Kevin Phillips is right on target (Opinion, Nov. 21). The World Trade Organization is a threat to our democracy, and our representatives seem unwilling to insist upon the safeguards necessary to reduce that threat. The WTO is a permanent bureaucracy with power over U.S. laws, and yet it remains unaccountable, secretive and undemocratic.
Under the WTO, panels of three unelected trade bureaucrats hear challenges by other nations to U.S. laws. If a challenged U.S. law is found to violate another country's trade rules, the WTO could direct the U.S. to change the law or face automatic economic sanctions. In fact, as Phillips points out, the WTO has already overturned part of the U.S. Clean Air Act and also declared illegal a recent U.S. environmental regulation. The process is closed to the press and public. Documents are not subject to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Our very sovereignty is at stake.