The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Free Trade

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The G20 Meeting in Japan
President Trump has threatened China’s President Xi that if they don’t meet and talk at the upcoming G20 meetings in Japan, June 29-30, the United States will not soften its tariff war and economic sanctions against Chinese exports and technology. Some meeting between Chinese and U.S. leaders will indeed take place, but it cannot be... Read More
As his limo carried him to work at the White House Monday, Larry Kudlow could not have been pleased with the headline in The Washington Post: "Kudlow Contradicts Trump on Tariffs." The story began: "National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow acknowledged Sunday that American consumers end up paying for the administration's tariffs on Chinese imports,... Read More
Wherever I look at US policy, foreign or domestic, I see only insanity, ignorance, and incompetence. Take the issue of tariffs, which is Trump’s mistaken approach to bringing the jobs back home. The tariff “solution” overlooks that offshored US production counts as imports when US firms bring their goods into the US to be marketed.... Read More
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It’s Already Under Way
In his highly acclaimed 2017 book, Destined for War, Harvard professor Graham Allison assessed the likelihood that the United States and China would one day find themselves at war. Comparing the U.S.-Chinese relationship to great-power rivalries all the way back to the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century BC, he concluded that the future risk... Read More
Last week the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Sadly, instead of replacing NAFTA’s managed trade with true free trade, the new USMCA expands government’s control over trade. For example, under the USMCA’s “rules of origin,” at least 75... Read More
Third Time's the Charm
This is America’s third trade war on China: we held its head under water from 1949-1971 and from 1989-92. Inter alia, the US, the EU and the USSR embargoed all weapons technology to prevent China from independently developing the H-Bomb or launching satellites. She did both and kept her economy growing debt-free, twice as fast... Read More
One of the most insidious ways politicians expand government is by creating new programs to “solve” problems created by politicians. For example, government interference in health care increased health care costs, making it difficult or even impossible for many to obtain affordable, quality care. The effects of these prior interventions were used to justify Obamacare.... Read More
Ecological economists, such as Herman E. Daly, stress that as the external costs of pollution and resource exhaustion are not included in Gross Domestic Product, we do not know whether an increase in GDP is a gain or a loss. External costs are huge and growing larger. Historically, manufacturing and industrial corporations, corporate farming, city... Read More
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Five Financial Uncertainties of 2018 (So Far)
Here we are in the middle of the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency and if there’s one thing we know by now, it’s that the leader of the free world can create an instant reality-TV show on geopolitical steroids at will. True, he’s not polished in his demeanor, but he has an unerring way... Read More
"Make America Great Again!" will, given the astonishing victory it produced for Donald Trump, be recorded among the most successful slogans in political history. Yet it raises a question: How did America first become the world's greatest economic power? In 1998, in "The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to... Read More
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Introduction Journalists, academics, pundits and experts have ignored the complexity of President Trump’s impact on the state of the US Empire. To properly assess the geopolitical configuration of power, we will consider the military, economic, political and diplomatic advances and setbacks of the Trump regime in Latin America, the European Union and Asia (including the... Read More
When are America’s global corporations and Wall Street going to sit down with President Trump and explain to him that his trade war is not with China but with them. The biggest chunk of America’s trade deficit with China is the offshored production of America’s global corporations. When the corporations bring the products that they... Read More
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How Donald Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Leaders are routinely confronted with philosophical dilemmas. Here’s a classic one for our Trumptopian times: If you make enemies out of your friends and friends out of your enemies, where does that leave you? What does winning (or losing) really look like? Is a world in which walls of every sort encircle America’s borders a... Read More
In the rush of Trumped-up events, history -- of the last month, week, hour -- repeatedly gets plowed (or tweeted) under. Who can remember what happened so long ago? Perhaps it’s not surprising then that, in the wave of abuse from the president and his men (including economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade hardliner Peter... Read More
The dissolution of the Soviet Union removed the constraint on Washington’s unilateralism. The neoconservatives, who had just risen to power, seized the opportunity and replaced diplomacy with threat and coercion. One infamous example is from the George W. Bush regime when the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, told Pakistan to do as you are... Read More
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Introduction The world is riven with class conflicts in Latin America, political conflicts between the Anglo-Americans and Russians, and economic conflicts between Washington against Europe and Asia. The conflicts have called into question the capacity of ruling elites to promote growth, to secure international stability and to foster global as co-operation. To understand the underlying... Read More
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
Category Classics
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution