How FATCA Infringes and Trammels Our Statehood

By Stephen Kangal
December 23, 2016

Stephen KangalThere was a quite visible and audible dearth in the House lacking the requisite international relations expertise to analyze and dissect the internationally illegal imposition of US-domestic FATCA on T&T from a foreign policy/international law perspective.

That important missing dimension, after T&T has been an active international relations participant for 55 years of statehood/UN multilateral diplomacy/foreign policy-making, has tarnished our international image, national pride and reputation.

What was needed was at least one MP who would have been able to demonstrate how FATCA/IGA and the coercive methods being used to inflict it on T&T by a foreign imperialist government; that is to say, the Treasury Department/IRS of the USA. FACTA has compromised and indeed sabotaged the independent conduct of our foreign policy/ domestic law-making capacity to enlist T&T as an unsuspecting cog in the wheel of the extra-territorial reach of the US Treasury geared to prosecute US tax dodgers.

Reciprocity is an after-thought—an appendage to make FACTA and the IGA more palatable to T&T.

FACTA constitutes such a dangerous precedent to be further exploited by the Global Forum down the road that the current ambivalence of the Opposition to participate in the legislative process dubbed as allegedly urgent and pressing must be understood and appreciated.

For a party that just demitted the governance of T&T and that was actively involved in treating with FACTA since 2011, UNC’s reluctance to submit indiscriminately to the orchestrated exaggeration of the impending doomsday scenario by the Government would appear to be politically and nationally correct.

They should not be vilified by those innocent apprentices/political neophytes who occupy the garrulous and impetuous front benches of the PNM because they need three Opposition votes at least. This is not tyranny but democracy.

The Minister of Finance does not appreciate the gravity of the political embarrassment inflicted on T&T when he admitted in Parliament that he has been dodging US-bullets since the assumption of office, reminiscent of the 1990 rape and assault of our democracy in the Chamber, albeit a different one.

He has no problem with subjecting T&T to the imposition of American coercion, issuance of threats, illegitimate deadlines, grey-listing, black listing, reprisals, undermining the independence and sovereignty of our Parliament and the much-touted shutting down of T&T against all recognised international standards of diplomatic/economic relations.

The Bankers Association, Amcham, the Chamber of Commerce and others could not care one iota about the territorial integrity, national pride, sovereignty and political independence of T&T once FACTA facilitates the achievement of their super-profiteering, exploitation-prone domestic agenda and business plans.

3 thoughts on “How FATCA Infringes and Trammels Our Statehood”

  1. Well said, Mr. Kangal. FATCA is anti-sovereignty and it is only the bully-power of the USA that has made it possible to inflict this atrocity on so many nations around the world, implementation being all at their own expense. It’s American economic hubris and hegemony to the nth degree.

  2. Simply put the US long arm can exposè the naked tax cheat…. Of course that would mean all non PNM tax cheat.

  3. “There was a quite visible and audible dearth in the House lacking the requisite international relations expertise to analyze and dissect the internationally illegal imposition of US-domestic FATCA on T&T from a foreign policy/international law perspective…..That missing dimension, has tarnished our international image, national pride and reputation…..What needed was at least one MP who would have been able to demonstrate how FATCA/IGA and the coercive methods being used to inflict it on T&T by a foreign imperialist government.?”
    Mr Stephen K
    COERCION – simple word, but loaded .
    I feel your pain Mr Stephen K, and yes ,it’s frustrating when you, maybe similarly informed others,and if I dare say,those like yours truly , with a clearer understanding of global realities, can see the tragedy that is taking place, and or pending, while the political / economic players , entrusted with handling business ,just cannot.
    The bigger questions are however :-
    A.In a non NPT Signatory, Nuclear Power State , with a population of 22 million , with over 27,000 passengers per day,using this means of transport , how does one stop a runaway train, from wrecking,which would eventually cost the lives of 115,in Kanpur India?


    B.Could anyone have foreseen, the sinking of the Titanic? Perhaps not. Somewhere back in 2011 ,3 Airlines crashed across America , striking fear into the Souls of many , in the World’s sole Superpower, and helped to escalate the religious war between Christians, and Global / Politicized Islam? Who should be blamed for not preventing the first direct attack on US (mainland ) soil , since Pearl Harbor?
    C.Did law enforcement officials drop the ball, for failing to heed warnings of a low end bureaucrat staff ,to her superiors ,which were dismissed as irrelevant, as she tried to find answers ,as to why several young men- the majority of which were Saudis – who were fixated in learning to fly planes,but had no interest in figuring out how to land them?
    D.Was it misguided Cold War , Policy wonks, who gave the green light to an ailing Soviet leader, in Leonid Bresnev , to invade Afghanistan in 1979,anticipating no reaction from Jimmy Carter, or rather others under golf playing General Ike Presidency , who had no problem , in creating the Undemocratic monster that is Iran today, by allowing the 1st ever United States orchestrated Coup of the CIA?

    E.The recent death of larger than life , ideological icon,and American nemesis , in Fidel Castro,is creating concerns ,for many across the global community, but especially our CARICOM region as a whole?
    What does it mean ,as far as authentic changes , in light of the fact that a a one time neo liberal, IR Professor / Activist , turn President Barrack Obama ,is about to leave office , and ascension to power instead , of a business tycoon, and (to quote you)”political neophyte,” Donald Trump?
    Would he as promised ,roll back most of his predecessor’s policies – including those on the international front, such as FETCA?
    In the past , he kept cussing out the Chinese , but now that he is elected ,he threw out the first lob , with respect to disgruntled Taiwan ,which almost gave Beijing officials collective ,heart attack.Is America ,about to break foreign policy traditions ,and recognize Taiwan?
    We have no idea Mr Stephen K, and so patience is needed.

    There is an old saying, that’s favored by folks , such as my late , extremely wise Tobago Granny , which states – ‘when your neighbor’s house is on fire , wet yours.’ Let’s state for the record ,that Venezuela is just 7 miles away,and everyday , hundreds of it’s desperate citizens, grace our shorelines ,and airports, to seek refuge, or temporarily escape, from the socio economic , com political mayhem than has descended on that Republic , due to the actions of ex Military honcho Cavez,and his Deputy. Let me add, for the record, most are ambitious ,resilient females- with desirable products on offer, si?
    Both Chavez ,and Munado , thought , Venezuelans,,and Cubans, had the same characteristics- in terms of enduring economic suffering , in defending opaque ideology -while attempting to give the middle finger to PAX AMERICANA , and in the process, antagonizing the local business community. We know how that works out every time , be it in Haiti, and probably T&T , don’t get their acts together , here likewise.
    In Columbia , the situation is no different , as she too – and during recently signed Peace Treaty ,plus the ‘Post Conflict Reconstruction,’ it must contend with -will obviously see an upsurge in citizens , who likewise, will join the long lines , in seeking refuge -en la Trinity -in pursuit of help ,to assist their fellow citizens stuck back home. Need I again mention , that many , incidentally are female , with important products for sale.
    Based on our track record , I too worry , that our leaders are ill prepared to capitalize on opportunities , which can enhance our National Vital Interest. You just might be correct, when you say , we lack the IR experts , within the corridors of power , to propel us forward, or maybe it’s just that International Relations , is not as sexy a field , where proponents can see win/ win benefits ,that can accrue to all.
    Now that was the easy part Mr Stephen K- namely highlighting the problem . Here is a 1st step , aimed at solution . Welcome stage rights ,’THINK TANKS.’
    I am talking about finding prudent ways , to get a more informed public, and a hopefully -an independent -resource , where Policy Makers, and their handlers ,can lean on/ building that symbolic bridge across the Global -North/ South -divide , and more importantly, smaller players like us , won’t continually get the short end of the stick from more powerful Governments,and the Corporations they are beholden to.
    The more politically savvy ,IR gurus ,and ‘political animals ,’within our ranks , knows fully well , how things do play out for unfortunate , successive generations, when todays leaders , don’t play the cards right , si?Translation :- todays youths ,will eventually evolve into adults,stuck with a heavy burden , but with less means , to address same.
    In this FETCA issue ,Global Hegemon- en PAX AMERICANA ,is not really the lone , big issue, mind you, for if it weren’t her Mr Stephen K, then perhaps it would be -HEAVENS FORBID -Russia, equally dangerous China , or still clueless, politically constipated , overdependent on USA , in the European Union , would be leading the exploitation charge.
    What does T&T ,as a collective want? Are our present leaders , when out of office ,mere obstructionists , or is this something that Kamla , as well as her political fellows , and most of the business community, (even those not linked to her ) feels passionate about? How do we persuade the self aggrandizing elites , who manipulate the gullible, naive competing tribes, from impeding our Underachieving Nation’s progress?
    This resource laden , fairly peaceful , politically stable, Democratic Pais of ours ,has the potential of being that much needed , regional shining light. There is hope yet!
    It was former American House Speaker ,Tip O’ Neal ,who once said , “All politics is local ,”and no truer words were ever spoken.
    You are correct Mr Stephen K,a good understanding of International Relations , and I can add , fuller appreciation as to what one’s country’s ‘national /vital interest ,’entails ,is as important ,as maybe …,ummmmmm…..breathing.
    Let’s wish our country well, shall we ?

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