who refuse to comply with export policy will simply be targeted by FDA until they comply. 

While Obama crowed about the 11 billion, increase, in exports, he never made mention that now South Korea will be able to dump 6 billion of its cheap products into US markets competing with our producers.  Even if you read this as a 5 billion dollar gain for the US bear in mind that no trade agreement has ever produced a gain for the US…not one.  Not one ever produced a job or protected the standard of living for the US.  Trade agreements have historically seen a decline in US wages, trade imbalances that are detrimental to the US and usually precede major job losses as unscrupulous companies close shop over night and move their operations to the newly opened slave labor market.  With no tariffs in place to protect labor here at home, they can now pay starvation wages and ship their cruddy products back into the US duty free.  

There are going to be many who receive the benefits of S.510 and the SKTA, but none of them will be anyone you know unless you work for some bio-piracy corporation or have bought the favor of the government.  As for the rest of us, hard times are coming thanks to S.510 fake food safety, and yet another trade agreement.  

Obama, claiming that this agreement would have greater benefits than the last nine trade agreements combined, stopped short of explaining just who would receive those benefits and at whose expense these benefits would be received, and he surely did not mention that previous trade agreements had been central to the massive job losses incurred over the last several years and had been the cause of massive trade deficits that had been in part, responsible for the collapse of the economy. 

While claiming this agreement would protect 70,000 jobs here in the US, a claim that is totally without any data to back it up, he never mentions how many jobs will likely disappear as a result of yet another corporate trade agreement.  The referencing of agriculture and autos as being the pivotal point of the agreement was meant to hide the 560 billion dollar services industries that American companies can now access which means thousands more US jobs will be leaving the country.

At some point, maybe when we are on the verge of starving and a great number of us are living in the streets, some one will realize that trade agreements that do not include protections for us, that do not protect our jobs and wages, and which are designed to undermine our own producers without any regard for the continued integrity of our own economy, are not such a good deal. 

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Resources:

South Korean Trade Agreement: Another economy killing trade agreement in the Works

Obama hails landmark South Korea trade agreement

International economics solve problems (Say what????)

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