mission is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to
Simply put, according to this plan, it is now the United States’ security policy to discourage nations and states from enacting statutory and regulatory policies which prevent traumatic injury.
November 19, 2002
The current U.S. administration’s shift in American
security policy from military containment to preemption will result in the
death and injury of soldiers and civilians. The Trauma
Foundation opposes the war on Iraq. We know that war kills. We are also concerned about the new National Security Strategy
released by the White House on September 17, 2002 which highlights trade policies
that will also make the peace time
world a more dangerous place for each
of us around the globe.
Chapter six of "The National Security Strategy for the United States" entitled Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through Free Markets and Free Trade outlines a strategy which will make it more difficult to enact or uphold regulatory polices that prevent injury. The document promises to secure "pro-growth legal and regulatory policies to encourage business investment, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity" and to address "tax policies—particularly lower marginal tax rates—that improve incentives for work and investment."
Simply put, according to this plan, it is now the United States’ security policy to discourage nations and states from enacting statutory and regulatory policies which prevent traumatic injury. Policies including production standards, laws making new safety devices such as built in trigger locks, alcohol advertising and distribution limits, and tax strategies are all subject to challenge as "unfair trade practices" under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The US’ National Security Strategy promises to support and expand these rules throughout the world. Not only are the powers of nations and states restricted, but the ability of injured individuals and their survivors to make use of private civil litigation is also threatened. From early railroad injuries, to car fires, to toxic torts, the specter of financial liability has proven to be the bottom line incentive for safer manufacturing practices. Where will we be if this bottom line is swept away?
The new White House national security plan states that "The concept of "free trade" arose as a moral principle even before it became a pillar of economics. If you can make something that others value, you should be able to sell it to them. If others make something that you value, you should be able to buy it. This is real freedom, the freedom for a person—or a nation—to make a living."
But, if you make a car that explodes on impact – should you be able to sell it? And if others make a fully automatic rifle with a fifty round magazine – should you be able to buy it? As injury prevention advocates, we know that there is a higher moral principle at stake, the ability for a person—or a nation— to be safe and free of traumatic death and injury caused by multinational corporations and the United States’ single minded pursuit of conspicuous wealth at all costs.
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