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September 21, 2020

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DARREL SMITH: Legislation expands government’s control

2 min read

Published Mobridge Tribune 

If America wants to prosper and compete economically in the world we must be willing to compete with equal and fair trade.
Fair commerce was one of the main purposes of the federal government and the Constitution. The Constitution says, “The Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” The federal government’s ability to regulate commerce among the states has been so effective that we seldom even think about problems with commerce between our states.

Unfortunately, after being threatened with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s unsuccessful court packing scheme, the federal government, including the Supreme Court, allowed the Commerce Power of the Constitution to be extended into all kinds of legislation almost without limits. This growth regrettably had the effect of greatly expanding the federal government’s control over our States and our people’s liberty.

Our trade with foreign nations is equally important and potentially dangerous. Treaties are international law enforced by international courts. The Congress is now considering a foreign trade treaty called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This trade treaty with 11 Pacific Rim countries isn’t just the Constitution’s 21 words long but is a monstrous 5,544 pages.

This huge treaty was not produced by people or their politicians. I doubt if any representative has read all of it and I’m sure none of them can understand it. It was created by the lengthy effort of many, expert, negotiating teams of bureaucrats. The potential benefits it offers of free and fair international commerce are mixed with possible unknown threats to our liberty. The treaty also has similar impacts on foreign countries

My son has business dealings around the world including in China. He thinks that China has the freest business climate in the world. China has been growing rapidly and is our biggest business competitor in the Pacific. If the countries in the Pacific can trade with China in an ordinary way and these countries can trade with America only through this 5,544 page treaty, then how might these countries think of their relations with China verses America? They might view China as a free and respectful nation and America as imperialistic and totalitarian.

This treaty says something important about what has happened to our country. Our Founders created about 21 words in our Constitution controlling commerce. We are now being asked to approve and be governed by a 5,000 page document. This treaty is effectively incomprehensible to us and our representatives. It tends to turn our future over to life-long protected bureaucrats and judges. This treaty is just one of hundreds of treaties, agreements and pacts our government has already made, with more treaties and agreements being considered. Do you think this has an impact on our way of life?

We have an election next year. Will this election allow us to correct these problems?