Showing posts with label Trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trade. Show all posts

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Trade War

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

So Much Losing On Trade

Donald Trump promised that we'd all be sick of winning at this point. Instead, there are an awful lot of people in the business world that are sick of losing.

The agricultural sector of our country saw TPP (the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership) as a lifeline. But now...

The decision to pull out of the trade deal has become a double hit on places like Eagle Grove. The promised bump of $10 billion in agricultural output over 15 years, based on estimates by the U.S. International Trade Commission, won’t materialize. But Trump’s decision to withdraw from the pact also cleared the way for rival exporters such as Australia, New Zealand and the European Union to negotiate even lower tariffs with importing nations, creating potentially greater competitive advantages over U.S. exports.

What Trump essentially did by pulling out of TPP was fuck over a whole sector of our economy. Worse, he has left other sectors wondering exactly WTF is going on with trade.

America’s steelworkers are on edge as they wait for Mr. Trump to fulfill his promise to place tariffs on steel imports. Home builders are desperate for the president to cut a deal with Canada to end a dispute over its softwood lumber exports. And cattle ranchers are longing for a bilateral pact with Japan to ease the flow of beef exports.

Where is all the winning, Mr. President?

Saturday, May 23, 2015


The fine folks at my favorite news publication, The Christian Science Monitor, have put up a bias free (as per the usual) piece on the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership agreement. Take some time to go over it and review the facts. Here's something that jumped out straight away for all the NAFTA whiners out there.

In reviewing the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, CRS found that "NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters."

This is one of those great myths from the left that really needs to go away. Meanwhile, even the progressive press is starting to cave...

Turncoat Democrats, It’s Time to Support Obama on Trade

The answer emerges from the top TPP hit on Google, an op-ed posted Tuesday by a lobbyist for U.S. domestic manufacturers. The lobbyist, who has read recent TPP drafts as part of his Democratic lobbying work, is outraged that Obama negotiators “dismiss individuals like me who believe that, first and foremost, a trade agreement should promote the interests of domestic producers and their employees.” 

This candid statement puts the anti-TPP campaign squarely in historical context. Powerful domestic interests have opposed free trade from before the U.S. Constitution was ratified and continued to oppose trade deals like Bill Clinton’s NAFTA negotiations in the 1990s. The beneficiaries of free trade—from the jobless who might get jobs, to the low-income consumers who benefit from cheaper products, to the high-poverty regions of the developing world that would benefit from exporting to U.S. consumers—just don’t have the same public relations resources. But although the social media campaign is an anti-TPP rout, its substantive arguments are profoundly at odds with progressive traditions.

Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Democratic Brain

As I've been reading Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain, I've taken note of how Democrats can sometimes fall into the same trap with their cognition. The last section of his book promises an examination of this particular form of dissonance concerning things like nuclear power, GMOs, and vaccines.  In looking at current events, we can see yet another example.

I live in Minneapolis and many of my friends are extremely liberal. Any mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and mouths begin to foam just as they do with Monsanto. It's completely ridiculous and, as the president notes above, they are just plain wrong. Not only does this agreement fix some of the issues with our domestic labor vis a vis NAFTA but it expands opportunity for our workers. We can't return to protectionist trade practices in this age of globalization. That's what causes world wars.

Why don't my fellow Democrats understand this?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

That Loser Obama

For someone who just lost an election, President Obama looks an awful lot like a winner. That's largely due to his recent trip to Asia in which he secured deals with China on carbon emissions and trade. The latter is massive considering the reduction in trade tariffs that the new agreement outlines. And the agreement on carbon emissions is the first of its kind between the world's two biggest carbon polluters.

The president has set the tone for the last two years of his presidency. He is going to get things done-with or without Congress-and that's likely going to be a problem for the group of 12 year-olds that are desperate to see him fail. What they need to understand is that it's in their best interest (see: 2016) to be able to point to some achievements that they had a hand in. Failure to do so will not sit well when the voter turnout goes above 40 percent:)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An Excellent Job!

Two years ago, during his SOTU address, Barack Obama promised double American exports in the next five years. So far, the first two years of that time period has seen an increase of just under 30 percent or an increase from 140 billion a month to 180 billion a month. At this pace, the president will get close to or achieve his goal. Why is this happening and why is this a cause for optimism?

Tyler Cowen has the answers in his fantastic new piece, "What Export-Oriented America Means."

First, it is the United States that is leading the way in high tech machines that populate the manufacturing industry worldwide. Countries from around the world need to buy them and we make the best ones. But it's not as simple as that.

The more the world relies on smart machines, the more domestic wage rates become irrelevant for export prowess. That will help the wealthier countries, most of all America. This logic works on both sides. America is using less labor in manufacturing, but China is too, even as its manufacturing output is rising. The fact that Chinese manufacturing employment is falling along with ours means that both our higher wages and their lower wages are becoming less relevant for the location of manufacturing decisions. The less manufacturing has to do with labor costs and relative wage levels, the greater the comparative advantage of the United States.

Bingo. But won't this hurt American jobs?

You’ll hear the word “insourcing” more, too, to join the far more familiar “outsourcing.” For instance, in one manufacturing survey from November 2011, almost one fifth of North American manufacturers claimed to have brought production back from a “low-cost” country to North America. The corresponding number from early 2010 was one tenth of those companies, partly because of rising labor costs in developing nations, and partly because labor costs don’t always matter so much anymore.

The core political truth about this, however, is a little awkward: So many of the jobs vulnerable to foreign imports have already vanished that there is little left for voters or less powerful manufacturing-based labor unions to fear from free trade. The new job growth has been in health care, education, services and government, areas that are largely insulated from foreign competition and that will themselves seek out export markets. American higher education is in demand around the world, too, and has little to fear from foreign colleges trying to expand offerings in the United States.

This would be why I constantly harp on education. If you are a low skilled laborer in this country, learning how to operate high tech manufacturing machines should be your number one goal in life-stat! Developing countries of the world will need you to train their workforce.

Second, as I have discussed previously, the US may become the new Saudi Arabia in terms of energy exports. With the shale and natural gas industry starting to boom due to recent discoveries, we are poised to be able to take advantage of world demand and truly become a dominant, energy power.

This demand isn't just limited to energy. The third cause for optimism is that the developing countries themselves As BRICS, for example, continues to develop, their demand for our products to help them in their development is going to grow exponentially.

The leading categories of American exports today—civilian aircraft, semiconductors, cars, pharmaceuticals, machinery and equipment, automobile accessories, and entertainment—are going to be in the sweet spot of growing demand in what we now call the developing world.

That's right. Put all of this together and what do you get?

Export success will resurrect the United States as a dominant global economic power. America will be wealthier, its products will have greater global reach, and it will largely cure its trade imbalance with China. The fear of American foreign policy being determined by Beijing, or constrained by the financial resources of the Chinese central bank, will be forgotten. No one will view the United States as the borrowing supplicant in the U.S.-China economic relationship, and, all else equal, our exports to China will increase friendly feelings toward that country.

No more boiling pit of sewage. Thank goodness!!

All of this shows that we are well on the way to achieving the president's goal and promise that he made. In light of all of this information, saying that he is "destroying free enterprise," is simply not true. In fact, he has shown that his method of governing (the combination of  government partnership and knowing when to stay out of the way) has clearly produced positive results.

When it comes to the issue of helping to increase exports, the president has done an excellent job!