Two Cheers For GATT

Policy Backgrounders | Trade

No. 135
Friday, November 25, 1994
by James Bovard


Every decrease in trade barriers means an increase in individuals' sovereignty over their own lives. We as American citizens will have more sovereignty over our lives if American politicians have less power over our economic choices.

The issue is not the U.S. government versus World Government but more versus less government. By reducing trade barriers, the GATT will decrease the power of politicians and bureaucrats over private citizens. Trade is a symbol of economic opportunity. Though GATT has blemishes, it will result in more economic opportunity for the citizens of the world.

It is understandable that some free traders are skeptical of a trade agreement championed by once-protectionist politicians. Free traders should monitor the agreement and remain poised to force U.S. withdrawal if the WTO becomes a parody of itself. Further, free traders must redouble the effort to convince all Americans that trade barriers are anathema to American energy and freedom.

"The issue is not the U.S. government versus World Government, but more versus less government."

The great challenge of the 1990s is to limit government power and restore our sovereignty over our own lives. The GATT and the WTO are steps in the right direction.

James Bovard is the author of The Fair Trade Fraud (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991) and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994).

NOTE: Nothing written here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the National Center for Policy Analysis or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.

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