Skip to comments.Why America and the world need free trade
Posted on 08/02/2006 8:41:11 AM PDT by tang0r
Forget the politicking on the news about tariffs and subsidies. The true advantages of free trade, toward which small political steps as the Doha trade round are vital, are to the long-term financial and social benefit of America and the world. Were free trade effectively implemented, instead of being torpedoed by the demagogic posturing of reactionary Leftists, the progress and development it inspired would improve the lives of millions of people.
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If you must have a multi-hundred page book outlining the agreement, then it ain't really Free Trade, is it?
Not at the sacrifice of soverignty and our security (our borders) as our fine Washington-ites would have it. All at OUR cost -- never to them of course.
Yeah! Free trade my ancient mare. Free means free, like in equal. How come under NAFTA Mexican trucks and drivers that do not come close to our standards of safety and training are clogging our highways with obviously overloaded trucks and we cannot haul into precious Mexico?
How come a liter of vanilla extract costs $2.50 in Tecate, Mexico and $23.00 in El Cajon, CA? There are piles more...
No more "Free Trade" until American interests are represented by real Americans and not Liberal traitors.
If these agreements increase personal freedom by lowering government interference, is that a good thing? Are lower prices good? Is increased trade good for our economy? Jobs? Wealth? If not, why not?
The author might be surprised to learn just how many "conservatives" on FR agree with these leftists.
Do they lower government interference, or do they just change the face of the government interference? I'm all for free trade, but free means free. How much needs to be specified other than, "I won't stop your sellers, and you won't stop mine. All other laws apply."
Tariffs are taxes that exert more government control over the economy. Same with quotas. Removing them or lowering them reduces government control of trade and the economy. The more economic freedom a country practices the more wealth they will accumulate. There is also a solid correlation between the amount of personal liberty people enjoy and the amount of economic freedom a country practices. Since WWII we have significantly reduced barriers to trade and our economy and wealth have increased dramatically.
We're doing a poor job of shipping our jobs to Mexico.
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
| U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Postal Square Building
2 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20212-0001
As you can see, since NAFTA passed in November 1993, we have added 23.2 million jobs.
We also need it so eventually we can become the North American Union.
Stop smoking that weed, it's bad for your lungs and your logic.
Agreed. Much of what is claimed to be "free trade" is just a bunch of slogans. The truth lies in the small print, hundreds of pages of it.
I don't think you understand my point.
Thank you. I was afraid I wasn't being clear.
Then call it freer trade.
"We hope that through these negotiations we will be able to convince our trading partners to stop their unfair trading practices and open those markets that are now closed to American exports. We will take countermeasures only as a last resort, but our trading partners should not doubt our determination to see international trade conducted fairly with the same rules applicable to all. I'm committed to and will continue to fight for fair trade. American exporters and American workers deserve a fair shake abroad, and we intend to see they get it. Our objective will always be to make world trading partnerships freer and fairer for all."
The USA was a unique creation by a group of men who fostered individual freedom, as much as individual responsibility. When individual states deal with each other, they're dealing within our Constitutional system of free and fair trade. This is not the case when the US deals with nations of the world. No one is suggesting we isolate ourselves or create strong protectionist trade barriers with other nations. But its critical that the Feds promote a conservative policy agenda on the issue of trade, that advances US sovereignty, US interests abroad, while it respects the right of individual Americans.
Okay. That's a little more accurate.
Only on the FR; the rest of the country sees import tax hikes as a Democrat plank along with gay rights and abortion. Last week I was fussing with Hedge over a import tax cut that just passed the Senate, and even I was surprised at how partisan it's become.
Let's face it; it's the liberal Democrats that love big government welfare import taxes and it's the Republicans that want tax-cuts and smaller government.
OK, its 90%+ of the Republicans that want import tax-cuts.
I'm in favor of FREE trade.
A proposal to cut tariffs by 50% is no good, because it's not a 100% cut?
We have significantly reduced borders, I'll agree.
Somebody might ask what Free Trade might be.
How do you get that out of what I've said?
I just want to stop calling something it's not.
Because you didn't agree that freer trade is better than trade which is less free.
No. I just agreed that "freer trade" is a better name for the thing this thread is about. My argument is entirely semantics. Free trade is free trade or it's not. There's no such thing as "sort of" pregnant.
Great, now that we've agreed about the semantics, let's talk about the real world.
Do you prefer the current levels of tariffs and barriers or would you like them to be lowered? Even if they can't be lowered to zero.
So do I. Nice talk requires specifics.
"I came to Washington to spare the American people the protectionist legislation that destroys prosperity."
Ronald Reagan initiated talks with Canada and Mexico on establishing a North American free trade zone and inaugurated another multilateral trade negotiation known as the Uruguay Round. (from here)
I like Reagan's specifics too.
I'm all for anything that gets us closer to free trade. Just don't call it "free trade" when it isn't.
Just don't call it "free trade" when it isn't.
Just add an "r" to the end of free, in your head.
It should help you unclench.
I thought one quote from Reagan would be enough for you liberal trade merchants to understand that Reagan placed American interests first and foremost when it came to trade issues. Here's two radio speeches President Reagan gave to the nation on the issue of free and fair trade, and the need for the US to remain ever vigilant against unfair trade practices by unfriendly nations. Reagan in his own words are the best specifics I know of. Enjoy.
You said that whacks better than me!
Usually these discussions revolve around specific Republican introduced import tax-cuts that the liberals hate. I can name a lot of them. Are you able to name one specific import tax-cut that you liked, or can you name one import tax hike that you've ever hated?
Yeah but we notice you kinda skip over the freedom part. I lived through it and can tell you for certain that if 1944 folks saw what 2006 would be like there would have been one hell of a revolution.
Well, I hope these doha round trade talks are sunk deeper than you know what. There is nothing free about this mess.
I really prefer subsidizing American farmers more than subsidizing foreign corporations who claim to be using their own money to build private toll roads for all this "free trade". What a joke on the American people.
And we know that higher tariffs and barriers are better than lower tariffs and barriers. Wouldn't want to have too much trade.
"And we know that higher tariffs and barriers are better than lower tariffs and barriers. Wouldn't want to have too much trade."
"The honey may have been contaminated with chloramphenicol (CAP), which AQIS says causes the disease aplastic anaemia in some susceptible individuals. AQIS could not confirm the number of shipments that have been transited through Australia."
Just go right ahead and eat your honey from China as we wouldn't want the Chinese to suffer. It is good and cheap honey right up your alley. I, myself, prefer American grown food.
Or maybe we could just test imported honey?
Lot's of people like to stay with Reagan's talk and forget about his actions. I guess I was never much good at that all-talk-no-action stuff, a kind of a short coming on my part. You're free to take on any style you choose with my blessing.
Why should we? Are you accusing our trading partners of avoiding the rules and not playing fair? According to the doha rounds, we just need to cut the subsidies to our farmers and let our trading partners do whatever they want to do to our food.
Me too. Especially his actions in regard to unfair trade practices. While Reagan wasn't a strict protectionist, economists over the years have pointed out his administrations occasional protectionist policy action. Reagan signed off on special trade protection for Harley-Davidson, imposed quotas on steel imports, pressured Japan to restrict vehicle shipments to the United States, tightened limits on foreign textiles, accepted new barriers to imported sugar, raised duties on Canadian shakes and shingles. All in the name of fair trade.
Reagan was right: "I'm committed to and will continue to fight for fair trade. American exporters and American workers deserve a fair shake abroad, and we intend to see they get it." Actions speak louder then words and Reagan's actions to fight for fair trade practices is an historic fact.
I think cutting subsidies is a great idea. Sorry to hear that you agree with massive and wasteful government spending and interference
and let our trading partners do whatever they want to do to our food.
Maybe you have a link to the part of the agreement that says "let our trading partners do whatever they want to do to our food"?
Or is that just your feelings again?
Of course I do. If all those pages you complain about end up reducing barriers to trade, and they do, then the increased trade will benefit all involved. Not to mention the increased personal freedom that conservatives are supposed to advocate. Just because we have to negotiate what we're agreeing to doesn't mean that free(r) trade shouldn't be vigorously pursued. What's your alternative to what we have now? If what we're doing now is so bad where is the negative impact on our economy?
You need to look at our GDP growth, employment growth and the increases in our personal wealth since we embraced free(r) trade after WWII. Your feelings may tell you one thing however, the facts tell us all something very different.
And you just proved you don't understand my point.
Illegal immigration didn't exist prior to NAFTA? You must be very young or never studied history in school. But thanks for your post that has nothing to do with the thread.
Naw, I just choose to live in the real world. I find it hard to work with folks who are immutable when it comes to their idealism. They also tend to be constipated a lot.
Not sure what you're talking about here.
I know lots of 1944 people who are thrilled that their children and grandchildren have much better lives today than they did back then.
I'm trying to agree with you but you don't seem to want any part of it --just what part of "yes" don't you understand?
I'm telling you, I just love "fair trade" -- especially when we're saying it means "talks with Canada and Mexico on establishing a North American free trade zone and inaugurated another multilateral trade negotiation known as the Uruguay Round".
Didn't you also show that lowering import taxes actually lead to greater economic activity and increased tax revenue? I remember seeing that information posted on FR and I believe you were the one who did the research. IIRC, it also threw the protectionists a curve they couldn't hit - if they bothered to respond at all.
'No' on both counts. I've lived under 13 presidents. Y'sef?
"But thanks for your post that has nothing to do with the thread."
I think when your children or grandchildren grow up they'll understand my post perfectly -- and perhaps with a smile of 'knowingness' on their faces and a little anger in their hearts.
NAFTA? Oh, Yeah! Wasn't that the old 'bait 'n switch' routine that failed and caused the 'migration' to the north because the jobs are going to China instead?
But, hey, not to worry. Plenty of truck driver jobs for 'em. You know, just doing the jobs Americans won't do once we shut down the unions.
'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - Made in China' - Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in Mexico' - 'Made in . . . . hold on a sec, Jose! Shut down the line! Got some old inventory to clear out here.'
In all those years you should have learned that trade has nothing to do with illegal immigration. You should have also learned that the vast majority of people in favor of free(r) markets are also in favor of strict enforcement of our immigration laws.
Since you seem to be focused on NAFTA maybe you can show us how NAFTA caused jobs to go to China. Mexico benefited a great deal from NAFTA. Unfortunately, they chose to maintain their statist economy instead of adopting reforms like they should have. Maybe you can show us how illegal immigration wouldn't be so bad today if NAFTA hadn't passed.
Just as an aside, I think my children will undoubtedly benefit if the unions are ever shut down. I believe they'd thank my generation for helping that along should it ever come to pass.