International free trade agreements are an expansion of domestic US policies that have been in place for over a century, but critic Jane Anne Morris says they were never a good idea.
Below, Morris explains how the issues generating protests against NAFT and the WTO now are much the same as they were 125 years ago when free trade was first imposed within the United States.
In Gaveling Down the Rabble, author/activist Jane Anne Morrow explores a century and a half of efforts by corporations and the courts to undermine local democracy in the United States by using a "free trade" model. It was that very nineteenth-century model that was later adopted globally by corporations to subvert local attempts at protecting the environment and citizen and worker health.
Jane Anne Morris is a corporate anthropologist with a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas. Her 1994 book was based on her work on energy issues in Texas during the 1980s. She has been active in anti-war, women's and environmental struggles since the 1970s.
Many of the biggest protest demonstrations of the past decade, such as thos one in Costa Rica, have been in opposition to "Free Trade" policies promulgated by major corporations, many of them US-based.