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In Global Trade, We Need Equal Protection from All Governments ^ | March 28, 2017 | Seton Motley

Posted on 03/28/2017 5:13:20 PM PDT by Kaslin

Yesterday we wrote of, here at home, the long lost beauty of equal protection before the law, which the 14th Amendment of our Constitution mandates - but our government almost never delivers. 

By forsaking this important tenet, we opened wide the door to cronyism - with government playing favorites amongst private sector players.  Decades later, we have a heinous patchwork quilt of laws and regulations - oft even contradictory rules that have been time and again warped to the will of the highest bidders. 

The result is anything but a free market economy.  Want to know why our nation has basically stagnated for decades?  A crucial component of the sclerosis is our government’s steadfast refusal to treat everyone equally.

But as brilliant as our Constitution is - it is not the original font of this particular piece of wisdom.  The idea that government should treat everyone equally - goes back a bit further.  At least to ancient Greece - and Aristotle:  “The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.”

That’s good news.  It means it’s timeless - and without boundaries and borders.  Which means we can - and should - apply it to everything.  Including global trade. 

Every global trade participant state’s domestic laws and regulations - of course affect international trade.  If any state is engaged in unequal protection before the law - playing favorites amongst its domestic businesses - those businesses transmogrify those domestic advantages into international ones when they enter the global trade market.

A state subsidizes a commodity, or emplaces tariffs protective of that commodity, or engages in any of a host of other domestic unequal protection - and that state’s commodity has a built-in advantage when it is brought to the global market. 

For the global market’s other participants - that ain’t great.  And it establishes a terrible precedent.  The other states that produce that commodity - start themselves applying unequal protections domestically to advantage that commodity in their nations - and thereby on the global market. 

Round and round and round we go - and we end up with an international heinous patchwork quilt of stupid multi-government policy.          

The result - is anything but free trade. 

To wit: Brazil - and it’s massive sugar cronyism.  Brazil’s government gives its sugar industry every year more than $2.5 billion in cash infusions and other favors.  That’s a lot. 

Think that leads to a free global market?  Of course not.  Brazil’s massive subsidies have warped the world market into a Brazil-dominated unequal nightmare mess: ““Brazil currently controls, roughly, 50 percent of global sugar exports. To put that into perspective, Saudi Arabia controls about 19 percent of the crude oil exports….” 

Which has led to an inevitable regulatory arms race - as every other nation tries to play catch-up: “(E)very country that produces sugar - more than 100 in total - has some form of government intervention.”

That sound anything like free trade?  Of course not.  And, of course, you can blindfolded throw a dart at a list of globally traded commodities - and you’ll inexorably hit one that faces similarly rampant, unequal domestic cronyism, with a resulting global regulatory arms race.

There is, in fact, a solution.  On which Politico yesterday dismissively reported.  They shouldn’t be so dismissive.

Yoho's Sugar Bill is Back … Again: “ICYMI, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), on Thursday, reintroduced his ‘zero-for-zero’ sugar bill, a resolution that would roll back America’s policy of limiting sugar imports in exchange for the elimination by other countries of their sugar subsidy programs. Yoho’s resolution, which has 12 bipartisan co-sponsors, identifies Brazil, India, Mexico and Thailand as being among the countries most guilty of subsidizing their own sugar production.  H. Con. Res. 40, a variation of which has been introduced in at least two prior congressional sessions dating back to 2013….”

Sounds like exactly what needs to happen.  With sugar…and just about everything else that gets traded on our little planet.

Unequal treatment before the law has diminished our nation - and trade everywhere.

Here’s hoping Yoho’s resolution becomes policy - and that its approach to cronyism and trade be applied to commodities way beyond just sugar.   

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: commodities

1 posted on 03/28/2017 5:13:20 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The crazy ramblings of a Free Traitor™. It is not possible to follow any kind of logic to this useless tome.

2 posted on 03/28/2017 6:32:13 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

you crazy SOB. You are an insult to Free Republic The term you throw about is detrimental to all conservatives

3 posted on 03/28/2017 6:36:35 PM PDT by Thibodeaux (the long night is over)
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To: Kaslin

You seemed to be fixated on the Free Traitor™ agenda.

4 posted on 03/28/2017 6:45:30 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Thibodeaux
I ask you sir, can I be a conservative if I have rejected the globalist Free Trade agenda that is ruining the USA? The agenda that creates a $800B/yr deficit? An agenda that has eliminated entire sectors of industry from the USA? Has weakened our national security?

I am an old school Republican. This is from the 1924 REPUBLICAN PLATFORM and I agree with it completely

We reaffirm our belief in the protective tariff to extend needed protection to our productive industries. We believe in protection as a national policy, with due and equal regard to all sections and to all classes. It is only by adherence to such a policy that the well being of the consumers can be safeguarded that there can be assured to American agriculture, to American labor and to American manufacturers a return to perpetrate American standards of life. A protective tariff is designed to support the high American economic level of life for the average family and to prevent a lowering to the levels of economic life prevailing in other lands.

In the history of the nation the protective tariff system has ever justified itself by restoring confidence, promoting industrial activity and employment, enormously increasing our purchasing power and bringing increased prosperity to all our people.

The tariff protection to our industry works for increased consumption of domestic agricultural products by an employed population instead of one unable to purchase the necessities of life. Without the strict maintenance of the tariff principle our farmers will need always to compete with cheap lands and cheap labor abroad and with lower standards of living.

The enormous value of the protective principle has once more been demonstrated by the emergency tariff act of 1921 and the tariff act of 1922.

We assert our belief in the elastic provision adopted by congress in the tariff act of 1922 providing for a method of readjusting the tariff rates and the classifications in order to meet changing economic conditions when such changed conditions are brought to the attention of the president by complaint or application.

We believe that the power to increase or decrease any rate of duty provided in the tariff furnishes a safeguard on the one hand against excessive taxes and on the other hand against too high customs charges.

The wise provisions of this section of the tariff act afford ample opportunity for tariff duties to be adjusted after a hearing in order that they may cover the actual differences in the cost of production in the United States and the principal competing countries of the world.

We also believe that the application of this provision of the tariff act will contribute to business stability by making unnecessary general disturbances which are usually incident to general tariff revisions.

5 posted on 03/28/2017 6:54:43 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

You are correct.

Free Trade is impossible when you open up “free” (lol) trade with socialist and communist nations. There can be no “free trade” when you are working with slave, tribal cultures where there is no individual Natural Rights from God.

The concepts of “free trade” is only possible between free countries—ones which guarantee INDIVIDUAL Natural Rights from God. We can’t compete with slave labor, ever.......and that is what our present “system” is doing and we will be destroyed (are being destroyed) by pretending we can have “free trade” with communist China, etc. It is a JOKE!!!

6 posted on 03/28/2017 7:14:34 PM PDT by savagesusie (When Law ceases to be Just, it ceases to be Law. (Thomas A./Founders/John Marshall)/Nuremberg)
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To: savagesusie

So Susie I guess we aren’t good little Free Trade “Conservatives”. Do you think we will get zotted?

7 posted on 03/28/2017 7:17:29 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: savagesusie

Thank you for your excellent contribution susie.

8 posted on 03/28/2017 7:21:28 PM PDT by bankwalker (groupthink is dangerous ...)
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