Repeal the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
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PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES
We the People of the United States do hereby petition our duly elected representatives in both Houses of Congress, to initiate action to repeal the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and thereby terminate our membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The basis of this petition and associated grievances are as follows:
On April 1, 1994, representatives from one-hundred thirteen nations of the world, including the United States, met in Marrakech, Morocco to sign the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations commonly known as GATT. By signing the Final Act, our representatives agreed to submit GATT to Congress for approval and adoption.
On December 1, 1994, Congress enacted the Final Act of the Uruguay round of GATT. Shortly thereafter, President Clinton signed this bill and GATT, with all its Agreements including those establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), became United States Law.
The substance of this petition is based upon the Articles of the Final Act which are repugnant to and in direct violation of several key provisions of our constitution.
ARTICLES ESTABLISHING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION:
Article I. The WTO is hereby established.
Article II, Paragraph 1. The WTO shall provide the common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations among its Members in matters related to the agreements and associated legal instruments included in the Annexes to this Agreement.
Article II, Paragraph 2. The agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1, 2 and 3 are integral parts of this Agreement, binding on all Members.
Article III, Paragraph 3. The WTO shall administer the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes in Annex 2 to this Agreement.
Article XVI, Paragraph 4. Each Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements.
Article XVI, Paragraph 5. No reservations may be made in respect of any provision of this Agreement.
APPLICABLE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS:
Article I, Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.
Article I, Section 8. The Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into Execution this power.
Article III, Section 1. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in One Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
Article V. The Congress, whenever two thirds of both house shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution.
Grievance 1. Wrongful Assignment of Congress Legislative Power
The Multilateral Trade Agreements established by GATT, under the guise of the WTO, are legally binding upon member nations and establish that member nations will, without reservation, agree to ensure their laws, regulations, and administrative procedures conform to those established by the WTO. Furthermore, if member nations are unable to negotiate a mutually satisfactory solution to a dispute or controversy, then the WTO may adopt a solution as recommended by its Panels. This ruling is legally binding upon the disputing parties and all other member nations of the WTO. Therefore, when a Panel ruling is adopted by the WTO, the WTO has performed a legislative act that is legally binding upon member nations and their citizens.
Article I, Section 1, of our Constitution states that the legislative powers of our Nation will be vested in Congress. If rulings adopted by the WTO are legislative acts legally binding upon member nations, then a part of the legislative power granted to Congress by the Constitution is no longer vested in Congress, but instead, has been assigned to the WTO. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given authority to assign any part of its legislative powers to a second party. The wording of Article I, Section 1, is clear; all legislative powers shall be vested in Congress. If, as has been demonstrated, some of the legislative power of Congress is now vested in the WTO, then this is in clear violation of Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution.
Grievance 2. Wrongful Abridgment of Citizen Voting Rights
Our Constitution provides that the people of this Nation will elect those who make our laws. However, Grievance 1 established that under GATT, Congress has wrongfully assigned some of its legislative power to the WTO. If the legislative power vested in Congress is divided between Congress and the WTO, as is the case, and United States citizens do not vote for WTO representatives, then it follows that the voters of this Nation do not vote for those who exercise the assigned legislative power. If the voting citizens of this Nation no longer vote for those who establish all of our laws, then the voting rights of Americans have been abridged in violation of our Constitution.
Grievance 3. Wrongful Assignment of the Power to Regulate Commerce with Foreign Nations.
The Uruguay Round of GATT, Article II, Paragraph 1, states that, the WTO shall provide the common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations among its Members in matters related to the agreements and associated legal instruments included in the Annexes to this Agreement. In contrast, Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution states that Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution this power. Nowhere in our Constitution is Congress given authority to assign its power to regulate commerce with foreign nations to a second party or to bestow authority upon that second party to make trade laws that are legally binding upon Americans. If Panel rulings are legally binding upon Americans, which they are, then this is in clear violation of Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution.
Grievance 4. Wrongful Assignment of the Judicial Power of the Supreme Court.
The Uruguay Round of GATT establishes a procedure, whereby, if a member nation of the WTO is offended by an existing United States law, that nation can bring this issue or controversy before the a Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) for resolution. If the DSB adopts a Panel report in favor of the offended Nation, as a condition of our membership in the WTO, we have pre- agreed without reservation, to nullify the offending law. Therefore, DSB adopted rulings are superior to and can result in the repeal of United States law. Article III, Section 1 of our Constitution, provides that the judicial power of this Nation shall be vested in our Supreme Court. The GATT accord establishes that the WTO now retains some of the judicial power vested in the Supreme Court by our Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given authority to assign the judicial power of the Supreme Court to a second party. If WTO rulings have the legal authority to repeal United States, which they do, then this is in clear violation of Article III, Sections 1 of our Constitution.
Grievance 5. Wrongful Change in Primary Governmental Functions by a Simple Legislative Act
A constitution is sacred to a Nation because of its three fundamental purposes; it establishes government, establishes how government will function, and protects the rights of citizens. All Constitutions include a procedure for amending its provisions. This amendment procedure is rigorous to preclude frivolous change and demands a higher level of passage than a simple legislative act. Therefore, changing any Constitution through a simple legislative act is unconstitutional because it bypasses the more demanding amendment process and the protections provided therein.
If a fundamental purpose of our Constitution is to establish how our government functions and two prime functions of our government are to establish and review laws, then it follows that any significant change to our legislative or judicial review processes must be made by amendment. This truth is fundamental and self-evident. Clearly, it is wrong to allow a lower level procedure established by the Constitution to change procedures provided for in the Constitution, when a higher level procedure is included for this expressed purpose. Therefore, any ordinary legislative act which results in a change to how our government functions is unconstitutional because it trivializes the amendment process and by extension, the Constitution itself.
When Congress passed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade thereby establishing this Nation as a member of the World Trade Organization, it did so through a simple majority vote on a trade bill. Unfortunately, WTO membership entails far more than just a trade agreement because the organization was constituted to govern world trade through a dispute settlement process. This dispute settlement process supersedes and replaces the legislative and legislative review processes established by our Constitution and therefore, as demonstrated in Grievances 1, 2, 3, & 4, constitute a fundamental and significant change in how our government functions and operates. These fundamental and significant changes are as follows:
Subject to final approval by the President, Congress enacted all laws governing this Nation and its people.
The people of this Nation voted directly for those who made our laws.
Congress, alone, regulated commerce with foreign nations.
The Supreme Court was the final and only authority over United States law.
The criteria for the nullification of a law was the test of constitutionality.
The power to enact laws has been divided between Congress and the WTO. Furthermore, the president does not have veto power over laws established by the WTO.
The people of this Nation no longer vote directly for those who make our laws.
Congress no longer regulates commerce with foreign nations and this authority now resides with the WTO.
The judicial review authority of our Supreme Court has been divided between the Supreme Court and WTO. Furthermore, the situation is such that our Supreme Court cannot overrule a WTO ruling without violating our agreement with that organization.
Our laws can now be voided because a group of foreign nationals view them as being unfair to trade.
It is self-evident that these changes wrought by the enactment of GATT, are significant and fundamental such that they constitute a significant change in the nature and form of our government. This being true, the Congressional vote for the Uruguay Round of GATT, a simple legislative act of Congress, is repugnant to our Constitution because such significant and fundamental change to governmental functions must be made by Constitutional Amendment. For these reasons, GATT and our membership in the WTO are unconstitutional.
We, the undersigned, consider the passage of GATT and our participation in the WTO as a member to be repugnant to and in direct violation of Articles I and III of the Constitution of the United States of America and as a result, is a flagrant and unacceptable violation of our elected representatives sworn duty to protect and preserve our Constitution. Therefore, we the people of the United States do hereby petition Congress to, with all due haste, repeal the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and terminate our membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).