Saturday, August 15, 2015

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Has No Allegiance to United States

Two decades ago, Ralph Nader wrote to one hundred American companies asking them to pledge allegiance to the United States before every stockholder meeting, since all of them accepted federal government subsidies and tax breaks.  Only one company responded favorably.  All others dismissed or jeered at his request.

Business interests see themselves as transnationalist.  They have no allegiance to the United States.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce exemplifies this ideology.  They have a history of siding with our enemies.  Some would say they’re in league with countries that wish to do us harm.  An Iranian news agency reported the Chamber and several other business groups were secretly conspiring to undermine U.S. policy by torpedoing economic sanctions.  The U.S. Chamber denied these allegations of course.  However, the end result is working out in their favor.

We must ask ourselves, why is it that republican senators would pass a law that would circumvent the treaty processes in the U.S. Constitution?  Who in their right mind would allow Barack Obama a free hand in negotiating with our enemies by giving him the authority to veto the Senate’s rejection of his so-called “executive agreement” with Iran?  We don’t have to look any farther than the U.S Chamber of Commerce.

We can also surmise that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is behind Barack Obama’s reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, and eventual lifting of the trade embargo .  Here is an excerpt from one of their press releases:

Over the past 30 years, some sanctions legislation has imposed restrictions on commercial activity in an extraterritorial fashion that incites economic, diplomatic, and legal conflicts with our allies. In the past, U.S. laws imposing restrictions on the activities of European subsidiaries of U.S. multinationals have met with intense resistance from European governments. While the United States eventually lifted the restrictions, the damage to its foreign policy goals had been done. 

Not only do such moves undermine efforts to build a consensus for multilateral action, they make the United States more vulnerable to international commercial complaints. They can also damage U.S. leadership by greatly expanding the universe of entities subject to countersanctions to include insurers, creditors, and foreign subsidiaries.

There is no better example of the ineffectiveness of U.S. unilateral sanctions than Washington's policy toward Cuba. Implemented in October 1960 to pressure Fidel Castro to democratize, the Cuban embargo arguably has helped prop up the current regime. No one seriously argues that the Cuban dictatorship could have withstood five decades of free trade, free markets, and free enterprise, powered by its own entrepreneurial citizens.

While the current isolation of Cuba has far outlasted its original purpose, U.S. policies impose real costs. A March 2010 study by Texas A&M University indicates that easing restrictions on agricultural exports and lifting the travel ban could result in up to $365 million in additional sales of U.S. goods and create 6,000 new jobs in the United States. 

A comprehensive review of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions is overdue. From the five-decade old embargo on Cuba to proposals for extraterritorial sanctions on other countries, unilateral sanctions bring a host of unintended and unhelpful consequences. It's time to put an end to these damaging policies.

 Of course, we’re expected to believe Cuba will unleash their entrepreneurial spirit with this wave of U.S. commerce when in reality only the Castro regime will profit off of this infusion of cash.  We can also expect the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to pick the pockets of taxpayers to fund their dictatorial ventures.


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