VIEWSrnIt’s Sovereignty, Stupid!rnby William R. HawkinsrnOn March 18, President Bill Clinton tested the waters onrnthe foreign trade issue. These waters had been heated uprnby Republican contender Patrick l^uchanan’s attacks on “unfairrntrade deals,” which had hurt Americans for the benefit ofrntransnational corporations. Speaking in New Orieans, Clintonrndefended his “free trade” policies, quoting John F. Kennedyrnand citing the jobs created at the city’s sprawling NashvillernAvenue Wharf. What he did not mention was that in 1995,rnthe United States suffered the largest merchandise trade deficitrnin its history, amounting to $ 175 billion—a sum larger than thernfederal budget deficit. He also did not note that many of thernworkers at the busy Gulf Coast port spent their time unloadingrnproducts manufactured in foreign lands. These goods werernthen sent inland to throw other Americans out of their jobs,rnreducing the industrial capacity and national wealth of thernUnited States.rnYet, as damaging as 20 years of trade deficits have been, theyrnare only the result of a far more dangerous notion, one thatrnstrikes not just at the prosperity of America but at its very survivalrnas an independent society. It is the loss of nationalrnsovereignty that prevents actions being taken to end the traderndeficit and rebuild a high-wage economy: the surrender of thernright of the American people, acting through their elected government,rnto control their destiny, which is being passed tornsupranational entities of the New World Order, such as thernWorld Trade Organization (WTO).rnWhen the WTO issued its first ruling in January, no one wasrnsurprised that it was directed against the United States. ThernWTO was established to curb the power and independence ofrnmajor nations like the United States and to give smaller nationsrnWilliam R. Hawkins is Senior Research Analyst on the staff ofrnRepresentative Duncan Hunter (R-CA). The views expressedrnare his own.rna vehicle for penetrating and exploiting the large and affluentrnAmerican economy. A three-member WTO panel, composedrnof judges from Hong Kong, Finland, and New Zealand, declaredrnEPA regulations governing the Clean Air Act’s reformulatedrngasoline standards to be unfair to oil refiners in Venezuela.rnIn response to the verdict, the Venezuelan Oil Minister ErwinrnArrieta exclaimed, “1 hope we can now take back the naturalrnmarket of the U.S.” Brazil, Norway, and the European Communityrnwere arrayed with Venezuela as “interested parties” inrnthe dispute.rnThe Clinton administration did not immediately state itrnwould appeal, but did eventually mount an effort. On April 29,rna three-judge panel comprised of judges from the Philippines,rnJapan, and New Zealand rejected that appeal, which can onlyrnbe made once, and on procedural grounds. A WTO decisionrncan never be assailed on the grounds that the judges did notrnthink through the issue properly; only that they did not followrnthe WTO’s own rules. Thus, it is highly unlikely that a decisionrnwill ever be overturned.rnThis is also the problem with the creation of an American reviewrncommission, which Senator Robert Dole, then the MinorityrnLeader, proposed as his price for endorsing WTO in 1994.rnDole’s suggested commission of retired federal judges would alsornbe limited to reviewing cases the United States lost only inrnterms of whether the WTO followed its own rules, not onrnwhether the country got a fair hearing or a tolerable outcome.rnDole, of course, has made no effort to establish such a commission,rneven though as Majority Leader he could have broughtrnthis bill to the floor at any time and passed it. This is just asrnwell. Such a commission could easily have become a vehiclernfor granting an explicit American stamp of approval for WTOrnprocedures and thus for defusing popular or congressionalrnreactions to decisions hostile to American interests.rnLike the original case, the appeal was a first, a precedent-rn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn