By ann summers
tehDumpster fire that is the Trump campaign is now trolling the LIVs in swing states with the usual xenophobia and GOP talking points. Trump’s disinformation campaign could even favor TPP because HRC is against it.
Recall how effective rMoney’s meme of Chinese currency manipulation worked in 2012. Even the RW and capitalist media is weighing in against Trump as Forbes, USNews, and NatReview wrote this week…
Donald Trump is rather doubling down on his rhetoric about China and trade. This might well be a good political tactic as there’s an incredible number of people who simply do not understand the subject. This is also extraordinarily bad economics and public policy but then political campaigns can be like that.
There’s also a certain uncertainty about whether he has quite understood the Brexit result – that wasn’t about people not wanting cheap imports of goods and services, rather not wanting imports of people. And if the people aren’t going to come then as Bastiat didn’t quite point out then the goods should…
Donald Trump continued blasting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Tuesday, likening it in an afternoon speech to “rape.”
“It’s a rape of our country. It’s a harsh word, but that’s what it is—rape of our country,” Trump said at an evening rally in St Clairsville, Ohio.
Sure, we’ve all got to make certain allowances for political rhetoric but no, allowing people to sell us cheap goods really is nothing at all like the vile crime of rape. The most important part of the definition of rape being without consent. And if Americans are voluntarily lining up to purchase lovely cheap things made in other parts of the world we can hardly claim that there is that absence of consent, can we?
And then there’s this allegation of illegality:
Criticising the current US trade policies that has wiped out American manufacturing, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has threatened to take punitive actions against China’s illegal trade activities while promising to herald a US economic resurgence if elected.
“If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs…,” Trump said in his remarks on economy in the Monessen township of Pennsylvania…
There is also the rather larger underlying problem here, Trump is simply wrong about the very basics of trade. Imports are what make us richer so complaining about our being made richer by lots of cheap imports is simply ridiculous. But then large parts of the population (and this is true everywhere, it’s not just an American thing) don’t get this and so what is a politician on the stump supposed to do? Tell the electorate they’re all wrong or try to gain their votes by agreeing with them?
it may be that tRump is an even stupider “business” POTUS candidate than GWB.
I’m going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator, which should have been done years ago,” Trump said. “Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States, and that includes many countries, will be met with sharply. And that includes tariffs and taxes.”
But Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei fired back later in the week – an uncharacteristic move for Beijing given the country’s general avoidance of the U.S. presidential election cycle up to this point.
At a news conference Wednesday, Lei suggested that “the exchange rate of [the Chinese yuan] is not the culprit of China-U.S. trade imbalance,” criticizing the crux of Trump’s anti-China thesis.
“Trade and economic cooperation between China and the U.S. is what keeps the bilateral relationship steady and moves it forward. The essence of it is mutual benefit and win-win results,” he said.
“It is hoped that relevant people in the U.S. can objectively and rationally view China-U.S. trade relations, do more to enhance mutual trust and cooperation and jointly maintain the sound and steady development of bilateral economic and trade ties.”
In reality, anxiety about Beijing’s artificial currency devaluation has subsided over the past year because Beijing has been pushing as hard as it can in the opposite direction, having spent half a trillion dollars since last August trying to prop up the renminbi rather than trying to drive it down. China has to buy imports, too, and like any other modern industrial economy, it relies on foreign-sourced materials and inputs for critical parts of its production, including exports. China, and the world, would be better off in the long term with a floating renminbi, but the markets have in fact done a reasonably good job disciplining Beijing in this matter.
NAFTA, the trade agreement Trump promises to gut, has in fact had a modest positive effect on U.S. employment and wages. Chinese currency policy — and Chinese trade policy at large — is a minor factor when it comes to what Trump says is his main interest, which is employment and wages in the United States. Study after study has shown that automation is a larger and more significant factor in factory employment than is the price of tea in China. That is why promises to bring back lost factory jobs are doomed to fail: Factory jobs have in the main been lost not because of foreign competition but because our factories have become more efficient and need fewer workers. The same thing happened with agriculture an age ago, and it will happen with other industries in the future.
Thaks Ann – Love this series!
(Sorry I had pre-set Gila Monster to post at 3)
“There is also the rather larger underlying problem here, Trump is simply wrong about the very basics of trade. Imports are what make us richer so complaining about our being made richer by lots of cheap imports is simply ridiculous.”
The article is at least as confused as Trump. Trade agreements produce winners and losers. The question is: who gets richer from the trade and who pays the price by seeing their jobs exported, or their wage increases stifled due to competition from low paid workers in other countries.
From an economic point of view free trade is only a win/win situation if we include legislation to take from the winners and compensate the losers for what they lost due to our trade legislation. Do I have to ask what the probability that this political climate will produce any legislation to mitigate the damage done by trade agreements to the middle class and lower SES citizens? Do I have to ask about a snow balls chance ….
The NSDS (Non State Dispute Settlement) provisions of TPP may not be rape. But before we adopt NSDS from TPP we ought to at least give serious consideration to the implications. NSDS takes decisions regarding the legality of legislation out or our court system and turns those decisions over to an arbitration board run by corporate lawyers.
Imagine that: turning court cases brought by corporations over to a panel of corporate lawyers and calling it Non State Dispute Settlement – what could possibly go wrong?
I find it astounding that anyone would reference National Review to reach an understanding of the effects of a trade agreement on US workers!!! National Review – what a joke – get it – they are using National Revue to illuminate the position of US works in regard to trade agreements!!!
Effects of NAFTA are controversial and may very well have helped balance sheets of some US corporations but NAFTA also hurt us workers. By some estimates NAFTA cost approximately 700,000 US workers their jobs.
What amazes me is that it is so easy to criticize Trump, yet this article has hit on the very points were Trump has brought to our attention (attempted to exploit) serious problems felt by millions of Americans and cause by our trade policies.
Trump may be an ignoramus. But he does know how to exploit a sore point. When he points out a real problem in our society we ought to at least give him credit for that – for his solutions, not so much.