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Trans Pacific Partnership versus the Status Quo

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    The "trade issue" is probably the source of the greatest split between Post-Keynesian people and the MMT camp.

    Maximizing net-imports does not solve all problems. Many nations around the world run trade deficits and are importing luxury cars, instead of the food to keep their people from starving. That's not optimal from a standard of living point of view.

    So while nations may optimize their real terms of trade, they still have to focus that on improving the standard of living.

    Again, a Job Guarantee is the best way to do that.

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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Pr -- Can I safely assume that you do not believe in trade with foreign countries?

    New to the forum. First post.

    You ask a question that is worthless to the people. Of course we believe in trading with foreign countries. But NOT the way we do it now. The old way worked great for most of the 20th century. Then many things started changing. New versions of Trade Agreements started. None of the new versions of "Free Trade Agreements" since and including NAFTA have done anything good for the majority of the U.S. population. The trade agreements were not the only problems or causes of our decline of the middle class. Perhaps the New DNC coming out during the Clinton years also had a significant hand in these changes. That was when the DNC no longer trusted the people to choose for themselves. That is when "everything changed." That is when the DNC itself decided they should have the last word. Not one "Free Trade Agreement" has increased the employment or financial health of the majority of Americans, here in the U.S. They have improved the lives in significant ways of millions of people, everywhere but in the U.S.

    Your original question is part of the problem. Trade itself is not the problem. Equality and Benefit to our citizens are what is missing in all of them. Trade that benefits only benefits one side isn't beneficial to "us." To not see the obvious, is the problem. The obvious to the majority is that any agreement "we" didn't write and negotiate during it's development, is a HUGE problem.

    The majority of Americans don't want this agreement. A few very powerful people do. Which side should both parties be on?

    So perhaps on this issue? The real question is, who is running this show?

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    Sorry, I forgot one more thing, Hillary. Is she really the face the majority of the party wants? Or is she just who the DNC wants? The Democratic Party held control for most of many decades. Then the party changed. Then our control was lost.

    I'm just saying, perhaps the reason why a Democratic Socialist is the face that the majority of the people want is because looking at the very long and open book history of his political career, he is actually what a Democrat used to be and used to believe in.

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    Gimpy

    Sorry, I forgot one more thing, Hillary. Is she really the face the majority of the party wants? Or is she just who the DNC wants? The Democratic Party held control for most of many decades. Then the party changed. Then our control was lost.

    I'm just saying, perhaps the reason why a Democratic Socialist is the face that the majority of the people want is because looking at the very long and open book history of his political career, he is actually what a Democrat used to be and used to believe in.

    Gimpy, Look at the obvious. GOP wants the next President to fill SC vacancy. GOP is commited to denying Trump the nomination. Disrupting the GOP candidacy improves chances for a Democratic Predident. Hillary has been the likely Democratic candidate for President. That means that the GOP is comfortable with Hillary choosing a justice. In fact they are virtually guaranteeing a Hillary presidency and justice selection. So the GOP choice for President is Hillary. Hillary is the best candidate for the Republican party. The Clintons have done more to set the working class back as Democrats than any Republican can claim. Bill Clinton was working toward being President of the world within a short time of taking his first Presidential term. Blatantly so as time progressed. My pet issue is him signing into law the CFMA. A true working man's President would have fought to death turning the stock market into a fee for service owner operator run gambling service. But more incomprehensible than poor people supporting tax cuts is poor people supporting the GOP's pick for President.

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    This thread is about the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement and not about Hillary, the Clintons, the CFMA, the Democratic Party, the GOP or the politics of filling the SCOTUS vacancy or anything else that someone wants to rant about again. We have other threads where those topics have been discussed ad infinitum so lets not move those discussions to this TPP thread.

    Regarding trade, there continues to be a misunderstanding about what free trade is. So let me broaden everyone's perspective. The United States currently trades with 234 countries (I just looked it up). We have free trade agreements in place with just 20 of those countries: Australia, Singapore, Bahrain, Chile, Peru, Cost Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, South Korea, Canada and Mexico.

    We do not have free trade agreements with China or any of the major European nations. Mostly trade with those other 214 countries is conducted under the World Trade Organization (WTO) umbrella agreements and/or separate bilateral trade agreements specific to the nations (e.g. Vietnam). There are 162 countries that have signed onto the WTO criteria for conducting international trade. Another 20 are pending as "observer status".

    The WTO administers the "legal ground-rules for international commerce. Essentially, they are contracts, guaranteeing member countries important trade rights. They also bind governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits to everybody’s benefit." It also is the body responsible for dispute resolution.

    I suppose I should not find it surprising that people or special interest groups digging into the criteria of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement find fault with such things as dispute resolution, when the WTO has already been handling countless disputes favoring the USA since it's inception.

    There are issues with trade in the past that deserve criticism, and many of these are associated with unfair tariffs that hurt US commerce. But to throw around the term "free trade" as being something that the devil conspired to make corporations rich at the expense of the poor is an emotional knee jerk Pavlovian type response by some union workers lacking any knowledge of what the TPP is all about. There is so much misinformation and fear mongering associated with the TPP for political gain. I have tried to undue some of that misinformation with my many posts and two blog articles, but fixed minds refuse to even read them.

    I'll try again...soon.

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    Another view on the "Big Lie" aka the TTP

    alternet.org/economy/robert-reich-big-l...

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    "The Apple iPhone is assembled in China from components made in Japan, Singapore, and a half-dozen other locales. The only things coming from the U.S. are designs and instructions from a handful of engineers and managers in California." -- Robert Reich

    Those "handful of engineers and managers" sure will have a big office:

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    Another view on so called "free trade" - make your own assumptions on its validity

    salon.com/2016/03/22/snapshot_of_a_brok...

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    reuters.com/article/us-autos-labor-cost...

    re: the charts mentioned in the link provided by schmidt mexican auto workers earning $8-$10 per hour. it begs the question as to whether or not we should be seeking to match mexican autoworkers' wages or not. the two tiered system put in place in 2007 was the first step in that direction imo. furthermore as the link notes there has been an increase in the use of temp workers working along side employees in some japanese owned plants in the u.s. this is part and parcel of the movement under financial manager capitalism to reduce costs with the goal of increasing shirt-term returns by out-contracting, part-timing and temping.

    as for the parking garage being built for the "handful of engineers" provided by schmidt that means nothing as the manufacturing of apple products is not done here.

    one of the myths of free trade is the ability of workers to freely and EASILY transition from one type of work to another. in the real world this does not happen very easily. nor does it happen with older workers very easily. thesis part of the myth of education being a panacea for imbalances and inequality caused by free market capitalism and free trade. people simply do not and in the vast majority of cases imo cannot re-build themselves. anecdotal evidence of a person here or there changing professions mid-stream in their worklife does not reflect the real world as a whole.

    yes, i understand this thread is about the tpp. yet the tpp cannot be examined in a vacuum as it is part and parcel of so-called free trade.

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    Well said, as usual, lb!
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    i have just started reading ian fletcher's "free trade doesn't work: what should replace it and why" once i have completed it i will revisit this thread since trade is vitally important.

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    Free Trade - the gift that just keeps on giving (if you are wealthy)!

    salon.com/2016/04/05/sanders_ardently_o...

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    Dissidents can be a real pia for wealth hoarders. A lot of people fall inline saying people have a right to do whatever they want with their money. Significant wealth is simply recorded servitude.
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    a simple question re: nations such as vietnam and other "developing" nations in the tpp...

    what will we sell them?

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    Another take on the TTP for people to consider

    theintercept.com/2016/04/10/tpp-lobbyis...