Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Made in the U.S.A.

According to a report in the Washington Times, the World Trade Organization wants to eliminate country-of-origin labels and replace them with “Made in the World” labels.  Their justification is that we need to “reduce public opposition to free trade” and “re-engineer global governance.

We didn’t even know there were any Made in the U.S.A. labels left anymore.  I saw one – I think it was on one of my Tea Party tee shirts.  Apparently, the WTO has heard the Tea Party message, or listened to GBTV, and is concerned about global discrimination.  We’re so used to seeing labels that say “Made in” everyplace from China to Timbuktu, that it’s a shock to see a “Made in the U.S.A.” label.

Americans aren’t opposed to free trade; they’re opposed to unfair trade and trade imbalances, something for which we can thank the private unions who drove manufacturing from America’s shores.  But hey; they got theirs.  Look for the union label, not the “Made in the U.S.A.” label.  General Motors’ union members are sitting pretty.

Then there’s the part about re-engineering global governance.  Eliminating the country of origin label robs American consumers of their ability to make a choice about whether to buy a product.  “Made in Bangladesh”?  Hey, wait a minute; they’re a Muslim country, albeit an extremely poor one.  Worse still, “Made in Pakistan”; that’s a label in one of my garments.

“Made in China” is the most ubiquitous label.  For generations, it’s been hard to find any product, whether it be clothing, shoes, toys, pet food, that isn’t made in China.  China has a centuries-long history of not playing fairly in international trade.  She’s famous for her lack of conscience when it comes to intellectual property rights.  Anyone doing business there knows they must do so with a caveat:  China recognizes no trademark or copyright laws, and it’s very difficult to set up a business there, unless you’re related to someone or have enough money to bribe someone.  The Chinese people are fine; their government is something else again.

The Washington Times warns, “As the saying goes, information is power, and at a time of increased globalization when an increased number of products are imported to America from countries few of us would consider friends or allies, Americans should be able to steer the global economy in a direction that best benefits America with the consumer power that would come with more information on product labels – not less.

“An America that prides itself on independence and celebrates that independence every year on July 4 should want absolutely no part in allowing the advancement of global governance that aims to eliminate the one thing that allows American consumers to know from where the products they buy originate: The “Made in USA” label.”

This news comes hard on the heels of Obama’s latest Executive Order.  On May 1st, he signed a new Executive Order which opens the door for the United States to give up economic and environmental sovereignty through the promotion of a single international regulatory system.

This regulatory system would seek to globally streamline cooperation between nations for trade, environmental, and legislative processes on the international stage.

Section 1. Policy. Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), states that our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. In an increasingly global economy, international regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting the goals of Executive Order 13563.

The new Executive Order implements the order of Jan. 18, 2011.

It’s going to take Mitt Romney most of his first term just to undo all the damage Obama has done to our country.  Those of who were “Made in the U.S.A.” need to do everything we can to make sure that that label sticks.


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