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Letter to the editor: U.S. needs free trade, not entangling alliances

If the United States enters a treaty with countries or international organizations, U.S. citizens are subject to the terms of those treaties. If the terms are contrary to our Constitution, America’s sovereignty is compromised. Each new treaty means more compromise.

The terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement supersede federal, state and local laws on health standards on produce and other food products. An international tribunal ruled that a U.S. law requiring country-of-origin labels on imported foods violated the agreement. We knuckled under.

To get rid of lead in gasoline, Canada used a manganese compound made in the U.S. When evidence showed health hazards, Canada banned it. Under NAFTA, the U.S. manufacturer sued Canada, forcing it to continue buying the compound from that company.

Treaties like NAFTA also weaken our ability for defense. Having lost much manufacturing, we must import many weapon components – much from potential enemies.

A treaty like NAFTA may be only a couple of inches thick, but that’s just the start. By 2014 the stack of regulations to implement the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was over 8 feet high. The same happens with an international commission overseeing any so-called free trade deal.

And note that only a couple of NAFTA’s chapters deal with trade. All others are on regulation of health, environment, immigration, etc.

President Thomas Jefferson pledged: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” George Washington said the same.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said we must have NAFTA, but for centuries we traded and prospered without these “deals.” Why do we need them now?

When President Donald Trump was a candidate, he rightly said NAFTA was absolutely the worst trade agreement ever. He was right. Tell Trump, (202) 456-1111, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., (202) 225-2611, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.,

(202) 224-2551, and Heitkamp,

(202) 224-2043, that we want free trade, not entangling alliances.