Letter to the editor: Free trade?

And now, thru the magic of imagination, we take you into the very bowels of the United States Senate where a multi-nation “free trade” treaty is being debated.

“ . . . and this treaty will make every nation prosperous beyond the dreams of avarice.”


“Every nation will be able to sell its agricultural and manufactured goods in every other nation without paying a tariff. International trade will abound and make us all rich.”

“Sounds like a pipe dream to me. Let me borrow a copy to take home and study.”

“Oh, it hasn’t been written yet. And it’ll be about as big as the New York phone book.”

“All that to say we will agree to eliminate tariffs? Then what’s today’s vote about?”

“We want to vote to ‘fast-track’ it. Then we can’t amend it.”

“Wait, Senator. You want the Senate to vote right now not to amend a treaty that has not been negotiated nor even written yet?”

“Exactly. All we will be able to do is to ratify it or not; a clean up-and-down vote.”

“And every senator who even speaks against it will be considered a skunk?”

“You have no idea the pressure we can put on you if we need your vote to ratify this treaty. We really, really want to pass this Free-Trade treaty.”

“The multi-thousand-page treaty that hasn’t even been negotiated nor written yet?”

“Yes. That treaty. Whatever it is, we want to whisk it right thru the Senate.”