|Figure 1. Manufacturing Jobs and Trade Agreement History|
Trump is correct that NAFTA is a disaster. But he states a misleading fact in order to lie about who's primarily responsible. Don't be fooled; that's Republicans by far. Regardless of Trump's stated opposition to win votes, the Republican Party has been, and is, all in for the "trade" agreement betrayals of the U.S. economy and U.S. sovereignty. Those who tell you otherwise are lying. Those opposed to "trade" agreements like NAFTA and TPP should vote against Republicans. Democrats voted overwhelmingly against them and against the presidents of their own party.
The votes on NAFTA and TPP put Hillary Clinton in a tight spot. She can't admit that the Republican Party is the major support for these disastrous "trade" agreements. That's because both Bill Clinton and Obama colluded with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to get NAFTA and TPP Fast Track approved.
Note: I've written extensively on what's called "trade" ... see below at The Truth About 'Trade' on what "free trade" really is, data on "trade", balanced trade, and trade deficits.
Don't believe it's Republicans who are the major support for Obama's push for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
Here's what Senator Orin Hatch, Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, says about dealing with the "trade deal's problems". What he wants makes the agreement worse by increasing corporate control even more:
Hatch: TPP deal can get done in lame-duck session By Vicki Needham, The Hill, 09/14/16
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said Wednesday that Congress will pass a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade agreement before the end of the year.
The Utah Republican said he is working with the Obama administration to resolve several lingering issues that could ultimately pave the way for a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the lame-duck session after the November elections.
"I think we're going to get it done in lame-duck," Hatch told The Hill.
First though, the White House needs to calm his concerns over the truncated length of patent protections for high-tech medicines called biologics, Hatch said.
|Figure 2. Trade Deficits and Trade Agreement History|
Hatch and other pro-trade Republicans want 12 years of data exclusivity, which is the U.S. standard, whereas the TPP provides up to eight years.
"There are ways of doing it, they'll just have to do it," Hatch said of the White House's efforts.
Hatch said he is getting assurances from the White House that a solution is in the works that will address the trade deal's problems. ...
On what Trump and Clinton say about "trade" ...
Here's Trump on NAFTA at 3rd Presidential Debate:
... The NAFTA deal signed by her husband is one of the worst deals ever made of any kind signed by anybody. ...
... So my plan, we're going to negotiate trade deals. We're going to have a lot of free trade. More free trade than we have right now. But we have horrible deals. Our jobs are being taken out by the deal that her husband signed. NAFTA. One of the worst deals ever. The jobs are being sucked out of our economy. You look at the places I just left. You go to Pennsylvania, you go to Ohio, you go to Florida, you go to any of them. You go to upstate New York. Our jobs have fled to Mexico and other places. We're bringing our jobs back. I'm going to renegotiate NAFTA. And if I can't make a great deal, then we're going to terminate NAFTA and we're going to create new deals. We're going to have trade but we're going to terminate it. We're going on make a great trade deal. ...
... Now, she can say her husband did well but boy, did they suffer as NAFTA kicked in because it didn't really kick in very much. But it kicked in after they left. Boy, did they suffer. That was one of the worst things that has ever been signed by our country. Now she wants to sign Trans-Pacific Partnership. And she wants it. She lied when she said she didn't call it the gold standard in one of the debates. She totally lied. She did call it the gold standard. ...
What Hillary Clinton said in the first presidential debate:
CLINTON: Incomes went up for everybody. Manufacturing jobs went up also in the 1990s, if we're actually going to look at the facts.
Trump's response on this in at 3rd Presidential Debate:
Figure 3. Trump rails against NAFTA, but he fails to mention that it was by far Republicans who pushed it through. This is a major reason why establishment Republicans were against Trump.
Compared to Republicans, Democrats were overwhelmingly against NAFTA. Republicans were were for NAFTA and few opposed it.
Now, she can say her husband did well but boy, did they suffer as NAFTA kicked in because it didn't really kick in very much. But it kicked in after they left. Boy, did they suffer. That was one of the worst things that has ever been signed by our country.
Trump is correct that NAFTA is a disaster and he's correct that it was after Bill Clinton left office that the job loss and trade deficit explosion began (see Figure 1 on manufacturing job losses and Figure 2 on the trade deficit explosion).
But Trump states misleading facts in order to lie.
Republicans are by far the most responsible for the "disaster" getting approved by Congress. Those who are opposed to "trade" agreements like NAFTA and TPP should vote against Republicans as I explain below.
Yes, it was a disaster as I've explained years ago at
Trade Truth #1: The NAFTA Nemesis, 4/18/08, After NAFTA, exports have suffered relative to imports no matter how one looks at the data. "Free trade" fundamentalists totally ignore that imports have slammed exports on all counts: absolute level, growth, and acceleration. The result? Destructive "trade" debt that's sinking the U.S. economy.
Besides Hillary Clinton's previously-stated support for TPP, the votes on NAFTA and TPP put Hillary Clinton in a tight spot. She can't admit that Republicans and Republican Party are the major supporters of these disastrous "trade" agreements.
That's because both Bill Clinton and Obama colluded with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to get NAFTA and TPP Fast Track approved.
Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the presidents of their own party.
Bill Clinton pushed NAFTA through by colluding with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to pass NAFTA. The VOTES of Republicans and Democrats on NAFTA: House, Senate (see Figure 3):
Massive Republican support: 166 for, 53 against
Figure 4. Trump rails against "trade" agreements like TPP, but it was overwhelmingly Republicans who pushed TPP Fast Track through the Senate.
Anyone who maintains Republicans will allow Trump to oppose TPP are unaware of how greatly Republicans supported TPP Fast Track ... or they are lying.
Massive Democratic opposition: 129 for, 184 against
Ratios Against and For NAFTA:
Against: 184 Dems vs 53 Reps; 3.5 times more Democrats against NAFTA
For: 166 Reps vs 129 Dems: 30% more Republicans for NAFTA
TPP Fast Track:
Obama similarly colluded with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to pass TPP Fast Track. 13 Democratic senators voted with 47 Republicans to get the 60 required votes (see Figure 4).
Ratio: 3.6 times more Republicans than Democrats for TPP Fast Track
Yes, Trump has said he'd do something about jobs lost to trade, but there's a snowball's chance in hell Republicans would let him ... unless it's to slash U.S. wages. Based on his statements, to bring jobs back it's most likely he would want lower U.S. wages. He said that the problem is that wages are too high in the U.S. and that, along with high corporate taxes (that's a lie, by the way), is why the U.S. isn't competitive.
As on many issues Trump has made exactly contradictory statements, saying both that "he doesn't want the federal government raising, or even setting, the minimum wage floor" and also that: the "federal" minimum wage "has to go up." Donald Trump gets a Full Flop for stance on minimum wage by Louis Jacobson, Politifact, 7/28/16.
Don't be fooled. Regardless of Trump's stated opposition to win votes, the Republican Party is all in for the treacherous "trade" agreement betrayals of the U.S. economy and U.S. sovereignty. Those who tell you otherwise are lying.
Note: I supported Sanders, not Clinton. That said, Clinton/Democrats look great in comparison to Trump/Republicans.
The truth about 'trade'
"Free Trade" isn't trade:
It's not "free trade". Trade is when you make something, I make something and we trade.
TPP is a betrayal of the U.S. economy and U.S. sovereignty.
And Republicans are by far the primary drivers behind that betrayal.
What's going on is "transfer of the factors of production" ... primarily the transfer of jobs ... also called labor arbitrage. That's not trade. What's called "trade" should always be in quotes.
Data on "trade":
I've done major research on "trade" and its effects. The most recent, until I got discouraged that nothing would change to correct its damage, is:
Jobs & 'Trade' Data Update Jun10, 8/2/10. Irrational belief in the infallibility of the "free market" and "free trade" has led to devastating offshoring of good-paying manufacturing & IT jobs and resulted in enormous "trade" deficits. This has undermined the US economy and is the root cause of the economic crisis. This documents the losses & deficits.
... yes, the financial crisis was the proximate cause of the crisis ... but, thinking about it leads one to realize it's that the U.S. has shifted away from "making things" to unproductive financialization and speculation ... most of which is counterproductive.
What to do about the 'trade' deficit ... create "balanced trade" ... at this link I describe how.
There are so many factors affecting trade that achieving a "level playing field" is extremely difficult. Trying to adjust the many factors is just too complicated. There's currency manipulation, competitor countries having national health insurance (removing the cost from industry), tax policies, capital subsidies, transfer pricing manipulation of profits, theft of intellectual property, tax deductions for moving manufacturing and research to China, and lack of labor & environmental standards.
Trying to adjust for each of these by means of import tariffs will mean political battles with virtually every special interest in America, battles which will mostly be lost. Therefore, focus on outcomes by promoting "even trade" or "balanced trade," not "free trade" or even "fair trade".
What Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance for Greece, reveals about the economic crisis in Greece parallels what's happening in Colorado Springs ... trade deficits. He discusses what he calls the "twin peaks": mountains of debt and mountains of wealth that are two sides of the same coin.
Capitalism will eat democracy -- unless we speak up, A TED Talk by Yanis Varoufakis 2/15/16.
Yanis Varoufakis - Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future at Town Hall Seattle, 4/24/16
I've been looking at this as more money going out than coming in ... and that's exactly what it is -- a "trade deficit" -- as I describe here:
Colorado Springs: A Broken Region, 10/26/10. While it's true that Colorado Springs government is broken, it's worse than that. The whole region is broken; its policies are structurally unsound. Here's why:Colorado Springs has two major problems: urban growth and economic development.
Growth: Colorado Springs sells its product at a loss and tries to make it up in volume.
Economic development: It's arithmetic, not rocket science. A region fails when more dollars go out than come in. Our economic decline is from losing export companies and gaining import companies.
Greece in the European Union does not have a mechanism to deal with regional disparities in trade surpluses and deficits. The U.S. does; it puts military bases, military hardware production, and military contracts in trade deficit regions to make up for the regional trade deficits. Greece doesn't have an economic crisis because of "socialism", but because of problems with capitalism. Greece does not control it's own currency as the U.S. does. Therefore Greece cannot devalue it's currency to make it more competitive ... it's trapped.
Absent military bases and military contractors, the Colorado economy would collapse to about 1/2 its current size. So much for Colorado Springs "conservatives" who complain about "big government".