For all its recognition as a ‘free and Christian’ nation, the United States has a horrific track record in both following through with treaties they sign, and in more recent times, in playing fair in trade agreements. And whether it was reneging on land promises to Native American Indians through various signed treaties, or a new report out that shows America has the most complaints against it within the WTO for violating trade agreements over the past twenty years, when you look below the surface of ‘freedom and patriotism’ the U.S. has lost the high ground as a nation that keeps its word.
In the World Trade Organization’s 15 years of operation, which country has made the most trade complaints? (Not including the street protesters.)
a) India b) Japan c) United States
C, United States. The biggest complainer at the World Trade Organization (WTO), with 94 trade complaints brought to the WTO’s dispute settlement body as of April 21, is the United States. But with 109 complaints against it, it’s also the top recipient. In the WTO’s 15-year history (it turned 15 on Jan. 1), its most litigious members have been the United States and the European Union, accounting for 175 of 405 disputes, though in recent years, large emerging economies such as Brazil, Mexico, and India have filed an increasing share of complaints. - Foreign Policy
Many of these complaints are tied to the fact that the government no longer truly regulates businesses and corporations that are multi-national in scope, and who own most politicians through contributions and lobbying. And this can be seen in its most egregious form through the secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnerships (TTIP) which will soon place these corporations above sovereign dominion to be able to force commitments, and even change agreements at any time through mediation by boards run by the corporations themselves.
At stake is the altruistic concept of Free Trade, which has different interpretations in both the West and the East. And as you can see in the above chart, the most complaints against businesses are made against ones tied to both the U.S. and Europe, which is no different historically when colonialism ruled the waves and an agreement was only as good as the power of ones guns.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.