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Letter to the editor: ‘Free’ trade agreements are anything but free

Remember 1993 promises that the “free trade” agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement, would boost U.S. exports, prosperity and jobs? (But businessman Ross Perot said to listen for a great “sucking sound” of jobs and industry leaving the U.S.)

A $1.66 billion trade surplus with Mexico in 1993 has become annual deficits of $60-plus billion. Yearly we imported 225,000 cars/trucks from Mexico; now, 1.4 million. Then the big three transferred production to Mexico.

Now China and others make nearly everything we buy. We produce less and less.

All through 2013, we negotiated the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European Union countries. One of our trade representatives said one purpose is “ establish and enforce international norms and standards that will help inform and strengthen the multilateral, rules-based trading system.” (NAFTA on steroids!)

The European Union started as a trade agreement but has transformed countries into a federation ruled by unelected bureaucrats who dictate regulations in all areas of citizens’ lives in member countries.

A Trans-Pacific Partnership is also under negotiation, but Japan is having second thoughts.

In 1796 George Washington said, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” Trade agreements have evolved into heavily regulated trade among governments enforced by unaccountable regional entities. The TTIP would make us a partner of the EU.

There was free trade before these agreements. Tell your U.S. senators and representative you don’t want President Barack Obama’s TTIP and TPP (easily done online).

Tell them we can’t afford any more of these “free” trade agreements.