Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Free Trade in exchange for Human/Worker's Rights

Globalization is inevitable. As travel around the world is inexpensive now and communicating across the continents is instantaneous and free with email, nothing is going to change it. Instead of fighting globalization, we should make an attempt to make free trade and travel improve people's livelihoods across the world. The United States should foster this growth because it helps people’s well-being in other nations and creates middle classes and stability in former dictatorships. Granting free access to our 16 trillion dollar economy, limiting access through tariffs, or denying entry fir the world's worst nations would be a gigantic incentive for foreign governments to improve their human rights records.

One excellent example on how such a policy would improve the world is China. We should support free trade with developed nations with comprehensive labor laws to protect those people’s workers because workers' rights are human rights. If a country which currently lacks in human and/or labor rights laws received a huge tariff for transactions with the United States they would be forced to change. The goal of such an action is to improve the lives of people across the planet without having money fall right into the hands of those who abuse the people.

We should also give free trade to any country that protects workers’ rights as long as other human rights are not being broken. We could pressure on developing economies to develop trade union laws by putting a 30% tariff on imports from countries that we do not have free trade with, but once fair labor laws are established along with basic human rights laws the United States should allow free trade. This will improve the status of other countries and provide markets for goods and improving everyone's quality of life. Countries that infringe on the human rights of their citizens or long-term residents (the State Department will be instructed to treat both equally and with no distinction) would have their free trade removed, and tariffs appropriate to their international crimes.

Fighting free trade like the AFL-CIO has been doing is a losing battle with globalization and the internet. No progress has been made for 20 years, it clearly isn't working. Global corporations are here and with that comes immense pressure for free trade. Many on the left have tried to prevent free trade and have fought globalization but with the increase in communication and trade around the world would mean ending globalization at this point is impossible. By doing this they have left the table and have had no input because they are so extreme.So, we need to make sure all of our free trade agreements are based on equal terms to fight exploitation, which will benefit people not just in America by preventing the exporting of jobs for cheaper wages by global corporations, but prevent the exploitation of poor people across the world who work for far less than America.

One last step would be tying it with visa-free travel for American citizens which will increase people-to-people communication and help undermine foreign tyrannies.

This would be a better world with these types of laws, but just opposing free trade and being an ideological purist won't make a meaningful difference. It never has.

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