After almost four years of negotiations, the Canadian government and the European Union are reportedly close to finalizing a controversial integration deal known as the “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” (CETA). President Obama announced earlier this year that his administration was also pursuing a similar “free trade” package with the EU, which analysts say could pave the way for a “Transatlantic Union” encompassing all of North America and most of Europe.
According to experts, a North American Free Trade Agreement-EU super-bloc with power over national governments and economies on both sides of the Atlantic would become the de facto regulatory regime for the entire planet. If the deeply controversial deals go through, the transatlantic entity’s combined GDP would amount to about half of the global economy, forcing companies all around the world to accept the bloc’s regulations or face exclusion from 50 percent of the world market.
The so-called “integration” schemes, however, are already facing fierce resistance, and that is expected to accelerate as talks go on. Among other concerns, critics in Europe, the United States, and Canada all worry that the plot would strip even more of what national sovereignty still remains. The unaccountable regime established under the agreements would inevitably seek to accumulate more power, too, opponents argue.
While the proposed agreements are currently focused mostly on “economic integration,” the EU and even NAFTA provide excellent examples of how “free-trade” regimes can quickly and quietly become burdensome political-integration experiments as well. The EU, for instance, began as a simple agreement between a handful of countries on coal and steel before gradually morphing into a “free trade” area. Today, the Brussels-based EU regime imposes the vast majority of the “laws” governing Europe.
In North America, meanwhile, NAFTA tribunals already overrule American laws and courts. Official U.S. embassy documents exposed by WikiLeaks also confirmed that plans to erect a North American Union between Mexico, the United States, and Canada have been in the works for years. The emerging NAU would be complete with its own single currency, and the formerly sovereign nations’ constitutions would become little more than historical relics.
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