Lower Trade Barriers Empower Corporations


The Chicago and the World Forum—spearheaded by the global-governance advocates at Chicago Council on Global Affairs — this spring is centered on what the CCGA loftily calls “The Asian Century.”

A key component in this thrust to create an especially large Asian-based trading bloc for global governance is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a super-sized free-trade agreement which, critics say, carries with it unprecedented protectionism for big banking interests.

Currently, Congress is flatly being denied TPP’s details. March 2013 marks the 3-year anniversary of the TPP negotiation summits. The 16th round started in Singapore this March. Chicago hosted a round last year. Meanwhile, a steady flow of academic double domes, former and current government officials and other global thinkers are visiting the CCGA’s Chicago and the World Forum, to advance the supposed glories of a major global economic shift to the East.

The main Asia-based programs of the CCGA, which is the former Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, include the just-completed Feb. 25 lecture by Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Robert D. Hormats. Another program, “Asia and the Great Convergence,” held March 6, was presented by Kishore Mahbubani, a public policy professor at Singapore’s National University; and “Asia’s New Great Game: The Coming Conflict in Asia?” was held March 20, by CCGA President Marshall M. Bouton.

In Chicago, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation is underwriting the Asia series, although the Foundation’s namesake, late Chicago Tribune Publisher Robert R. McCormick, was a noninterventionist who’d sternly disapprove of the unhinged political, military and economic interventionism praised and practiced by the CCGA, in favor of the plutocratic creditor class that practices self-protectionism with the full force of the law, but calls protectionism sinful for the working class.

The language of “Globalese” is carefully spoken throughout the CCGA’s news releases and lectures. Major world changes are portrayed as quasi-random, unstoppable and impersonal. The CCGA’s online statement about its Spring 2013 Asia series typifies this globalese by smoothly implying that Asian changes are organic and that the US is merely reacting to it: “The global balance of power, whether economic, demographic, or military, is shifting inexorably toward Asia. In response, the United States has increasingly turned its attention to the region, seeking both to deepen its own economic engagement and to enhance US security interests.”

The CCGA’s leaders downplay the reality that US monopoly capitalists laid the groundwork for building up China in the first place, which led to forfeiting America’s industrial might via free-trade agreements.

This caused the flood of largely shoddy Chinese products that weigh down American store shelves, the purchase of which has filled China’s coffers but enslaved the average Chinese worker while seriously polluting China’s air and waters — due to breakneck industrial development, mostly at the expense of the US.

This forfeiture of US wealth to China is “backdoor foreign aid.” That’s according to late General Motors executive Gus Stelzer, a noted economics author who, a few years ago, explained to this writer that trillions of dollars in wages were lost, and local tax bases across the US were gravely depleted, when American tariffs on Chinese imports were purposely knocked down by global business interests who have a direct pipeline to government policy-makers and often become policy makers themselves.

Mr. Hormats spent more than 20 years as Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs International before assuming his State Department post. His remarks to the CCGA Feb. 25 underscored long-term Western commitment to economic master planning in ever-widening patterns.

While Hormats stated that the US economy, including small producers in agriculture and other sectors, are what matter the most — and China’s cyber-espionage and intellectual-property thievery need to be dealt with — the actual system he advocates, leading toward full realization of the TPP, cannot help but weld all nations together in a global matrix where national autonomy is all but lost.

The TPP would hardly be limited to greater Asia. Hormats stated it would include “the US and 10 other countries on both sides of the Pacific ... several Latin American nations, including Mexico, Peru and Chile ... as well as Canada ... but also Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and others.” He stressed: “This is going to be a very large agreement ... to lower barriers and to raise standards, to drive long-term growth.”

At first brush, this sounds almost good, except that lowering barriers is “codespeak” for surrendering economic sovereignty to big corporations allied with strategic government policies.

Mark Anderson is a veteran journalist who divides his time between Texas and Michigan. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.

From The Progressive Populist, April 1, 2013



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