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Thread: TrumpTrade: no changes from status quo

  1. #1

    Join Date: 04.11.12
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    Default TrumpTrade: no changes from status quo

    WASHINGTON—The Trump administration is signaling to Congress it would seek mostly modest changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement in negotiations with Mexico and Canada, a deal President Donald Trump called “a disaster” during the campaign.

    According to an administration draft proposal being circulated in Congress by the U.S. trade representative’s office, the U.S. would keep some of Nafta’s most controversial provisions, including an arbitration panel that lets investors in the three nations circumvent local courts to resolve civil claims. Critics of these panels said they impinge on national sovereignty.

    The draft, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, talks of seeking “to improve procedures to resolve disputes,” rather than eliminating the panels.

    The U.S. also wouldn’t use the Nafta negotiations to deal with disputes over foreign-currency policies or to hit numerical targets for bilateral trade deficits, as some trade hawks have been urging.


    Mexico’s government had no immediate response to the draft proposal. Private-sector economists largely welcomed it as far less drastic than proposals to undo the trade accord or impose quotas that restrict trade. But they cautioned that it was still early in the process.

    “The proposal looks to be very in line with existing U.S. trade laws,” said Luis de la Calle, an economist who was on the original negotiating team for the Mexican government.

    Mr. de la Calle said “snap-back” tariffs to safeguard industries already exists in Nafta. He cited a 1996 move by the U.S. to put tariffs on brooms from Mexico, a move that was scrapped later that year after Mexico put retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. products like Tennessee whiskey and North Carolina wood furniture.

    The difference, said Mr. de la Calle, is that under the proposed changes, Mexico wouldn’t be able to take the case to international court, but would have to litigate in the U.S.

    He added, however, that since Nafta is a reciprocal treaty, U.S. firms would have to litigate in Mexico courts if Mexico imposed safeguards.

    Jeffrey Schott, a trade scholar at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a free-trade think tank, said that the measures reimposing tariffs—called a “snapback” in trade lingo—was also sought by the Clinton administration 24 years ago. It became a side deal to Nafta, but didn’t have much effect, he said.
    Trump is starting to look very much like a... gasp, shock, horror, Establishment Politician.

  2. #2
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    Oh well. Give it time; I'm sure some progress can be made. I mean Congress just sold out humanity to advertisers. Now broadband companies can sell personal data. Isn't that beyond intrusive? It's beyond unconstitutional. The Donald is complaining about being wiretapped as they install more surveillance drones at the border. Citizens United means that now that the one who wins the election will be the one with the most money basically making the U.S. a dictatorship. They can receive unlimited foreign donations as they run for President. This stuff about Russia is a distraction from the fact the Democrats sort of sold out in this by silencing third parties and criticism. Two candidates got all the prime-time. And then the central intelligence agencies handed over all the data to the white house and now we're in the midst of so much drama. I have no doubt the "President" is burnt out already by the endless attacks from media pundits. It feels like republicans are bullying democrats for dissent against things like stripping away healthcare and slashing the entire government including half the state department. I'm sort of at the point where I'm feeling like maybe it's time to impeach the President because it's gotten worse, not better. The intelligence spies sold out their own people it's a backstabbing jungle.

  3. #3

    Join Date: 04.11.12
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    More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape.

    Nearly seven months later the deal has not worked out quite as originally advertised, and the landscape has barely budged.

    "The jobs are still leaving," said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999. "Nothing has stopped."

    In fact, after the layoffs are complete later this year, a few hundred union jobs will remain at the plant. But that is far different from what then-President-elect Trump said just three weeks after the election.

    "They're going to have a great Christmas," Trump said to cheering steelworkers and local dignitaries on Dec. 1. The plan to close the plant and lay off 1,400 workers had become a frequent topic in the Trump campaign. He said 1,100 jobs would stay in Indianapolis, thanks to the deal.
    "And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area," he said. "So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number."

    But as in any deal, there are crucial details in the fine print.

    The agreement does guarantee that Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp., will continue to employ at least 1,069 people at the Indianapolis plant for 10 years in exchange for up to $7 million in incentives. In addition, the company has promised to invest $16 million in the facility.
    But fewer than 800 of those 1,069 jobs — 730 to be exact — are the manufacturing jobs that were always at the heart of the debate. The rest are engineering and technical jobs that were never scheduled to be cut.

    "To me this was just political, to make it a victory within Trump's campaign, in his eyes that he did something great," said T. J. Bray, a 15-year Carrier employee who will keep his job due to seniority. "I'm very grateful that I get to keep my job, and many others, but I'm still disappointed that we're losing a lot."

    As for Trump's claim that the $16 million investment in the plant would add jobs, United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told CNBC in December that the money would go toward more automation in the factory and ultimately would result in fewer jobs. That is not lost on the union.
    Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999

    "I don't see Carrier hiring anytime in the near future," James said.

  4. #4

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    The tendency towards globalization, inherent in the very capitalism that Trumpite anti-globalists support to the hilt, continues unabated.

    In a rare break from discord and finger-pointing, Washington’s top Republicans have announced their joint intention to cut taxes and simplify the tax code.

    It’s not news that President Donald Trump and the Republicans who control Congress want to cut taxes. But House Speaker Paul Ryan has now agreed to abandon a controversial “border-adjustability tax” that would have taxed imports and given an advantage to American-based companies that export. It’s a setback for Ryan and allies who hoped to gain billions in revenue from the BAT that they could use to slash income taxes. But it streamlines the Republican tax-cut plan by removing a measure that drew strident opposition from powerful retailers such as Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT).

    A complex plan to raise revenue

    The BAT was a complicated—and, to some economists, elegant—way of raising new revenue without really harming anybody. That’s the theory, anyway. The plan would have changed tax incentives in a way that made products imported by companies costlier, with a corresponding tax exemption on products exported by US companies. If nothing else changed, those cost increases on imports would be passed along to consumers buying retail products, imposing a big hit on purchasing power. But many economists argued that the dollar would appreciate against other currencies on account of the changes, negating the higher prices, since the US currency would now buy more. If it all worked out, the end result would be additional revenue for Uncle Sam, plus a new set of incentives likely to end the need for US-based companies to relocate overseas in order to take advantage of more favorable tax laws there.

  5. #5

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    It's almost like capitalism requires international trade and globalization or something, and that efforts to restrict it to placate the workers hurt by the process must fail spectacularly or something.

    Recent trade figures from the Department of Commerce show the U.S. international trade picture continues to deteriorate. The U.S. trade deficit in June hit $43.6 billion, almost the same as the year-ago June level of $43.8 billion. But for the first half of this year, at $276.6 billion, the trade deficit is 10.7 percent larger than the year-ago figure.

    We are now on track for an annual trade deficit this year of some $550 billion, which would be the highest deficit since 2008. That’s roughly 2.8 percent of our GDP, a substantial contractionary force in the economy. If that spending were going toward U.S. goods and services instead of foreign goods and services, it would create more revenue, more jobs, more profit and more investment inside the U.S. instead of overseas.

    The U.S. non-petroleum goods deficit hit a new high in the first half of this year of $354.6 billion, putting the nation on track for a record $700 billion non-petroleum deficit for the year as a whole. While the petroleum balance has improved as a result of fast-growing production and exports of oil and gas (thanks to the shale revolution), the rise in the non-petroleum balance is bad news for the U.S. economy because it indicates growing net imports of manufactured goods and commodities, which create more jobs per dollar than the petroleum sector.

    While the Trump administration has succeeded in making trade a hot topic for political discussion in Washington and globally, we have yet to see concrete action to reduce the huge U.S. trade deficit and support U.S. manufacturing in its battle against foreign imports, many of them supported by open or clandestine subsidies from foreign governments.

    In the first six months of 2017, the U.S. goods trade deficit with China worsened by 6 percent, reaching $171 billion. China continues to account for between 40-50 percent of our total goods trade deficit. The biggest driver of the increase in our bilateral deficit with China was the computer and electronic products sector, where imports rose 35 percent in the first half of the year.

    Offsetting the rise in imports was strong growth of 21 percent in U.S. exports of transportation equipment to China and 9.9-percent growth in the export of agricultural products. However, our goods trade with China continues to be badly out of balance, with our imports reaching a value nearly four times the value of our exports.

  6. #6

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    Keep in mind that the Wisconsin State Senate is majority Republican.

    The Wisconsin Senate does not yet have enough votes to sign off on a huge Chinese investment that has been backed by President Donald Trump, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

    The Republican state senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald, said he needs more time to do his due diligence on the massive $3 billion incentive package proposed for Foxconn, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

    Foxconn's chairman, Terry Gou, in July met with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and other officials to tout the investment, saying the $10 billion investment will create 3,000 jobs. Gov. Scott Walker said at that time the agreement could eventually grow to 13,000 jobs, with 22,000 indirect and induced jobs and 10,000 construction jobs.

    But since then, questions have mounted around the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, which plans to set up a liquid crystal display (LCD) plant in southeast Wisconsin. The state's Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that given the high levels of investment, the project wouldn't break even until the 2040s.

    Still, Walker said this week that he believes it's a good deal that will ultimately get approved.

    "Gov. Walker is committed to working with members of both parties in the Assembly and Senate to ensure Wisconsin takes advantage of the opportunity to create 13,000 jobs," a spokesperson said.

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