DS503

DS503 is a WTO dispute that was filed in 2016 by India against the US. It contains a number of innocent-looking requests that when investigated...

turn out to be attacks on  various practices. If it is found they are illegal, its expected that what is called "temporary movement of natural persons" a euphemism for GATS Mode 4, a guest worker system that often has been compared to "modern slavery" will vastly increase. This is against the wishes of Congress, but its out of their control, currently the quota is set at less than 100k per year but the frequent renewals mean that as many as a million guest workers are here now, mostly in IT. They are mostly in IT and a few other fields because those fields are fairly high pay and the goal is to maximize the income from that fixed number. However, if the quota is eliminated, potentially millions of workers at all wage levels will be replaced.

INTENTIONALLY, IMPOSSIBLY COSTLY TO EVER REVERSE

Even if there was to be political unrest leading to a complete elimination of all current incumbents and completely new parties and party leadership, as well as President, unless we had gone through the Article XXI procedure at an ever increasing cost, we would still be bound by the GATS agreement to outsource the jobs that had been committed to as well as the stranglehold on policy.

This is illustrated by what has happened in South Africa with the National Health Insurance they voted for, which is barred by the GATS.

letter-smith-conyers-tpp-and-immigration.GIF

GATS Mode4 is often confused with H-1B visas, and the two are often intentionally misrepresented as one another. But although they may share quotas, they come out of different bodies of law and are not alike.

There are many differences. H-1B visa workers are supposed to be paid a "prevailing wage" that bears at least some distant resemblance to prevailing wages in an industry, such as computing. (although companies often understate the job involved so they can pay the worker less)

Mode Four however is far less generous. There is no requirement under GATS that countries pay a host nation's legal minimum wages, and indeed, its long been an issue of contention because the poorest developing countries skilled workers wages are often lower than US minimum wages.

So, their argument is that since Mode Four jobs are a "balancing factor" in trade that they represent repayment of a debt owed by the host countries to them, the labor supplying countries.

ENTITLEMENTS TO A RACE TO THE BOTTOM ON WAGES AND TO EXPLOIT WORKERS

As automation keeps rising, acting as a source of "supply" that costs little or nothing, and profits are higher if wages are lower, they argue that as capitalists, that their ever increasing profits are an entitlement that's owed to them and them alone. After all "capitalism won over communism".  So, no more sharing of anything, because that undercuts profits. This is what they say in private, and its an ideology that GATS and all other FTAS explicitly embed throughout themselves. Yes, we are pushing an ideology worldwide that will inevitably lead to our own country's self destruction, without our people's knowledge.

The most ardent backers of GATS, who are well represented in the oligarchs of the world, also argue that its a violation of GATS for us to subsidize the education of our own young people, as they are in competition with ther modern day slavery like temporary workforce.

PAYBACK OF A DEBT THAT MAGICALLY APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE

GATS and they frame the jobs as the payback of a debt!

Additionally, they argue that should not be subject to any domestic rules on wages. EU countries have managed however to often get them to agree to honoring EU laws on some working conditions, such as safety.

There has historically been a lot of abuse in the L-1B (GATS is included there) visas.

(fraud is described conservatively, as "abundant" by all accounts, from some countries. In my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that it wasn't, except the PR agencies hired by the IT companies to argue their cases for unlimited subcontracting which would then lock in because of GATS, something nobody is ever told.) 

Leaked cables - part of US diplomatic communications that emerged a few years ago describing the diplomatic efforts to prevent fraud- representing what was clearly a very difficult task, to limit the numbers of fraudulent applications getting through, but the rate of fraud encountered by the US consulate in Hyderabad, India, at that time was simply astronomical. HAs it decreased? I think that the amount of manpower trying to catch it was cut for a while but that doesnt mean it decreased, what it means is that many people who might have had frauds that could not be checked with the manpower they had got through.

WORLD EXPERTS

By all accounts, India's current ruling class are literally the world experts (along with the United States') at gaming global systems to channel government resources to themselves and make everything do what they want.

Unfortunately, people don't want to be on the record at saying this, except in the most general terms. But its kind of an inside joke among rich people, the various games they play. 

For example, tax evasion is recreation to them as are finding particularly creative ways to misdirect laws and policies to enrich themselves when they were represented as enriching poor people. To them its like "the good fight" and they all participate in it.

So, trade agreements are part of this tradition.

Since they lock in forever, its guaranteed that they will become a particularly destructive problematic source of extensive gaming of every possible aspect of these guest worker programs. Lets not forget that todays middle class who in many cases invented these new technologies they now do, have earned their wages, while the rich and their children have not.

This is not denied by the people who are part of this system, they are often vocal in their complaints, in private taking the side of the people they are displacing!

All in all its a real betrayal of everybody except the huge corporations who are staling the food off of families tables by this exploitative kind of setup, which often results in entire departments being forced to train their own replacements (who then outsource the jobs overseas, if possible) and then they are laid off. .typically after 9 months which prevents their being eligible for retraining benefits of any kind. )

A GATS VISA?


One of the changes that is being sought is basically a transfer of responsibility for overseeing these visas to the corporations, basically giving biggest corporations (in addition to dirt cheap wages often below US minimum wages) a "GATS visa" so  they could simply rubber stamp their employees.

This is a very bad idea. One thing which should be mentioned is that bribery is common, people who are particularly rich or well connected it seems are asked to pay for better assignments (such as to particular US jobs that will look good on a resume)

With visas often touted as leading (in these cases) to green cards and US permanent residency, families will often pay.

its important to not allow this to happen, as Its likely to displace all non-commercial immigration.

But the pressure from the corporate lobby is intense.

Many foreign countries educational institutions also have significant problems with fraud. Computers make that worse.

For example, in India there are educational institutions that are widely known as being hotbeds of fraud with stories quite common quite common of people paying for degrees- even medical degrees. 

People graduate from college having never set foot in a normal classroom and then they go to a 6 week cram school so they will have the minimal IT proficiency - not the expert level the client is paying for..

(The notorious IT companies) often charge workers on non-immigrant visas abnormally high fees for room and board, and various other fees, also its quite normal for them to be forced to work 60 hours a week or more.

Its well known that by various means US companies often easily get around requirements that they hire Americans if some are available to do the job by only posting jobs on little trafficked parts of their own websites, or by having people show up to interview for jobs only to realize later that the interviewing was only a ruse - when they had already decided to outsource jobs.

But the real reason the difference between Mode 4 and H-1B are so very substantial are rooted in the fact that the L-visas are entitlements of trade deals which are extraordinarily unfavorable to workers and wages in every possible way.

Mode 4 is understood to be cheap labor, and to lower wages, as that seems to have been part of its aim, starting at it's very beginnings back in the 1980s.

THE SCHEME TO STEAL THE WORLD

UN Document A-RES-44-232

Its goal is to lower wages.  For that reason, and many others, GATS Modes 3 and 4 are very controversial.

We can expect massive far reaching changes if that becomes the model for labor globally in the 21st century.

PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY

Like slavery was, the lure of very cheap labor is an incredibly corrupting influence. As that is GATS' hidden goal, GATS is like poison to democracy- and nobody ever discusses it because they don't want to be on the record as even knowing about it.

Given TISA's use of negative listing, it is most certain to be even worse in that respect and this makes it even more likely to lead to major disasters.

GATS is bad to all workers, both guest workers, and not, (because it turns them all into precarious labor). Domestic high and low skilled workers, from professionals downward are all likely to be impacted.

Minimum wages will be locked in, and all workers wages are undermined by the existence of this scheme to supply very cheap workers, with degrees, desperate for work, often even willing to work for almost free. 

It results in replacement of entire departments of existing workers.

THE END OF PROFESSIONALISM?

It displaces well paid workers, targeting the entire middle class all around the world for replacement, bit by bit, with precarious temporary workers whose very presence in countries is dependent on their staying in the job that gives them permission to be there.

The WTO case is basically a test case and conditions in the US are likely being maneuvered into place so the case will win the legal precedents the global capitalist class wants, decimating the rights of workers by stealth.

You can be assured that nobody in the media will cover this but the shift, which I suspect will be claimed to be "necessary" because of some faked crisis or another will literally transform labor from a activity with some personal rewards and balance into one that is solely to enrich the owners

They are basically allied against the entire rest of humanity. They control this cabal of "global economic governance organizations" a system of secret courts and government that most Americans do not even know exists, that's above our own.

INEVITABLE, OR NOT?

They have felt for a long time that a windfall in the form of a race to the bottom on wages was "inevitable" as automation increased and the demand for labor fell.  However, this way of framing things is quite simplistic as it ignores the power of humanity to decide how we treat people wand what we value.

GATS was basically an attempt to undermine democracy globally, and deny the peoples wishes in almost every respect, one thats already caused an incredible amount of death and destruction. This is not natural, or inevitable its the result of amoral people and corruption, and as such it should be a crime. Almost everybody who learns about it expresses that opinion.

Who gave them this right they seem to imply gives them the right to literally steal the entire future and make absolutely certain the race to the bottom occurs on schedule. certainly not the American people. And I suspect not any other countries people, either. No matter how desperate for crumbs they are.

DS503 can be found at the WTO site. One must cross reference it against a copy of the GATS, preferably one's own heavily annotated one.

Its currently held up because of the Appellate Body situation. When this impasse ends , whether under Trump (after the election) or Biden and the case goes forward, it could end the existence of the middle class as we knew it and throw billions of lives into disarray as jobs lost, homes are foreclosed on all around the world.

THE DISRUPTIVE CLASS?

Replacing the workers will be the newly graduated children of the developing world's elite, often at least partly supported by well to do parents in poor countries. This shift does not "help poor countries" it hurts them because it puts off their dealing with serious problems which can only be solved by democracy, not patronage/debt peonage  systems and bribery.

All hopes for leaving GATS via Article XXI procedures - all hopes for expansions of public services like MedicareForAll will be forever prevented by the insanely expensive, onerous GATS obligations for compensation of countries whose corporations are "injured" by democracy.