Opinion

Dear WTO Protestors,

By Josh Feit June 30, 2010

It's true that your civil liberties were thoroughly abused in 1999.

It's also true that your agenda was misguided. Today, for example, corporate statism was totally upended by a WTO ruling. The WTO found that government subsidies gave Airbus an unfair advantage over Boeing.

Corporations operate transnationally (literally, across national boundaries), and so there needs to be a transnational regulator. Sure, just like the EPA kinda sucks during Republican administrations, the WTO can be problematic when it's doing the bidding of corporations. But the basic concept of a regulatory body is a good one, and both Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were right to cheer today's regulatory ruling, which, as Sen. Murray said today, is a win for workers.

Here's Sen. Murray's statement:
“Launch aid is an illegal subsidy that has undercut our workers, cost us jobs, hurt our ability to compete, damaged our overall economy, and it needs to end. Today’s ruling puts any doubts to rest. The WTO has ruled that Airbus has used illegal government subsidies for more than 40 years to become the world’s largest maker of commercial jets—and it does so as Airbus continues to use those subsidies to roll out new planes.

Today is both victory and vindication. For too long, workers in Washington state have had to fight an uphill battle. Instead of competing just with Airbus, they’ve been forced to compete with the deep pockets of European governments that supply Airbus with illegal launch aid.  Enough is enough. It’s time to even the playing field.”
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