Ron Paul
2000 Ron Paul Chapter 46

World Trade Organization

21 June 2000

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2000 Ron Paul 46:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2000 Ron Paul 46:2
Mr. PAUL. 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 46:3
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 46:4
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 46:5
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 46:6
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 46:7
It is the same sort of thing. It is incrementalism. People say we can always oppose it. That is sort of like saying in 1913, The income tax is not all that bad; it is only 1 percent placed on the rich. We don’t have to worry about it. But before we know it, it is out of control. There is incrementalism here to be concerned about.

2000 Ron Paul 46:8
To the issue of whether or not we are obligated to follow the WTO rules, Congressional Research Service on August 25, 1999, did a study on the WTO. Their interpretation is this:

2000 Ron Paul 46:9
“As a member of the WTO, the United States does commit to act in accordance with the rules of the multilateral body. It is legally obligated to ensure national laws do not conflict with WTO rules.”

2000 Ron Paul 46:10
That is why we will be very soon changing our tax laws to go along with what the WTO tells us to do. In an article recently written by D. Augustino, he says:

2000 Ron Paul 46:11
“On June 5, WTO Director General Michael Moore emphasized the obedience to WTO rulings as not optional. Quote, the dispute settlement mechanism is unique in the international architecture. WTO member governments bind themselves to the outcome from panels and if necessary the appellate body. That is why the WTO has attracted so much attention from all sorts of groups who wish to use this mechanism to advance their interests.”

2000 Ron Paul 46:12
Indeed, this is a treaty that we are obligated to follow. It is an illegal treaty because it was never ratified by the Senate. Even if it had been, it is not legal because you cannot transfer authority to an outside body. It is the U.S. Congress that has the authority to regulate foreign commerce. Nobody else. We will change our tax law and obey the WTO. And just recently, the European Union has complained to us because we do not tax sales on the Internet, and they are going to the WTO to demand that we change that law; and if they win, we will have to change our law. The other side of the argument being, We don’t have to do it. We don’t have to do it if we don’t want to. But then we are not a good member as we promised to be. Then what does the WTO do? They punish us with punitive sanctions, with tariffs. It is a managed trade war operated by the WTO and done in secrecy, without us having any say about it because it is out of our hands. It is a political event now. You have to have access to the U.S. Trade Representative for your case to be heard. This allows the big money, the big corporations to be heard and the little guy gets ignored.

2000 Ron Paul 46:13
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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