…………………………
It would not be a stretch to call the U.S. Chamber of Commerce an agent of foreign governments. It should have to register as a foreign lobbyist. Any entity that works against the interest of American workers by encouraging the outsourcing of jobs is no friend to American workers. As reported  in the Huffington Post, “The Chamber … has aggressively battled the effort to reduce outsourcing. During the debate over the stimulus, the U.S. Chamber fought efforts to include a provision that would encourage taxpayer money to be spent on products made by domestic companies.” In a nutshell, The Chamber’s position is that sending your job to China is good for you as an American patriot; as an American peasant however –well, not so much.

The Chamber says, “Replacing a job …  in another country with a domestic job does not … enhance the competitiveness of American worldwide companies.” What The Chamber really means is that replacing an overseas job with one in the U.S. does not enhance the fortunes of American plutocrats who own companies or manage corporations. The Chamber does not lobby for the interests of the United States, it lobbies for corporations and, globally speaking, corporations are not particularly concerned about where they get their labor as long as it’s cheap.

In a not-so-veiled threat The Chamber sent a letter to the Senate (one of its government arms) saying it may consider their votes to rate how business-friendly a senator is. The way they’ll assure a senator’s vote, of course, is by leveraging it with money. They’ll use the tool gifted them last year by the Supreme Court (another of The Chamber’s government arms)  which gave corporations the unlimited right to buy any congress-person who can be bought —and with the way U.S. elections are financed that’s pretty much all of them.

Not content with just threatening to send representatives back home by waving a club of dollars over their heads, The Chamber is also into providing educational opportunities to show corporations how to ditch American workers. Last year The Chamber sponsored an event to instruct U.S. firms “…how to outsource jobs to China alongside the “Chinese” branch of the American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham (Think Progress, Oct. 19, 2010).”

As I suggested before: think “foreign agent.” Raw Story reports “The Chinese AmCham has worked closely with the U.S. Chamber and the Chinese government to sponsor a series of seminars in America to teach American businesses how to outsource jobs to China (called the China Grassroots Program).”

Ok , let’s be clear: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is educating American business in how to profit at the expense of American labor by sponsoring events funded by right-wing billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson. Adelson invited local businesses in Florida to get together with officials like Li Haiyan, the People’s Republic of China’s Counselor for Economic Affairs to talk about stiffing U.S. workers. Also sipping wine and sampling hors d’oeuvres while rubbing elbows was “U.S. Chamber lobbyist Joseph Fawkner, and BChinaB, a firm that specializes in helping American firms outsource their manufacturing jobs to China.”

Li Haiyan: So Mr. Fawkner, isn’t it a conflict for you, an American capitalist, to help me, a Chinese Communist, implement ways to undermine the economic welfare of U.S. Workers?

Joseph Fawkner: Not at all, Mr. Li. It’s just business. Chinese worker, American— whatever yields the best year-end tally and stokes bonuses.

National identity plays little part in The U.S. Chamber’s considerations despite the lie of its name. And the Chief lobbyist of The Chamber, Bruce Josten, added lie to lie in order to add yuan to dollar when he declared recently that The Chamber’s AmCham is “comprised of American companies doing business abroad ….”  In fact, according to Think Progress the Chinese AmCham is “comprised of Chinese firms like Northern Light Venture Capital … Russian state-run companies like VTB Bank; and … Abu Dhabi’s … UAE state-run oil companies —all companies whose machine is diddled by government’s hand, while here in the USA the “free”-market and the Tea Party demand, “Government, get lost!” Meanwhile, behind the fig-leaf of free speech, government-by business tugs our economy’s strings through the legal manipulations of politicians of both parties who in turn are guided by bucks-for-votes contributed by corporations to make sure government gets things right profit-wise.

But back to the foreign agent thing: The “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce accepts foreign money which The Chamber itself says goes into (501-c-6) accounts from which it buys huge amounts of political ads. So The Chamber operates in some capacity as an agent for China (and other countries) to influence American politicians to create laws that either help corporations send your jobs overseas or prevent the creation of laws that interfere with a corporation outsourcing practices. In one week in October of 2010 the chamber spent “… an unprecedented $10 million on advertising in competitive House and Senate districts.

What’s going on, asks Robert Kuttner of the Huffington Post?  “Very simply,” he says, “America’s corporations no longer need American workers.” It’s all about cheap labor and “…disciplining (American) workers to accept low wages at home.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to help discipline you. In another context this sort of  relationship might be considered a kinky. But from a capitalist perspective our relative positions are simply missionary. Move on people, nothing perverse going on here, it’s  just business.
……………….

by Jim Culleny
for The Shelburne Falls Independent, Feb. 18, 2011

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