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Duane Stahl, Valley City, N.D., Published February 05 2014

Letter: Proposed trade pacts destructive

Remember the 1993 promises that the “trade” agreement NAFTA would boost U.S. exports, prosperity and jobs? And Ross Perot saying NAFTA would create a great “sucking sound” of jobs and industry leaving? We had a $1.66 billion trade surplus with Mexico in 1993; now it’s annual deficits of $60-plus billion. Yearly we imported 225,000 cars/trucks from Mexico; now, 1.4 million.

And the Big Three automakers transferred production to Mexico. To protest NAFTA decisions, Americans must go to global “NAFTA tribunals,” not American courts. All through 2013, we have been negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European Union countries. Trade Representative Michael Froman says one purpose is “... to establish and enforce international norms and standards that will help inform and strengthen the multilateral, rules-based trading system.” (Like NAFTA on steroids!)

The European Union started as a “trade agreement” that has transformed European countries into a federation ruled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, Belgium, 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 and enforced by unaccountable regional entities. The TTIP would make us a partner of the EU. Trading was freely accomplished before these agreements.

Tell your U.S. senators and representative you don’t want Obama’s TTIP and TPP. What if they help trade as much as Obamacare is helping health?