Home Topics in Depth Economics The trade deal crusaders: Can they never learn?

  • eridani (1429 posts)
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    The trade deal crusaders: Can they never learn?

    http://www.nationofchange.org/2016/12/20/trade-deal-crusaders-can-never-learn/

    Since trade barriers are already low, the TPP and other “trade” deals are not really about free trade, they are about setting up a business friendly structure of regulation. While a few representatives of labor unions and consumer groups got to sit on the working groups that provide input on drafts of the TPP, according to a Washington Post analysis, 85 percent of the members came from business groups.

    The TPP and other next generation trade deals are also about putting in place stronger and longer patent and copyright protections (yes, that is “protections” as in “protectionism,” the opposite of free trade). The proponents of these trade deals continue to argue, almost as a holy cause, that we have to move forward with their agenda or something bad will happen.

    If the issue is just that we need ever more trade deals, we can come up with directions that will increase the flows of goods and services between countries. How about a trade pact that reduces the barriers for the most highly paid professionals? Doctors are prohibited from practicing medicine in the United States unless they complete a U.S. residency program. Dentists have to graduate from a U.S. dental school (Canadian dental school graduates have been allowed in recent years.)

    These and other barriers are classic protectionist measures. Yet, our “free traders” invariably look dumbfounded when asked how come these barriers persist in spite of their massive efforts at liberalizing trade over the last three decades.

    Apparently, protectionism is only a problem when it might benefit less-educated workers. The protectionism that benefits the friends and family members of the people who negotiate trade deals is just fine. (And for those concerned about brain drain from developing countries, we know how to compensate them for the loss of highly trained workers so that they can train two or three professionals for everyone that comes to the United States.)

    Populist Prole likes this
    You've heard of the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West, right?  I'm the Morally Ambiguous Witch of the Northwest.

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  • Populist Prole (353 posts)
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    1. No. Never.

    Part of your last paragraph says it all:

    Apparently, protectionism is only a problem when it might benefit less-educated workers. The protectionism that benefits the friends and family members of the people who negotiate trade deals is just fine.

    Since their double standard is so inveterate as to be structural, there is no way to have a trade deal that actually works for all. They wouldn’t allow it since their whole shootin’ match depends on rent seeking.

    The only way for us to deal with it then, is to oppose it at every turn.

  • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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    2. Why do you fall for this – its basically a scheme to make wages here as low as

    Wage laws, visa laws like it or not are REGULATIONS. Trade deals always and ONLY deregulate. that means no more rules. Corporations can do whatever they want, and they want to pay everybody less.

    WTO rules prohibit any savings being mandated to go to anybody. The corporations bank it as profit.

    are about deregulation only, never re-regulation.  One way street to privatization of everything.

    Thats what these schemes are. Its as if somebody only agreed to play the game if you agreed that they won it. Get it? There is no correcting mistakes two or four years down the road. It started when we joined the WTO and agreed to throw American workers under the bus.

    You can see how this is a guaranteed cause of dishonesty in politicians, because none of them, not even Bernie had/has the guts to admit it.

    "Out of many, one"