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2000 Ron Paul Chapter 45

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June 21, 2000

WITHDRAWING APPROVAL OF UNITED STATES FROM AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION


------------

Statement of
HON. RON PAUL
OF TEXAS


H.J. Res. 90




2000 Ron Paul 45:1
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress withdraws its approval, provided under section 101(a) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, of the WTO Agreement as defined in section 2(9) of that Act.


2000 Ron Paul 45:2
Mr. Speaker, it is true that I believe in low tariffs, because it means low taxes. When we had that problem facing us at the time of the constitutional convention, we were able to correct that problem in one sentence, no tariff barriers between the States, and it has been very successful. That is not what we are talking about here today.

2000 Ron Paul 45:3
We are talking about a very complex treaty, an illegal treaty, an unconstitutional treaty. This is the size of the treaty. This is the size of the agreement. This has nothing to do with trying to reduce taxes. As a matter of fact, when this was passed in 1994, the thought was and the statement was made on the House floor that it would lower taxes; and that I would support.

2000 Ron Paul 45:4
The truth is, there was an offset for every tax that was lower. Even with NAFTA, one gentleman told me that he immediately benefitted from NAFTA, because the tariff barriers went down. But do you know what happened, there was a reclassification of his product, and his tax went back on because he was a little guy, but the big guys got the benefits.

2000 Ron Paul 45:5
So there is something very unfair about the system. It is an unconstitutional approach to managing trade. We cannot transfer the power to manage trade from the Congress to anyone. The Constitution is explicit. ‘Congress shall have the power to regulate foreign commerce.’ We cannot transfer that authority. Transferring that authority to the WTO is like the President transferring his authority as Commander in Chief to the Speaker of the House.

2000 Ron Paul 45:6
Mr. Speaker, today we have the opportunity to vote to get out of the WTO. We joined the WTO in 1994 in a lame-duck session hurried up because it was fearful that the new Members would not capitulate and go along with joining the WTO. The WTO was voted by the House and the Senate as an agreement, and yet it is clearly a treaty. It involves 135 countries. It is a treaty. It has been illegally implemented, and we are now obligated to follow the rules of the WTO.

2000 Ron Paul 45:7
This is the size of the agreement that we signed and voted on in 1994. Now, if that is not an entangling alliance, I do not know what could be. It is virtually impossible to go through this and understand exactly what we have agreed to. But this is it, and this is what we are voting on today. If my colleagues vote against the resolution, they are rubber stamping this. That is what they are doing.

2000 Ron Paul 45:8
Some argue that, yes, indeed the WTO is not quite perfect. But we need it. We need the WTO to manage this trade. But at the same time, they have no options. We cannot change the WTO. This is our only opportunity to vote and dissent on what is happening.

2000 Ron Paul 45:9
The people of this country are being galvanized in opposition to this. They never opposed GATT. GATT did not have the same authority as WTO. But now the WTO is being found to be very offensive to a lot of people around this country.

2000 Ron Paul 45:10
It is said that the WTO has no control over our sovereignty. That is like saying the U.N. has no control of our sovereignty. Yet what body in the world directs our foreign policy? Where do we send troops around the world? Why do we put our troops under U.N. command? Where do we get authority to march into Kosovo and Somalia? From the United Nations. The WTO is the same.

2000 Ron Paul 45:11
It is said that we do not have to listen to the WTO, but they threaten us with sanctions. They do not give us incentives. It is a threat, and we capitulate.

2000 Ron Paul 45:12
Mr. Speaker, let me remind those who would like to reform the WTO that we are helpless, Congress cannot do that. We need a unanimous consent vote from the WTO members. So that is not going to happen. Even the committee describes what we are talking about as a system of fair trade administered by the WTO. Fair trade, fine, we are all for fair trade, but who decides the WTO? That is not fair to the American citizens.

2000 Ron Paul 45:13
This is not an issue of trade. This is an issue of who gets to manage and decide whether it is fair trade or not. It is the issue of power, whether it is by the environmental bureaucrats or by the U.S. Congress. The one thing under this arrangement, the little farmer has very little say. He cannot get into the WTO and make a complaint. The great meat packers of the country may well.

2000 Ron Paul 45:14
The Financial Times does support the WTO, but this is what they said after NTR was passed. ‘Already, many Washington trade lawyers are smacking their lips at the thought of the fees to be earned from bringing dispute cases in the WTO against Chinese trade practices. Says one, what will China be like in the WTO? It is going to be hell on wheels.’

2000 Ron Paul 45:15
Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that the giant meat packers may well be represented at the WTO, but the small rancher and farmer is not. The same people who promote this type of international managed trade where we lose control and it is delivered to an international bureaucracy are the same ones who fight hard to prevent us trading with Cuba and selling our products there.

2000 Ron Paul 45:16
Essentially no one here advocating trade, as managed through the WTO, supports me in my efforts to open the Cuban markets to our farm products. There’s a lot of talk regarding free trade and open markets but little action. The support by the WTO advocates is for international managed trade along with subsidies to their corporate allies.

2000 Ron Paul 45:17
Let me say that reforms are not permissible. The Congress cannot reform the WTO. Only they can reform themselves. But they work in secret, and they have to have a unanimous vote. Our vote is equal to the country of Sudan. So do not expect it to ever be reformed. The only way we can voice our objection is with this resolution. And there will never be another chance to talk about the WTO for 5 more years.

2000 Ron Paul 45:18
Let me state that the Congress is required to state a constitutional justification for any legislation. The Committee on Ways and Means amazingly used article I, section 8 to justify their position on this bill. And let me state their constitutional justification. It says, ‘The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises.’ But the Constitution says the Congress. But what we are doing is allowing the WTO to dictate to us.

2000 Ron Paul 45:19
Even those on the Committee on Ways and Means said that they endorse this system of ‘fair trade administered by the WTO’. Who is going to decide what is fair? The WTO does. And they tell us what to do.

2000 Ron Paul 45:20
‘Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none, I deem one of the essential principles of our government and consequently one of those which ought to shape its administration.’ Thomas Jefferson.

2000 Ron Paul 45:21
Thomas Jefferson, I am sure, would be aghast at this WTO trade agreement. It is out of the hands of the Congress. It is put into the hands of unelected bureaucrats at the WTO. I would venture to guess even the Hamiltonians would be a bit upset with what we do with trade today. I am pro-trade. I have voted consistently to trade with other nations, with lowering tariffs. But I do not support managed trade by international bureaucrats. I do not support subsidized trade. Huge corporations in this country like the WTO because they have political clout with it. They like it because they have an edge on their competitors. They can tie their competitors up in court. And they can beat them at it because not everybody has access. One has to be a monied interest to have influence at the World Trade Organization.

2000 Ron Paul 45:22
Earlier today I predicted that we would win this debate. There is no doubt in my mind that we and the American people have won this debate. We will not win the votes, but we will do well. But we have won the debate because we speak for the truth and we speak for the Constitution and we speak for the American people. That is why we have won this debate. It is true there are a lot of complaints about the WTO from those who endorse it. I think the suggestion from the gentleman from Oregon is a good suggestion. Those who are uncomfortable with the WTO and they do not want to rubber-stamp it, and they do not think it is quite appropriate to vote ‘yes’ on this resolution, vote ‘present.’ Send a message. They deserve to hear the message. We have no other way of speaking out. Every 5 years, we get a chance to get out of the WTO--that’s it.

2000 Ron Paul 45:23
We cannot control the WTO. None of us here in the Congress has anything to say. You have to have a unanimous vote with WTO to change policy. Our vote is equal to all the 134 other countries; and, therefore, we have very little to say here in the U.S. Congress.

2000 Ron Paul 45:24
Why is it that I have allies on the other side of the aisle where we may well disagree on the specifics of labor law and environmental law. We agree that the American people have elected us, we have taken an oath of office to obey the Constitution, that we have a responsibility to them and we should decide what the labor law ought to be, we should decide what the environmental law should be, we should decide what the tax law should be. That is why we have an alliance.

2000 Ron Paul 45:25
But let me remind my colleagues, the American people are getting frustrated. They feel this sense of rejection and this loss of control. Why bother coming to us? We do not have control of the WTO and they feel like they are being hurt. This is the reason we are seeing demonstrations. They say if we did not have the WTO we would have anarchy? I predict chaos. I predict eventual chaos from WTO mismanagement. The trade agreement is unmanageable. They would like to do it in secrecy, and they like to wheel and deal; but it is unmanageable.

2000 Ron Paul 45:26
Let me say there is another reason why we expect chaos in the economy and in trade. It has to do with the trade imbalances. Today we are at record highs. The current account deficit hit another record yesterday. It is 4.5 percent of the GDP, and it is significant. But unfortunately the WTO can do nothing about that because that is a currency problem. It too causes chaos. Yet there will be an attempt by the WTO to share the problem of imbalances. Just think of how NAFTA came to the rescue of the Mexican peso immediately after NAFTA was approved; a $50 billion rescue for the politicians and the bankers who loaned money to Mexico.

2000 Ron Paul 45:27
Quite frankly, I have a suspicion that when the Chinese currency fails, that will be one of the things that we will do. China will be our trading partner. They are in the family of countries, so therefore we will bail out their currency. That is what I suspect will happen. Why else would the Chinese put up with the nonsense that we pass out about what we are going to do, investigate them and tell them how to write their laws? They have no intention of doing that. I think they are anxious to be with WTO because they may well see a need for their currency to be supported by our currency, which would be a tax on the American people.

2000 Ron Paul 45:28
This is a sovereignty issue. We do not have the authority in the U.S. House of Representatives to give our authority to the President. We do not have the authority and we should never permit the President to issue these executive orders the way he does, but this is going one step further. We have delivered this sovereignty power to an unelected bunch of bureaucrats at the WTO.
FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 310
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic ; Independents underlined )
       H J RES 90     YEA-AND-NAY     21-JUN-2000   9:44 PM
       QUESTION:  On Passage
       BILL TITLE:  Withdrawing the Approval of the United States from the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization


YEAS NAYS PRES NV
REPUBLICAN 33 182   6
DEMOCRATIC 21 181 3 6
INDEPENDENT 2      
TOTALS 56 363 3 12


— YEAS    56 —
Abercrombie Hall (TX) Peterson (MN)
Aderholt Hilleary Pombo
Baldwin Hostettler Rohrabacher
Barr Hunter Sanders
Bartlett Istook Scarborough
Bilirakis Jackson (IL) Schaffer
Bonior Jones (NC) Sensenbrenner
Brown (OH) Kaptur Smith (NJ)
Burton Kennedy Strickland
Chenoweth-Hage Kucinich Stupak
Coburn Lipinski Tancredo
Deal McKinney Taylor (MS)
DeFazio Metcalf Taylor (NC)
Doolittle Mink Traficant
Duncan Ney Wamp
Everett Norwood Waters
Gibbons Oberstar Weldon (FL)
Goode Obey Young (AK)
Goodling Paul

— NAYS    363 —
Ackerman Gilchrest Northup
Allen Gillmor Nussle
Andrews Gilman Olver
Archer Gonzalez Ortiz
Armey Goodlatte Ose
Baca Gordon Owens
Bachus Goss Oxley
Baird Graham Packard
Baker Granger Pallone
Baldacci Green (TX) Pascrell
Ballenger Green (WI) Pastor
Barcia Greenwood Payne
Barrett (NE) Gutierrez Pease
Barrett (WI) Gutknecht Pelosi
Barton Hall (OH) Peterson (PA)
Bass Hansen Petri
Bateman Hastings (FL) Phelps
Becerra Hastings (WA) Pickering
Bentsen Hayes Pickett
Bereuter Hayworth Pitts
Berkley Hefley Pomeroy
Berman Herger Porter
Berry Hill (IN) Portman
Biggert Hill (MT) Price (NC)
Bilbray Hilliard Pryce (OH)
Bishop Hinojosa Quinn
Blagojevich Hobson Radanovich
Bliley Hoeffel Rahall
Blumenauer Hoekstra Ramstad
Blunt Holden Regula
Boehlert Holt Reyes
Boehner Hooley Reynolds
Bonilla Horn Riley
Bono Houghton Rodriguez
Borski Hoyer Roemer
Boswell Hulshof Rogan
Boucher Hutchinson Rogers
Boyd Hyde Ros-Lehtinen
Brady (PA) Inslee Rothman
Brady (TX) Isakson Roukema
Brown (FL) Jackson-Lee (TX) Royce
Bryant Jenkins Rush
Burr John Ryan (WI)
Buyer Johnson (CT) Ryun (KS)
Callahan Johnson, E. B. Sabo
Calvert Johnson, Sam Salmon
Camp Jones (OH) Sanchez
Canady Kanjorski Sandlin
Cannon Kasich Sanford
Capps Kelly Sawyer
Capuano Kildee Saxton
Cardin Kilpatrick Schakowsky
Castle Kind (WI) Scott
Chabot King (NY) Sessions
Chambliss Kingston Shadegg
Clay Kleczka Shaw
Clayton Klink Shays
Clement Knollenberg Sherman
Clyburn Kolbe Sherwood
Coble LaFalce Shimkus
Collins LaHood Shows
Combest Lampson Simpson
Condit Lantos Sisisky
Conyers Largent Skeen
Cooksey Larson Skelton
Costello Latham Slaughter
Cox LaTourette Smith (MI)
Coyne Lazio Smith (TX)
Cramer Leach Smith (WA)
Crane Lee Snyder
Crowley Levin Souder
Cubin Lewis (CA) Spence
Cummings Lewis (GA) Spratt
Cunningham Lewis (KY) Stabenow
Danner Linder Stark
Davis (FL) LoBiondo Stearns
Davis (IL) Lofgren Stenholm
Davis (VA) Lowey Stump
DeGette Lucas (KY) Sununu
Delahunt Lucas (OK) Sweeney
DeLauro Luther Talent
DeMint Maloney (CT) Tanner
Deutsch Maloney (NY) Tauscher
Diaz-Balart Manzullo Tauzin
Dickey Markey Terry
Dicks Martinez Thomas
Dingell Mascara Thompson (CA)
Dixon Matsui Thompson (MS)
Doggett McCarthy (MO) Thornberry
Dooley McCarthy (NY) Thune
Doyle McCollum Thurman
Dreier McCrery Tiahrt
Dunn McDermott Tierney
Edwards McGovern Toomey
Ehlers McHugh Towns
Ehrlich McInnis Turner
Emerson McIntyre Udall (CO)
Engel McKeon Udall (NM)
English McNulty Upton
Eshoo Meehan Velazquez
Etheridge Meek (FL) Visclosky
Evans Meeks (NY) Vitter
Ewing Menendez Walden
Farr Mica Walsh
Fattah Millender-McDonald Watkins
Filner Miller (FL) Watt (NC)
Fletcher Miller, Gary Watts (OK)
Foley Miller, George Waxman
Forbes Minge Weiner
Ford Moakley Weldon (PA)
Fossella Mollohan Weller
Fowler Moore Wexler
Frank (MA) Moran (KS) Weygand
Franks (NJ) Moran (VA) Whitfield
Frelinghuysen Morella Wicker
Frost Murtha Wilson
Gallegly Myrick Wise
Ganske Nadler Wolf
Gejdenson Napolitano Woolsey
Gekas Neal Wu
Gephardt Nethercutt Young (FL)
























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