Tag Archives: Trade agreements

Will Trump Rescue China’s Communism? by Gordon G. Chang

Any trade agreement the Chinese sign with Trump be heavily weighted in their favor. From Gordon G. Chang at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • China has violated its WTO promises and all the other trade deals. Now, President Trump is seeking to remedy Beijing’s failure to follow promises — and its continued annual theft of hundreds of billions of dollars of American intellectual property — by inking another pact.
  • Moreover, Washington’s determination to end Chinese theft of intellectual property also undermines Xi Jinping’s signature Made in China 2025 initiative to dominate eleven critical technologies by that year.
  • In short, there is no chance that Xi will comply with any agreement that is acceptable to the United States.
  • A trade agreement now will be seen as an end to the “trade war” and as Trump’s support for Xi. A pact, therefore, would constitute America’s fourth great rescue of Chinese communism.
A trade deal with President Donald Trump looks as if it is the only thing that can revive the Chinese economy and thereby save Xi’s brand of communism. Will the American president do so? Pictured: President Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with President Xi on November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

Three times — in 1972, 1989, and 1999 — American presidents rescued Chinese communism. Now, Xi Jinping’s China, plagued by problems of his own making, desperately needs a lifeline.

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“America Needs to Negotiate Better Trade Deals.” by Gary North

Any so-called free trade deal becomes the government negotiating for special favors for politically connected companies and industries, at the expense of everyone else. From Gary North at lewrockwell.com:

A common cliché of protectionism is this one: the United States government needs to negotiate better deals for American companies.

It is time to call a spade a spade. This is fascism. Fascism is the economics of a government-business alliance. There should be no government-business alliance. The government should not be involved in business. Whenever government gets involved in business, it is always done to favor certain businesses at the expense of all the rest of them. It always involves a repression of decision-making on the part of individual buyers and sellers. There are no exceptions. There are always going to be a few winners and a lot of losers. But we do not see the losers. This is what Frederic Bastiat in 1850 called “the fallacy of the things not seen.”

If I say this to the standard conservative, he nods his head in agreement. He is convinced that the government is up to no good when it intervenes into the free market. Then, a few minutes later, he tells me that the government should actively negotiate better trade deals for American businesses. In other words, his default setting on trade is fascism. He does not understand this. He does not understand economic logic, and he does not understand the meaning of the so-called business-government alliance.

To continue reading: “America Needs to Negotiate Better Trade Deals.”

 

Leading Economists Experience a Panic Attack in Chicago Over Lost Credibility, by Michael Krieger

Economists are no longer trusted by the public (were they ever?), and Hillary’s operatives are having trouble finding new jobs. The sky is falling! From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

1. There are experts who study complex systems: pilots, surgeons, civil engineers

Then there experts who often blown smoke: like economists

— Chris Arnade (@Chris_arnade) January 9, 2017

Over the weekend, America’s leading economists gathered in Chicago for their annual AEA conference. The mood perfectly encapsulates the state of affairs of a profession that is more to blame for our current predicament than any other.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

CHICAGO—The nation’s leading economists are suffering an identity crisis as many of the institutions they helped build and causes they advanced have come in for public scorn and rejection at the ballot box.

The angst was on display this weekend at the annual conference of the American Economic Association, the profession’s largest gathering. The conference is a showcase for agenda-setting research, a giant job fair for the nation’s most promising young economists and, this year, the site of endless discussion about how to rebuild trust in the discipline.

Many academic economists have been champions of free trade and globalization, ideas under assault among rising populist movements in advanced economies around the world. The rise of President-elect Donald Trump, with his fierce rhetoric against elites, in particular, left many at this conference questioning their place in the world.

“The economic elite did many things to undermine their credibility while people’s economic fortunes were taking a turn for the worse,” said Steven Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago. But a road map for regaining trust is elusive…

To continue reading: Leading Economists Experience a Panic Attack in Chicago Over Lost Credibility

Is the EU Preparing for Another Stealth Coup? by Don Quijones

The EU prepares to pull yet another fast one on Europeans. From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:

Taking its anti-democratic approach to a whole new level.

After years of tireless scheming behind hermetically closed doors, the time is almost due for the European Commission to give the respective national parliaments of the EU’s 28 Member States a chance to vote on the proposed trade agreement with Canada, the so-called Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). At long last, a secret agreement that received absolutely no input from the general public and a heck of a lot of input from the world’s biggest corporations and their lobbyists will be presented to and voted on by Europe’s elected representatives.

Or at that was the plan.

Ever since it began negotiating trade agreements like CETA, TTIP and TiSA, the Commission has repeatedly promised that when the proposed agreements were ready, it would let democracy take its course. But democracy and the latest generation of hyper-covert trade agreements are far from comfortable bedfellows, and the European Commission has already shown on numerous occasions a complete disregard for democratic process.

Lo and behold, last week a letter from the Italian minister for economic development, Carlo Calenda, to the EU commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, was obtained by the Italian “Stop TTIP Campaign,” and posted on its site. In the letter, the two discuss the possibility of Italy’s government coming to the Commission’s rescue and effectively blocking the parliaments of all the other countries from having their say on CETA.

“I would like to inform you that Italy, after a technical and political assessment, is ready to consider to support the Commission on the ‘EU only’ nature of (the) above-mentioned agreement,” Calenda wrote. The story was corroborated by an article published last week in Italy’s leading financial newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, which specifically mentions the government’s offer to block national votes.

As Glyn Moody notes in ArsTechnica, the national parliaments of the 28 member states could vote on CETA, but only if all EU governments demand it:

If Italy refuses to join with the other countries, the European Commission would be able to send the agreement to the Council of the European Union for approval, where a “qualified majority” would be enough for it to be passed.

It’s impossible to know exactly how the commission persuaded Italy’s government to do its dirty work, but suffice to say that the country’s crumbling banking system would provide some powerful leverage. As for its part in the secret deal, the Commission has good reason for wanting to bypass Europe’s 28 national parliaments: just one vote (out of 28) against the trade agreement would be enough to scupper a deal that has been seven years in the making and for which negotiations were concluded a year and a half ago.

To continue reading: Is the EU Preparing for Another Stealth Coup?

GOP Leadership’s Latest Obamatrade Ploy Revealed: Small Business Tas Hike That Violates GOP’s Anti-Tax Pledge, by Alex Swoyer

From Alex Swoyer, at breitbart.com:

Establishment Republicans desperately trying to secure the passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would give President Obama fast-track authority to secure congressional approval of at least three secretive trade deals, are now willing to increase taxes on small businesses in a way that would violate a pledge almost every Republican Congressman has taken when elected into office.

To secure final passage through Congress of a package that would include TPA fast-track authority—which would ensure finalization of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), among other deals—the House would need to pass the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) package that was necessary for Senate passage of TPA. The House voted TAA down 302-126 with widespread bipartisan opposition to last week, but House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his allies in House GOP leadership have pledged that they will try to pass it again early next week. The vote would potentially be on Monday, but more likely on Tuesday—and if there is no vote by Tuesday, it’s unlikely that Ryan will be able to succeed in his ploy to revive TPA.

TAA is a big government program usually favored by Democrats—it increases the size and scope of government, and is essentially viewed by Republicans as a welfare program—so their opposition to it during Friday’s complicated and confusing House vote schedule was not opposition to TAA as a specific concept, but opposition to the full Obamatrade package, especially TPA.

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave a blistering floor speech against the full Obamatrade deal, causing a Democratic rebellion against TAA—and forcing Ryan to push Republicans to vote for that part of the package.

TAA was originally supposed to be financed with Medicare cuts – which sparked major outrage, and cries of hypocrisy in what would have certainly turned into boldly negative campaign advertisements against Republicans by Democrats this next cycle. But under pressure, Republican leadership, mainly Boehner and Ryan, negotiated with Democrats to remove the Medicare cuts from the financial backing of TAA and instead using direct tax hikes by raising the penalties for misfiled taxes.

A vote for Obamatrade on Tuesday is a vote to give the IRS more power and more incentives to go after small businesses,” said Curtis Ellis, founder of the Obamatrade.com website, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.

Democrats overwhelmingly opposed TAA Friday after Pelosi voiced opposition to giving President Obama fast-track trade authority.

“So while I am a big supporter of TAA, if TAA slows down the fast-track, I am prepared to vote against the TAA because then its defeat, sad to say, is the only way that we will be able to slow down the fast-track,” Pelosi said just minutes before the crucial vote. She concluded: “The facts are these: If TAA fails, the fast-track bill is stopped.”

“It’s pretty outrageous what is called for in this bill that Congress is going to vote on Tuesday – it literally doubles and triples the taxes on small businesses,” explained Ellis.

Ellis spent hours researching this legislation and explained to Breitbart News how it could impact small business taxes if Congress passes the TAA during its vote on Tuesday.

“Small businesses that are already over-burdened with IRS paperwork will be penalized even further if they make a technical mistake on filing informational paperwork,” he said. “There’s a lot of dishonesty going on when the bill is described as raising the fines on tax violations. That’s dishonest because the fines aren’t for people who failed to pay their taxes, the fines are on businesses that for no fault of their own, they forget to fie a piece of paperwork telling the IRS how much someone else owes on their taxes.”

“It’s outrageous that Republicans who complain all the time – rightfully so – about the IRS’s overreach and over burdening small business are actually increasing the incentive for the IRS to spy on people – to spy on small businesses,” he added.

Essentially, as explained by Ellis, any time a small business paid an independent contractor or freelancer a commission or any tips, it must be reported to the IRS with a 1099 form, which a copy is also sent to the contractor or freelancer. If the small business is late in filing this form, then it is fined by the IRS. The proposal Tuesday, as it stands, would double and triple these fines.

“It is the height of cynicism for Congress to plan on paying for a welfare program for unions by increasing the penalties for small businesses,” Ellis reacted.

President of Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning agrees with Ellis about this increasing penalty being a tax increase on small businesses.

“There is no question that raising the penalty on small businesses who commit a paperwork error is a tax increase. It is directly intended to raise revenues, so it can’t be considered anything else. For Republican leadership to ask their members to vote to raise taxes on small business to fund a union bailout that Big Labor doesn’t want is both horrific policy and terrible politics,” Manning told Breitbart News.

This program was so unpopular with both Democrats and Republicans that they removed it from Obamacare.