Well, I get Intra-company News in my Inbox everyday, and most of it is transportation industry news, but a lot of it is related to the industries my company hauls for, etc., etc.
Okay, so what is the American government doing? I'm sorry, Sara and Richard, but I think the Bush Administration has Empire on the mind, and now they don't even seem to care if they even appear to be the least bit interested in maintaining their obligations to international agreements and bodies. I'm ranting on this today because of the obvious snub of the NAFTA court ruling on softwood lumber.
Exerpt from http://www.motherearth.org/bushwanted/laws.php explains some of the other snubs from shrub since 2000.
1. In December 2001, the United States officially withdrew from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, gutting the landmark agreement-the first time in the nuclear era that the US renounced a major arms control accord.
2. 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention ratified by 144 nations including the United States. In July 2001 the US walked out of a London conference to discuss a 1994 protocol designed to strengthen the Convention by providing for on-site inspections. At Geneva in November 2001, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton stated that "the protocol is dead," at the same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan, and Syria of violating the Convention but offering no specific allegations or supporting evidence.
3. UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms, July 2001: the US was the only nation to oppose it.
4. April 2001, the US was not re-elected to the UN Human Rights Commission, after years of withholding dues to the UN (including current dues of $244 million)-and after having forced the UN to lower its share of the UN budget from 25 to 22 percent. (In the Human Rights Commission, the US stood virtually alone in opposing resolutions supporting lower-cost access to HIV/AIDS drugs, acknowledging a basic human right to adequate food, and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.)
5. International Criminal Court (ICC) Treaty, to be set up in The Hague to try political leaders and military personnel charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Signed in Rome in July 1998, the Treaty was approved by 120 countries, with 7 opposed (including the US). In October 2001 Great Britain became the 42nd nation to sign. In December 2001 the US Senate again added an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would keep US military personnel from obeying the jurisdiction of the proposed ICC.
6. Land Mine Treaty, banning land mines; signed in Ottawa in December 1997 by 122 nations. The United States refused to sign, along with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Egypt, and Turkey. President Clinton rejected the Treaty, claiming that mines were needed to protect South Korea against North Korea's "overwhelming military advantage." He stated that the US would "eventually" comply, in 2006; this was disavowed by President Bush in August 2001.
7. Kyoto Protocol of 1997, for controlling global warming: declared "dead" by President Bush in March 2001. In November 2001, the Bush administration shunned negotiations in Marrakech (Morocco) to revise the accord, mainly by watering it down in a vain attempt to gain US approval.
8. In May 2001, refused to meet with European Union nations to discuss, even at lower levels of government, economic espionage and electronic surveillance of phone calls, e-mail, and faxes (the US "Echelon" program),
9. Refused to participate in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-sponsored talks in Paris, May 2001, on ways to crack down on off-shore and other tax and money-laundering havens.
10. Refused to join 123 nations pledged to ban the use and production of anti-personnel bombs and mines, February 2001
11. September 2001: withdrew from International Conference on Racism, bringing together 163 countries in Durban, South Africa
12. International Plan for Cleaner Energy: G-8 group of industrial nations (US, Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, UK), July 2001: the US was the only one to oppose it.
13. Enforcing an illegal boycott of Cuba, now being made tighter. In the UN in October 2001, the General Assembly passed a resolution, for the tenth consecutive year, calling for an end to the US embargo, by a vote of 167 to 3 (the US, Israel, and the Marshall Islands in opposition).
14. Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty. Signed by 164 nations and ratified by 89 including France, Great Britain, and Russia; signed by President Clinton in 1996 but rejected by the Senate in 1999. The US is one of 13 nonratifiers among countries that have nuclear weapons or nuclear power programs. In November 2001, the US forced a vote in the UN Committee on Disarmament and Security to demonstrate its opposition to the Test Ban Treaty.
15. In 1986 the International Court of Justice (The Hague) ruled that the US was in violation of international law for "unlawful use of force" in Nicaragua, through its actions and those of its Contra proxy army. The US refused to recognize the Court's jurisdiction. A UN resolution calling for compliance with the Court's decision was approved 94-2 (US and Israel voting no).
16. In 1984 the US quit UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ceased its payments for UNESCO's budget, over the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) project designed to lessen world media dependence on the "big four" wire agencies (AP, UPI, Agence France-Presse, Reuters). The US charged UNESCO with "curtailment of press freedom," as well as mismanagement and other faults, despite a 148-1 in vote in favor of NWICO in the UN. UNESCO terminated NWICO in 1989; the US nonetheless refused to rejoin. In 1995 the Clinton administration proposed rejoining; the move was blocked in Congress and Clinton did not press the issue. In February 2000 the US finally paid some of its arrears to the UN but excluded UNESCO, which the US has not rejoined.
17. Optional Protocol, 1989, to the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolition of the death penalty and containing a provision banning the execution of those under 18. The US has neither signed nor ratified and specifically exempts itself from the latter provision, making it one of five countries that still execute juveniles (with Saudi Arabia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria). China abolished the practice in 1997, Pakistan in 2000.
18. 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The only countries that have signed but not ratified are the US, Afghanistan, Sao Tome and Principe.
19. The US has signed but not ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which protects the economic and social rights of children. The only other country not to ratify is Somalia, which has no functioning government.
20. UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, covering a wide range of rights and monitored by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The US signed in 1977 but has not ratified.
21. UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948. The US finally ratified in 1988, adding several "reservations" to the effect that the US Constitution and the "advice and consent" of the Senate are required to judge whether any "acts in the course of armed conflict" constitute genocide. The reservations are rejected by Britain, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Estonia, and others.
22. Is the status of "we're number one!" Rogue overcome by generous foreign aid to given less fortunate countries? The three best aid providers, measured by the foreign aid percentage of their gross domestic products, are Denmark (1.01%), Norway (0.91%), and the Netherlands (0.79), The three worst: USA (0.10%), UK (0.23%), Australia, Portugal, and Austria (all 0.26).
So now, is NAFTA next? I mean, come on. Is it because the Administration only has a few years left of mandate now that they are obliged to do whatever the hell they want? This is bullshit!
Canada roars, US yawns over softwood ruling
The US has responded to Canada's mighty roars in the softwood lumber dispute with a deafening yawn. But as Ottawa makes rumblings about trade retaliation and the prime minister prepares to weigh in, the Americans are holding out the hope of a negotiated settlement. Canada won what it says is a major victory this past week when a NAFTA panel dismissed Washington's claims that Canadian softwood exports are subsidized and damage the US lumber industry. International trade minister Jim Peterson immediately called on Washington to concede defeat and return about $5 billion in countervail and anti-dumping duties collected from Canadian companies. The US refused, saying the ruling is not the end of the matter because it does not deal with a 2004 decision from the US-based International Trade Commission. That decision supported the American case, although it's believed it and other earlier decisions have all been trumped by the NAFTA conclusion. Peterson and several cabinet colleagues expressed outrage. They issued a statement calling on the US to “do the right thing” by accepting the NAFTA ruling. They said the American position raises questions about Washington's commitment to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Peterson followed that up with a call to his American counterpart, US Trade Representative Rob Portman. Portman reportedly responded that the US is committed to NAFTA but that he has to explore any avenue of appeal that remains open. Both did agree that the dispute must end soon and that negotiations will continue within two weeks. In the meantime, Canada is girding for battle. “We have already begun the process of getting permission from the (World Trade Organization) to implement punitive measures against the Americans,” Peterson said. “I gave the order to complete the litigation in order to obtain the right to impose these measures." Prime Minister Paul Martin, who has been under pressure from several premiers to get tougher with the US, is also to raise the matter with President Bush.
(Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, National Post 050813)