Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"Fair" Trade v. "Free" Trade

V D Hanson summarizes the difference:

...The point of calling for “fair” rather than “free” trade was to end the idea that commercial violations by rising powers were considered tolerable because they were better off in the family of nations than outside as renegades.  [That would be Bush-ism.]

In truth, the consequences of asymmetrical trade practices fell mostly on Americans who unfortunately were mired in industries considered passé, and therefore they were supposed to pass on with them. As one of “globalism’s sore losers,” I once wrote another book, Fields Without Dreams, chronicling the mass bankruptcies of farmers in a new globalized, vertically integrated world. Foreign subsidies, especially those of the European Union, had helped to crash some American commodity prices. [Similar tactics were employed by other nations in manufacturing, with similar results for US enterprises.]  Yet that fact was ignored, by the apology that such foreign cost-cutting at least drove down consumer prices. Foreign subsidies also supposedly forced farmers to “improve” their own domestic “productivity” to compete—and thus made us “leaner.” And ultimately we were assured that foreign subsidies would boomerang on their creators and prove self-defeating for cheating trade partners.

All such arguments were, in theory, logical and were fine and noble thoughts. But again, they were applicable to a distant future—and to an “Other,” rather than immediately relevant to those who embraced such creative destruction agendas. These were also economic rationales that by needs ignored the cultural reality of agrarian annihilation—analogous to Hillary Clinton’s nostrums for the coal industry....

And so?  

The "Free Traders" still dominate the policy landscape (I use that analogy because the "free trade" parasites also like "open borders"--favored by landscapers and roofing contractors.)

Perhaps Actual US Workers should trade them to the ChiComs for a few distant-future draft picks.

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