With court systems and property rights laws that rank among the strongest in the world, one cannot possibly argue that it is necessary for the EU and United States to allow foreign corporations to skirt domestic legal systems in order to attract their investment.
We need to think differently about trade. First, let me say that I am 100% in favor of trade. Trade is when we do what we do best, they do what they do best, and we trade. Trade, done right, will raise living standards.
Given that around 26 states in the U.S. have moved to enact more comprehensive labeling requirements for GMOs, any trade measures that could threaten the rights of U.S. citizens to democratically determine higher standards in food labeling, should be opposed.
The majority of binding and enforceable rulings of the WTO and those of other trade bodies such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) demonstrate a consistent pattern of lowering food, environmental, labor, or consumer safety standards in behest to trade agendas.
Momentum seems to be gaining this week on the idea of a Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA). But if the joint White House-European Union committee exploring the topic is to be of any value, it needs to examine a key corollary to free trade -- labor mobility.
There's a buzz in both Berlin and D.C. these days for free trade as a potential path back to growth for ailing economies. Indeed, a Transatlantic Free Trade area would be a very good idea -- but a highly regulated trade area would not deliver the benefits promised.