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Letter to the editor: U.S. could drown in alphabet soup with more agreements

A nation never drowned in alphabet soup, but it might with more “free” trade agreements.

Such agreements are hardly “free” with their nonelected bodies with unconstitutional sovereignty-draining lawmaking powers. And they haven’t yielded increased U.S. production, more exports or high-paying jobs.

In 1993 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) started our downward spiral of moving manufacturing and jobs to other countries. Then came the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — which begat the World Trade Organization (WTO) with authority to override our country’s decisions.

NAFTA begat Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). There also were General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs).

Those worked so well (for some, not us) that we’re now negotiating the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union (EU). Could partnership with the EU mean losing sovereignty as its other members have?

Now the most important initials for us — Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) — or “fast track.” This president wants Congress to have very limited debate and then quick for or against votes on agreements — no amendments even considered.

Were our Founding Fathers wrong to have the Constitution stipulate all legislative powers be in Congress — or assign Congress to regulate commerce with nations? After all, can’t we trust whatever a president decides?

Even some liberal Democrat senators and progressive U.S. House Democrats are joining tea party Republicans against ceding more power to the president by giving him the TPA.

Tell Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., to oppose TPA and do their jobs. Anyone can tell the senators or representative by sending them an email.

Otherwise we may yet drown in alphabet soup.