By Eric Zuesse
It usually comes from his actions, instead of from his words, but sometimes Trump mocks his voters verbally too, such as when the New York Daily News bannered on 9 December 2016, «SEE IT: Donald Trump admits he doesn’t ‘care’ about locking up Hillary Clinton» and opened:
President-elect Donald Trump once again disassociated himself from his aggressive campaign rhetoric when he told a crowd in Michigan on Friday [9 December] that he doesn’t «care» about putting Hillary Clinton in jail anymore.
«Forget it. That plays great before the election, now we don’t care, right?» Trump said with a smirk after some attendees chanted «lock her up».
In other words, he was saying to those voters, «I won your vote with that line, but, tough luck, you losers who are repeating the line now — it was only a sales-pitch to dumb people like you, and I don’t need your kind anymore».
Far more substantial than mere words to express his disdain, have been his other reversals, his actual real-world policy-reversals, on his «Drain the swap» pledges, and on his opposition to Hillary Clinton’s foreign-policy proposals — and even on his opposition to NAFTA and similar trade-deals.
For example, candidate Trump constantly condemned those trade agreements for pitting high-paid U.S. workers against low-paid Mexican and other foreign ones and so driving U.S. jobs to those other countries — draining away the high-paid unionized U.S. manufacturing jobs — but the newsmedia never asked him about the feature of these treaties that has actually been the most damaging feature of all, which grants a one-way right for corporations to sue governments for raising environmental and other (such as product-safety and workers’ rights) standards, and no reciprocal right for any signatory national government to sue corporations, nor even to sue those other (the race-to-the-bottom) national governments (especially the ones south of the U.S. border) that allow their corporations to murder labor-union organizers and so to keep their workers low-paid, and thus more profitable and attractive to U.S. corporations than U.S. workers are. The Obama Administration supported that race-to-the-bottom international-trade status-quo, and sought to expand it via his proposed TPP, TTIP, and TISA, trade treaties; and, so, Hillary Clinton who had built her career supporting such treaties, would have been very vulnerable if challenged from the left by candidate Trump about those features, but the media never asked about these features, and only now is Trump actually committing himself on them, and his actual commitment turns out to be for the Obama-Clinton position, not against it, such as he had deceived his voters to expect:
This finally came to be known from him when President Trump’s man in charge of his policy on international-trade deals sent a letter to the U.S. Senate on the new President’s actual proposed changes to the NAFTA trade agreement. The feature of these trade-deals that allows corporations to sue governments and so to lock-in the race-to-the-bottom, is called «ISDS». It also removes these lawsuits from the laws and constitutions of any and all countries, including from the U.S. Constitution and legal system and courts, and places these issues to a supra-national or international system of arbitration that’s carried out by international-corporate «arbitrators» who can be, but aren’t even required to be, lawyers (the reason lawyers aren’t necessary, is that no nation’s laws and court-precedents need to be adhered to), and who serve on three-person international «panels» of arbitrators, which decide all cases and whose decisions are not subject to any legal or court appeals but are final as soon as issued, so that there’s nothing like any nation’s appeals courts system, nor constitution, nor legal system, to evaluate or restrain any verdict, from these panels.
Some of these arbitration verdicts have fined the taxpayers of some of their signatory nations tens of billions of dollars for increasing, or even for imposing, any increase in — or simply for applying — an environmental or product-safety standard in order to bring the given standard into accord with the most-recent scientific findings about the environment or about the particular drug or other product. The country can either pay the fine, or not increase or impose the standard — those are the only two options for such a signatory country: pay the fine, or else abandon the nation’s sovereignty over the matter. If the ‘offensive’ regulation is imposed, or has been imposed, the fine will be due, and will be enforceable in courts and international financial institutions around the world, just as if the award had been granted by a sovereign nation’s courts. The fine is paid to the stockholders of the international corporation that brought the suit; so, these fines are a burgeoning new profit-center for international corporations, extracting such fines from any country that places its national sovereignty as being more valuable to it than adherence to this ISDS system.
The Trump Administration’s letter to the U.S. Senate had no objection to ISDS. Here is how David Ernest, who is «in the International Arbitration Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP», and «has broad experience in international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration», explained that letter, at the Oxford University Press Investment Claims Law site, on 24 April 2017:
The clearest indication of the administration’s views on ISDS is contained in a March 28, 2017 letter from the acting U.S. Trade Representative to the U.S. Senate Finance and Ways & Means Committees, which provides a draft negotiating proposal and objectives for updating NAFTA… Under the heading «Investment,» or Chapter 11 of NAFTA, the objective is to «maintain» and «improve» current ISDS procedures. … This strongly suggests the Trump administration supports the continued use of ISDS procedures and, moreover, it will maintain prior U.S. policy.
In other words: The core problem with NAFTA, and with the other trade-treaties of this type (i.e., with all ISDS treaties), including the treaties that Obama was trying to push through Congress but that Trump campaigned against, is not viewed by Trump as a bug but will instead be a feature that can be part of the trade-deals that Trump himself will be proposing to Congress. If Trump had any authentic objection to Obama’s proposed treaties (TPP, TTIP, and TISA), the objection didn’t concern ISDS; it didn’t concern their inclusion of the imposition of international corporate sovereignty overriding America’s national sovereignty; it didn’t include any objection to the elimination of all democratic powers and processes and accountability, from the regulation of what those corporations do or sell or how they sell it. Maybe the only problem, in Trump’s view, was the name «Obama» instead of Trump — the wrong person’s signature, upon the give-aways to international investors. Trump wants them to owe him — not Obama.
Any fine that’s awarded by these panels will, quite naturally, terrify any other signatory country away from similarly increasing any regulation under any circumstance, regardless of how weak or outmoded the given nation’s regulatory standard might happen to be, which the given nation had been thus hoping to bring into line with the now current scientific findings regarding the given regulatory issue.
Furthermore, this new profit-center of extracting such fines from governments that care about their environment or their workers’ rights, or their product-safety, is, iteslf, very lucrative for stockholders in international corporations that receive them, but it’s deadly for workers, consumers, and the environment — and President Trump supports that international-corporate sovereignty, and those extractions from the global public, just as his predecessors have been doing since Bill Clinton signed NAFTA into law in 1993.
There is thus growing, regarding regulation, an international-corporate sovereignty that stands above any nation’s sovereignty: it’s replacing national democracies with international fascism — an emerging fascist world government — on these matters.
Trump’s trumpeted nationalism is the modern fascist type, not the old fascist type.
Trump conned his voters; and, by every indication, he’s proud of it. All of the progressive promises that he had made as a Presidential candidate have been by now tossed into the dumpster as the real President Donald Trump carries out the powers that he stole from America’s public by means of his campaign’s lies — his frauds winning, instead of his opponent’s frauds winning. It’s America’s ‘democracy’ today.
This article originally appeared on Strategic Culture on-line journal www.strategic-culture.org.