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Letter to the editor: Accepting trade pacts will hurt the U.S.’s independence

By Judy Stahl, Valley City, N.D.

On March 1 the Obama administration asked Congress for trade promotion authority, also known as “fast track” for the president to negotiate trade treaties. It provides for only an up-or-down vote in both House and Senate, without amendment, within 90 days of being submitted by the Executive Branch.

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” to Congress, not the president.

President Barack Obama wants “fast track” to get congressional approval of a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal with the Pacific Rim nations by Dec. 31 and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union by 2015. Sometime after the 2016 election, trade promoters want approval of the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Why be concerned? The European free trade area that began in the 1950s morphed into the economic and political merger of the 28 nations that now form the European Union. Now England, France, etc. are countries in name only.

Similarly, the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1993 between the U.S., Mexico and Canada has been a step toward a North American Union. NAFTA alone has severely stunted our economy and subjected us to unconstitutional regulation.

Accepting trade pacts with the EU and the Pacific Rim, the U.S. would further damage our sovereignty and independence, and the U.S.-China Bilaterial Investment Treaty would allow Communist China to use its $3.4 trillion currency reserves to buy up vast amounts of U.S. land and business interests and dictate terms.

Alert Congress to oppose trade promotion authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and Bilaterial Investment Treaty.