The idea of a fair and reciprocal trade deal between two independent nations seems like an easily achievable, and even noble goal. In theory, two world leaders should be able to sit down, hash out the details, and agree to terms that benefit workers and increase social mobility. Yet we see hurdle after hurdle in the way of nailing down these deals. Is it possible that someone or something is actively working against the implementation of free trade agreements?
It is not just President Trump who is having difficulties getting deals closed. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has just spent two and a half years in negotiations and walked away with a Brexit deal that will likely end her premiership. Could it be that in this age of service industries, online mega-businesses, and complicated financial products, it is just too hard to create a level playing field?
The reality is that bilateral free trade deals are not being sealed because supranational groups have a vested interest in stopping them. The European Union, for example, does not allow the 28 nations (soon to be 27) within its grasp to negotiate their own trade agreements. It is against “E.U. Law.” This allows the E.U. to secure power for itself and its institutions.
The purpose of NAFTA is to spread decision-making ability across a wider platform; if the U.S. wishes to engage in car trade outside of the continental area, there is an impact – and therefore an interest – in both Canada and Mexico providing input.
By tying countries into trade arrangements that are not bilateral, and that require permissions and consultation with other trade partners, a nation cedes an element of its sovereignty.
A clever and manipulative campaign has long been in place to stigmatize those who claim that some world leaders seek a “centralized world government” as lunatics and fringe dwellers. Yet what is a customs union if not an agreement to devolve certain decision-making abilities to an overseeing authority?
Much to the surprise of the British people, upon voting to leave the European Union in 2016, they discovered that not one of their elected leaders was willing to just walk away… as was mandated by the historic vote. Instead, after years of negotiation, Britain looks set to remain within the customs union until such time as the E.U. deigns to let the once proud nation scuttle away, if ever.
As part of Theresa May’s “deal,” the U.K. will be unable to make trade deals with other nations even after it has left the bloc. Why? Because we are approaching an era in which nations will be forbidden from exercising sovereign will.
The United Nation
Much of the world looks on at the United Nations organization as a benevolent force that merely allows individual countries to cooperate on a global level. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Consider the UN’s the Global Compact on Migration. This is an arrangement that will effectively make the act of designating an illegal immigrant illegal. Nations will not be able to set their own immigration policies, and all signatories will be expected to embrace the hundreds of millions of economic migrants that will be (under this compact) granted automatic rights within a host nation.
It is far easier to sign the nation’s sovereignty away if no one knows it’s happening.
Of course, nations that do not wish to sign up to this are free to refuse. In fact, President Trump has already withdrawn the U.S. from the agreement. This has not been widely publicized, and few people even know what the compact is about. Why would Trump’s opponents not be calling him out over this?
No one is talking about this agreement for one very simple reason: By 2024, Donald Trump will be gone from office, and the next person along will be able to sign the United States up to the compact and all it entails. If those who wish to cede more power – the power over immigration laws and regulations – to a supranational body were to berate the president today over his withdrawal, the American people would then be aware that such a compact exists. It is far easier to sign the nation’s sovereignty away if no one knows it’s happening.
Sadly, a successful trade deal does not rely only on two leaders sitting down over a few pots of steaming hot coffee. The groundwork, propositions, and outlines are done by civil servants, by a permanent, deep-rooted layer of government … and they don’t even want your country to exist, let alone prosper.