Are We Winning The Trade War?

Trump came into office promising all sorts of stuff but mostly that he was an expert at trade policies and he would return the US to its rightful place as the world leader in trade.

I have written about this experts consequences of his trade wars…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/29/trade-war-consequences/

https://lobotero.com/2019/09/16/trumps-trade-war/

Let’s be honest his policies have been disastrous to this country….only a handful of extremely rich people have benefited from these failed policies….

Some have asked just why has these policies failed other than a total impotent approach to trade…….

Before Donald Trump took office, he promised he was going to stick it to China on trade. When he assumed power, he indeed did so — threatening and then levying tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports. China responded in kind, before agreeing to a largely symbolic trade agreement in January only to have it disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The problem the Trump administration was ostensibly trying to solve was America’s enormous trade deficit, which Trump has portrayed as the U.S. being ripped off by foreign countries. This was also the motivation behind the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and a threatened trade war on Europe that is also now on hold.

Yet all these actions did not shrink the trade deficit. On the contrary, the deficit widened for the first few years of Trump’s presidency, shrank back to about what it was before he took office in late 2019, and now has widened once again. What gives?

https://theweek.com/articles/923813/why-trumps-trade-war-failed

My thought is if we are to trade with other nations that maybe a more inclusive talks and a mutual beneficial agreements would help everybody.

Instead we are “going it alone”…..and the results are noticeable to all….jobs loss…..factors closing……lack of confidence in the US.

Time that we stop acting like the sole nation on this planet and start working with others for common goals.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

What The Hell Is The Jones Act?

That time again…the Old Professor’s Classroom…..to learn something does not hurt in anyway.

Before we start…..I think it might be helpful to the understanding of the question to give a little background into the Act.

The Merchant Marine act of 1920 was designed to create a safe network of merchant mariners within the U.S. after World War I, in reaction to the U.S. fleet being destroyed by the German navy. The Jones Act requires all goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported by U.S. vessels (and operated primarily by Americans).

It calls for providing the nation with a merchant marine that can transport goods between U.S. ports, increase national security during war times, and support a U.S. maritime industry. This nearly century-old law has been amended several times, most recently in 2006.

While much of the current attention on the Jones Act is focused on foreign shipping regulations, the law also contains important information about the maritime industry’s responsibilities regarding safety and well-being of crew. It safeguards the rights of sailors from being exploited, requiring compensation for injuries due to negligence by their employers. It requires employers to maintain safe environments and provide medical care, and also sets standards for vessel maintenance, safety equipment such as lifeboats, and crew qualifications, training and licensing. And, this all-encompassing law has something to say about the environment too, requiring all U.S. ships to comply with EPA regulations.

Now you have a grasp on what the Act entails….we can move onto the debate that is raging (well maybe not raging but intense)……

There is a debate raging on whether the Act has seen better days and should be revoked…..

First a more Libertarian look at the Act…..

For nearly 100 years, a federal law known as the Jones Act has restricted water transportation of cargo between U.S. ports to ships that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-crewed, U.S.-registered, and U.S.-built. Justified on national security grounds as a means to bolster the U.S. maritime industry, the unsurprising result of this law has been to impose significant costs on the U.S. economy while providing few of the promised benefits.

This paper provides an overview of the Jones Act by examining its history and the various burdens it imposes on consumers and businesses alike. While the law’s most direct consequence is to raise transportation costs, which are passed down through supply chains and ultimately reflected in higher retail prices, it generates enormous collateral damage through excessive wear and tear on the country’s infrastructure, time wasted in traffic congestion, and the accumulated health and environmental toll caused by unnecessary carbon emissions and hazardous material spills from trucks and trains. Meanwhile, closer scrutiny finds the law’s national security justification to be unmoored from modern military and technological realities

https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/jones-act-burden-america-can-no-longer-bear

A short con video for the Jones Act…….

Ask a Founder if the Act should go……

During the first Congress in 1789, Alexander Hamilton led the passage of legislation that required trade between U.S. ports to be conducted by U.S.-flagged vessels, which mirrored the laws of most major countries at the time. This forerunner of the Jones Act nurtured the nation’s fledgling maritime industry and provided a pool of U.S. ships, crews, and shipbuilders that could support the country in a conflict. Even free market theorist Adam Smith contended that England’s own similar statutes were “the wisest of all the commercial regulations” given their vital defense role.
Hamilton’s goals still apply today. The domestic U.S. commercial fleet provides some of the ships, and 40 percent of the mariners needed to move military cargoes during a crisis. U.S.-flagged and operated ships also keep foreign vessels and crews off America’s interior waterways and lessen adversaries’ ability to gain control of commercial sea links between the Continental United States and Hawaii, Alaska, or island territories. Furthermore, the Jones Act’s U.S.-build requirement sustains shipyards the government depends on for episodic construction of military ships and ensures ship construction capacity is available in the United States to replace wartime losses.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/07/04/end_the_jones_act_ask_alexander_hamilton_115438.html

The con has been stated…..now the pro…..

One hundred years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson enacted a law that would become known as the Jones Act. Its purpose was to help the U.S. shipping industry recover after World War I. Yet few could have predicted how vital it would become to our national security and economic prosperity a full century later — especially during a pandemic.

The Jones Act requires that all vessels carrying goods between two U.S. points be American-built, -owned, -crewed and -flagged. This policy provides stability to the U.S. maritime industry and helps to sustain 650,000 American jobs, resulting in $150 billion in economic benefits each year. Most importantly, the Jones Act advances our national security by helping maintain a vibrant domestic shipbuilding industry and maritime workforce. Our shipbuilders supply the military with warships, and U.S. mariners play a key role in transporting military personnel and equipment overseas in times of crisis.

https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/06/05/why-the-jones-act-is-still-needed-100-years-later/

There you have both sides and I would like to hear from my readers on whether the Jones Act should stay or should it go.

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“lego ergo scribo”

 

 

NAFTA 2.0?

Back in the day globalization took off big time in the 1990s and the presidency of Clinton….when it was signed into law I said then that it was a bad idea for workers not just here but around the world.

I was a supporter of the Trump’s idea to trash the deal and come forth with a new more inclusive deal.

But after 3 and half years and lots of talk and tariff stuff we have a new “NAFTA”…..

President Trump has touted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the worst trade deal ever negotiated—and vowed to replace it. Today, it has been replaced by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and, unbeknownst to him, this agreement should hold that unsavory title. While the USMCA makes some modest improvements (largely by borrowing from the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Trump withdrew from), it also includes some protectionist elements and veiled industrial policy. Furthermore, while the administration has been rushing to implement the deal in order to score political points on the campaign trail, businesses are left to sort out the new rules and paperwork that they will have to start following as of today. USMCA was pitched as a way to reduce uncertainty among the three trading partners in the face of threats of withdrawal from NAFTA that Trump made regularly. But at the end of the day, much uncertainty still remains.

The first area where we are likely to see some challenge in implementation was exactly the issue that received an inordinate amount of attention during negotiations: autos. The rules that determine whether a product can cross duty free across the border—rules of origin—were tightened for the auto sector. In NAFTA, passenger vehicles were required to have 62.5% North American content, and in the USMCA that has been increased to 75%. This means that auto producers will need to source more components from the region, in addition to ensuring that 70% of the steel and aluminum used in production also comes from Canada, Mexico or the United States. On top of this—a first ever in a trade agreement—a new labor value content requirement was added that requires auto makers to have 40–45% of their auto content made by workers making at least $16 an hour. This is clearly aimed at moving production out of Mexico, which has been an important link in the North American auto supply chain. For automakers these rules will raise some challenges in implementation, not least because auto production is so fragmented, and that every producer up and down the supply chain must abide by the new content rules. Coordinating this is no easy feat. Canada has yet to pass the regulations that will bring the auto rules into force, and with today being a holiday in Canada, that process will undoubtedly be delayed. In the United States, guidance on the regulations has been shared, but the interim final rules on uniform regulations and labor value content were just published today.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/trump-signed-worst-trade-deal-ever-and-it-just-went-effect-164021

I do not see how this would benefit the workers or make their lives more enriched…..once again the words of Trump have proven to be total crap.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden On Trade

Looks like all the hard work the media and pundits have done is giving Biden the inside tract to the nomination….we can only hope that it is not so…..well he made it….Biden is the man with a plan…..at least that is his story.

But since Trump will probably run on his trade policies I thought maybe a look at those of Biden would be helpful…..

“In terms of the coming general election we don’t have to predict what [President Donald] Trump will be saying about Joe Biden, because he is already making those attacks. Trump—who won Michigan, who won Wisconsin, who won Pennsylvania—made one of his major campaign tenets his opposition to NAFTA and PNTR [Permanent Normal Trade Relations ] with China,” said Sanders.

“In 2016, he criticized those trade policies as being disastrous—and just yesterday, he made that claim,” Sanders continued. “The truth is, and we have to be honest about this, that NAFTA and PNTR cost this country well over 4 million good paying jobs. In Michigan alone, these disastrous trade agreements led to the loss of more than 150,000 good paying jobs. And not only job loss—when good paying jobs go, you are involved in a race to the bottom and employers can pay lower wages.”

“These trade agreements have been a disaster for the people of Michigan, the state of Vermont, and for the entire country. Joe Biden and I have very strong and different positions in terms of how we reacted to NAFTA and PNTR,” Sanders said.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/06/will-bidens-trade-policy-record-come-back-haunt-him-midwest

To be fair to Biden…..OnTheIssues.org asked some question to Biden…..if you are considering voting for Joe Biden then maybe get to know his policies before doing so…..https://www.ontheissues.org/International/Joe_Biden_Free_Trade.htm

Another look at Biden’s trade policies…..https://www.csis.org/analysis/what-former-vice-president-bidens-policy-trade

I would give you his website but they want my email and I refuse to give it….so if you can find another way into his policies I wish you luck.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

 

Say Good Bye To Open Skies

That would be a treaty signed many years ago between the US and the USSR…..

Since 1992, the United States has achieved Open Skies with 120 foreign partners. In 2015 and 2016, we finalized Open Skies agreements with Ukraine, Serbia, Cote d’ Ivoire, Seychelles, Togo, Azerbaijan and Curacao (Kingdom of the Netherlands) and a modernized air transport agreement with Mexico. Over 70 percent of international departures from the United States now fly to Open Skies partners. We have Open Skies with countries at all levels of economic development, including major economies like Brazil, India, Japan, and South Korea and smaller countries like Equatorial Guinea. Our agreement with the European Union liberalized the largest international aviation market in the world.

But what did it accomplish?

  • Open Skies contributes to the success of the President’s National Export Initiative, the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, and the Department of State’s Economic Statecraft Initiative.
  • The business model for the international package delivery sector, employing over half a million people, depends on Open Skies to operate competitively in foreign markets. U.S. air freight services to fast-growing regions like the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, and Africa exceeded $1 billion in 2013 and contributed over $3 billion to the U.S. trade balance in the last five years.
  • The Brookings Institution estimates that Open Skies agreements add approximately $4 billion in annual economic gains to consumers.
  • U.S. Airlines for Open Skies estimates that full liberalization through Open Skies agreements would lead to a 16-percent increase in air traffic and support 9 million jobs in aviation and related industries.
  • Open Skies has dramatically expanded direct international connections to cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Memphis, Minneapolis, Orlando, Portland, and Salt Lake City.
  • A private study found that new direct service between a U.S. city and a point in the European Union generates up to $720 million annually in new economic activity for the U.S. city and its local region, depending on the size of the markets.
  • Portland International Airport estimates that its direct international flights to Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt generate over $240 million in airport and visitor revenue.
  • The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority estimates that aviation liberalization with Brazil helped increase the number of visitors from Brazil to Orlando from 74,000 in 2004 to 768,000 in 2013, and that Emirates’ service from Dubai will add $100 million in new economic activity in Central Florida and create 1,500 jobs.

The Treaty was cloaked in a economic blanket but was also an intel agreement…..

I gave my readers a quick breakdown of the “Open Skies Treaty” because Donald the Orange has decided in his ego soaked mind that the US needs to withdraw from the agreement….

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States is withdrawing from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, saying it is being used to “undermine international peace and security.” The US has been threatening to withdraw for awhile, though Pompeo says the US might consider returning to the Treaty if Russia makes concessions. President Trump went on to say the US might reconsider leaving the treaty entirely at some point.

The treaty is meant to allow the US and Russia, along with other member states, freedom to conduct surveillance overflights of one another. This was intended to be a trust-building concession, allowing each nation the freedom to check and make sure the other isn’t building up a big offensive against them.

In the course of pulling out of the INF Treaty, the Trump Administration has been critical of Open Skies for some time, accusing Russia of not giving them unfettered access to the exclave of Kaliningrad. The Pentagon insisted this meant the treaty no longer benefits the US.

(antiwar.com)

It seems that Congress wants a better explanation than the flimsy crap spread by Pompeo….

The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees are demanding an explanation from the State and Defense departments on what they are calling President Trump’s “illegal” move to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty.

A provision in the annual defense policy bill signed into law in December requires the administration to notify Congress at least 120 days before it officially submits an intent to withdraw to the other treaty members.

Democrats say the required notice was not given to Congress before Trump announced Thursday he was pulling the U.S. out of the treaty.

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/499164-house-chairmen-demand-explanation-on-trumps-illegal-withdrawal-from-open-skies

Of course NATO is scrambling to find the words to describe their frustrations…..https://www.dw.com/en/nato-allies-alarmed-annoyed-by-us-open-skies-exit/a-53540717

This is the third international arms control treaty to be scrapped by Trump, after the Iran nuclear accord and the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty. Defense hawks have long criticized the Open Skies Treaty, reports the Hill.

As far back as the 1950s was,this treaty envisioned…..

It was hailed as an economic necessity and in reality it was more an intel necessity……and yes it is probably obsolete thanx for those satellites whizzing around in space.

My question is how will it effect air commerce?

Has anyone bothered to ask that question?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That “Free Market” Illusion

We hear a lot about “free markets” and “free trade” these days…well for many decades…..it has been the clarion call of conservs….

Let’s look at the term “free markets”…..

A free market economy is a type of economy that promotes the production and sale of goods and services, with little to no control or involvement from any central government agency. The economic system is primarily based on supply and demand. Order and power in a free market are decentralized, with individuals making all of their own voluntary economic choices.

In a free-market economy, firms and households act in their own self-interest to determine how resources get allocated, what goods get produced, and who buys the goods. A free market economy functions in the opposite manner as a command economy works, where the central government gets to keep the profits and choose how to use them.

Read More….https://www.intelligenteconomist.com/free-market/

That is what a free market world would look like if it were truly a free system…..it is not.

Let’s be honest……A pure market economy has no barriers to economic exchange: you can sell anything to anyone else for any price. In reality, this form of economics is rare. Sales taxes, tariffs on imports and exports, and legal prohibitions—such as the age restriction on liquor consumption—are all impediments to a truly free market exchange.

So free market is total BS.

Now comes the term “free trade”…..Free trade is a largely theoretical policy under which governments impose absolutely no tariffs, taxes, or duties on imports, or quotas on exports. In this sense, free trade is the opposite of protectionism, a defensive trade policy intended to eliminate the possibility of foreign competition.  

Free Trade has an ugly side…..

  • It causes job loss through outsourcing: Tariffs tend to prevent job outsourcing by keeping product pricing at competitive levels. Free of tariffs, products imported from foreign countries with lower wages cost less. While this may be seemingly good for consumers, it makes it hard for local companies to compete, forcing them to reduce their workforce. Indeed, one of the main objections to NAFTA was that it outsourced American jobs to Mexico.
  • It encourages theft of intellectual property: Many foreign governments, especially those in developing countries, often fail to take intellectual property rights seriously. Without the protection of patent laws, companies often have their innovations and new technologies stolen, forcing them to compete with lower-priced domestically-made fake products.
  • It allows for poor working conditions: Similarly, governments in developing countries rarely have laws to regulate and ensure safe and fair working conditions. Because free trade is partially dependent on a lack of government restrictions, women and children are often forced to work in factories doing heavy labor under slave-like working conditions.
  • It can harm the environment: Emerging countries have few, if any environmental protection laws. Since many free trade opportunities involve the exporting of natural resources like lumber or iron ore, clear-cutting of forests and un-reclaimed strip mining often decimate local environments.
  • It reduces revenues: Due to the high level of competition spurred by unrestricted free trade, the businesses involved ultimately suffer reduced revenues. Smaller businesses in smaller countries are the most vulnerable to this effect.

(thoughtco.com)

There you have it “Free Markets” is an illusion….”Free Trade” is an illusion……all made up benefits to make it more appealing to the workers which are continuously scorched by the lies of the oligarchs.

We have come to a point in our nation’s public discourse where there is a widespread realization that many of the economic policies pursued and promoted by our political, business and media elites have failed us in multiple ways. We have heard our trade policies called “Free Trade” and “Free Market”, but those statements were often dishonest.

When crafting these agreements, our elites have been responding to incentives which are beneficial to their institutions but detrimental to the well-being of American citizens.

Traditional conservatives have been observing and asking about these policy failures for some time and have been met with name-calling and general denigration. During this current pandemic crisis, the magnitude of the failure of these misguided agreements and policies has become unavoidably obvious.

The Illusion of ‘Free Markets’ and ‘Free Trade’

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

And Join a Union and fight for your rights and your life….being a passive spectator will NEVER give you the end that you seek.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–03Jan20

A new year, a new decade and a new trade agreement and this time it does not involve the US…..this agreement is between Japan, China and South Korea……a bloc that could challenge the US….on the trade front.

The trade ministers of China, Japan and South Korea agreed to work towards a regional trade pact and a trilateral free-trade deal on Sunday.

The agreement was reached despite the recent bitter quarrel between Tokyo and Seoul and the uncertainty caused by China’s ongoing trade negotiations with the United States, as well as the threat of North Korea resuming nuclear tests.

The ministers did not announce any concrete results after Sunday’s talks in Beijing, but they voiced their willingness to continue discussions on the
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
– which also includes the Asean group of countries, Australia, India and New Zealand – as well as the three-way free-trade deal.
 
Will this trade bloc go unnoticed by Trump or will he use the power of sanctions (his preferred technique to punish other countries) to retaliate?
 
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“lego ergo scribo”

Tariffs–Trump Weapon Of Choice

Most Americans know that Trump has decided that a good trade war is what this country and the world desperately…..

He expanded his “war” with tariffs…first on two South American countries…..

President Trump leaves for a NATO summit in London on Monday, but first he’s making headlines in regard to South America. In an early tweet, the president announced he is restoring tariffs on aluminum and steel shipped from Argentina and Brazil, reports the Wall Street Journal. Trump accused both countries of manipulating their currencies to hurt US farmers, and he paired his action with criticism of the Federal Reserve, notes Bloomberg, which sees the morning moves as significant. Trump says that by these and other nations deliberately devaluing their currencies, “this makes it very hard for our (manufacturers) & farmers to fairly export their goods,” he wrote. “Lower Rates & Loosen – Fed!”

This is the first time Trump has explicitly linked tariffs to currency moves, per Bloomberg, and “as such, it signifies a potential new phase in his trade wars in which foreign-exchange markets are the battleground.” The US initially exempted Brazil and Argentina from metal tariffs put into place in 2018, but that exemption is now being lifted. The New York Times notes that the two countries have benefited from the US trade war with China: Both have been shipping soybeans and other farm products to China, making up for the shortfall of US exports

France is next in the cross hairs….

The Trump administration is proposing tariffs on up to $2.4 billion worth of French imports—including Roquefort cheese, handbags, lipstick, and sparkling wine—in retaliation for France’s tax on American tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. The Office of the US Trade Representative charged Monday that France’s new digital services tax discriminates against US companies. The trade office will accept public comments on the tariffs, which could hit 100%, through Jan. 6. The French tax is designed to prevent tech companies from dodging taxes by putting headquarters in low-tax EU countries. It imposes a 3% annual levy on French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than $830 million and French revenue exceeding $27.7 million.

The US also criticized the French tax for targeting companies’ revenue, not their profits, and for being retroactive, the AP reports. The decision to pursue tariffs “sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on US companies,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said. He warned that the US is also looking into digital taxes introduced by Austria, Italy, and Turkey. The decision to target France got bipartisan endorsement from GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden. In a joint statement, they assailed the French digital tax as “unreasonable, protectionist and discriminatory.”

I have made my thoughts known on Trump’s sanctions and tariffs….(you can find them in IST archives under “tariffs”)….I believe there is a better way to deal with other countries than trying to punish them for perceived violations.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

We Have a Deal!

Closing Thought–16Dec19

Just in time for the beginning of the process to pick our next president it has been announced that Xi and Trump have reached a deal on ending our trade war…..

Do not let the peasants dance just yet….they have agreed on only one phase of the deal…..

China and the U.S. agreed on the text of a phase one trade deal that includes the removal of tariffs on Chinese goods in stages, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said, as President Donald Trump confirmed that some levies will be reduced and said the next round of talks will start immediately.

China will increase imports from the U.S. and other countries, Wang said at a briefing in Beijing Friday. Vice Chairman of the National Reform and Development Commission Ning Jizhe added that the specifics of agricultural purchases would be released later, as the text of the agreement is still under review.

The comments were China’s first response to a deal signed off by Trump on Thursday that would halt higher tariffs planned for Dec. 15 and represent the first phase in defusing the trade war that’s shaken the global economy.

https://outline.com/9fvXqt

Just in time to help the markets rise a bit and make the economy look better than it is……but the markets did bite this time from Trump….

Stocks are closing at more record highs as traders hope that the US and China can make enough progress on trade to avoid new tariffs kicking in over the weekend, the AP reports. Banks and technology companies led the gains. The S&P 500 rose 26 points, or 0.9%, to 3,168. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 220 points, or 0.8%, to 28,131. The Nasdaq rose 63 points, or 0.7%, to 8,717. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are at record highs. Traders dumped safe-play investments like utilities and real estate companies and moved money into riskier assets. Bond prices also fell, sending yields sharply higher.

I still question the timing of this “deal”….not that Trump is doing anything different from any other president looking for a boost for the next round of voting.

Personally, I feel that we need a more “progressive” trade policy….we are giving too much a way to other nations…..

It is clear that these trade and investment policies no longer even benefit the signatory countries, but rather line the pockets of global elites at the expense of ordinary people and the planet we share. Backlash to these policies has peaked and waned, peaking 20 years ago with the fight against the MAI and the Seattle WTO protests, and again reemerging in the past decade, against the FTAA and, again, against the TPP more recently.

As the right has increasingly taken up opposition to trade policies from a protectionist and often xenophobic angle, the need to distinguish a left, internationalist critique of corporate globalization has never been more urgent. The chauvinist policies of the Trump administration and its imitators need to be strongly condemned. But if the progressive movement is simply reacting to the neoliberal trade agenda and its right-wing disruptors, it is unlikely to achieve meaningful change.

So, progressive politicians and policymakers — from AMLO to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — must unify around a progressive vision of trade to guide an international system that places people and planet over profits. That is why a bold new vision for international economic cooperation and global development is so crucial.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/12/we-need-progressive-alternative-trade-and-nafta-20-isnt-it

Trade should be our focus to save our family farms….and our industries as a whole….not some idle campaign slogan.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–11Dec19

The Dems wanted to prove that they did not go to DC justn to impeach the president…..plus they needed to give their members some cover in the close elections in 2020….for these reasons they helped pass the new NAFTA that Trump promised….

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced agreement on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Trump a major Capitol Hill win on the same day that Democrats announced impeachment charges against him, per the AP. Crediting Democratic negotiators for winning stronger provisions on enforcing the agreement, Pelosi said the revamped United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is “much better” than the North American Free Trade Agreement and “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.” “This is the right thing to do for our trade situation, for our workers,” she said. In a tweet, Trump said the revamped trade pact—his top Capitol Hill priority along with funding for his long-sought border fence—”will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions.”

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said the three countries’ negotiating teams would meet Tuesday “to announce the advances achieved.” NAFTA eliminated most tariffs and other trade barriers involving the US, Mexico, and Canada. Critics, including Trump, labor unions, and many Democratic lawmakers, branded the pact a job killer for the US because it encouraged factories to move south of the border, capitalize on low-wage Mexican workers, and ship products back to the US duty-free. Weeks of back-and-forth, closely monitored by Democratic labor allies such as the AFL-CIO, brought the two sides together, though Trump had accused Pelosi of being too wrapped up in impeachment. More protectionist and labor-friendly, USMCA contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the US.

This is nothing but a political gimme to the president…..just a way to help Dems in the states that depend on trade for their economy.

This is just NAFTA 2.0, as it has been labelled)…..it is weak…..

The revised U.S.—Mexico—Canada Agreement (USMCA), announced today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and endorsed by the AFL-CIO, represents a significant improvement on the draft agreement first released in 2017. Negotiators for labor and House Democrats strengthened the provisions on labor rights, environmental standards, and the enforcement of these rules, and also removed costly and egregious new protections for corporations, including giveaways by the Trump administration to pharmaceutical companies.

But the changes embodied in the USMCA still constitute Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process. Powerful multinational corporations have used and controlled the negotiation of trade and investment deals to facilitate offshoring and the deregulation of the U.S. and global economy, as noted by the Machinists Union, which has announced its opposition to the USMCA. The original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resulted in the loss of at least 680,000 U.S. jobs due to growing trade deficits with Mexico alone. It also caused downward pressure on the wages of nearly 100 million U.S. workers and the devastation of manufacturing communities across the United States, especially in the industrial Midwest and battleground states—with far-reaching social and electoral consequences.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/10/us-mexico-canada-agreement-weak-tea-best

Like I wrote…this is a weak piece of manure that does little but give Dems some cover for their upcoming elections back home.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”