Sovereignty, is your Country a Sovereign?
Sovereign: Chief, Highest, One possessing the supreme power and authority of a state. Having independent authority.
Sovereignty: Power to govern without external control.
I always believed each country was Sovereign. That is, each country created it’s own government, that rights and liberty were defined by the people with that government, and people were obliged to follow the law and rule of that government. Government also decided what was best regarding it’s own assets, money, natural resources, society.
Now, the WTO (World Trade Organization) run by “appointed”persons who write their own law, enforce their law, without consideration of a countries law, constitution, or courts. I would say our countries are no longer sovereign. WTO has all power, WTO is not an elected body at all.
This week ( by 03 10 01) President Bush’s administration is required by NAFTA to announce that Mexican long-haul trucks will be allowed onto U.S. highways - where they have long been banned over concerns about safety - rather than stopping at the border.
Canada sued to shut down it’s Post Office, and “privatise”.
the Post Office? United Parcel Service, the package-delivery company,
has filed a complaint contending that the very existence of the publicly
financed Canadian postal system represents unfair competition that conflicts
Canada's obligations under Nafta. Critics worry that if the tribunal upholds the U.P.S. claim, government participation in any service that competes with the private sector will be threatened. It is clear that investors have gained a shield far more powerful than almost anyone had imagined when Nafta was written in the early 1990's.
Governor Davis of California, pursuing the wishes of Californians banned MTBE, the carcinogenic gasoline additive that has been leaking into the ground water in Santa Monica, Lake Tahoe and 10,000 wells throughout California. Did you think the problem was under control after Gov. Gray Davis ordered a phase out of the chemical by 2002? Better think again. . Methanex’s stock lost $150 million in the 10 days following Davis’ announcement of his phase out order. So Methanex is suing California in a NAFTA trade tribunal for that and future losses to the tune of $1 billion.
Canada has no Sovereignty either. In a case much like Methanex’s, the Ethyl Corp. of the U.S. sued Canada for banning Ethyl’s toxic gasoline additive, MMT. Advised that it would lose the NAFTA case, Canada apologized to Ethyl, paid $13 million to settle and repealed its law.
S.D. Myers Inc., an Ohio firm that incinerates PCBs, is suing Canada for $20 million in lost business, under NAFTA, after Canada, fulfilling its obligation under an international environmental treaty, forbade shipments of PCBs out of the country.
A Canadian funeral business, Loewen Group Inc., is suing the U.S. for $725 million because a large jury verdict in Mississippi found it had engaged in fraud. The civil court and jury system of Mississippi, says Loewen, amounts to an unfair burden on its business, entitling it to compensation under NAFTA from the U.S. government. Mississippi and US Courts are no longer Sovereign.
Mexico banned a hazardous waste dump, which would pollute their water and air. Metalclad, is suing Mexico for $90 million via NAFTA for the lost business opportunity to run a hazardous waste dump in San Luis Potosi after angry residents objected. Mexico no longer is sovereign.
NAFTA Regulatory Takings Clause
The regulatory takings clause is but one of numerous provisions in NAFTA assuring that, when trade clashes with the environment or social values, trade always wins. The same is true of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, (GATT) the proposed Africa Trade Bill (ATB) and proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). The drafters of these documents, ignorant of basic ecological economics, assumed that we would always be better off if trade trumped all other values, including Mother Nature. The environment, labor and human rights are systematically subordinated to trade in all these laws. Thus, under the GATT, we have recently lost challenges to our federal laws on dolphins, sea turtles and dirty imported gasoline.
A NAFTA Claim is a legal complaint submitted by a NAFTA Investor who has suffered loss by reason of a breach of certain NAFTA provisions by a NAFTA Party. The claim is heard by an international tribunal, normally composed of three members appointed by the Investor and the NAFTA Party being sued. Tribunals are formed under the Investor's choice of commercial arbitration rules laid out by either the World Bank (through its International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes - the ICSID) or by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (under the UNCITRAL Rules).
NAFTA is a trade organization of the America’s. It seems to me a test of how the other “Unions” of countries will take control of those countries. The World Trade Organization (WTO) will “head” these organizations and unions and does direct what the countries will do. They are deciding how health and retirement will be administered as well as how resources will be utilized. The US Law and Constitution, The European Common Law established from the Magna Carta have been destroyed. Please see what “they” are doing, actions DO speak louder than words.
Bruce Eggum Wisconsin USA http://members.tripod.com/Eggyy/