Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Fakten und Warnrufe zu US free trade agreements
In seiner Rede vor dem Senat brandmarkt Senator Sanders aus Vermont mit deutlichen Worten und Fakten die Auswirkungen des Freihandelsabkommens mit Kolumbien, Korea und Panama.
„Mr. President, I rise in strong opposition to the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
Let’s be clear: one of the major reasons that the middle class in America is disappearing, poverty is increasing and the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider is due to our disastrous unfettered free trade policy.
If the United States is to remain a major industrial power producing real products and creating good paying jobs we must develop a new set of trade policies which work for the American middle class and working class and not just for the CEOs of large corporations. In other words, we must rebuild our manufacturing sector and, once again, manufacture products that are made in the United States of America.
Mr. President, over the last decade, more than 50,000 manufacturing plants in this country have shut down; over 5.5 million factory jobs have disappeared; and we now have fewer manufacturing jobs today than we did in May of 1941. Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, that figure is down to just 9 percent. In July of 2000, there were 17.3 million manufacturing workers in this country. Today, there are only 11.7 million manufacturing workers.
According to a recent study conducted by the well-respected economists at the Economic Policy Institute, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China has led to the loss of 2.8 million American jobs. In fact, the United States has lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Finally, Mr. President, let’s talk about the Panama Free Trade Agreement.
Panama’s entire annual economic output is only $26.7 billion a year, or about two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. economy. No-one can legitimately make the claim that approving this free trade agreement will significantly increase American jobs.
Then, why would we be considering a stand-alone free trade agreement with this country?
Well, it turns out that Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in off-shore tax havens. And, the Panama Free Trade Agreement would make this bad situation much worse.
Each and every year, the wealthy and large corporations evade $100 billion in U.S. taxes through abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in Panama and other countries.
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, „A tax haven . . . has one of three characteristics:
It has no income tax or a very low-rate income tax; it has bank secrecy laws; and it has a history of non-cooperation with other countries on exchanging information about tax matters. Panama has all three of those. … They’re probably the worst.
Mr. President, the trade agreement with Panama would effectively bar the U.S. from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in Panama. In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities.“„
Sen. Bernie Sanders to Panamas (US supported) tax haven