TPP Will Not Go Quietly

2016 the promise was to pull out of the TPP because it was NO GOOD for the country and NAFTA would be re-negotiated….promises by then candidate Donny Trump…..

So far NAFTA remains in its original form and the US has pulled out of the TPP in 2017…..but wait there is more news on the TPP front…….

President Donald Trump has asked trade officials to explore the possibility of the United States rejoining negotiations on the Pacific Rim agreement after he pulled out last year as part of his “America first” agenda, the AP reports. Farm-state lawmakers said Thursday after a White House meeting with Trump that he had given that assignment to his trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, and his new chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would open more overseas markets for American farmers. “I’m sure there are lots of particulars that they’d want to negotiate, but the president multiple times reaffirmed in general to all of us and looked right at Larry Kudlow and said, ‘Larry, go get it done,'” said Sen. Ben Sasse. Eleven countries signed the agreement last month.

Trump’s rejection of the deal has rattled allies and raised questions at home about whether protectionism will impede US economic growth. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said he was “very impressed” that Trump had assigned Kudlow and Lighthizer “the task to see if we couldn’t take another look at TPP. And that certainly would be good news all throughout farm country.” The discussions came during a meeting in which Trump told farm-state governors and lawmakers that he was pressing China to treat the American agriculture industry fairly. Midwest farmers fear becoming caught up in a trade war as Beijing threatens to impose tariffs on soybeans and other US crops, a big blow to Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong Trump supporters.

Is the possibility of re-joining TPP a by-product of the new tariffs that the president thinks will make America Great Again?

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Trade Wars Cometh

Just last month Pres. Trump let it be known that he would enforce tariffs on steel and aluminum……the first shots were fired in the new trade wars…..these will effect Americans in several ways….cost of cars and even their addictive sodas…..but what will Asia do in response?

The Bangkok Post had an op-ed on this situation……

Over the past five decades or so, Asia’s economies have relied largely on an export-oriented development model to support rapid economic transformation and growth. But with US President Donald Trump fulfilling…

In the past year, Mr Trump has withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), renegotiated its free-trade agreement with South Korea, and raised “safeguard” tariffs on imported washing machines…

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1439051/how-asia-can-tackle-us-trade-wars

China has made it official that it will respond…it has notified the WTO of its intentions…..

The notification came in a WTO document that was dated last Thursday but posted only after the Easter public holidays.

It came after China said late on Sunday that it has increased tariffs by up to 25 per cent on 128 US products, escalating a dispute between the world’s biggest economies.

China has now fulfilled its legal duty to notify the WTO and other member states of its retaliatory measures.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2140113/china-will-give-good-it-gets-trade-war-united-states

The great Trade Wars of the 21st Century have begun….

This is the warning shot of the end of the “Pax Americana” (a bit melodramatic)…..do not know what that means then stay tuned for I will cover the “Pax” in an upcoming post.

A Ticking Time Bomb

Surely the myopic population of this country can remember back to 2008, right?  I know it is a stretch for most so-called conservs to think back that far….

2008?  Mindless drones that was the year of the Wall Street meltdown lead by the illegal practices of our biggest banks….does it ring any bells in that thick skull now?

Guess what?  The Trumpian bullshit is about to set the wheels of yet another meltdown in motion…..

The Senate passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday designed to ease bank rules that were enacted to prevent a relapse of the 2008 financial crisis that caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and homes. The Senate voted 67-31 for a bill from Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho that would dial back portions of the law known as Dodd-Frank, the AP reports. The legislation would increase the threshold at which banks are considered so big and plugged into the financial grid that if one were to fail it would cause major havoc. Those banks are subject to stricter capital and planning requirements.

“The bill provides much-needed relief from the Dodd-Frank Act for thousands of community banks and credit unions, and will spur lending and economic growth without creating risks to the financial system,” the White House said in a statement after the vote. Republicans unanimously supported the bill, while Democrats splintered into two camps. One included several senators from rural states who worked out the compromise with Crapo. The other, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, said the bill catered too much to the banks that contributed to the financial crisis and would increase the likelihood of future taxpayer bailouts. (President Trump complained that Dodd-Frank made it hard for friends to borrow money.)

It is amazing how when Repubs are in charge they kill regulation and then things go to shit and a Dem usually has to clean up their economic messes…..looks like that trend will not end with this president…who is still dick deep in the financial world and I am guessing that this will benefit him and his buds on Wall Street.

This is why Democrats have a problem with message…..

Bought and paid for by Wall Street…..TRAITORS!

Inequality: How Bad Can It Be?

There has been a lot written, said and thought about inequality in this country, especially with this last election….the populist resurgent has come on the heels of the inequality in the US.

Both Right and Left emphasizes it at every turn…..but is it as bad as they claim it is?

The answer is yes it is and believe it or not kt is worse than you think….

The more the ultra-rich prosper, the less they’re burdened with taxes, the greater the benefits for society as a whole. If you’re familiar with Republican economic theory of the past 40 years, you’ve probably heard this line of reasoning. In fact, just the opposite is true

Take it from the world’s third richest man, Warren Buffett, who recently noted that between 1982 and 2017, “the wealth of the 400 [richest people in America] increased 29-fold—from $93 billion to $2.7 trillion—while many millions of hardworking citizens remained stuck on an economic treadmill. During this period, the tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward.”

The reality is the United States is now home to some of the worst income inequality in the developed world, and thanks to the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this wealth gap will grow exponentially wider.

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/income-inequality-us-even-worse-youve-been-led-believe#.Wp679x1vrtk.

Few want to believe the tale of the tape…..so inequality continues to grow and as it grows so will the outrage…..eventually that outrage will effect the results of elections….and that outrage will fuel the programs that address the inequality.

But can that outrage eliminate inequality?

I think it can but unfortunately not in my lifetime…..hopefully my granddaughter can see an end to the inequality.

…..But He Plays One On TV

Pres., Trump recently lost his economic adviser over his, TrumP, deal with tariffs….the prez has picked his new adviser…….who is not an economist but he plays one on TV……Kudlow.

“I’m looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly,” President Trump said the other day, and as a result of all that strong, powerful, muscular looking, Trump finally selected Kudlow to be the new chief of his National Economic Council. It was a decision perfectly in line with Trump’s general philosophy of personnel, which is that he turns on Fox News, decides who sounds good, and then hires that person. In fact, when Trump called to offer the job, he told Kudlow he was looking at his picture on television. “You’re looking handsome, Larry,” he said.

We’ve gotten so used to cable television being the primary means through which Trump gets information, decides what’s important, and determines who should advise him that it’s become almost cliche, a source of easy jokes. But it’s yet more evidence that the most powerful person in the world views everything through the lens of a forum where our worst impulses are cultivated and the shallowest people are given the most exposure and influence.

http://theweek.com/articles/760937/youre-looking-handsome-larry-how-reality-tv-president-found-perfect-idiot-chief-economic-adviser

The perfect choice….not an ounce of expertise like most others on his, Trump’s, cabinet….amateurs playing governance…..classic Trump!

Free Trade Or Fair Trade

Just the other day Pres. Trump signed his EO on tariffs on steel and aluminum imports  in doing so he has started a debate on free trade….many do not see his tariffs as good for the notion of free trade and still others think that free trade is a cornerstone of conservatism…..but is it, that cornerstone?

The American Conservative spotlights this in a recent article….

According to a recent analysis in the New York Times, President Trump’s “isolationist” trade policy is “at odds with longstanding conservative orthodoxy about the benefits of free and open markets.” The reader is further told that the president is under pressure from his working-class base, which is obstreperously demanding that protectionist taxes be placed on imported steel and aluminum.

I say not so fast.

The Times presents the GOP base’s supposed impatience with free trade as a departure from almost sacred Republican beliefs, and free trade itself as a permanent conservative characteristic. Their evidence is that large corporations favor free trade while labor unions have generally been more protectionist.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/free-trade-shouldnt-be-a-litmus-test-for-conservatism/

TAC also takes a look, a historic look, at tariffs…..

America’s first great protectionist political figure was Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s treasury secretary. And compared to later mercantilist politicians in our history, Hamilton wasn’t even that much of a protectionist. His original U.S. tariff bill imposed an average taxation level of just 8.5 percent on imported goods. And Hamilton argued that any protection encompassed in those duties, as opposed to revenue requirements, should be discontinued as soon as protected industries established themselves in the American economy.

Hamilton’s opponents, the early American free traders, feared he had created a monster, while northeastern industrialists, particularly in Pennsylvania, predictably argued that protection should be substantial and permanent to ensure national prosperity.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americas-tumultuous-history-with-tariffs/

It is too early to tell if the Trump tariffs will be good for the country or not…..steelworkers union seems to think it will be but many economists see it doing the opposite for the country.

Trump has already exempted some countries from his tariffs….that right there tells me that he is not serious.  If you are going to impose tariffs then it should be on all involved not a select few.

Time will tell whether good or bad.

Here A Tariff, There A Tariff

The word of the week….both this week and last is….TARIFF.

And as I always do I will look into the history of this country to explain the term of the week…….

The year was 1930 and the Congress enacted the Smoot-Hawley Act.

Okay what the Hell was the Smoot-Hawley Act?

The Smoot-Hawley Act is the Tariff Act of 1930. It increased 900 import tariffs by an average of 40 to 48 percent. Most economists blame it for worsening the Great Depression. That means it also contributed to the start of World War II.

In June 1930, Smoot-Hawley raised already-high U.S. tariffs on foreign agricultural imports. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.

Rather than helping, it raised food prices for Americans who were already suffering from the Depression. It also compelled other countries to retaliate with their own tariffs. That forced global trade down by 65 percent.

Smoot-Hawley showed how dangerous trade protectionism is for the global economy. Since then, world leaders advocate free trade agreements that promote increased trade for all participants.

Our president has decided that he likes the idea of imposing tariffs on steel ans aluminum….and no matter which party one aspires to there is few that see any good coming from tariffs (my favorite part of this is to listen to a lying bitch thumping the cheap drum to the positive works that these things will do).

“Trade wars are good,” tweeted U.S. President Donald Trump, “and easy to win.”

And just like that, we’re back in the thick of it: Trump, looking to Make America Great Again, has threatened to use section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum, suggesting it’s a matter of U.S. national security. That would have a heavy impact on Canada, as it is the number-one supplier of both steel and aluminum to the United States. Of course, those proposed levies may just be more bluster for the ongoing NAFTA negotiations; indeed, Trump has said that a “new and fair” NAFTA deal would prompt the U.S. to consider an exemption.

But several things indicate things could be serious, including the Dow’s initial slump in reaction and many Republicans’ frenzied opposition to the decision. More worrying, even, is the fact that it’s entirely consistent with the rhetoric Trump campaigned on—namely, getting blue-collar workers in distressed industries back on the job with protectionist measures.

http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/what-we-can-learn-from-a-disastrous-1930-u-s-tariff-on-canadian-goods/

Some think that it will cost jobs……With economists warning of a potential 146,000 American jobs lost due to the proposed tariffs, Business Insider reveals the US states that could be hit hardest, including Louisiana, Connecticut, and Missouri.

There are some that think that this is just a tactic the president is using to keep the Rust Belt in his sphere of influence and that he will roll everything he has said back……an election ploy for the mid-terms.

We can hope that is his play but some of us do not think he is that clever.

I will do something that my Right wing brethren seldom do…..To be fair…..there is some positive news about the tariff thing…..

US Steel Corp says it will soon restart a blast furnace in Illinois that has been cold for over two years thanks to the 25% tariff on imported steel announced by President Trump last week, Politico reports. US Steel President David Burritt blames “unending waves of unfairly traded steel products” arriving in the US for the poor fortunes of steel workers in Granite City. He believes the planned tariff will turn that around. Restarting the blast furnace at Granite City Works will take up to four months. And while some believe Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum will be political winners, many experts are predicting harm to the US economy.

Finally…… Noah Smith at Bloomberg writes the tariffs could be a “self-inflicted wound” for Trump. He says tariffs typically don’t end up improving American industries. Rather they prevent industries from figuring out how to keep pace with global competitors, may lead to their products being seen as shoddy, and might hurt US manufacturers.

Has the GOP become an anti free trade party?

What say you?