Category Archives: Free Trade – A One Way Street

If this is a trade war, the United States will win

Donald Trump is following through on his threat—or promise, as his voters see it—to impose steep tariffs on foreign goods in the name of supporting American industry, starting with levies of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium imports. Allies and neighbors that had been granted temporary exemptions are now set to feel the brunt of the tariffs: Canada is America’s leading source of foreign steel, and Mexico and the European Union will also feel the pain. They’re all threatening to retaliate, and the press is calling this a trade war.

If this is a war, it’s one the United States will win.


Mexican Auto Jobs Quadrupled As Canada’s Industry Shrank: Report

A new analysis suggests Canadian negotiators may want to side with the U.S., and against Mexico, when the auto industry comes up in NAFTA negotiations in Washington, D.C. this month.

And its author, former CIBC chief economist Jeff Rubin, is arguing Canada may have no choice but to follow the U.S. and slap tariffs on Mexican auto imports, if the Trump administration chooses to do so.

The analysis, conducted for the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), paints a good-news, bad-news picture of the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On one hand, the deal has allowed consumers to enjoy lower prices on vehicles, and has improved carmakers’ profit margins; on the other hand, Canada’s auto industry has been losing jobs for years — principally to Mexico.


The Deplorable Victims of Free Trade

Suppose you run a workshop near the border. A competitor opens up across the street employing sweated labour. Foul! You cry. Now put this competing workshop just across the national border. Exactly why has the unfair competition become fair?

President George H.W. Bush signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992. Did he take account of the probability that US manufacturing plants would move to Mexico? Did he consider the economic and social effects that this would have on many thousands of US manufacturing workers, their families and their communities? I doubt it. Elite indifference to the plight of ordinary (“deplorable”) people is precisely the reason why Donald Trump’s populism resonates.

Free trade is totemic for economic rationalists. It is unsurprising that they object to what they consider to be President Trump’s protectionist tendencies. The virtue of free trade is unarguable to its disciples. To them, those who have doubts clearly lack a proper understanding of the benefits it brings. The wellspring of our very progress and future prosperity is brought into question. To be clear, they have a point. No one should doubt the essential role that specialisation and international trade have played, and will continue to play, in creating wealth. That cannot legitimately be brought into question. However, what can legitimately be brought into question is the proposition that each instance of freeing up trade always brings net benefits to all participating countries.


‘Have you no SHAME?’ Le Pen slams Brussels as Canada-EU trade deal passed amid protests

BRUSSELS politicians voted to pass a landmark trade deal between Canada and the EU this afternoon following a fractious debate between MEPs and mass protests outside the parliament building in Strasbourg.

French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen launched a blistering attack on the proposed deal today, saying it would further enrich the powerful at the expense of working families.

She raged: “The CETA agreement was carefully hidden from citizens because none of you can justify it. You voted on it in private because debating in public, that’s something you hate.

“When citizens understand all of this they will never trust you again. That is why this is a terrible agreement. It will undermine thousands of jobs in Europe.”

To loud applause she blasted: “Are you not ashamed? You’re giving away our rights to legislate and you’re robbing our citizens of the protection of their rights that they expect from their representatives.

“You’re making it possible for multinationals to attack member states so you make sure no new legislation will displease them.

CBC Propaganda 1 has yet to ramp up it’s glowing LPC report…


Trump Can Succeed On Trade By Ending Global Currency Manipulation

World trade in goods and services has morphed into a gigantic manipulative carnival of currency trading. This needs to change.

“…The global financial system is now wreaking chaos in the global economy. I now believe that the most promising strategic thrust of the Trump administration will be its confrontation of a sorely broken international trading system. World trade is no longer expanding for a reason, and Trump has put his finger on it. That reason is a combination of crazy quilt trade pacts, disguising wild and wooly monetary manipulation.”


Scary Population Tales – No we don’t need mass immigration to ensure our prosperity

An older population is a consequence of capitalism making Western societies richer beyond anything conceivable when our grandparents were young. Capitalism, albeit with hiccups and an occasional convulsion, will go on making us richer and better able to care for the elderly

“…Beyond embracing capitalism, numbers of factors come into play to explain why one nation is more prosperous than another. Education is undoubtedly important. The wisdom of rulers in the way they go about taxing, spending and regulating is important. The availability of natural resources might play a part as, less tangibly, might the degree to which societal norms create an environment which encourages individuals and businesses to be adventurous and innovative. How does population—its size and growth—fit in?

As I will show, by a quick look at the evidence, population size itself hardly matters at all. The economic effects of falling population growth are more difficult to assess. They fall broadly under a heading of the direct and indirect consequences of an ageing population. Those consequences most prominently discussed are increased welfare spending, a fall in the rate of saving, a deficiency of aggregate demand, and a loss of adventure and innovation. I will consider each in turn, but first to population size.”

Scary Population Tales — a Response

Peter Smith has exposed the hollowness of ageing-related excuses for high population growth, but misses the point that these are merely excuses. Until we have a government willing to elevate the interests of ordinary people, the immigration throttle will remain glued to the floor

Peter Smith’s welcome article “Scary Population Tales” makes some valuable points, but was marred by some glaring misrepresentations and ideological non-sequiturs. It’s refreshing to hear a devout ‘capitalist’ questioning the population growth agenda. But I find much of his position hard to stomach.

Related… Lawrence Solomon: American workers didn’t have to suffer for NAFTA, but the deal was rigged so they would

“…It was all for the greater good. But it wasn’t the free market at work. It wasn’t the inevitable march of progress. It wasn’t even for the greatest good. It was, rather, a vast central-planning exercise in which the mandarins — government officials lobbied by myriad trade associations and other special interests — decided which communities would win and which would lose through thousands of pages of legislation and regulations. Their decisions were based not on economics but on politics.”

Yet more Central Planning by way of the Temporary Foreign Workers scam, courtesy Canada’s Crony Capitalists and agenda driven unions aided and abetted by a Liberal government determined to alter the face of Canada forever.


Claim: Carnival Forces U.S. Workers to Train Foreign Replacements Before Christmas

Americans working at Carnival Corporation say the company’s Christmas gift to hundreds of its college-graduate employees was the news that they are being fired and must train their low-wage foreign replacements.

“I am still processing my emotions and my disbelief,” said Matthew Culver, a senior Miami-based IT worker with Carnival.


Trump must offer more than symbolic steps on trade

“…In the primaries and general election counties heavily impacted by Chinese imports swung to Trump—right past establishment candidates Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, other Republicans and ultimately Hillary Clinton who are big supporters of the World Trade Organization and other global institutions.

Lax enforcement permits China to frustrate American exports and flood our markets with products benefiting from high tariffs and regulatory preferences, subsidies and according to World Bank purchasing power parity estimates, a currency trading at half the value it would be worth without its plethora of restrictions on the free flow of goods and capital.

As anyone who has studied modern international economics knows, free trade will deliver its manifest benefits only if exports are about as much as imports and full employment is reasonably maintained.”


Here’s why a little protectionism is good for Canada

“The Trudeau government’s consistent theme is that we should embrace globalism and ignore protectionism and nationalism. It echoes the core message of the IMF and World Bank, and is very much de rigeur in the international Davos set. My experience is that few of these people have any contact with reality, and are isolated from simple economic truths by multi-generational fortunes which they had very little participation in creating, and their lives are mostly devoted to academic, artistic and philanthropic causes that their financial managers do their best to keep from rendering said family fortunes insolvent.”

Free Trade is a lie that has cost us all dearly, I drank the Kool-Aid but imbibe no more.


Chinese Billionaire Linked to Giant Aluminum Stockpile in Mexican Desert

Two years ago, a California aluminum executive commissioned a pilot to fly over the Mexican town of San José Iturbide, at the foot of the Sierra Gorda mountains, and snap aerial photos of a remote desert factory.

He made a startling discovery. Nearly one million metric tons of aluminum sat neatly stacked behind a fortress of barbed-wire fences. The stockpile, worth some $2 billion and representing roughly 6% of the world’s total inventory—enough to churn out 2.2 million Ford F-150s or 77 billion beer cans—quickly became an obsession for the U.S. aluminum industry.

Now it is a new source of tension in U.S.-Chinese trade relations.

h/t Marvin


Furchtgott-Roth: The U.S. Doesn’t Even Enforce Trade Rules, Never Mind Enact Favorable Deals

“…For decades, our government has done little to protect American intellectual property other than publish a few reports and give a few speeches. America continues to provide full access to American markets for offending countries. Pirate countries have little, if any, incentive to respect our property. The wonder is not that some countries steal our intellectual property; the wonder is that all countries don’t steal our intellectual property given the weakness of our response.”


Another Displaced IT Worker Comes Forward: ‘No Way I Can Compete’

Another displaced IT worker came forward Tuesday to talk about being laid off and replaced with a foreign worker likely in the country temporarily on an H-1B visa.

“We were notified that we were going to be outsourced — never really got a good explanation of what the reason was,” the Abbott Laboratories employee told Laura Ingraham on her radio show. “Just tidbits here and there, mostly due to cost savings.”