How the Senate Failed U.S. Businesses (and Bob Dole) – Businessweek
There was a time when America led from the front on international cooperation and treaty-making. The U.N., the Global Agreement on Tariffs & Trade, and the International Monetary Fund were all global institutions that the U.S. played a lead role in designing and supporting. But the last 30 years have seen a growing isolationism in the Senate—which means ratifying treaties takes ever more arm twisting and leaves international agreements larded with pork. Most recent U.S. trade deals have been bilateral, not global, and come attached with conditions demanding lower tobacco taxes or reduced gas mileage regulations in partner countries, despite the fact such conditions aren’t in the interests of either signatory.
Paranoid fear of treaty enforcement by U.N. black helicopters is a pretty sad condition for what is supposedly the world’s only superpower. Like it or not, we need the rest of the world. We need China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas producer, to help deal with climate change. We need countless countries to supply the raw materials and parts that feed our manufacturing base as well as the final products that stock store shelves. We need multilateral cooperation to counter transnational illegal arms sales, crime, and terrorism. We need the rest of the world to finance our debts and keep the world economy ticking over while we teeter on a fiscal cliff.
We should be big enough to realize we can’t do everything alone. Signing a global treaty on disability with absolutely no implications for U.S. policy or law would be a pretty straightforward first step.