Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

NAFTA

letsgetitdone's picture

The Volcker Rule Doesn't Violate NAFTA

This one is for the Finance Minister of Canada, Joe Oliver. He erroneously claims that the Volcker rule, implemented as part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, violates The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed into law on December 8, 1993.

Oliver says that the Volcker Rule prohibits US banks from trading AAA rated Canadian Government debt thereby violating free trade under NAFTA. The US government has denied any such violation.

I think the US Government has the better of this one. And it's interesting to consider why this is true.

According to our fundamental legal document, the Constitution of the United States, NAFTA isn't a treaty concluded by the United States with Canada and Mexico. Instead it is what is known as a Congressional-Executive Agreement (CEA). The difference between such an agreement and a treaty, is that a CEA requires presidential approval and plurality votes in both Houses of Congress legislating the agreement; while a treaty requires presidential submission of a negotiated agreement to the Senate for ratification by 2/3 of that body.

Another difference is that a treaty takes precedence over mere laws. It is subordinate only to the provisions of the Constitution itself. In contrast, Congressional-Executive Agreements have no explicit status in the Constitution and amount to no more than new legislation passing the Congress and signed by the President, superceding previous laws when in conflict with them, and being superceded by laws conflicting with them that are passed after the Congressional-Executive Agreement was. Read more about The Volcker Rule Doesn't Violate NAFTA

letsgetitdone's picture

A Credibility Problem?

President Obama's remarks to the Business Roundtable on Trade raise alarm bells for us all, and suggest that he is still pushing his pro- 1% agenda for all it is worth. Perhaps it would be better if Congress just treated him as a lame duck from here on in. Here are a number of statements from his talk and answers to questions, and my comments on them. Read more about A Credibility Problem?

mellon's picture

Since our horrible US Media is blacking out all intelligent news of the anti-democratic Trade Pacts, get the scoop from a Canadian NGO's great pubs!

This post is to pass along these few URLs:

Policy Alternatives is a Canadian NGO that publishes a lot of stuff about the various FTA's that Canada has signed. Most of them the US has also signed so the issues discussed also apply to the US. But for some reason you will never ever find anything even remotely resembling an intelligent discussion about these FTAs in the US media.

So, thank you, PolicyAlternatives-

Here's how to get the best use out of their info- Read more about Since our horrible US Media is blacking out all intelligent news of the anti-democratic Trade Pacts, get the scoop from a Canadian NGO's great pubs!

mellon's picture

My Cautionary Tale about Free Trade Agreements, Healthcare, Presidents, Parties and Lying. Is Everything We've Been Told, Wrong?

Thread: 

[Stickying this because it's important! --lambert]

I'm going to try to write a short piece about a really horrible disconnection that has occurred between the politicians who run the country and its people. The conflict of interest between free trade agreements and the special interests and politicians that enable them, and affordable healthcare. It threatens our country's future and democracy.

Over the last week in several comment threads I've pointed folks to the Nick Skala paper "The potential impact of the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services on health system reform and regulation in the United States" which I think explains a lot that needs to be known in the US about the goals and amoral value system of the so called "free trade agreements". Read more about My Cautionary Tale about Free Trade Agreements, Healthcare, Presidents, Parties and Lying. Is Everything We've Been Told, Wrong?

danps's picture

How the decline in CO2 emissions is like NAFTA

The quality of reporting on fracking in large outlets has been of varying quality. Day-to-day coverage of the latest developments is usually pretty good, but bigger picture trend pieces have a tendency to be positively fawning towards the industry. A couple of recent articles in the New York Times have been particularly bad, and one of them also foreshadowed an additional development.

The first was a credulous look at how great fracking is for the communities it occurs in. We are told how fat fracking checks are "swelling the bank accounts of some working-class families" in "amounts the recipients say are a bit disorienting." Even better: "More is probably on the way, potentially much more." So these struggling families have suddenly had their financial anxieties erased, their future incomes assured. I'm sure the ombudsman would say that the hazards of fracking were beyond the scope of the article, but wow does it read like a love letter.1 Read more about How the decline in CO2 emissions is like NAFTA

Subscribe to RSS - NAFTA