Is Trump Right As Rain on NAFTA & Offshoring?

When asked during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday about his position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson - Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of State - said that while he did not personally oppose the agreement, it didn't further America's interests in its current form.

Q: "Do you share his [Trump's] opposition to TPP?"

Tillerson: "I do not oppose TPP. I share some of his views regarding whether the agreement that was negotiated serves all of America's interests the best."

Rex Tillerson is right - the TPP doesn't serve America's interests.

It serves the interest of the hundreds of giant transnational corporations that got to write it behind closed doors without any input whatsoever from the American people.

But what's true of the TPP is also true of America's trade policy as a whole.

For the past few decades, it's strayed far from it's historical purpose which, as Alexander Hamilton argued in his famous 11-point plan for "American-manufactures", was to boost exports and protect domestic industry through tariffs that made foreign manufactured goods less competitive.

Today, American trade policy does pretty much the exact opposite - all in the name of something called "globalization" - and We the People have paid the price through millions of lost jobs and a forty-year-long flatlining of wages.

So-called "free trade" just doesn't work, at least not for America - and Donald Trump isn't the only person to point this out.

Democrats have overwhelmingly opposed every single so-called free trade bill that's ever gone through Congress.

So what WOULD a rational trade policy look like?

Are we stuck with globalization?

Or can we go back to what worked so well for hundreds of years after the Hamilton model?


Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 23 weeks ago

Glad you are becoming a Trump supporter.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 23 weeks ago

It matters not a whit what Trump says: he's a proven pathological liar.

Earthstarman's picture
Earthstarman 7 years 22 weeks ago

tariffs should be a UN matter determined by holding all member nations to the highest standard of environmental & labor laws; this would make global trade a better deal for all citizens and the environment on which we all depend.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 22 weeks ago

Earthstarman - that is pure common sense... well said

Sadly, institutions continue to ignore in preference to self interest

Mulakush 7 years 22 weeks ago

To discuss Trade policy, it is pertinent to remeber that those who promote it have other agendas, primarily to neuter the involved sovereign states of policy making and enforcing powers as well as greatly enhance the powers of the world wide rentier classes. Clauses pertaining to these items have formed major portions of the 'trade' agreements and are never brought to light in any public forums.

It is for this reason that I oppose all trade deals - the corruption of politcal process to the detriment of the common people by the rentier classes. Well, well, well, what else is new?

Trade deals can not be fair. Countries have varying degrees of protections for workers, environment, business cheating etc. Even if the deals were to specify improvements in these areas, the costs cannot be evened out. So should we abandon trade deals? I think yes. The first order of any government's business should be to protect its own citizens, especially the most vulnerable ones. If that means tariffs, so be it. I would also like to see the link between work and income destroyed now that robots and other automation is looming supreme. When all the world has supremely intelligent automation, the whole issue of trade and tariffs will be pointless anyway.

Carl Lee's picture
Carl Lee 7 years 22 weeks ago

I love that deceived democrats are starting to wake up in droves

And he's not even president yet.

Legend 7 years 22 weeks ago

When Mitch McConnell sets it on Putins Puppet desk he will sign it.

Drrichardpaul's picture
Drrichardpaul 7 years 22 weeks ago

If you think Trump was always wrong, you've missed an opportunity to find common ground, and understanding as to why democrats lost this election. Free trade agreements was one major factor, besides the other obvious cheating the Clinton campaign and DNC performed during the primaries. The Midwest is bleeding, but you sycophants don't care about anything else but your own desires. The current path is unsustainable in the Midwest and Rust Belt. It must be changed. If we don't get something to stop the bleeding, we'll cause as much pain as it takes for everyone to suffer what we are. It isn't just lower incomes, it's the cost of living is artificially higher due directly to urbanites and their involvement in our workforces. They, urbanites, demand lower costs for goods and services, at the cost of lives in the working class communities.

Drrichardpaul's picture
Drrichardpaul 7 years 22 weeks ago

I'm glad to see you don't have a brain. You people really need to update your argument. You people are programmed to believe that the DNC didn't lose the election. They in fact did. It wasn't Russia. It was cheating and discouraging would-be allies in the first place, but you sycophants demanded fealty to a cheater.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 22 weeks ago

@ Drrichardpaul # 8 & 9:

"...why democrats lost this election. Free trade agreements was one major factor, besides the other obvious cheating the Clinton campaign and DNC performed during the primaries."

Although I agree that President Obama blundered badly by taking up the torch of corporate-sponsored "free" trade agreements, as President Clinton did before him, let's not forget history. Phony free trade agreements have always been conceived, engineered, and championed by virtually all Republicans throughout the modern era (because they benefit their corporate donors), and they have always been opposed by the vast majority of Democrats in Congress.

Trump, the cold-hearted businessman, has (and still is) taken full advantage of and benefited tremendously from these one-sided agreements by bringing in foreign, low-paid workers to slave away in his exclusive clubs and by manufacturing his various trinkets and baubles in low-wage countries. He never once mouthed any opposition to this hardcore Republican policy until he saw the traction that Bernie got in the primary.

During his long and illustrious career, Bernie has always spoken out loudly against Wall Street millionaires and billionaires and their so-called "free" trade agreements and has always recommended slapping targeted tariffs on imported products that unfairly undermine domestic industries. Nowadays, "Value Added Tax" (VAT) is the preferred mechanism that most first-world manufacturing nations employ to protect their own workforce. America is the only fool out of the bunch -- throwing our borders wide open for rapacious transnational mega-corporations to exploit.

Trump saw how those two powerful issues (anti-free trade and pro-labor protection) were resonating with working people across the spectrum of the electorate, so he simply stole them from Bernie and the Democrats. He gives a lot of lip service to "his" newfound talking points, but it remains to be seen -- when corporate-friendly/anti-worker legislation hits his desk -- if he is willing to buck his own party on issues that go directly to the heart of Republican DNA.

Given his talent, and very clear record, for lying and flip-flopping, I seriously doubt it.

I also agree that certain members of the DNC blundered badly by supporting Hillary over Bernie behind the scenes. I'm shocked -- shocked I tell you! -- that politicians made political calculations in the backroom of their casino. If Putin would have instead favored Hillary over Trump, I'm sure his hack job (which he withheld) against the GOP would have shown that Republican politicians were perfect little darlings when the light wasn't shining on them. Yeah right!

Although these are a few of the contributing factors, among many (such as the Comey and FBI scandal), why the Democrats lost the Electoral College votes (not the popular), they are not the principle reasons. Millions upon millions of Democratic voters were purged from the rolls, unwarrantedly and illegally, by Republican Secretaries of State through their sham "Interstate Crosscheck" program. Millions more were disenfranchised or otherwise discouraged with ridiculous voter-suppression ID laws and through more mundane -- but just as underhanded -- well-honed tactics.

These include, but are not limited to, reducing the number of voting machines in heavily populated Democratic districts, and reducing the number of early voting days, polling stations, and poll workers, thereby creating long, discouraging lines. Then, add into the mix old, error-prone, poorly maintained voting machines and scanners that spit out significant percentages of "unreadable" ballots, and that still have easily-hacked outdated software. Predictably, wealthier and whiter Republican districts in the key states were awarded newer equipment with more polling stations and workers, ensuring shorter lines and more reliable results. Go figure.

In short, it all adds up to a stolen election and an illegitimate President. Neither would Republicans have retained a Senate majority, considering that disenfranchised Democrats also would have voted mostly for their own party in the down-ballot races. That is the real story of this election, one for the history books!

k. allen's picture
k. allen 7 years 22 weeks ago

(deepspace -#10)

Thank you deepspace, for that synopsis.

It may not make it into revisionist history books
((( ... and who am I to say what is real and true? )))
It's mind boggling to the already boggled mind ...
All I can say is what you say is what I saw.
... all of that, and more ...

It's no secret. Everybody knows. OK, so Trump won - only, it wasn't fair and square ... what else is new? That's politics, right? There are so many flaws in the system, how can anyone win, fair and square, anyway?

People don't seem to know how to fix a system that has been broken from the beginning - so, he knew how to manipulate a rigged system to win. Is this the skill set America needs to cope with corruption, full spectrum?

Maybe so - at least, for some ... only, I have a problem understanding people who gloat - full of glee doing a happy dance on the graves of broken dreams and lost ideals.

This isn't fun for me. I hate to see people suffer. I honor anyone's right to disagree and/or disengage if dominant trends go against the grain (as they most likely will, given that people are not all the same.)

I want people to be able to settle differences in ways that invite mutual acceptance and harmonious resolution. I doubt that can happen so long as people are celebrating each others' losses and goading each other accordingly. Who really wins?

Right now, I am concerned for those folks standing in prayer with no weapons at Standing Rock. Donald Trump has said he will handle the problem quickly, and it will be over. Given what I've seen so far, I am not reassured of a positive outcome.

How will a President Trump handle a conflict in which he, and his associates are invested in the oppressive element being challenged?

rbd171's picture
rbd171 7 years 22 weeks ago

Tillerson correctly states the tpp does not serve the peoples interests and that is precisely why he and most our politicians will support it.

Like most of us, i hope trump will do as promised. I won't hold my breath.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 22 weeks ago

Rbd171: if you want President Trump to do as he promised, work with him. Would you work with someone who fought you every step? If you want a seat at the table and to be heard, be kind.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 22 weeks ago

@ k. allen #11:

I too am very concerned about the two hundred, or so, truly inspiring souls still encamped at the Sacred Stone Camp. That is no small feat in the middle of winter on the northern plains with temperatures regularly dipping well below zero, often twenty or thirty below with windchill sometimes reaching sixty or seventy below. Skin freezes within minutes. I used to work on the railroad in Eastern Montana during blizzards and am quite familiar with how deadly it can be.

The proud and hardy Lakota and Dakota people of the Great Sioux Nation, and the many other tribes who have gathered together in solidarity, have survived on this land for many, many generations. They thrived despite the harsh environment for thousands of years, only to succumb to genocide by European immigrants during the ruthless Western expansion. Millions of Native Americans perished at the hands of the fearful, the hateful, and the greedy.

For them, the Standing Rock protest is nothing new. Their story is the story of America. They are the people of the Earth. They understand how sacred the sky, the land, and the water is to all life. That is why they call themselves "Water Protectors" -- a small band of "friends" teaching the world, in harmony with a higher spirit.

The "black snake" was rerouted away from Bismark because white people didn't want their own water supply threatened. Why is it okay to threaten the water supply of the tribal lands, not to mention the millions of people down river whose lives also depend on the sacred waters of the Missouri River?

It would be supremely ironic and hypocritical for an Administration -- that gained power largely by dividing people over race, religion, and ethnicity, by playing on the fears of white people against "those others" who might threaten their way of life by immigrating to America -- to encourage further attacks (tear gas, rubber bullets, clubs, and freezing water canons) on the original indigenous people of America.

Morally, Trump has his own sacred duty to protect and to cooperate with the people of conscience who are peacefully protesting for the rights of all life on the planet against an industry that doesn't care about the rights of anyone except their wealthy investors. Will he be kind to the people and work with them? Will he too honor the Higher Spirit of Earth? Come spring, we'll all find out.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 22 weeks ago

Ou812 • "if you want President Trump to do as he promised, work with him. Would you work with someone who fought you every step? If you want a seat at the table and to be heard, be kind."

I anxiously await Liberals and especially talking radio heads utter the words "President Trump". Don't hold your breath, they are a bitter bunch unless it is the individual they voted for.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 22 weeks ago

PERVERT Trump deserves the same level of respect and cooperation that Republicans accorded PRESIDENT Obama for the last eight years.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 22 weeks ago

"PERVERT Trump deserves the same level of respect and cooperation that Republicans accorded PRESIDENT Obama for the last eight years."

I'll show you, I can be as big of a prick as they were. Classy aren't we?

Just curious. How do you feel about this guy?

Young female intern, known philandering POTUS, cigar, vagina, blowjob in the white house, lying about it on national television, proof on her dress, what is, is.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 22 weeks ago

@ Diane # 17:

Sad. When Trump's grunts reach into the bottom of their depleted ammo bags of phony excuses and pull out these pathetic comebacks, you know they're out of bullets. Should one dispatch them quickly or just walk away and let them bleed out slowly? Hard call...

You picked a side in this fight, so don't subtly pretend you are somehow above the fray and not accountable for the Republican's eight-year, non-stop campaign of character assassination against a sitting President of the United States, who did not deserve such treatment.

This was and is a sincere human being who honestly tried to reach out to the Republicans and find common ground for the good of the country every chance he got throughout most of his two terms in office, even after taking heat from his own party for being an "appeaser." His only reward was to be mauled and bloodied at every turn, until he finally wised up and started fighting back toward the end of his presidency. Unfortunately, his gallant efforts were too little, too late.

You are in no position to define "classy" when you are supporting an indisputable liar, an on-the-record, self-dealing, power-hungry, egomaniacal authoritarian, a serial sexual predator who deliberately and shamelessly fanned the flames of hate and fear in every category to "win" an election -- traits and tactics possessed and employed by some of the worst dictators in history.

With his own vicious words from his own creepy lips, he has repeatedly belittled and maligned every single one of his political opponents on all sides, celebrities who dared to speak out, reporters just doing their jobs, war heroes and their families, disabled people, union members, poor people (losers!), Muslims, Mexicans, blacks and most other minorities by using code language like "inner city" and "those people," etc., etc., and on and on.

Obama deserved respect and cooperation; your man deserves nothing but contempt.

Your other pathetic comeback is to bring up Bill Clinton's peccadillos with Monica (which was consensual -- big difference), as if that somehow justifies Trump's life-long sexual predation. But sorry, I have never, nor will I ever, defend Bill's behavior either, which has been adjudicated ad nauseam. Plus, he had to face the public humility of impeachment, crippling his presidency, and was disbarred to boot. (Hillary should be applauded for bringing him to bear responsibility and for keeping her marriage intact -- a very conservative value.)

BTW, aren't you the one who criticized "Dems" for "living in the past?"

What is so amazing about this particular comeback, however, is the utter hypocrisy and complete lack of self-awareness. Think of the logical fallacy: If Republicans were so appalled by Bill Clinton's past behavior that it led to impeachment charges, the most extreme measure possible, why do they totally ignore Trump's much worse behavior and give a free pass for him to be a role model to our children?

Oh, that's right -- Clinton is a Democrat and Trump is a Republican!

As an aside: In one of the next blogs, you stated -- because even Thom said so (So, you hang on his every word now?) -- that Trump was not a Republican but a pragmatist, and to disagree was a minority opinion. Excuse me? The last time I checked, "pragmatist" was not a political party. Whatever he, or you, might identify with now, he hitched his wagon to the Republican Party to run for public office; ergo, he is absolutely a Republican by every conceivable definition, notwithstanding subjective psycho mumbo jumbo. And, as his toady, you are too.

Well, I guess I'll just walk away and let them bleed out...

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