Tuesday, December 04, 2007

International trade tribunals seen trumping state laws

Its just a matter of time until CAFTA and/or NAFTA and the WTO will bite you in the ass. You had better wake up.

Read the article and then forward a link to it to your Congress critter. Its a piece of cake in Yahoo! mail or Gmail. You just highlight some words, click on the "link" button and paste a URL.
A Canadian company wants to open a new plant in Claremont, N.H., to bottle fresh water from a source in Stockbridge, Vt.

But if Vermont wants to limit how much water the company takes, it may run afoul of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

States around the country are growing increasingly worried about the threats posed to their laws and regulations by the secret tribunals that resolve disputes in international trade. Experts say everything from environmental rules to the licensing of nurses and other professionals could be affected.

"Free trade agreements are to state sovereignty and economic development what global climate change is to the environment and natural resources," said state Sen. Virginia Lyons, D-Chittenden. "I think it's a really significant issue for our state, and for every state in the country."

Vermont is one of seven states to establish committees to study the possible impacts of international trade on their laws.

Assistant Vermont Attorney General Elliot Burg said NAFTA and other trade agreements have opened up a path for international companies that want to circumvent state laws they don't like.

"The issue is not really fair treatment or equal treatment" of domestic versus foreign companies, Burg said. "It's really, `We don't like the laws you're passing.'"

I would suggest you be more civil than I am on this blog. My missives to Congress critters almost never contain any profanity beyond "hell" or "damn". They are rather prudish over there and chuck emails which contain overt outrage.

Via Boston Globe.

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