Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'I pledge allegiance to the WTO & the den of thieves for which it stands ...'

Quiz: What year did the United States give up its sovereignty to the World Trade Organization?

No, we don't know the answer to that one either, but obviously it happened as THIS STORY reports.

The European Union advised the World Trade Organization on Tuesday that it would reintroduce trade sanctions against the United States in two months unless Washington complies with a WTO ruling condemning tax breaks for U.S. companies operating overseas.

The 25-nation EU said, however, that it is still offering the United States ways to end the long-standing dispute without having to incur sanctions on lists of targeted products, including everything from textiles and foodstuffs to automotive parts and steel.

The announcement comes 30 days after a WTO panel upheld a decision condemning the tax breaks, affirming previous judgments that the so- called Foreign Sales Corporation, or FSC, law breached global trade rules by giving illegal subsidies to some U.S. businesses.

The law gave tax exemptions on part of the income of more than 6,000 U.S. exporters, including companies such as Microsoft Corp., Boeing Co. and General Electric Co.


U.S. officials in Geneva were unavailable for comment, and the United States' statement to the dispute settlement body was not immediately circulated.

Washington has repealed the FSC law and claims it has fallen into line with previous WTO rulings, but the appeal body in February upheld that transitional provisions under the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act were still against the commerce body's rules because they allow tax exemptions to continue for a transition period through the end of this year and potentially longer.

In 2002, the WTO authorized $4 billion in sanctions by the EU, although Brussels decided to impose only $300 million and suspended them after Jan. 1, 2005.

(Highlighted emphasis: DTO of OTB)

Forget the arguments that deal with the double taxation of companies both at home and in the countries where products are sold.

Forget history in which economic sanctions of the order discussed were enough to trigger a worldwide depression.

Pay no attention that the United States came about, among other good reasons, as a result of unfair trade practices of European nations.

All hail the World Trade Organization.


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