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Pact Paves Way for Global Plantation

  • The United States faces yet another threat to its sovereignty in the form of a broad-reaching agreement on trade formulated by internationalists.
Exclusive to The SPOTLIGHT
By Christopher J. Petherick

A powerful international trade agreement that would override U.S. laws and regulations placing control over U.S. commerce in the hands of multinational corporations, bankers and unelected globalist leaders is being foisted on unsuspecting Americans as it is debated in internationalist circles outside the realm of public scrutiny.

Spawned out of the Uruguay Rounds in the early 1990s, the trade agreement, known as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), was originally signed in 1994 with the express purpose of liberalizing global trade rules under the umbrella of the internationalist policy-directing agency, the World Trade Or ganization (WTO).

New high-level discussions, however, are taking place right now in Geneva, Switzerland, to ensure that the agreement is universally accepted before any opposition can mobilize.

Frustrated by the failure of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) in 1998 and the subsequent pro tests that brought unwanted publicity to globalist mega-confabs around the world, internationalists looked to expand an existing trade agreement that focused on opening economies around the world to multinational corporations.

The MAI was much like its successor. The sovereignty of member nations would be surrendered in huge chunks to the international organization. Foreign companies could enter a country despite objections of the host government. A country could no longer require that foreign entities be in part locally owned. A foreign company would have to be treated equally or better than local enterprises.

The SPOTLIGHT first exposed the MAI on March 9, 1998.

Today, according to a report by Jessica Woodroffe for the World Development Movement, "all kinds of agendas are being pursued in the continuing negotiations around this agreement, which now extends beyond any reasonable definition of either trade or services."

GATS is composed of a set of rules that are part and parcel of the WTO's dispute resolution process, an international court system where countries can air quarrels over trade disputes and have a panel of unelected officials rule on them and hand out penalties.

"The GATS is a set of rules restricting governments from making their own decisions on how trade in services takes place," writes Woodroffe.

But the agreement, according to Woodroffe, is vague about what exactly constitutes the service industry. GATS refers to activities as diverse as pesticide spraying, building regulations and sewer and water facilities.

A guide to the agreement names 11 broad categories of "services" that would fall under the sphere of GATS: business; communication (telecommunications, pos tal, audio-visual); construction and related engineering services; distribution; educational; environmental (water delivery, energy, refuse disposal); financial; health related and social; tourism and travel related; recreational, cultural and sporting; and transport (sea, air, rail, road).

"It goes far beyond what is commonly understood as 'trade' and prescribes extensive areas of domestic economic activity," the report says.

A compounding caveat associated with the trade agreement is that once a country signs on, its elected officials and citizens are trapped, in spite of what may happen to a country's economy.

One aspect of the GATS is that it helps to "over come domestic resistance to change," said WTO Secretariat Mike Moore. "Bindings undertaken in the GATS have the effect of protecting liberalization policies, regardless of their underlying rationale, from slippages and reversals."

The agreement removes accountability of elected officials in that government can inform the populace that there is little that can be done when instituting unpopular economic policies, said Moore. Governments can "tell their constituents that their hands are tied at the international level," paving the way for disastrous internationalist schemes that benefit multinational corporations and the super rich.

Critics charge that if the agreement is not blocked, an international organization will have the power to overrule Congress and the U.S. Constitution, dictating what U.S. companies can and cannot do on U.S. soil or risk trade sanctions. And there would be very little that any U.S. elected official could do about it.