Neoclassical support for free trade mostly derives from the theory of
comparative advantage. But that theory assumes comparative advantages are
innate to various countries. The multi-national corporation shoots that down in
that resources can be moved from country to country within the global
corporation. Senator Reid has very real reasons to be wary of fast track trade
authority. In the new international era fast track yields
advantages to corporations, but not to labor. So-called free trade has trashed
American labor the last 25 years, in case you haven't noticed.
Perhaps Senator Reid's reluctance to negotiate more Free Trade Agreements
is due to the rather mixed results of NAFTA. NAFTA has hurt the US
manufacturing sector and much of the loss of middle class jobs can be traced to
the shrinkage of manufacturing.Free Trade Agreements are much like
Olympic Games or NFL Franchises. When they are being pitched, they presented as
an endless stream of benefits to all. In the aftermath, the reality is far less
rosy. Not to say there are no benefits to any of these, but for Free Trade
Agreements, they are far less clear than this article suggests.You
want support for Free Trade Agreements? Then let's get honest
(bi-partisan) data out of the CBO or other similar group and have the President
(this one or any one) first discuss the positives AND negatives in the harsh
light of day. Then Congress can decide if the President should get fast track
america is richer than many other countries, so with free-trade agreements their
can be some adjustments for the u.s. in the short run.But non-free
trade is the rich guy taking advantage of his present wealth to get a head start
on the poor guy. The U.S. will not advance economically by screwing weaker
foreign nations. Not allowing free trade artificially props up
certain sectors of the U.S. economy at the expense of the U.S. economy as a
whole.Free trade strengthens weaker countries of the world much more
naturally than free aid does. When those countries become stronger, that helps
the U.S. even more in the long run because those countries will have more money
to buy products.
The fast track trade agreement is nothing new. According to Wikipedia, " It
was in effect pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974 from 1975 to 1994 and was
restored in 2002 by the Trade Act of 2002. It expired for new agreements at
midnight on July 1, 2007, but continued to apply to agreements already under
negotiation until they were eventually passed into law."Labor
Unions are against it. That is the reason that Harry Reid won't bring it
to the floor. Too many Democrats have campaigns that are largely funded by
unions. Once again, the Democrats put their own offices above the needs of this
Country. They would rather hold office than do anything that might get millions
of people back to work and off welfare.
RE J Thompson "That is the reason that Harry Reid won't bring it to
the floor. Too many Democrats have campaigns that are largely funded by unions.
Once again, the Democrats put their own offices above the needs of this
Country." Well, I am part of labor. I also belong to a labor union. And
pardon me, but I am part of this "Country."
Great Britain became the world's preeminent economic power by following
highly protectionist policies. The U.S. became the world's preeminent
economic power by following highly protectionist policies. Both countries began
to lose economic ground after they adopted free trade.China, Japan,
South Korea, Taiwan, etc, have all achieved remarkable economic growth by
pursuing highly protectionist policies. They have apparently seen our example
and are not going to adapt free trade. Sure they'll sign free trade
agreements, nut they'll never live up to them.Free trade might
work as advertised if all the world followed the same rules, but when we're
the only free trade country competing with a bunch of mercantilists, we're
being played for chumps. Free trade has destroyed the American working class and
now it's destroying the middle class.
RE marxist,I am not a member of a labor union, nor will I ever be.
I have a voice. I can speak directly to those who hire me. I do not need
someone to "intimidate" the owners. I do not need someone to tell me
that I have "ownership" in a company when I have invested nothing, have
taken no risk, and have received a decent pay from the owners for my labors.
I have a right as a citizen to have that bill voted on by the full
Senate. I have the right to know exactly who has been bought by unions in the
Senate. I have the right to campaign against anyone who sells himself to the
unions instead of representing the STATE. Harry Reid thinks that unions control
this nation. He thinks that his office is more important than his integrity.
He fails as a Senator and, as the highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, to do
his duty, which is to represent the State of Nevada, not the unions in Nevada
nor the unions throughout the United States.
J Thompson,I am not a member of a union either (though I have worked
where unions are an option). Union member have a voice and can speak directly
to their employer OR utilize the union to do so. Unions are no more
intimidating to employers than employers are to workers. As to ownership? Only
if there is a profit sharing plan or something similar. As to risk? Workers
certainly take risks - both physical and financial for their employer (maybe not
the same kind of financial risks, but risks nonetheless). Agreed
that you (and all of us) have a right to know who has been bought and sold in
Congress. That includes unions and also includes ANY large contributor no
matter what form it takes (corporations, unions, etc.). We should be able to
trace who are the real contributors to any campaign.As to what Harry
Reid believes or who he is or is not beholden to, I leave that to him.
We already have internal free trade in following the supreme power of
constitutional law which requires it. So far as international free trade
agreements they may be sweet to the great corporations which have no nation but
do nothing to help our atrocious unemployment problems in this nation.The US Constitution gives authority to the federal government to impose import
and export duties. I hope they will do so wisely to protect the people of the
United States against the bane of unfair foreign competition. To do so is not
the same as caving to union pressure. Government can do the right thing for the
right reasons and cave to no one in international commerce or unions.I am not sure that I like repeatedly giving government "fast track
authority", and I really would like to hear a good and thorough discussion
of these issues in Congress and throughout the nation now and in time to come.