Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
More of That Savvy, Democratic Party Diplomacy
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's an article of faith among Democrats that their mastery of diplomacy will repair the fractured relations with oter nations caused by George W. Bush. If so, stuff like thisthis is no way to go about it.
"In Youngstown, Ohio, I talked to workers who have seen their plants shipped overseas as a consequence of bad trade deals like NAFTA, literally seeing equipment unbolted from the floors of factories and shipped to China, resulting in devastating job losses and communities completely falling apart," Democratic front-runner Barack Obama said at a Texas debate last week, making sure that all the woes of China trade got wrapped in the word NAFTA.

It got even more shrill Tuesday night in Ohio:

"I would immediately have a trade timeout, and I would take that timeout to try to fix NAFTA by making it clear that we'll have core labor and environmental standards in the agreement," said Obama's rival, Hillary Clinton. Likewise, Obama spoke of using the "hammer" of withdrawal to enforce compliance.

Both candidates threaten to leave NAFTA unless its "labor and environmental standards" are strictly "enforced."
Investor's Business Daily looks at this rhetoric and comes up with the following conclusion:
NAFTA did include labor and environmental standards, with the trade-off for Mexico and Canada being the permanence of the treaty.

Subsequent ones, such as 2007's Peru free trade agreement, and the nearly identical pending Colombia pact, required even tougher labor and environmental standards to ensure passage.

Nations give up a lot to sign free trade pacts with the U.S. And some, such as Mexico, endure considerable internal opposition.

But they do it not because selling cheap toys here is such a big deal, but because embracing the trade pact's legal infrastructure comforts investors and helps lure foreign investment.

For these countries, those investments are their future.

Threatening to renege on a permanent treaty — as Clinton and Obama are doing through their identical vows to "opt out" of the deal — signals loudly that America's word is no longer its bond. A permanent pact with the U.S., it turns out, isn't so permanent.
Think about that very carefully. The Democrats are sending a signal that a treaty with the United States of America is nothing more than a scrap of paper the second it becomes politically convenient to disavow it. It's nothing more than a guarantee of Belgian neutrality or a Munich agreement, as soon as an American political leader decides to invalidate it.

No damage to American diplomacy there, huh?
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Further NAFTA was negotiated largely under the George H. W. Bush presidency and signed by Bill Clinton. Not only is it a “permanent treaty” but it’s one with bipartisan support.

Frankly, I think that a lot of the anti-trade talk from Democratic presidential aspirants is just that—talk. A chicken in every pot! Every man a king!

One of the many aspects they’re pointedly ignoring is the WTO. Our membership in the WTO constitutes a sort of permanent trade talks, proceeding on automatic pilot regardless of what candidates running for their party’s nomination in union states may say.

It’s hard to see how a pledge of multilateralism can stand up to withdrawing from permanent treaties and international organizations.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
I abhor the idea a President and Senate can get us into a ’permanent’ treaty.

Aside from a Peace Treaty, any other kind of treaty should have a 20 year expiration at the longest. Preferably much less than that.

Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with renegotiating treaties. Its hard to bring someone to the table when they have the better deal, though. But, I also wouldn’t be surprised if there are violations by our partners, which is the norm, that could be used as justification.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
How do jobs being shipped off to China make NAFTA a bad deal? Am I missing something?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Wait! You expect democrats to do something that they have signed a document stating they would do?

What are you smoking? They only do what they need to to get power and keep it. What does a scrap of paper mean when it stands in their way of turning the US into the next big socialist failure? Cant let a simple agreement stand in the way of progress now can we.


 
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
Can someone please explain what exactly a "trade timeout" is and how a president can unilaterally call one? If you lose your job to someone that cannot even speak your language, the problem is your skills set (or lack thereof), not US government policy.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
How do jobs being shipped off to China make NAFTA a bad deal? Am I missing something?
Because NAFTA is a red hearing. Job loss to China surplanted any job loss to Mexico. Actually because of the stink that Ross Perot made, some US companies I’m familiar with sent the work from Canada to Mexico at first to make a liar out of Ross. So the Canadians seemed to have gotten screwed the most, imho.

NAFTA also sticks out in people’s minds. So when they get elected and go to roll up their sleeves and find little to no issue there, they’ll say whoops looks like its stabilized.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The Dangerous Protectionism of Barack Obama

Someone should point out to both Obama and Clinton that in the years after NAFTA was signed, Ohio gained jobs.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Can someone please explain what exactly a "trade timeout" is and how a president can unilaterally call one
Good question. Do we go sit in the corner for a few months until Hillary "fixes" it?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I know what a "trade timeout" is. It’s something Clinton and Obama made up out of whole cloth to buy votes. They can no more suspend a signed trade agreement than you or I can.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
After Vietnam the world seemed to lose faith in America. Internal politics trumped a military commitment, and we ran away from a job half done. The world was right, America could no longer be trusted. Much of the diplomacy since then has been conducted under the idea that the U.S. would not live up to any tough agreements. That weakened our bargaining position. G.W. Bush has done a lot to repair the damage done by Vietnam. The VN debacle was clearly a failure of the democrats. Now they are lining up to again destroy the reputation of America. It appears to me that the democrat party likes a weak America. I agree with the commenter about permanent treaties, but we should honor all current treaties, whether we like them or not. Keeping ones word is important. Trust allows you to negotiate better agreements.
 
Written By: Paden Cash
URL: http://
labor and environmental standards have always been a "poison pill" that US labor unions have used to attempt to kill off anything that changes the status quo.

It’s interesting that the change candidates seem so eager to embrace the quest for the status quo.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Or is that a quest for the old status quo ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
The Democrats are sending a signal that a treaty with the United States of America is nothing more than a scrap of paper the second it becomes politically convenient to disavow it.
Like the ABM treaty? Face it, people on the left and right talk about treaties that way (look at criticisms of being in the UN, or earlier talk about the Panama canal treaty by the right, etc.) The reality is it’s just campaign rhetoric. And, of course, both parties feed their parties unrealistic rhetoric in the primary season, and come back to reality once it’s over. And, frankly, given the economic crisis at hand in the US, we don’t need any revived Smoot-Hawley types.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Like the ABM treaty?
You mean the treaty that allowed for a party to withdraw after giving 6 months notice?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Guess what, JWG, the six month provision is in NAFTA too:

Article 2204: Withdrawal

A Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it
provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties. If a
Party withdraws, the Agreement shall remain in force for the
remaining Parties.

 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Well, then I think I’m going to have to go with the wisdom of the good professor on this one (ewwwww). An agreement or contract that allows a party to withdraw by just giving notice is always subject to the changing political beliefs of the negotiating parties. This would be no different. Furthermore, if the Canadian and Mexican people tend to be more leftist than Americans and hope for a Dem president to stop the US from being a top "threat" to the globe, then they can get all the baggage that comes with it.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Like the ABM treaty?
Breaking something like that isn’t bad. It’s when you sell out friends or potential friends that breaking your word is bad.

Selling out South Vietnam to the commies was bad; so was selling out the Shah. Screwing over the Soviets or Islamic radicals is always a good thing. Yes, there is evil in the world, and we should always be on the other side . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So basically, they just withdraw and then re-negotiate.

I’m sure it won’t affect those companies who just finished their plant in Mexico or who planned to sell their new products to their Mexican customers, etc.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Article 2204: Withdrawal

A Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it
provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties. If a
Party withdraws, the Agreement shall remain in force for the
remaining Parties.
This would still require Congressional action to repeal US ratification. Yes? Unilateral executive action is not possible.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
This would still require Congressional action to repeal US ratification. Yes? Unilateral executive action is not possible.
That is an interesting question. I believe in Goldwater v. Carter, Carter unilaterally terminated a treaty, and Goldwater challenged that termination. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, suggesting that Carter had that right, though the constitution isn’t clear.

Congress can break treaties by changing American law, meaning that courts will enforce American law even if it violates the treaty (which is part of American law, but can be superseded by later legislative action).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
This would still require Congressional action to repeal US ratification. Yes? Unilateral executive action is not possible.
I don’t believe the Democratic (or Republican) Congress repealed the ABM Treaty.

Here’s all I could find on how it was done...
Bush Announces US Withdrawal From ABM Treaty

Washington (AFP) Dec 13, 2001
President George W. Bush announced Thursday that the United States is pulling out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, over Russia’s objections, in order to deploy a missile defense system.
"I have concluded the ABM treaty hinders our government’s ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks," Bush announced in the White House Rose Garden.


Mixed Reactions
Thursday’s decision drew mixed reactions, with Russian President Vladimir Putin describing the move as "mistake" and congressional leaders alternately lauding and condemning the decision.

Bush’s long-expected move also drew criticism from some in the US Congress, where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said he was concerned about US allies’ reaction to the announcement.


Although Congress cannot affect Bush’s decision, it does hold the purse strings for any future missile defense development.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
selling out the Shah
We didn’t sell out the Shah; he lost power on his own, due to his brutality and repression. We just stopped helping him repress. The fact we supported such a thug helped explain why we are facing a regime hostile to us now. And Vietnam, that was a purely pointless war with no redeeming features. South Vietnam’s government was corrupt and brutal too, so we had no reason to bail them out.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider