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Free Trade

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Introduction US Presidents, European leaders and their academic spokespeople have attributed China’s growing market shares, trade surpluses and technological power to its “theft” of western technology, “unfair” or non-reciprocal trade and restrictive investment practices. President Trump has launched a ‘trade war’, - raising stiff tariffs, especially targeting Chinese exports – designed to pursue a protectionist... Read More
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"This is a Game We Can Win"
In 2003 I congratulated a young Chinese banker on his country’s accession to the WTO, cautioning that the trade body was a Western ideological post-Cold War creation designed not merely to enshrine export-oriented development models but to advance neoliberal trade norms. After a moment’s reflection he responded, “I agree with your view of the WTO’s... Read More
SHARMINI PERIES: It's The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or known as the OECD, predicted on Tuesday that Trump's tariffs on aluminum and steel imports could initiate a wave of protectionism and slow global economic growth. The tariffs have already spurred various... Read More
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In the turbulent times of Trump, it seems like an eternity, but last week, Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic advisor, resigned from his position. President Trump had asked “Cohn directly” if he could be relied on to help implement tariffs. Cohn said no, by Bloomberg Politics’ telling. Hours later, he was out. Asked and... Read More
President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians,... Read More
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Trump’s series of threats this week was a one-two punch. First, he threatened to impose national security tariffs on steel and aluminum, primarily against Canada and Mexico (along with Korea and Japan). Then, he suggested an alternative: He would exempt these countries IF they agree to certain U.S. demands. But these demands make so little... Read More
From Lincoln to William McKinley to Theodore Roosevelt, and from Warren Harding through Calvin Coolidge, the Republican Party erected the most awesome manufacturing machine the world had ever seen. And, as the party of high tariffs through those seven decades, the GOP was rewarded by becoming America's Party. Thirteen Republican presidents served from 1860 to... Read More
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Introduction By the end of the first month of President Trump’s Administration we are in a better position to evaluate the policies and direction of the new President. An examination of foreign and domestic policy, particularly from a historical and comparative perspective will provide insights about whether America is heading for a catastrophe as the... Read More
Steve Forbes once joked that if you ever find yourself in a middle seat on a plane and want to create some elbow room, try starting a conversation about U.S. monetary policy. It is a subject whose power to bore the pants off fellow passengers may diminish in coming years. Of dozens of potentially explosive... Read More
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Introduction: During his inaugural speech, President Trump clearly and forcefully outlined the strategic political-economic policies he will pursue over the next four years. Anti-Trump journalist, editorialists, academics and experts, who appear in the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have repeatedly distorted and lied about the President’s program as... Read More
The Birth of a New Nationalist World Order
Donald Trump is a worldly fellow. He travels the globe on his private jet. He’s married to a Slovene and divorced from a Czech. He doesn’t speak any other languages, but hey, he’s an American, so monolingualism is his birthright. His fortune depends in large part on the global economy. He has business interests in... Read More
On Trump’s third day Trump is one up on the Establishment. Can this last? I am not a Trump booster. I am a scorekeeper. On the third day of his presidency Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacificic Partnership (TPP). Based on this we must assume he will also... Read More
Mock-up of planned Russian-Chinese airliner to compete with Boeing and Airbus. To enter service by 2025. Ambitious? Oh yes. Remember when we laughed at Toyota, Airbus, and Trump? Credit: Sputnik News.
Make Money, Not War
Is Washington really going to start a trade war with China, or is it just huffing and puffing for position? I don’t know. Mr. Trump has inexplicably failed to brief me. A point worth bearing in mind: The United States cannot compete commercially with a developed Asia, or China. America has nowhere to go. It... Read More
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In the West Junk Information And Junk Judgment Prevail
The Western world and that part of the world that partakes of Western explanations live in a fictional world. We see this everywhere we look—in the alleged machinations of Russia to elect Donald Trump president of the US, in claims that Saddam Hussein and his (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction were a threat to the... Read More
Donald Trump's election triumph is among the more astonishing in history. Yet if he wishes to become the father of a new "America First" majority party, he must make good on his solemn promise: To end the trade deficits that have bled our country of scores of thousands of factories, and to create millions of... Read More
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Few aspirants to the American presidency have ever deployed a more effective slogan than Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again.” Although Hillary Clinton professed to believe that America has never stopped being great, in the end countless voters sided with Trump – and in many cases did so passionately, oblivious to all the Trumpian scandals... Read More
Protectionist Trumponomics vs. Neoliberalism
Donald Trump’s red wave on Election Day was an unprecedented body blow against neoliberalism. The stupid early-1990s prediction about the ‘end of history’ turned into a – possible – shock of the new. The new global nativism? Perhaps a new push towards democratic socialism? Too early to tell. Once again. A body blow, not a... Read More
Is America still a serious nation? Consider. While U.S. elites were denouncing Donald Trump as unfit to serve for having compared Miss Universe 1996 to "Miss Piggy" of "The Muppets," the World Trade Organization was validating the principal plank of his platform. America's allies are cheating and robbing her blind on trade. According to the... Read More
The concentration and centralization of the agro-business multi-nationals advances with gigantic strides: Potash Corp and Agrium have combined into a $30 billion monopoly over the world fertilizer market. Dow Chemical and DuPont combine in a $130 billion dollar deal in the seed and agricultural chemicals sector. ChemChina prepares to takeover Syngenta in a $44 billion... Read More
Labor Day—what is it? Perhaps not many Americans any longer know, so here is my explanation. In my time Labor Day was the unofficial end of summer, because school began after Labor Day. Today school begins almost a month before. When I was in school that would not have been possible, especially in the South.... Read More
In Tuesday's indictment of free trade as virtual economic treason, The Donald has really set the cat down among the pigeons. For, in denouncing NAFTA, the WTO, MFN for China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all backed by Bush I and II, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Trump is all but calling his own party leaders... Read More
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The most obvious approach to look at how European care for the elderly will evolve is to project technological trends and the costs of people living longer as diagnostic equipment, drug treatments and other medical science continues to improve. This kind of projection shows a rising cost to society of pensions and health care, because... Read More
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Last December I initiated a series of articles collectively headed “Why Trump Is Winning.” They were published at Forbes.com and, to say the least, my editors there seemed underwhelmed. After all, the almost universally touted conventional wisdom at the time was that Trump’s support had a low ceiling. Once the field started thinning, his negatives... Read More
Greenpeace has done that part of the world whose representatives are so corrupt or so stupid as to sign on to the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic “partnerships” a great service. Greenpeace secured and leaked the secret TTIP documents that Washington and global corporations are pushing on Europe. The official documents prove that my description of these... Read More
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Donald Trump’s speech on foreign policy on Wednesday has been widely and predictably misrepresented. The Economist, for instance, claimed to see many “errors” there, yet curiously failed to identify a single one. In suggesting his proposed strategy is riddled with contradictions, the only substantiation the magazine offered was this: Pace the Economist and its compulsion... Read More
If the polls are any guide, Donald Trump should romp home in tomorrow's New York State primary. Besides a home-state advantage, he will have key economic issues working for him. The fact is that in few regions of the United States does his case against the decline of American manufacturing resonate so powerfully. As the... Read More
As I have emphasized since these “partnerships” were first announced, their purpose is to give corporations immunity from the laws in the countries in which they do business. The principle mechanism of this immunity is the granting of the right to corporations to sue governments and agencies of governments that have laws or regulations that... Read More
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Why the Media's Silence on Japanese Protectionism Gives Trump Another Priceless Opening
In few places has Donald Trump’s rise caused more unease than in Tokyo. Indeed it is probably safe to say that, underneath an ostensibly imperturbable exterior, top Japanese officials are running far more scared than even Trump realizes. They have a lot to be scared about. Much of what the Washington establishment thinks it knows... Read More
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Mitt gives Mormons (whom I love) a bad name. I thought Mormons weren’t meant to bad-mouth others. Yet Mitt had nothing but bad things to say about Donald Trump, who is political tabula rasa, and has never passed a law in his life. Neither has Trump ever caused the death of a single Iraqi kid.... Read More
Republican hawks are aflutter today over China's installation of anti-aircraft missiles on Woody Island in the South China Sea. But do these Republicans, good free-traders all, realize their own indispensable role in converting an indigent China into the mighty and menacing power that seeks to push us out of Asia? Last year, China ran up... Read More
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The US economy died when middle class jobs were offshored and when the financial system was deregulated. Jobs offshoring benefitted Wall Street, corporate executives, and shareholders, because lower labor and compliance costs resulted in higher profits. These profits flowed through to shareholders in the form of capital gains and to executives in the form of... Read More
he re-enserfment of Western peoples is taking place on several levels. One about which I have been writing for more than a decade comes from the offshoring of jobs. Americans, for example, have a shrinking participation in the production of the goods and services that are marketed to them. On another level we are experiencing... Read More
On January 6, 2004, Senator Charles Schumer and I challenged the erroneous idea that jobs offshoring was free trade in a New York Times op-ed. Our article so astounded economists that within a few days Schumer and I were summoned to a Brookings Institution conference in Washington, DC, to explain our heresy. In the nationally... Read More
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A major cause of contemporary political ills in the world is the misnomers that help hide what the strong and rich aspire to and already control. A perfect example of this is the ubiquitous term ‘trade’ in what the media are telling us these days about the TPP and the TTIP – the transpacific and... Read More
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Donald Trump seems not to have noticed yet but the Boeing aircraft company has just handed him a perfect opportunity to target the middle ground in American politics. Boeing has for decades been perhaps the most egregious corporate exemplar of what Trump rightly denounces as the stupidity and spinelessness of U.S. trade policy. That policy... Read More
While we all cheered the failure to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance(TAA) in the hope that its defeat would stop Fast Track, the House quicklyvoted to pass Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) with 219 votes (218 is a majority but there were some abstentions). This situation means that the House and Senate have not passed... Read More
TTIP: The Corporate Empowerment Act
The Transatlantic and Transpacific Trade and Investment Partnerships have nothing to do with free trade. “Free trade” is used as a disguise to hide the power these agreements give to corporations to use law suits to overturn sovereign laws of nations that regulate pollution, food safety, GMOs, and minimum wages. The first thing to understand... Read More
SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The Senate just approved the fast-track legislation in Washington, and with me to discuss this is Michael Hudson. He’s joining me from New York City. Michael is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University... Read More
Americans of all political persuasions abhor human trafficking. So why is the Obama administration pushing a highly controversial trade pact that would reward nations with some of the world’s worst human trafficking records? It is a good question, and one that has been brought into sharp focus by reports overnight of the discovery of mass... Read More
As Middle America rises in rage against "fast track" and the mammoth Obamatrade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Wall Street Journal has located the source of the malady. Last Monday's lead editorial began: "Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform... Read More
In the first quarter of 2015, in the sixth year of the historic Obama recovery, the U.S. economy grew by two-tenths of 1 percent. And that probably sugarcoats it. For trade deficits subtract from the growth of GDP, and the U.S. trade deficit that just came in was a monster. As the AP's Martin Crutsinger... Read More
The GOP swept to victory in November by declaring that this imperial presidency must be brought to heel, and President Obama's illicit seizures of Congressional power must end. That was then. Now is now. This week, Congress takes up legislation to cede His Majesty full authority to negotiate the largest trade deal in history, the... Read More
It seems only yesterday that most of the world’s largest corporations were based in the United States. In the auto industry, for instance, there was General Motors, which not only towered over Ford and Chrysler but made Toyota and Volkswagen look positively Lilliputian. Those days are gone. On most measures Toyota and Volkswagen are now... Read More
"Free trade results in giving our money, our manufactures, and our markets to other nations," warned the Republican Senator from Ohio and future President William McKinley in 1892. "Thank God I am not a free-trader," echoed the rising Empire State Republican and future President Theodore Roosevelt. Those were the voices of a Republican Party that... Read More
Last November, Republicans grew their strength in Congress to levels unseen since 1946. What united the party and rallied the nation was the GOP's declared resolve to stand up to an imperious president. Give us powerful new majorities, said John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and we shall halt these usurpations of Congressional power. And, so,... Read More
Chinese leader Xi Jinping knows something Barack Obama doesn’t: America is finished. The U.S. economy is an ocean liner holed below the waterline. In the stateroom, the band plays on – but, on the bridge, the outcome is clear. With the arguable exception of the late-era Soviet Union, America is sinking faster than any Great... Read More
Nobel prize winners are supposed to have done something useful. Marie Curie discovered radioactivity – and thus gave us, among other things, X-rays. As for Albert Einstein, even before he became famous for his theory of relativity, he won a Nobel for describing photons, whose most familiar latter-day application is in optical fiber communications. Meanwhile... Read More
I have come to the conclusion that the West is a vast lie machine for the secret agendas of vested interests. Consider, for example, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Transpacific Trade and Investment Partnership. These so-called “partnerships” are in fact vehicles by which US corporations make themselves immune to the sovereign laws... Read More
Thoughts for Labor Day
Labor Day is a holiday that has outlived its time. Like Christmas, Labor Day has become a time-out period. As Christmas has become a shopping spree, Labor Day has become the last summer holiday. The holiday originated in 1887 to celebrate the contribution made by American workers to the strength and prosperity of the United... Read More
Last week, I explained how economists and policymakers destroyed our economy for the sake of short-term corporate profits from jobs offshoring and financial deregulation. That same week Business Week published an article, “Factory Jobs Are Gone. Get Over It,” by Charles Kenny. Kenny expresses the view of establishment economists, such as Brookings Institute economist Justin... Read More
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