PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION-Balanced Trade and Commerce Amendment
The most pressing international economic issue confronting the United States today is the mounting trade deficit. Trade actions, such as NAFTA and like agreements, as well as IMF bailouts, taken recently have worsened the situation. No new agreements should be made without addressing before-hand there expected impact on the trade deficit. THE SENATE MUST NOT ABROGATE ITS CONSTITUTION DUTY TO ADVISE AND CONSENT TO TREATIES (TRADE DEALS) IN THE NAME OF TRADE PROMOTION AUTORITY OR “FAST TRACK.” Continued trade deficits cause capital to flow out of the country, jobs to leave, and standards of living to fall. No one fears fair competition but markets in other countries must be opened completely and simultaneously with the opening of ours. Constant monitoring and adjusting must be made to promote trade balancing and to insure basic human values. Individuals must be freely able to chose which products and services they buy.
To this end, a Competitiveness Council will be created to assure that all articles of this amendment are executed. Members will be chosen from all regions of the country and all walks of life. Congress shall nominate the members and a Supreme Court Justice shall be included. No representatives of the Executive Branch shall be included. The Executive shall carry out the decisions of the Council.
The fundamental human value is freedom which has many economic aspects: free choice of jobs/location; free flow of capital, consistent with stable economic and monetary conditions; free expression of views; and patent protection. An essential right is the sanctity of the individual to be protected from unsafe or unfair working conditions. Values are also expressed through ethics in business practices. Trade, defined as goods and services exported, shall equal those imported. The Competiveness Council shall certify this on at least a quarterly basis, with inputs from the best minds in Economics. Actions such as those spelled out below shall be taken to remedy any imbalances. This requirement may be temporarily waived, for a national emergency, as specified in the 2010 Amendment for the budget.
These rights include freedom from bribery/extortion, environmentally sound and sustainable practices, competition (non-monopolistic practices), and sound (impartial) loan practices. All of these values, encapsulated in the rule-of-law, need to be reflected in our trade agreements. Business entities must be non-governmental and conduct business and accounting in public. No business shall control more than 40% of a market for a particular product or service in the United States and on a global basis. Further no business shall participate in more than three markets. Again the Competiveness Council shall certify this on at least a quarterly basis, with inputs from the best minds in Economics. Business entities that violate this article shall be declared a trust and broken up. International cooperation shall be solicited from other countries. Access to markets in our country and fees shall be imposed on countries who do not cooperate.
Several practical steps must be taken to eliminate the trade deficit. First a fee should be added to the price of imported goods to adjust for the lack of a living, minimum wage plus health benefits in the producing country. Similarly fair-trade fees should be imposed, with as much international consent as possible, on a sliding scale with the fees higher on producers in countries not opening their markets, and allowing the freedoms or following the ethics rules listed above. Companies benefiting from such fees would have to freeze real prices on domestically produced goods that compete. Thirdly other policing mechanisms(multilateral) are needed to insure fair trade and competition. Co-production can be a key element in which a substantial minimum fraction of manufacture is required in any country (especially the United States) in order to sell products there! Again the Competiveness Council shall certify this on at least a quarterly basis, with inputs from the best minds in Economics.
Three aspects of are current trade picture are most out of balance: energy (mainly oil),
Autos/electronics from Japan, and goods (mainly soft) from China. These deserve immediate attention. A sound energy policy; including conservation, hydro power, and domestic production, particularly natural gas can help the first! Co-production requirements and the items above can bring everything into balance!
Article 5:Trade shall be contained below 25% of Gross Domestic Product. In this way our economic independence, sustainability, and balance can be assured. Again the Competiveness Council shall certify this on at least a quarterly basis, with inputs from the best minds in Economics. In 1790 we strove to enhance domestic production and not just purchase British products!