Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Tariff elimination could cripple U.S.
The National Foreign Trade Council called for an end to tariffs throughout the world at a press conference attended by officials of the Bush administration on March 21.
"The tariff elimination proposal addresses the WTO's most obvious piece of unfinished business -- the remaining high level of tariffs on industrial goods worldwide," said Frank Kittrede, council president.
Attending the Washington session were Brenda Fisher of the Commerce Department, Christopher Griffen of State and Normal Vantoai and Eugene Rosengarden, both of the International Trade Commission.
The meeting was hosted by Global Business Dialogue, an advocate for a global economic system. It is based in Washington.
"We firmly believe that global industrial tariff elimination would provide significant economic benefits to American manufacturers, workers and consumers, as well as to the rest of the world," Kittredge said. "If enacted, global tariff elimination could be a powerful economic stimulus."
With "the momentum toward regional zero-tariff agreements, such as NAFTA, FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas), the European Union ... the next logical step would be political commitment to multilateral zero-tariff trade as well," Kittredge said.
Vince Ryan, chairman of Liberty Lobby, the Institution that led opposition to NAFTA and other so-called "free trade" agreements, ridiculed the proposal for an end to all tariffs.
"They are using the same propaganda that misled Congress into embracing NAFTA," Ryan said. "They promise us more jobs, economic expansion, lower costs of consumer goods and what happens?
"Millions of American jobs have been lost as international corporations shut down their U.S. plants and set up shop in poor countries where they pay slave wages and escape the costly burdens of vacations, health insurance and other fringe benefits imposed in this country by government," Ryan said.
Ryan cited the numerous cases of foreign countries "dumping" -- selling below cost until the domestic producer is forced out of business -- in calling tariffs a "necessary tool" to protect U.S. industry.
"The worst thing about this propaganda is that world free trade would be tantamount to world government, and this is an undeniable fact," said Ryan.