New Op-ed: Why socialists in Congress are holding up new NAFTA
Why socialists in Congress are holding up new NAFTA
Private property is a fundamental right in America and a central point of President Trump's America First trade agenda. It figures prominently in the new agreement to replace NAFTA and our trade confrontation with China.
To be blunt, America believes in private property. Other countries don't.
We understand private property is essential to prosperity. What's the point of making, inventing or improving something if someone else can take it from you, sell it as their own and pocket the money.
The framers created the patent system enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" by giving authors and inventors "the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
Come up with a better mousetrap or new way to make fertilizer, manufacture candles or grind flour (the first three patents granted in the United States), and it's your property; you – and no one else – have the right to make money by selling (or licensing) it to others.
The founders understood the best way to encourage commerce, innovation and industry was to extend private property rights to the intellectual as well as physical realm.
Our respect for private property including intellectual private property made the United States the most prosperous and innovative place on earth.
Protecting intellectual property, IP, is central to retaining that position in the 21st century, and it's a crucial part of our trade negotiations with China, Mexico and Canada.
China's communist ideology has no place for private property. Like the pickpocket that practices private enterprise but certainly doesn't respect private property, China routinely steals our trade secrets and technology – the hard-earned product of American perspiration and inspiration.
If we continue to let China get away with it, it's only a matter of time before our innovation-based economy dies the same way Beijing has strangled so many of our other industries. President Trump has said he will not make a deal with China unless they stop stealing our trade secrets.
Protecting American innovators and our intellectual property is also a crucial aspect of USMCA, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement President Trump negotiated to replace NAFTA.
The new agreement requires criminal penalties for theft of trade secrets, allows customs officials to seize counterfeit and pirated goods and ensures Mexico and Canada treat American patent holders fairly. Small businesses and entrepreneurs benefit from uniform standards to protect their inventions and copyrights.
Significantly, USMCA prevents China from using Mexico and Canada to make an end-run around our laws. The agreement stipulates our neighbors cannot make a trade deal with China without our approval.
The USMCA has been signed by Canada and Mexico and is supported by American workers, farmers and businesses.
But the U.S. Congress has yet to approve the USMCA.
It's being held up in the Democrat-controlled House by the socialist wing of the party that's driving the agenda.
From the objections they've raised, we see that, like their comrades overseas, the Democratic socialists are not keen on preserving private property.
They are making a big deal about opposing the agreement's intellectual property protections for cutting-edge life-saving drugs.
That's pretty remarkable when you consider these protections have been the law of the land – and Democrats voted for them.
It's obvious radical House Democrats are more interested in playing politics and opposing President Trump than in supporting a healthy, prosperous America.
It's time for Nancy Pelosi to stand up to the radicals in her conference and do what's good for the country – pass the USMCA now.
-Curtis Ellis is Senior Policy Director for America First Policies.