Third World America’s Trade Agreements
enacted, TTP will permit privately-owned corporations to
have hegemony over the governments of sovereign nations.
By Charles Sullivan
09, 2014 "Information
The corporate media would have us believe that the nation is
in the midst of an economic recovery.
In the shadow of the approaching mid-term elections, the
president cites the number of jobs created and speaks
optimistically about America’s economic future. The future
is indeed bright, but only if you are among the wealthiest
one percent of the population.
For instance, since the 2007 recession, the greatest crisis
of capitalism in 75 years, corporate profits have risen, CEO
salaries and bonuses are at record levels and the stock
market is soaring. By contrast, workers’ wages have
stagnated for more than four decades, benefits are either
few or non-existent, and workers are encumbered with debt
that forces them to perform multiple jobs— if they can find
them—in order to survive.
Jobs that offer long-term security and a living wage are
scarce even for those with university degrees. Adjusted for
inflation, today’s workers are worse off than they were in
the late 1960s.
Whose economic recovery is this?
According to economic forecaster Gerald Celente, 90 percent
of the jobs created in 2013 were part-time, most of them
paying low wages and providing no benefits. Student loan
debt exceeds $1.1 trillion, a number that surpasses the
combined credit card liability of the nation.
These debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. The big
banks and corporations that finance political campaigns have
no such restrictions placed upon them.
Even the unemployment figures are deceiving. According to
the latest government data, unemployment is at 6.7 percent.
In reality, that number is probably closer to 17 or 18
percent, according to economist Richard Wolff.
The government does not count people whose unemployment
benefits have expired or those who have given up looking for
work. A cashier working 10 hours a week at Food Lion is
counted as fully employed.
We have students, many of them burdened with immense debt,
entering a job market that makes it difficult for them to
earn a decent living. This is the economic minefield that
workers across America must navigate. A little truth might
help them find their way and comprehend why this is
One of the many reasons we face such a bleak economic future
is the implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
In 1992, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was
implemented between the governments of the United States,
Canada and Mexico. NAFTA was fast-tracked through Congress
by President H.W. Bush and signed into law by President
Clinton. NAFTA was promoted in the commercial media as an
engine for job creation in the United States, an assertion
that is contradicted by the facts. According to Wolff, more
than 700,000 jobs fled the country as the result of NAFTA,
many of them providing middle class incomes and benefits.
Those jobs are never coming back. It is not just the number
of jobs created that matter, it is the quality of those jobs
that is a predictor of economic success.
Furthermore, the mass movement of U.S. corporations to
Mexico wrecked the already struggling Mexican economy,
particularly its sustainable, locally-based businesses. The
situation initiated a mass migration of immigrant Mexican
workers to the U.S. in search of better-paying jobs than
were available to them in the homeland. Multinational
corporations seeking a source of cheap labor and a climate
of deregulation are the primary benefactors. The
quantifiable effect that NAFTA has had on the U.S. workers
is staggering job loss, reduced wages and increasing
Now, with the backing of corporate lobbyists, yet another
FTA—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—is being
fast-tracked through Congress. Both Democrats and
Republicans are enthusiastically backing the legislation.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes the process:
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a secretive,
multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend
restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe
and rewrite international rules on its enforcement.” TTP is
currently being negotiated between nine to 12 nations.
If enacted, TTP will permit privately-owned corporations to
have hegemony over the governments of sovereign nations. For
instance, if the state of West Virginia were to ban the use
of genetically modified soybeans, Monsanto Corporation could
either overturn the decision or extort billions of dollars
in remuneration from their projected loss of profits. FTAs
belligerently put corporate profits before the legitimate
needs of the people and the welfare of the biosphere.
The implications for students and working class people will
be profoundly detrimental.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs will flee the country, wages
will fall yet again, autonomy will be lost, and the job
market will resemble the wreckage of the Hesperus. FTAs are
the means by which the power elite are turning the U.S. into
a Third World economy.
Charles Sullivan is a Master Naturalist, community activist,
and free-lance writer residing in the Ridge and Valley
Province of geopolitical West Virginia.
This article was originally published at