TPP Update

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Now that the trade deal has been released for review, People like Paul Krugman have had a chance to evaluate it.

TPP is a BS issue that Sanders (and ROF ) latched onto in order to get labor's votes. Pretty much everybody on this message board have been eager to jump on the bandwagon. It's not even very important as long as we have NAFTA and CAFTA. If it were a real issue, Bernie would be calling for repealing NAFTA and CAFTA, but he never has.

Read what Paul Krugman has to say about it, now that he's actually seen it. (He doesn't even mention the jobs issue) http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/tpp-take-two/...

Krugman seems to still be concerned about ISDS issues. He needn't be. We have an 11 year history of these disputes. They are never decided for the investor against the country. The last was in 2005. There has never been one decided against the United States. (Fig. 9) http://www.ecipe.org/app/uploads/2014/12/OCC52014__1.pdf Like · Reply · 1 hr · Edited Like · Reply · 1 hr

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Art
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Quote Art:Read what Paul Krugman has to say about it, now that he's actually seen it. (He doesn't even mention the jobs issue) http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/tpp-take-two/...

Welcome back Art. Still no dice on the TPP, at least from me. I don't care what Paul Krugman, or any corporate Dem or GOP'er says. One thing that tells me volumes, is that after almost 8 years of a granite wall of opposition, 8 years of inflammatory actions and rhetoric, the GOP controlled Senate and House quietly bent over and lubed up for Obama on Fast Track on the TPP. Huh? So this dangerous unamerican, untrustworthy, commie Kenyan socialist is suddenly trusted when it comes to giving even more power to corporate? What a joke.

I read a few of the comments from your NYT article and this comment, from "Kall" lines up with my thoughts most closely. (Thanks Kall!)

Quote Commenter Kall from the New York Times website:

"... but there are so many different back doors to that trade agreement, and basically it's done by the lobbyists, it's done by the special interests for certain companies that want it, but it's not good for our country. We're losing our jobs, we're losing our money, we're losing our base, we're losing everything. These trade deals are negotiated by people who don't know what they're doing."

(That was Donald Trump. A few days ago. On Fox.)

If you want to know why Democrats have a hard time motivating the base of their party in off-year elections, and why more people don't buy that the Democratic Party champions their economic interests, look no further than the fact that Donald Trump makes more sense to a laid-off factory worker in Ohio than the Democratic President of the United States. The establishment of both parties don't seem to get that the public has no faith in their ability or sincerity to execute these things after the last stack of them failed to deliver the promised benefits, see that they have done nothing to cultivate any trust or shown any desire to fix the problems in past agreements (remember how Obama was going to renegotiate NAFTA?)

I would only quibble with one part of what Donald Trump said - I believe that the negotiators know exactly what they're doing, the problem is that their client isn't the average public citizen. And when Donald Trump makes more sense to people like me than a Democratic President, the Democratic Party has a big problem.

Bingo. Again, thanks Kall, whoever you are.

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al3
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Bernie Sanders and most Americans are STILL against the TPP and justifiably so.

Paul Krugman knows economics, but is he now also an expert of trade promtional authority as well ? Certainly improvements can be made to the Trans-Pacific Partnership before it goes to Congress, whether it passes a vote in both chambers or goes down in flames. This acticle is from last October and as you said makes no mention of the millions of jobs that are likely to be outsourced....as if enough jobs weren't already lost to foreign countries going back over 20 years to NAFTA. President Obama changed his tune on that and other trade agreements. There's something about getting elected that makes a person reverse their opinions on important issues. That WILL NOT happen if we can get Bernie Sanders elected to Oval Office. He's been consistent on the issues for decades, and he's too stubborn and determined to change now. And that's a GOOD thing!

Executive
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Apr. 24, 2015 5:12 am

So is Art one of the free trade Neo-Liberals who pretends he is conservative? If he is then he is a dishonest conartist. Sorry, but I do not like deliberately dishonest people no matter what party they favor. Here is information from an actual conservative on TPP from Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Jeff is a republican and not the equivalent of a republicon.

TOP FIVE CONCERNS WITH TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY

CRITICAL ALERT

Congress has the responsibility to ensure that any international trade agreement entered into by the United States must serve the national interest, not merely the interests of those crafting the proposal in secret. It must improve the quality of life, the earnings, and the per-capita wealth of everyday working Americans. The sustained long-term loss of middle class jobs and incomes should compel all lawmakers to apply added scrutiny to a “fast-track” procedure wherein Congress would yield its legislative powers and allow the White House to implement one of largest global financial agreements in our history—comprising at least 12 nations and nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP. The request for fast-track also comes at a time when the Administration has established a recurring pattern of sidestepping the law, the Congress, and the Constitution in order to repeal sovereign protections for U.S. workers in deference to favored financial and political allies.

With that in mind, here are the top five concerns about the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that must be fully understood and addressed before passage:

1. Consolidation Of Power In The Executive Branch. TPA eliminates Congress’ ability to amend or debate trade implementing legislation and guarantees an up-or-down vote on a far-reaching international agreement before that agreement has received any public review. Not only will Congress have given up the 67-vote threshold for a treaty and the 60-vote threshold for important legislation, but will have even given up the opportunity for amendment and the committee review process that both ensure member participation. Crucially, this applies not only to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but all international trade agreements during the life of the TPA. There is no real check on the expiration of fast-track authority: if Congress does not affirmatively refuse to reauthorize TPA at the end of the defined authorization (2018), the authority is automatically renewed for an additional three years so long as the President requests the extension. And if a trade deal (not just TPP but any trade deal) is submitted to Congress that members believe does not fulfill, or that directly violates, the TPA recommendations—or any laws of the United States—it is exceptionally difficult for lawmakers to seek legislative redress or remove it from the fast track, as the exit ramp is under the exclusive control of the revenue and Rules committees.

Moreover, while the President is required to submit a report to Congress on the terms of a trade agreement at least 60 days before submitting implementing legislation, the President

can classify or otherwise redact information from this report, limiting its value to Congress.

Is TPA designed to protect congressional responsibilities, or to limit Congress’ ability to do its duty?

2. Increased Trade Deficits. Barclays estimates that during the first quarter of this year, the overall U.S. trade deficit will reduce economic growth by .2 percent. History suggests that trade deals set into motion under the 6-year life of TPA could exacerbate our trade imbalance, acting as an impediment to both GDP and wage growth. Labor economist Clyde Prestowitz attributes 60 percent of the U.S.’ 5.7 million manufacturing jobs lost over the last decade to import-driven trade imbalances. And in a recent column for Reuters, a former chief executive officer at AT&T notes that

“since the [NAFTA and South Korea free trade] pacts were implemented, U.S. trade deficits, which drag down economic growth, have soared more than 430 percent with our free-trade partners. In the same period, they’ve declined 11 percent with countries that are not free-trade partners… Obama’s 2011 trade deal with South Korea, which serves as the template for the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, has resulted in a 50 percent jump in the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea in its first two years. This equates to 50,000 U.S. jobs lost.”

Job loss by U.S. workers means reduced consumer demand, less tax revenue flowing into the Treasury, and greater reliance on government assistance programs. It is important that Congress fully understand the impact of this very large trade agreement and to use caution to ensure the interests of the people are protected.

Furthermore, the lack of protections in TPA against foreign subsidies could accelerate our shrinking domestic manufacturing base. We have been getting out-negotiated by our mercantilist trading partners for years, failing to aggressively advance legitimate U.S. interests, but the proponents of TPA have apparently not sought to rectify this problem.

TPA proponents must answer this simple question: will your plan shrink the trade deficit or will it grow it even wider?

3. Ceding Sovereign Authority To International Powers. A USTR outline of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which TPA would expedite) notes in the “Key Features” summary that the TPP is a “living agreement.” This means the President could update the agreement “as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries.” The “living agreement” provision means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China), and could also change any of the terms of the agreement, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees. Again: these changes would not be subject to congressional approval.

This has far-reaching implications: the Congressional Research Service reports that if the United States signs on to an international trade agreement, the implementing legislation of that trade agreement (as a law passed later in time) would supersede conflicting federal, state, and local laws. When this occurs, U.S. workers may be subject to a sudden change in tariffs, regulations, or dispute resolution proceedings in international tribunals outside the U.S.

Promoters of TPA should explain why the American people ought to trust the Administration and its foreign partners to revise or rewrite international agreements, or add new members to those agreements, without congressional approval. Does this not represent an abdication of congressional authority?

4. Currency Manipulation. The biggest open secret in the international market is that other countries are devaluing their currencies to artificially lower the price of their exports while artificially raising the price of our exports to them. The result has been a massive bleeding of domestic manufacturing wealth. In fact, currency manipulation can easily dwarf tariffs in its economic impact. A 2014 biannual report from the Treasury Department concluded that the yuan, or renminbi, remained significantly undervalued, yet the Treasury Department failed to designate China as a “currency manipulator.” History suggests this Administration, like those before it, will not stand up to improper currency practices. Currency protections are currently absent from TPA, indicating again that those involved in pushing these trade deals do not wish to see these currency abuses corrected. Therefore, even if currency protections are somehow added into TPA, it is still entirely possible that the Administration could ignore those guidelines and send Congress unamendable trade deals that expose U.S. workers to a surge of underpriced foreign imports. President Obama’s longstanding resistance to meaningful currency legislation is proof he intends to take no action.

The President has repeatedly failed to stand up to currency manipulators. Why should we believe this time will be any different?

5. Immigration Increases. There are numerous ways TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law—and precious few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening. For instance: language could be included or added into the TPP, as well as any future trade deal submitted for fast-track consideration in the next 6 years, with the clear intent to facilitate or enable the movement of foreign workers and employees into the United States (including intracompany transfers), and there would be no capacity for lawmakers to strike the offending provision. The Administration could also simply act on its own to negotiate foreign worker increases with foreign trading partners without ever advertising those plans to Congress. In 2011, the United States entered into an agreement with South Korea—never brought before Congress—to increase the duration of L-1 visas (a visa that affords no protections for U.S. workers).

Every year, tens of thousands of foreign guest workers come to the U.S. as part of past trade deals. However, because there is little transparency, estimating an exact figure is difficult. The plain language of TPA provides avenues for the Administration and its trading partners to facilitate the expanded movement of foreign workers into the U.S.—including visitor visas that are used as worker visas. The TPA reads:

“The principal negotiating objective of the United States regarding trade in services is to expand competitive market opportunities for United States services and to obtain fairer and more open conditions of trade, including through utilization of global value chains, by reducing or eliminating barriers to international trade in services… Recognizing that expansion of trade in services generates benefits for all sectors of the economy and facilitates trade.”

This language, and other language in TPA, offers an obvious way for the Administration to expand the number and duration of foreign worker entries under the concept that the movement of foreign workers into U.S. jobs constitutes “trade in services.”

Stating that “TPP contains no change to immigration law” is a semantic rather than a factual argument. Language already present in both TPA and TPP provide the basis for admitting more foreign workers, and for longer periods of time, and language could later be added to TPP or any future trade deal to further increase such admissions.

The President has already subjected American workers to profound wage loss through executive-ordered foreign worker increases on top of existing record immigration levels. Yet, despite these extraordinary actions, the Administration will casually assert that is has merely modernized, clarified, improved, streamlined, and updated immigration rules. Thus, at any point during the 6-year life of TPA, the Administration could send Congress a trade deal—or issue an executive action subsequent to a trade deal as part of its implementation—that increased foreign worker entry into the U.S., all while claiming it has never changed immigration law.

The President has circumvented Congress on immigration with serial regularity. But the TPA would yield new power to the executive to alter admissions while subtracting congressional checks against those actions. This runs contrary to our Founders’ belief, as stated in the Constitution, that immigration should be in the hands of Congress. The Supreme Court has consistently held that the Constitution grants Congress plenary authority over immigration policy. For instance, the Court ruled in Galvan v. Press, 347 U.S. 522, 531 (1954), that “the formulation of policies [pertaining to the entry of immigrants and their right to remain here] is entrusted exclusively to Congress… [This principle] has become about as firmly imbedded in the legislative and judicial issues of our body politic as any aspect of our government.” Granting the President TPA could enable controversial changes or increases to a wide variety of visas—such as the H-1B, B-1, E-1, and L-1—including visas that confer foreign nationals with a pathway to a green card and thus citizenship.

Future trade deals could also have the possible effect of preventing Congress from reforming abuses in our guest worker programs, as countries could complain that limitations on foreign worker travel constituted a trade barrier requiring adjudication by an international body.

The TPP also includes an entire chapter on “Temporary Entry” that applies to all parties and that affects U.S. immigration law. Additionally, the Temporary Entry chapter creates a separate negotiating group, explicitly contemplating that the parties to the TPP will revisit temporary entry at some point in the future for the specific purpose of making changes to this chapter—after Congress would have already approved the TPP. This possibility grows more acute given that TPP is a “living agreement” that can be altered without Congress.

Proponents of TPA should be required to answer this question: if you are confident that TPA would not enable any immigration actions between now and its 2021 expiration, why not include ironclad enforcement language to reverse any such presidential action?

CONCLUSION

Our government must defend the legitimate interests of American workers and American manufacturing on the world stage. The time when this nation can suffer the loss of a single job as a result of a poor trade agreement is over.

The American people want us to slow down a bit. The rapid pace of immigration and globalization has placed enormous pressures on working Americans. Lower-cost labor and lower-cost goods from countries with less per-person wealth have rushed into our marketplace, lowering American wages and employment. The public has grown increasingly skeptical of these elaborate proposals, stitched together in secret, and rushed to passage on the solemn promises of their promoters. Too often, these schemes collapse under their own weight. Our job is to raise our own standard of living here in America, not to lower our standard of living to achieve greater parity with the rest of the world. If we want an international trade deal that advances the interests of our own people, then perhaps we don’t need a “fast-track” but a regular track: where the President sends us any proposal he deems worthy and we review it on its own merits.

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Mark the Shark
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Still no ideas of your own, Mark?

Al3, you haven't explained why Big Business is spitting mad about the agreement, as Krugman tells us. Do you have any insights into that? I thought that corporations were supposed to have written the deal. Isn't that what you guys have been telling us? Most telling to me is that every indication is that Sanders knows that this is a BS issue, but jumped on it in order to pander to Labor.

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Art
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Veolia, a French company that owns an Egyptian waste removal firm is suing Egypt for lost profits because of a higher minimum wage. Vattenfall, a Swedish energy conglomerate, is suing Germany for 4 billion euros for closing two nuclear power plants.

The US has run a trade deficit of $400 or $500 billion a year since 2000. We import twice as much as we export. We are like the Prodigal Son who squanders his inheritance or the tax collector who thanks God he is not like the others. We clean the outside of the cup and leave the inside filthy. We are the archtypes of waste and leaders of the race to the bottom. We see the speck in our poor neighbor but not the log of militarism and financial trickery in our own eye. We must radically change.

At last in the financial meltdown of 2008, the crisis hit the center and couldn't be shifted to the periphery. Shrinking the financial sector, expanding the public sector and abandoning Orwellian corporate free investment enrichment should be three lessons.

The world will not continue to gobble up Coca Cola, rock n roll and financial products!

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demandside
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Quote Art:

Still no ideas of your own, Mark?

Legal information from Senator Jeff Sessions who has been the attorney general of the state of Alabama perhaps is to complex for someone like Art. Especially when he does the equivalent of plugging his ears. However, the question is will he even look at a more simple explanation which I have sent to members of congress and recently posted on the Trade representative web site?

Do Members of Congress Understand Trade Between Nations?

People like U.S. trade representative Michael Froman who favors the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are now acting as lobbyists for multi-national companies so that the companies can outsource production to foreign countries where they can get cheap labor through the overvalued U.S. dollar compared to undervalued foreign currencies, for example in China and Vietnam. Also so they can avoid U.S. Taxes. Very small taxes on U.S. imports with much higher overall taxes on U.S. manufactured goods and their productive workers does NOT follow the original U.S. constitution and has resulted in very high yearly U.S. trade deficits.

Should any person representing their country as a trade representative when writing or talking about trade only mention exports and other related words such as exported, export, exporting, etc., and never mention import and its related words? As an example an article by Michael Froman published on May 10, 2015 in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper has twelve usages of export and related words, with seven additional export usages in a chart as part of the article. There are zero usages of import and its related words. Shouldn’t a trade representative when writing about trade, be concerned with the trade balance of their nation? Balance of trade is the largest component of a country’s balance of payments. It is the difference between a country’s imports and its exports. A country has a trade deficit if it imports more than it exports; the opposite scenario is a trade surplus. Froman never mentions our high U.S. imports, which lose real wealth creating United States production and also lose higher paying jobs for the majority of U.S. employees with less tax revenue flowing into the United States treasury.

Trade deals passed by the United States have resulted in trade deficits of at least $350,000,000,000.00 every single year since 2000, with no end in sight. The practical results of trade deficits is that we as a nation buy another nations goods and the other nation buys our assets such as real estate, gold, silver and other commodities or they lend us money through the purchase of government bonds. A Democratic Congressman, Alan Grayson from Florida’s 9th district, who has been an economist, understands this. So does Jeff Sessions a Republican Senator from Alabama, Sherrod Brown a Democratic Senator from Ohio and Bernie Sanders, an Independent Senator from Vermont understand the negatives of very high yearly U.S. trade deficits. Do other Congressional Members understand this?

Financial documents even provided to the Senate Finance Committee showed Michael Froman had nearly $500,000 in an offshore fund at Ugland House on the Cayman Islands, which Barack Obama has described as “the biggest tax scam in the world”. Information on this from the Wikipedia.org web site. Now Michael Froman and Barack Obama are working together on their trade scam called TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Mark the Shark
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Quote Art:

Still no ideas of your own, Mark?

Al3, you haven't explained why Big Business is spitting mad about the agreement, as Krugman tells us. Do you have any insights into that? I thought that corporations were supposed to have written the deal. Isn't that what you guys have been telling us? Most telling to me is that every indication is that Sanders knows that this is a BS issue, but jumped on it in order to pander to Labor.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and Business Roundtable support it. I'm surprised Krugman is so naive to believe that if the draft he read includes anything favorable to U.S. workers or the middle class, it will be in the final agreement.

If the COC,NAM, and BRT are in favor, I'm against it. It's that simple. Especially considering the damage done from previous trade agreements. Fool me once....

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al3
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You're an easy mark, AL3. All somebody needs to do to convince you against something that you hate is to come out in favor of it.

Good, Mark. Finally something original. So now we're evaluating a policy by how many times a certain word gets used? I don't think that you understand trade deficits or the role they play in our economy. From what I can tell, this Michael Froman guy is your poster child for your position on this. Not much to build an entire argument on, but it's something I didn't know. "Condemnation by ad hominem"?

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Art
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Quote Art:You're an easy mark, AL3. All somebody needs to do to convince you against something that you hate is to come out in favor of it
But aren't you trying to convince us to support the TPP just because Krugman does? "Krugman likes it, so maybe it is good, after all?"

And just because business seems to "be against" the TPP in its current form...does not mean the final agreement will be the current form. As a matter of fact, it's much more likely those things business and GOP'ers are "spitting mad" about will be removed which will probably be precisely those things that offer some weak semblance of protection to U.S. workers. After all, we ahve a stock market to pump back up...so kick out another lefg from the middle class to fuel that.

Quote The Hill:Some trade experts think McConnell is refusing to promise fast action on the deal to put pressure on Obama to renegotiate provisions that have rankled Republicans.

“I would imagine Sen. McConnell is negotiating for changes in the TPP, which is why he’s being so negative about its prospect of it passing,” said Wallach, who opposes the deal and is a veteran of numerous congressional trade battles. Delaying congressional approval of the deal would give Republican critics such as Hatch leverage on items potentially detrimental to the pharmaceutical industry.

The financial services industry is also pressing for changes.

Pharmaceutical and financial services companies have learned a lesson from the battle over the South Korean free trade agreement, which the automobile and beef industries leveraged to extract more concessions.

Those "spitting mad" and "rankled" folks will get their way in the end on the TPP. Krugman should know that. Again....I am surprised Krugman is naive enough to believe the draft he read will be the final draft.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/264882-gop-in-no-hurry-to-move-on-tran...

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al3
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Quote Art:

You're an easy mark, AL3. All somebody needs to do to convince you against something that you hate is to come out in favor of it.

Good, Mark. Finally something original. So now we're evaluating a policy by how many times a certain word gets used? I don't think that you understand trade deficits or the role they play in our economy. From what I can tell, this Michael Froman guy is your poster child for your position on this. Not much to build an entire argument on, but it's something I didn't know. "Condemnation by ad hominem"?

This person Art, writes like he could not even pass a 6th grade math test. He especially could not pass an accounting exam and writes like he does not know the difference between an asset and a liability for the economy of a nation. And this is shown when people like Art ignore imports and only look at exports. To calculate trade between nations this is exports minus imports, which equals the trade balance of a nation. Either that or he is a deliberate lying lobbyist for multi-national companies so they can continue to outsource production to foreign countries and take advantage of the over valued U.S. dollar compared to under valued foreign currencies like we have in China now and Vietnam with TPP.

So Art does not want to listen to Jeff Sessions, senator from Alabama. He does not want to listen to Mark the Shark, who has known about the negatives of very high U.S. trade deficits for a number of years. And now he will likely ignore an easy to read and understand writing from Florida congressman Alan Grayson.

We have run a trade deficit of at least $350,000,000,000.00 every single year since 2000, with no end in sight. The result is that we have gutted the U.S. manufacturing base, and run up enormous debt to foreigners -- almost $6 trillion ($6,000,000,000,000.00) in U.S. Treasury debt alone.

We buy their goods, putting their workers to work. They buy our assets, driving us deeper and deeper into debt.

The real issue is not whether to sign new "free trade" giveaways and sell-outs. The real issue is how to curtail runaway U.S. trade deficits, and mountainous U.S. foreign debt. The real issue is how we put our workers back to work, heal our economy, and heal our nation.

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Mark the Shark
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Quote Mark the Shark:And this is shown when people like Art ignore imports and only look at exports. To calculate trade between nations this is exports minus imports, which equals the trade balance of a nation. Either that or he is a deliberate lying lobbyist for multi-national companies so they can continue to outsource production to foreign countries and take advantage of the over valued U.S. dollar compared to under valued foreign currencies like we have in China now and Vietnam with TPP.
And we really need to take a look at what "exports" we send to other countries. I have not looked at this in detail, but I suspect a significant share of our "exports" is banking and software services, trademarks, licenses, etc. etc. etc., "products" that really don't employ that manny people. Then who really cares about exports, if that's all we are going to export. They do not help most citizens in the U.S. Then these companies don't pay taxes to boot.

Then there are farm exports, of which are significant, and this industry employs millions, but many illegal immigrants, temporary immigrants, and otherwise powerless peons. So again, these exports do not do much to increase the wealth of the middle class, and even worse, probably add to the cost burden of the middle class by disproportionately using taxpayer funded social services. The net-net is, things that use labor, we don't export. So vis a vis the middle class, and labor, who cares about exports until we can again export manufactured goods.

Then there is, of course, the one family of manufactured good we do export a bunch of, and they do support good jobs, and this is bombs, and military hardware but again this is diluted due to the fact the the taxpayer ultimately funds a lot of this through giving $$ to foreign governments to buy this stuff. Again, a dead end.

Among the billions of dollars per year we count as "exports" are probably things like rights to make and bottle Coca Cola, or rights to make and sell Big Macs. Whoopee bleep. If U.S. workers sent containers of Big Macs, or tankers of Coca Cola to China, then these exports would mean something. Otherwise they don't mean much to anyone but stock investors and executives. As sad as our trade deficit looks on paper, it is likely much, much worse as it pertains to producing any decent working class jobs in the U.S.

And the sad thing is, pertaining to Dems, is they've allowed the GOP - through Trump - to be the megaphone that's publicly pounding and pounding on this stuff. Yes, Bernie does talk about it, but he's no nearly forceful enough, and it's a non-issue during the Dem debates.

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Very good points al3. And likely more things that Art will ignore. And if he does his name should be changed to "Art the Fart". As he is doing the equivalent of farting on this web site with deliberately misleading information while ignoring actual facts.

However, I am glad that he seems to at least like dogs. Can Art at least listen to dogs? Because listening to a Congressman, a Senator, you and I seems very difficult to him.

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Mark the Shark
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Quote Mark the Shark:

However, I am glad that he seems to at least like dogs. Can Art at least listen to dogs? Because listening to a Congressman, a Senator, you and I seems very difficult to him.

You will relieve far more honest and accurate feedback from a dog than any asshole in congress.

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Dexterous
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Quote Dexterous:
Quote Mark the Shark:

However, I am glad that he seems to at least like dogs. Can Art at least listen to dogs? Because listening to a Congressman, a Senator, you and I seems very difficult to him.

You will relieve far more honest and accurate feedback from a dog than any asshole in congress.

And who do you consider an asshole in congress? Someone that wants to bring back manufacturing to the U.S.A. or someone who is promoting that it continue to be outsourced to foreign nations through Trans Pee Pee? And yes, Art the Fart promoting Trans Pee Pee is a good match.

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Mark the Shark
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Q: What do you think about the new TPP trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

SANDERS: I voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China. I think they have been a disaster for the American worker. A lot of corporations that shut down here move abroad. Working people understand that after NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China we have lost millions of decent paying jobs. Since 2001, 60,000 factories in America have been shut down. We're in a race to the bottom, where our wages are going down. Is all of that attributable to trade? No. Is a lot of it? Yes. TPP was written by corporate America and the pharmaceutical industry and Wall Street. That's what this trade agreement is about. I do not want American workers to competing against people in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour for a minimum wage.

Q: So basically, there's never been a single trade agreement this country's negotiated that you've been comfortable with?

SANDERS: That's correct.

Meet the Press October 11, 2015

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Bernie_Sanders_Free_Trade.htm

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Chili. Yes. We all know what Sanders' position on all trade deals is. Perfect for sucking in all those labor votes. Too bad we don't know whether he's interested in repealling NAFTA and CAFTA. He's not saying.

al3, your article from The Hill was written a month after the final deal was released. This is the final deal. It cannot be renegotiated. (Canada's Trade Misister agrees with the White House on this). Why would the President renegotiate a trade deal he spent 5 years to craft? Donald Trump might be competent enough to force a renegotiation, but nobody else in the world is. This is the final deal, and your own article tells us that Pharmaceuticals and Financial Services industries aren't happy with it. I thought that they were supposed to have had a hand in actually writing it. That has always been one of your main talking points, and it's one that I keep encountering wherever this is dicussed. "The deal is secret and corporations are writing it". So much for that. Perhaps this is why Paul Krugman appears to be so naive to you. I don't know the man, and niether do you, but your own article from The Hill bears out what he predicted in October.

Mark. Wow! You're doing quite a bit of original thinking here. It's not very good thinking, but it's original. You really don't understand trade deficits. Also, your personal insults are very high school.

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It is O.K. for Art the Fart to post information from a lobbyist, while not providing any information of his own. Yet people like me and others here who post the fundamentals of economics he continues to deliberately ignore.

A trade deficit has been reported and growing in the United States for the past few decades, which has some economists worried. This means that large amounts of the U.S. dollar are being held by foreign nations, which they may decide to sell at any time. This large amount of the U.S. dollar being held by foreign nations or investors are loans that foreign sources are giving to the U.S. to help the U.S. pay for its imported goods. A large increase in dollar sales can drive the value of the currency down, making it more costly to purchase imports.

So with high yearly U.S. trade deficits how long will the U.S. dollar be highly valued for world trade? Sorry, but not forever. With our high yearly U.S. trade deficits unless we have assets to pay our debt for example the sale of real estate or commodities like gold and silver to foreign investors then eventually the U.S. dollar will drop in value.

Yes, people like Art will continue to try to deceive people into ignoring this. Does Art understand these economic fundamentals? Perhaps not or he has a goal of getting people to ignore this.

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Very classy, Mark. You do not understand trade deficits. More to the point, you do not understand inflation and the role that trade deficits play in keeping it at bay. You really should read up on these things. You may even have to read some material by financial experts who are involved with Wall Street. But, I doubt that you would want to risk exposing yourself to the expertise of people who may have political opinions that are opposed to your own sophomoric belief system.

And al3, it's a sad fact of economics that the only way to "turn down the thermostat" to allow for a faster growing economy without having crippling inflation is to increase productivity. That is, produce more goods with fewer resources, such as labor costs. That's exactly what you are fighting against, and it's a true fact whether you are a Bernie Sanders supporter or a Donald Trump supporter. Trade deficits help to relieve that pressure, Without trade, there can be no trade deficits. (Mark doesn't understand this, even though it's basic economics).

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Quote Art:al3, your article from The Hill was written a month after the final deal was released. This is the final deal. It cannot be renegotiated.
It most certainly can. That's why McConnell and Hatch are dragging their feet - to try and force Obama and his job killers (otherwise known as U.S. "trade negotiators") to go renegotiate more jobs killed. That's why I posted that piece from The Hill. Again quoted below:

Quote The Hill:Some trade experts think McConnell is refusing to promise fast action on the deal to put pressure on Obama to renegotiate provisions that have rankled Republicans.

I would imagine Sen. McConnell is negotiating for changes in the TPP, which is why he’s being so negative about its prospect of it passing,” said Wallach*, who opposes the deal and is a veteran of numerous congressional trade battles.

Delaying congressional approval of the deal would give Republican critics such as Hatch leverage on items potentially detrimental to the pharmaceutical industry. The financial services industry is also pressing for changes.

Pharmaceutical and financial services companies have learned a lesson from the battle over the South Korean free trade agreement, which the automobile and beef industries leveraged to extract more concessions.

*Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Bold and asterisk by al3.

The fat lady is clearing her throat and going through the octaves, but she has not sung yet. As noted above, the "rankled" parties, such as Pharma and tobacco, can pull the puppet strings of their respective errand-boys McConnell and Orrin Hatch, to force Obama to go back and renegotiate. I'm sure the TPP - as-is is super freindly to these parties, and it's their greed leading them to complain. So let's hope their greed blows the whole thing up. That would be fine with me. I would love nothing better than to see it fall apart.


What's most likely to happen is after all this posturing and puffery, this will pass during the lame duck period, during the Holidays, and the Perotian "sucking sound" will continue on and on.

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Quote Art:

Very classy, Mark. You do not understand trade deficits. More to the point, you do not understand inflation and the role that trade deficits play in keeping it at bay. You really should read up on these things. You may even have to read some material by financial experts who are involved with Wall Street. But, I doubt that you would want to risk exposing yourself to the expertise of people who may have political opinions that are opposed to your own sophomoric belief system.

There Art the Fart goes lying again about my posts while ignoring my factual information. I would DEVOUR any untruthful person in a debate. And some of the information that I posted above was from the Investopedia web site. I guess information from Investopedia that does not agree with Art the Fart's deliberate dishonest deception should be ignored also.

And Yes I DO UNDERSTAND Trade between nations. You in contrast are deliberately LYING about my posts here. However, one needs to have the equivalent of an economic religious title to be considered by Art. And then when I do post information from other people that might have an economic's degree he ignores their information also.

And there goes Art the Fart again promoting the yearly U.S. trade deficits. And let's see if Art ignores this next information.

The material wealth of a society or nation is ultimately determined by the productive capacity of its economy, that is, the goods and services its members can create. This capacity is a function of the real assets of the economy: the land, buildings, machines, and knowledge that can be used to produce goods and services.

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Jeff Sessions? Yeah. That's certainly convincing "information". Your comments have expressed your position quite clearly. Anybody on this message board can read back through the thread to see what has been said and what has not. You are pathetically deficient in your understanding of the economic fundamentals. I have only commented on your posts AS YOU HAVE POSTED THEM. They demonstrate a profoundly juvenile theory of the economic realities. It's curious that you cite of Investopedia . Directly from Investopedia, "Causes of Inflation
Economists wake up in the morning hoping for a chance to debate the causes of inflation. There is no one cause that's universally agreed upon, but at least two theories are generally accepted:

Demand-Pull Inflation - This theory can be summarized as "too much money chasing too few goods". In other words, if demand is growing faster than supply, prices will increase. This usually occurs in growing economies. http://www.investopedia.com/university/inflation/inflation1.asp.
Seeing that you are aware of Investopedia, it's surprising that you would get this wrong. The Fed is starting to raise interest rates as we speak. The single reason they do that is to slow down an economy that is growing too fast in order to prevent demand-pull inflation. Seeing as how you have access to these authoritative resources, you should have digested this concept.

al3, we will have to wait to see if McConnell and Orrin Hatch will be successful. I predict that they will have the success of a snowball in hell. Good luck in that. In any event, the TPP deal is, at least at this time, none of what you have said it is. You have been wrong up to this time. You will almost certainly be wrong in the future.

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Mark, Mark, Mark. We have not yet even addressed QE. QE has ended. It sounds like you believe that you are making a point, but it is inane. Of course, QE pushes interest rates lower. That's one of the things that needs to happen when the economy needs stimulation. That is no longer the case.

It's one thing to be able to cite an authoritative source. It's quite another to be able to use the information therein appropriately.

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Now Art ignores Quantitative Easing in order to increase the money supply of a nation like the U.S. I do not have time to write this myself and I absolutely COULD, but I am only one person with a work schedule. Here is information on Quantitative Easing.

The central bank buys assets, usually government bonds, with money it has "printed" - or, more accurately, created electronically.

It then uses this money to buy bonds from investors such as banks or pension funds. This increases the overall amount of funds in the financial system. Making more money available is supposed to encourage financial institutions to lend more to businesses and individuals. It can also push interest rates lower across the economy, even when the central bank's own rates are just about as low as they can go. This in turn should allow businesses to invest and consumers to spend more, giving a knock-on boost to the economy.

And yes this also will result in inflation. And as a licensed California Real Estate broker I clearly see this in the rising prices of real estate. And I wonder if people who call themselves economists can see this?

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Inflation: it was crippling in the '60s. Too much money chasing too few goods, That extra money has to go somewhere. Either it will go to the domestic market, feeding more inflation, or it will go to foreign goods, fending off further inflation. International trade is good for that. trade deficits are pretty irrelevant. That's the economic phase that the US is now entering. Growth that is too fast with no prospect of increasing productivity. That is the mode that is more typical of the US economy, one of the most robust economies in the world.

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Quote Art:al3, we will have to wait to see if McConnell and Orrin Hatch will be successful. I predict that they will have the success of a snowball in hell. Good luck in that.
Probably right. McConnel's just delaying til the lame duck because he knows it's a stinker for the average Joe-Blow voter, and wants to slip it through when nobody's noticing...likely during the Holiday season, when most Americans are spending their various unemployment and welfare checks on Chinese products, thanks to past trade deals.

I, too, believe it will pass, because if there's one thing both parties agree on, if there's one thing the GOP Congress will, after 6 years of intransigence and obstruction, suddenly transform Congress into the most agreeable, POTUS -grovelling, swiftly moving and efficient legislative body in the world for, it will be for the purpose of giving away good American jobs. It's come down to that. And water cooler Dems will be left, once again, trying to explain how Obamatrade got passed, ya know, Dems are supposed to be the party of labor...after years of trying to explain how NAFTA got passed by a Dem - all while trying to pursuade others the Dems are the party of labor. And in one of the above posts, you disparage Bernie Sanders for "pandering to labor," guess what, last time I checked, the Dems are supposed to be the party of labor.

Quote Art: In any event, the TPP deal is, at least at this time, none of what you have said it is. You have been wrong up to this time. You will almost certainly be wrong in the future.
It is, and will be everything I said it is. One only has to look at past trade deals. Sanders and Trump are right - an American job killer, just like NAFTA and the alphabet soup of other trade deals. But I forget, we'll get new jobs, like those for highly skilled and educated consultants, experts, trademark and patent attorneys for all those, licenses, trademarks and services we "export." I'm sure a 25 year factory worker can be retrained quickly for that. At taxpayer expense, of course. Then, on the other end, we'll create millions more jobs for illegal immigrants, and other temporary seasonal starvation level legal labor for all that extra ag product we'll export... and investors and CEOs will crow about all these new jobs. An unexpected side benefit may be more Wal Mart and Dollar Store jobs as ever cheaper Vietnamese manufactured trinkets and gadgets shower upon us all to enrich our lives and provide goodies, as noted above, to spend our unemployment and welfare checks on.

All while we (meaning you and I - Joe taxpayer) will provide the funds for all those unemployment and welfare checks for the millions of unemployed and underemployed modestly skilled workers the TPP will produce. Sounds about right.

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What you're not getting is that it's going to be like that with or without TPP. There are no high-paid, low-skills jobs that can be exported left in America. If there were, they would be gone under NAFTA or CAFTA.

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Quote Art:

Inflation: it was crippling in the '60s. Too much money chasing too few goods, That extra money has to go somewhere. Either it will go to the domestic market, feeding more inflation, or it will go to foreign goods, fending off further inflation. International trade is good for that. trade deficits are pretty irrelevant. That's the economic phase that the US is now entering. Growth that is too fast with no prospect of increasing productivity. That is the mode that is more typical of the US economy, one of the most robust economies in the world.

More dishonest deception by Art. He is now pretending or dishonestly trying to hint that a trade surplus causes inflation. In reality inflation is primarily caused by Quantitative Easing.

Here is information on Quantitative Easing.

The central bank buys assets, usually government bonds, with money it has "printed" - or, more accurately, created electronically.

It then uses this money to buy bonds from investors such as banks or pension funds. This increases the overall amount of funds in the financial system. Making more money available is supposed to encourage financial institutions to lend more to businesses and individuals. It can also push interest rates lower across the economy, even when the central bank's own rates are just about as low as they can go. This in turn should allow businesses to invest and consumers to spend more, giving a knock-on boost to the economy.

This has resulted in inflation. If people can not see that more money in an economy without a proportional increase in population and/or increased goods and services being purchased will result in inflation then they are showing no common sense. And as a licensed California Real Estate broker I clearly see this in the rising prices of real estate. And I wonder if people who call themselves economists can see this?

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In reality,

"Causes of Inflation
Economists wake up in the morning hoping for a chance to debate the causes of inflation. There is no one cause that's universally agreed upon, but at least two theories are generally accepted:

Demand-Pull Inflation - This theory can be summarized as "too much money chasing too few goods". In other words, if demand is growing faster than supply, prices will increase. THIS USUALLY OCCURS IN GROWING ECONOMIES.

Cost-Push Inflation - When companies' costs go up, they need to increase prices to maintain their profit margins. Increased costs can include things such as wages, taxes, or increased costs of imports.

Read more: Inflation: What Is Inflation? | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/university/inflation/inflation1.asp#ixzz3xeP4MVbj
Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook"

No mention of Quantitative Easing.

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Obviously at least to me Quantitative Easing has a high risk of causing inflation. Nevertheless it has been applied through the United States Federal Reserve as the primary method of increasing the money supply as primarily used for bank loans.

Between 2008 and 2015, the US Federal Reserve in total bought bonds worth more than $3.7 trillion. Here is a link to a web page with an explanation:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-15198789

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Now you continue to show perhaps deliberate ignorance to try to deceive others here. However, your deliberate deception will NOT work. The U.S. has an over valued currency compared to the currencies of other nations that it trades with. If you don't see this then you are the equivalent of BLIND. Below is a simple example for anyone to read and understand that wants to understand it. China has deliberately undervalued its currency compared to the U.S. dollar to have a trade surplus with the United States. And the Chinese Yuan has gone down in value since July of 2015. Here is the current value of the U.S. Dollar versus Yuan as of January 18, 2016.

1 US dollar = 6.5788 Chinese yuan

Here was the value as of July 25, 2015

1 US dollar = 6.2096 Chinese yuan

And regarding Quantitative Easing and the 3.7 trillion dollars brought into the economy. This is a very large amount of funding for loans. This has caused inflation and has allowed banks to leverage there debt. I am a licensed real estate broker and have seen this in the real estate market.

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I don't think that you read the BBC article very carefully, Mark, Particularly this part, "When inflation is close to zero, a bit more upward pressure on prices can be seen as a good thing." That is exactly the approach that the Fed has taken. It was aptly called a "stimulus". The term of QE3 expired sometime in 2015. That's all over. The economy grew robustly enough that it is no longer appropriate. The Fed pumped just enough money into the economy that growth has come to a point where it needs some slowing down. Trade deficits serve as a means to help keep impending inflation at bay. From the ordinary consumer's point of view, he is faced with a choice whether to buy American goods at inflated prices or foreign goods at a significantly lower price. The term for that would be "price competition", and it helps combat inflation.

You continue to accuse me of some kind of "dishonest" disinformation. I can only assume that your use of this language is intended to bolster the credibility of your own half-baked arguments. Your challenge is to show clearly how my assertions are somehow "dishonest". At this point, you have completely failed. I think that you believe that, if your personal insults are powerful enough, then you will surely win the argument. You don't give people much credit to people for being able to discern bullshit when they hear it.

Your own experience as a house advertiser is a great example of how economics work. Supply-demand. In my own housing market, there is little new housing being created, for a number of reasons, none of which have anything to do with quantitative easing, Consequently, the local cost of living is skyrocketing. That would be inflation in the cost of living in my area. It has nothing to do with quantitative easing, but it will contribute to national inflation rates. A lot of those people would love to be able to find a house that they could afford to buy. They wouldn't care much if the house was built by a foreign builder, and some American apartment owner would have to do without the income from that home buyer.

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Quote Art:
I don't think that you read the BBC article very carefully, Mark, Particularly this part, "When inflation is close to zero, a bit more upward pressure on prices can be seen as a good thing."

And Art just continues to try to use deception in his views and will even deliberately try to get people to read text out of context. Here is the actual context of this one line of text that he copied.

What are the risks?

The biggest concern is that pumping more money into the economy could ultimately lead to an inflation problem, though at present, the issue is that eurozone inflation is too low.

When inflation is close to zero, a bit more upward pressure on prices can be seen as a good thing. But some politicians and economists have opposed the idea of QE in principle, because they believe in the long run, there's a danger that it could create too much inflation.

Others argue that the extra money has just bolstered the price of some assets such as shares and property in some countries.

And Art being perhaps an ignorant person as it relates to the price of real estate going up as an asset of a nation. For the United States with its very high yearly U.S. trade deficits this means we as a nation buy their goods and they buy our assets such as real estate and commodities like gold and silver. Therefore if the price of real estate goes up we have higher priced assets to sell to foreigners. And yes, Chinese investors have been purchasing a lot of U.S. real estate. Maybe Art as likely someone who sides with the Republican party favors communist China and is rooting for them.

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Quote Art:

What you're not getting is that it's going to be like that with or without TPP. There are no high-paid, low-skills jobs that can be exported left in America. If there were, they would be gone under NAFTA or CAFTA.

I think this is aimed at me. You had this same argument when we jousted about this back awhile back. I don’t really understand what this reasoning gets us to. So the TPP should be supported because there are no other jobs to be stripped away? Again it seems you’re saying the TPP is no big deal because there’s no more damage to do. That's like saying it's OK for you to punch me in the eye, again, because my eye is already black and bruised; therefore another punch comparatively won't do that much further damage. The answer is, to begin healing of that black eye, is to enable no further punching of my black eye.

Rest assured; I'm no protectionist. I only want U.S. workers and U.S. industry playing on the same playing field as the rest of the world. Funny how people who only want U.S. workers to be on that same playing field, and to eliminate unfair advantages everyone else has, are called "protectionists." I will accept that mantle, if by "protectionism," one means not allowing big business and governments (U.S. and foreign) to gut the American workforce.

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Quote chilidog:

Q: What do you think about the new TPP trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

SANDERS: I voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China. I think they have been a disaster for the American worker. A lot of corporations that shut down here move abroad. Working people understand that after NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China we have lost millions of decent paying jobs. Since 2001, 60,000 factories in America have been shut down. We're in a race to the bottom, where our wages are going down. Is all of that attributable to trade? No. Is a lot of it? Yes. TPP was written by corporate America and the pharmaceutical industry and Wall Street. That's what this trade agreement is about. I do not want American workers to competing against people in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour for a minimum wage.

Q: So basically, there's never been a single trade agreement this country's negotiated that you've been comfortable with?

SANDERS: That's correct.

Meet the Press October 11, 2015

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Bernie_Sanders_Free_Trade.htm

People in the U.S. have an interest in what is going on elsewhere with this issue. On the one hand, Sanders' position is principled and none of those trade deals were ideal. The TPP is far worse.

For the most part, the questions on the minds of those is Central and South America from what I can tell are 1) Who is a better partner, the U.S. or Europe? and 2) Who is a better partner, the U.S. or China? In both cases, the answer has been the latter. That is because while China will come into somewhere like Nicaragua and build a canal under some pretty stringent economic conditions they will constrain themselves to that and not come up with all this international legal structure.

Apparently Argentina has elected some kind of non-leftist in a break from the overall pattern in the region:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/opinion/argentinas-transformative-elec...

On foreign policy, Mr. Macri could have an immediate and profound impact. The Kirchners aligned Argentina with the leftist flank in Latin America, supporting authoritarian leaders in Cuba and Venezuela, and cultivated strong ties with China, Russia and Iran. Mr. Macri has signaled he intends to chart a new course by expanding trade with the United States and Europe. American officials are eager for cooperation on law enforcement and energy policy and are hopeful the president can be an ally, or at least a reasonable actor, in regional diplomacy.

What will happen with Brazil is obviously critical. As you can see from the mention of MERCOSUR, Venezuela is the primary target because of programs such as selling food products at cost to low-income people. Ironically, the need to buttress the state's economy requires Venezueala to limit the inflow of U.S. dollars. If the U.S. was not so hostile to Venezuela that could change, but that won't happen with that country on the brink of crisis over these issues. For Venezuela and China have a good relationship, and Russia is another state which has resisted as much as possible the imposition of austerity.

In the U.S. no doubt the drive toward austerity will continue, with unearned entitlements being the first focus and then continues attempts at the privatization of Social Security or selling of government assets, otherwise shrinking social programs, etc. In the U.S., surplus food products often go to charity and are then written off as tax deductions. This may work well to an extent but is flawed in many ways. The Venezuealan model allows businesses to recoup their costs by recovering them at outlets designated for at-cost pricing. While it is also true that the state imposes quotas there, that would not be the case in the U.S. which is an agricultural producer.

Any drive the U.S. makes to foster trade relations within the hemisphere should respect the issues of democracy and human rights.

http://www.argentinaindependent.com/tag/tpp/

President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, which recorded US$45.8bn in trade with the countries involved in 2014, may face problems in ratifying the TPP in a congress where many opposition politicians have expressed concerns. Earlier this year Senator Francisco Chahuán publicly demanded a review of the negotiations with greater “transparency”.

Bachelet responded to criticism of the deal on Monday, saying, “We understand that we have to strengthen democracies and human rights […] but we also need to improve social policies and the economy.”

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What Do Democrats Really Want?

Thom plus logo Thomas Friedman, the confused billionaire, told us decades ago that "free trade" is what made the Lexus a successful product when, in fact, it was decades of Japanese government subsidies and explicit tariffs that did so.
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