Elizabeth Warren

The Democrats Abandon Free Trade

What happened to that bipartisan consensus?

|

Credit: AFGE / photo on flickr

For a long time, there was a bipartisan consensus for free trade. President George H.W. Bush, a Republican, negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Democrat Bill Clinton got it passed. It prevailed in the Senate in 1993 with the support of 27 Democrats and 34 Republicans. The consensus wasn't unanimous by any means, but it was broad enough to steadily advance the cause. 

Tuesday's Senate vote against considering a bill to give President Barack Obama "fast-track authority" for trade deals suggests those days are gone. Only one Democrat supported it, with 42 opposed—led by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Economic anxiety, hostility to foreigners, resentment of large corporations and distrust of Obama—in both parties—have dissolved the old coalition. Even Hillary Clinton is on the fence. 

It's easy to spurn free trade now partly because we enjoy so many rewards from it already. Every senator who voted "no" should be required by law to drive only American-made cars built no later than 1975, before the influx of Japanese makes brought about a gigantic improvement in quality and reliability. 

They should also have to surrender their iPhones, assembled in China, and their flat-screen TVs, made in Korea and Japan. And to buy all their kids' and grandkids' toys from domestic suppliers. And to give up Colombian coffee, Guatemalan bananas and Chilean grapes, along with 91 percent of all the seafood they eat. 

As it is, though, those lawmakers and citizens who oppose giving the president trade promotion authority have nothing to worry about. They get to show their disgust with free trade while enjoying all its bounty. If Obama doesn't get the deal he has been negotiating with 11 Pacific nations, we won't lose the benefits of existing imports. We just won't get the benefits of additional commerce. 

The prevailing complaint is that trade deals ship American jobs abroad and lower American wages. But the effect is greatly exaggerated. It's true that many U.S. industries competing with overseas rivals have seen companies shrink and jobs disappear. That regrettable pattern, however, has also emerged in sectors that are largely domestic. 

Big airlines like Delta and United have gone bankrupt, and their unions have been squeezed, because travelers flocked to lower-cost domestic carriers. The Big Three automakers' chief problem is "Japanese" cars built in places like Kentucky and Ohio. 

Newspapers haven't lost revenue because of foreign competition, but because so much advertising has migrated to the Internet. Bookstores have vanished thanks to a Seattle company named Amazon. 

U.S. manufacturing output is nearly 50 percent higher today than in 1994, when NAFTA took effect. So why has employment shrunk? Because companies and workers have become more productive, allowing them to turn out more goods with less labor. 

If you think the problem is that foreigners sell us too much and buy too little from us, the Pacific trade deal ought to be just your thing. It would have minimal effect on our imports, but would give a significant boost to our exports. 

The United States already has among the lowest tariff rates in the world, averaging about two percent. One of the main effects of free trade agreements we reach with other nations is to make them slash their duties, which are typically higher. Another purpose of this accord is to pry open closed foreign markets in agricultural products and services, allowing U.S. companies to sell more. 

Eight years of economic contraction and turmoil have put a lot of politicians and constituencies into a defensive crouch, treating any change as a threat. But it wasn't trade that caused the U.S. housing crash or the financial meltdown. In fact, exports have been one of the main engines of growth in recent years. 

Nor can we simply close ourselves off from global commerce. If we shun trade agreements with Pacific nations, the Chinese will be happy to step in. Globalization is going to expand no matter what we do. Trade negotiations are a way for us to ensure that when it does, the rules applied by other governments don't put our companies at an unfair disadvantage. 

Many Democrats used to realize there is no future in hunkering down behind trade barriers. In 1993, one of them was Sen. Ted Kennedy, who said, "All of the problems that working families face … will be even worse if NAFTA is defeated." His seat is now occupied by Elizabeth Warren. 

NEXT: Rand Paul Versus Ted Cruz on the Fourth Amendment

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. For the thousandth time, Liz warren hates children and poor people in developing countries

    1. And all the U.S. citizens who benefit from free trade.

    2. She doesn’t hate them. She doesn’t even think about them. Like any true narcissist, she only sees the world through the lens of herself and her own power. Everyone else is merely a pawn in her game.

    3. And anyone who doesn’t say “profit” like it’s a bad thing.

    4. Liz Warren supports the war on women who smoke weed.

  2. The whole issue with the trade deal is that no one can actually see it. Strange that a libertarian organization would be so hot to trot for a piece of government legislation that they haven’t even read.

    1. This.
      Possible answer: They form their opinion of the law based on the name of it. Which would also explain why there’s so much support for the “freedom” act.

      1. +1 PATRIOT act

    2. Exactly.
      Can anyone tell me what the bill actually promotes? Not what Obo *says* is promotes; I wouldn’t trust that lying POS with a wooden nickle.
      Before we support it, let’s see it.

    3. Agreed – I find it disturbing that the Reason staff seems so susceptible to buzz-word politics. Several phrases other than “free trade” come to mind….

      1. Yup. More like “global fascism.”

    4. On the other hand, the only debate now is whether any treaty will get “fast track” (an up or down vote with no amendment) treatment, not whether it will be approved, per se. In general, fast track has historically been granted before the deal is known because, when it’s invoked, a deal hasn’t actually been made yet. It’s supposed to give the negotiators extra leverage in negotiations (a deal agreed to won’t get changed later).

    5. No one has seen it because it has not been completely written yet. Sheesh!

      One cannot negotiate these things in public. It is a give and take, and the terms may change. People might be disappointed if one of their pet issues gets traded in the negotiations.

    6. Calling all the articles posted here Libertarian is stretching the truth all out of shape. Calling many of the commenters Libertarian is absurd. I am agreeing with you about the whole secrecy thing. There is not a good reason to vote on something the citizens can’t even see that affects their lives.

    7. They’re probably operating under the – though not certain, arguably reasonable – assumption that the benefits of reduced tariffs will outweigh whatever shortcomings are in the bill.

      In any case, the dems like Warren who opposed this bill oppose it precisely because they oppose free trade. They had no qualms about passing the ACA without knowing what was in it. The article is still correct in its observation – just looking at the lefties ‘arguments’ – that even the center-left in this country is now quite definitively anti-trade.

    8. “We need to pass that trade bill so we can find out what’s in….”

      Shit… I can’t even type that with a straight face…

      Maybe if supporters of such trade bills would put more effort into correlating increased EXPORTS with the passage of such bills, there might be a Prayer of convincing liberals that there IS a correlation, let alone causation!

      Lousy marketing, guys.

  3. “What happened to that bipartisan consensus?”

    union money.

    free trade benefits consumers and is an overall net gain to the US. but it’s a loss to US unions who now have to compete fairly against overseas producers.

    sure, it’s a net deadweight loss to the economy to defend the unions, but since when would that stand in the way of a politician with campaign funds to raise?

  4. ” f you think the problem is that foreigners sell us too much and buy too little from us, the Pacific trade deal ought to be just your thing. It would have minimal effect on our imports, but would give a significant boost to our exports.”

    And you know this how exactly? Have you read the deal? No, you haven’t. All we know about it at this point is its about 800 pages long and Obama days its great but we can’t see it till we agree to it. Do you really think that’s a good way of doing things? It reminds me of a guy who tried to sell me a dead horse. He said it never kicked, and didn’t cost anything to feed.

    1. Pelosi’s Law. We have to vote for it before we can find out what is in i!

    2. The flip side, though, is that you hammer out a treaty and then during the ratification of it you get all sorts of payola added as amendments in return for supporting its passage.

      The Cornhusker Kickback x 100.

      Especially on a trade bill.

      I don’t have a problem giving the president fast track authority on a trade deal. If it sucks, you still can vote it down.

  5. This is a silly strawman. This wasn’t a vote against the deal, it was a vote against passing conditions that don’t allow the Congress anything but an up or down vote once the deal – negotiated in secret and without any ability for the citizens of the US to weigh in on it – is finalized. Nothing about opposing this is opposition to free trade. This is a vote about secrecy and zero oversight.

    1. I don’t see why the citizenry is entitled to weigh in on everything. Seriously, is it lowering trade barriers? Yes. So, why do I need to hear from every slack jawed isolationist again?

      1. “Seriously, is it lowering trade barriers? Yes.”

        Cite, plz.

      2. Getting cranky, are we? You must have missed your evening enema again.

    2. negotiated in secret and without any ability for the citizens of the US to weigh in on

      You’ve described every major enacted bill in the history of Congress. Citizens weigh in when they vote for their elected representatives–their voice in Congress.

      In this case, the executive negotiates a treaty–which is its job–and the congress approves or disapproves–which is its job.

      1. albo|5.14.15 @ 12:55PM|#
        “You’ve described every major enacted bill in the history of Congress. Citizens weigh in when they vote for their elected representatives–their voice in Congress.”

        Every bill requires the congress critters to leave recording devices and their staff outside when they get a secret briefing?

        1. Bills get hammered out in private meetings by stakeholders and lawmakers, not by open floor debate and amendment. The public isn’t invited to those meetings.

          1. albo|5.14.15 @ 1:32PM|#
            “Bills get hammered out in private meetings by stakeholders and lawmakers, not by open floor debate and amendment. The public isn’t invited to those meetings.”

            Suggest you read before posting:
            Every bill requires the congress critters to leave recording devices and their staff outside when they get a secret briefing?

      2. ” Citizens weigh in when they vote for their elected representatives–their voice in Congress.

        yeah but I voted for Turd Sangwich and got the whole Asshole instead.
        “My voice in Congress”? not really

        1. … so you were in the minority outside the majority who DID vote THEIR choice for asshole congressional ‘representative’ into office… that’s all.

          kwitcherbitchen! Sorry, but that’s how election processes work. The assholes in Congress ARE (theoretically) doing EXACTLY what the people who Voted For Them want… other than all corruption and other shit…

          And IS ‘how our system works.’

          Don’t like it? Work to change the System or educate/convert those Other Voters!.

          Otherwise, I promise you: Hillary will be the next to occupy the WH. (and that scares the shit out of me.)

    3. …without any ability for the citizens of the US to weigh in on it

      They’re free to weigh in on it once it’s been signed. If they weigh in against it, there’s good reason to not ratify it.

    4. Having seen the likes of Warren’s objections to the bill, for her and her ilk, it is about free trade. If it were completely transparent, it would still do all the ‘horrible’ things she is afraid it will do, like kill union jerbs.

      1. Warren, unions and politicians/governments are all opposed to COMPETITION.

        See my 50th Law… (or Observation, if you prefer…)

        Falk’s Fiftieth Law:
        “There are two words that can describe nearly everyone who criticizes the rich, the powerful, the intelligent or the “they run the world” ethnic or religious groups:

        Envious or Incompetent … or both. “

  6. The Democrats Abandon Free Trade

    Team Blue has been Mercantilist ever since they sold themselves to the trade unions.

  7. Oh hey, speaking of this, y’all may be innerested to know that I saw my first Lizzie Warren 16 bumper sticker. But that’s not what was interesting… what was interesting was that it was a Sanders/Warren 16.

    So whoever created the sticker felt that Sanders would lead the ticket and Warren would be the obvious running-mate.

    1. I still see faded Kerry/Edwards stickers on occasion. Something tells me Sanders/anyone will suffer the same ignominious fate.

      1. But Sanders as the primary? Not Warren? Seems strange. I say PATRIARCHY!

        1. It’s his turn. Besides, it sets her up to run for a presidential run when he leaves office.

          1. It’s just the old, cis, white patriarchy keepin’ down the women and First People, like always

            1. No. It’s his turn. He’s run many times before, and it’s his turn. After his turn is over, then we can consider whose turn is next.

          2. Yeah. His turn about as much as it was Ron Paul’s turn in 2012.

            1. I mean compared to an upstart like the fake Indian.

              1. Ah, I see. His turn to be the lefty fantasy candidate. I kind of miss Kucinich.

                1. Yeah, he was a fuckin’ comedy mastermind

          3. Wait, are there even such things as turns in a Socialist Paradise?

            Sounds like someone is trying to own something! No one has the moral right to “have” a turn.

      2. Well seeing those isn’t surprising. They actually were the ticket and people don’t take political bumper stickers off of their cars.
        Sanders/Warren is pure fiction.

        1. I typed “sanders warren bumper sticker” into google and got five different stickers for sale at the top of the search results.

          1. On demand printing is a great thing.

              1. I am Almanian, and I approve this message.

              2. Bah, 2016 is the year to KNEEEELLL BEFORE ZODDD!!

              3. Hey, how about Chtulhu/Clinton 2016? It has a certain ring to it.

          2. Liopleurodon: It will guide our way in 2016!

            Are you ready to be ruled by an enormous prehistoric beast? No? Then take down your Ready for Hillary! sign and come over to the winning side!

          3. I often wonder what the proggie response would be if they found out these bumper stickers were made by a hardcore social conservative. Other than the obvious death threats and rioting.

            Would progs who unwittingly put them on their cars be shunned by other progs? Be viewed as victims?

  8. They should also have to surrender their iPhones, assembled in China, and their flat-screen TVs, made in Korea and Japan. And to buy all their kids’ and grandkids’ toys from domestic suppliers. And to give up Colombian coffee, Guatemalan bananas and Chilean grapes, along with 91 percent of all the seafood they eat.

    And anti-oil kayakers drowning because their petro-chemical kayaks disappeared beneath them.

    1. That’s different. That was ethically sourced fair trade petrochemicals.

      1. That was artisanal, deep-dish, cruelty-free, non-cis-centric, ethically sourced fair trade petrochemicals.

        FIFY

        1. Ok, that is just ridiculous. You only need to buy a non-cis-centric Kayak to do your share. C’mon!

  9. Google is paying 98$ per hour! Just work For Few hours & Spend more time with friends and family. On Sunday i Bought Themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $18543 this month.
    Useful Site ?????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  10. On the one hand, reflexive knee-jerk responses from the left over free trade agreements are nothing new, and I’m used to morons like Warren getting their shrill on to fire up the populist base. They want the economic pie to remain the same size so they can be in charge of redistributing it.

    On the other hand., any time President Not My Fault proposes legislation THAT HASN’T BEEN READ BY THE PEOPLE VOTING ON IT YET I have a problem automatically assuming that just because it says “free trade” in the title that this is what it ACTUALLY means.

    The “Affordable Care Act” has the word “Affordable” in it but it sure as shit is not “affordable”, and this is another law that no one really read before they passed it so………..

    1. So, wait – you’re telling me the PATRIOT Act? doesn’t have anything to do with patriotism.

      What are you, a Commie or something??!!

    2. Will they not read it before voting on it?

      I mean, it’s the Senate, so they may not read it at all, but what’s the big offense here? They can still read it once the deal is finalized, and vote on whether they agree to it or not. What exactly is the problem with the secrecy?

  11. My esteemed senator Two-Term Collins (who is in her third term) was on the radio this morning extolling the benefits of making three hundred and thirty million people pay more for shoes to protect nine hundred jobs at a single New Balance factory. Fuck her, and fuck those nine hundred people and their protected jobs. Seriously. Why should three hundred and thirty million people pay more for shoes just to protect nine hundred jobs? Fucking fuckity fuck.

    1. I am thoroughly enjoying my Onitsuka Tiger throwback kicks that look just like the ones I had in the 70’s….but are assembled by Vietnamese orphans now instead of Japanese women.

      Totally worth it. Be even better if they were cheaper…

    2. Oh, and New Balance shoes suck. Even before I heard about this protected tariff I wouldn’t buy their shit. I did that once. Not doing it again.

      1. *protective*

        1. When you’re protected from competition, you don’t have to worry about silly things like quality and customer satisfaction.

      2. I liked NB shoes in the past because you could get wide sizes. That was great for my fat little hoofs.

        For the last 5 years, I have been an Asics Gel Nimbus fan.

        I’m sad to hear that NB is just a bunch of protectionist jack asses.

        1. Asics rule but they are generally for those of us with high arches and more elegant hoofs. You know thoroughbred hoofs not pony hoofs.

      3. You need to move to China ASAP. I think it would be better for you. And the rest of us.

  12. the Democrats Who Have Abandoned Free Trade

    So…..all of them.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    1. Wouldn’t that imply that modern Democrats had ever been for free trade in the first place?

      1. To be fair, NAFTA did get Donk help – Al Gore vs Ross Perot, right?

  13. Wouldn’t it be nice if free trade agreements consisted of “we won’t charge tariffs anymore or otherwise restrict imports if you won’t”?

    I have to do more paperwork when I need to export something to a country with a FTA with the US. What the fuck is that? Shouldn’t it be no paperwork if it’s “free trade”?

    1. I’d be happy with “we won’t charge tariffs anymore.”

      Free trade doesn’t have to go both ways. Consumers in a nation that doesn’t artificially increase the price of foreign products win, regardless of if other nations don’t reciprocate.

      1. Oh, I’d be all for unilateral dropping of tariffs too. But that wouldn’t require an agreement.

      2. Free trade doesn’t have to go both ways. Consumers in a nation that doesn’t artificially increase the price of foreign products win, regardless of if other nations don’t reciprocate.

        Not if they don’t have any way to make money cuz the greedy KKKochporations outsourced all of their jerbs!

  14. Y’all know, this isn’t Obama’s first rodeo on free trade, right?

    The last two times, with South Korea and Colombia, Obama renegotiated free trade agreements–one that had already been ratified by the foreign government in question. In all cases he renegotiated the trade agreements so as to be acceptable to the UAW.

    I’m as much or more in favor of free trade as the next rabid capitalist, but I’m not convinced that what we’re going to get from giving Obama fast track authority is going to result in a free trade agreement the way capitalists like me understand the term.

    What we’re likely to get from Obama is him saddling both the United States and Japan with labor regulation that’s acceptable to the UAW and environmental regulation that’s acceptable to the environmentalists–and then having all that regulation enshrined in a treaty forever more.

    I think I’d rather wait and take my chances of not getting an agreement than being saddled with a bad agreement–that’s really just environmental and pro-union regulation. Just because Liz Warren is against it doesn’t mean doing it is in the best interests of the United States. It turns out that general rule is only correctly applied 99.999% of the time.

    1. What we’re likely to get from Obama is him saddling both the United States and Japan with labor regulation that’s acceptable to the UAW and environmental regulation that’s acceptable to the environmentalists–and then having all that regulation enshrined in a treaty forever more.

      So instead of using free trade to lower barriers and lower the prices of goods, it will be used to erect equal barriers on both sides so that everyone pays more!

      It’s genius!

      1. check out my post below for some details.

        Liz Warren is playing for union support, but it’s not like Barack Obama is on the other side of the fence.

        Heads the UAW wins, tails the UAW wins.

      2. It’s genius and has been used for decades if not centuries. I remember when as a youngster I thought antitrust laws were for stopping collusion.

    2. Of course, Chapman knew all this when he wrote this piece.

      Why do companies need governments to tell them who they can trade with, and under which conditions to begin with?

  15. Er, uhm, Stevie, like nobody has actually read the thing. Just because you call it a “free trade treaty” does not make it one. The few pieces that have gotten out and contain real bullshit statist crap on copyright enforcement for example is not indicative of an actual free trade agreement.

  16. Just for the record, here’s Obama on the free trade agreement with South Korea:

    This is what he said about the 2008 agreement that the Koreans were already ratifying:

    “Then-presidential-candidate Barack Obama opposed the KORUS FTA as `badly flawed’ during his campaign, claiming it wouldn’t do enough to increase U.S. auto sales. His criticism echoed the auto labor unions.[21] Presidential Candidate and then-Senator Obama said he would vote against the FTA if it came to the floor of the U.S. Senate. He also stated he would send it back to Korea if elected president.”

    Once he got elected, he did send it back to Korea without ratifying it. Then he got a 2010 agreement, and here’s all we need to know about that:

    The [2010] deal was supported by Ford Motor Company, as well as the United Auto Workers, both of which had previously opposed the agreement. Remarking on the UAW’s support, an Obama administration official was quoted as saying, “It has been a long time since a union supported a trade agreement” and thus the administration hopes for a “big, broad bipartisan vote” in the U.S. Congress in 2011.[13]

    http://tinyurl.com/ptg9r7t

    Giving Obama fast track authority is giving the UAW power over our free trade policy in regards to his country effectively forever more.

    I’d rather not have a free trade agreement than to make our free trade agreements subject to the approval of the UAW (and company).

    A year and a half and Obama is gone. Free trade can wait.

  17. Sorry, outside of the name someone stuck on this, there is not a shred of evidence that it has to do with free trade.
    If it did, why are the details purposely kept secret?

  18. For further evidence of what you can expect from an Obama “free trade” deal, take a look at this summary of Obama’s “free trade” deal with Colombia.

    https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34470.pdf

    Slide down to page 7 under “Labor Provision” and “Environmental Provisions”.

    Again, Obama sent this agreement that Bush had negotiated back to Colombia with the insistence that these provisions be put into the agreement.

    Obama doesn’t give a damn about free trade. he wants to use “free trade” as an excuse to inflict labor and environmental laws on our trading partners. Obama hates free trade as a way for American consumers and American companies to escape environmental and labor regulation.

    This isn’t speculation!

    This is what Obama has done every time he gets fast track authority and an up or down vote.

    This is what he does. This is what he’s going to do. This is who he is.

    He’ll be gone in a year and a half. Let’s wait until he’s gone.

    1. Ken,
      This time Lucy promises she won’t yank the ball back!

  19. The EFF outlines some aspects of the TPP deal which a number of people in the tech sector have been concerned with – particularly in how it seeks to enlarge the DMCA internationally… a law which has very few good things about.

    https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

  20. The Democrats Abandon Free Trade

    As if they had been for it, ever.
    Please.

  21. They should also have to surrender their iPhones, assembled in China, and their flat-screen TVs, made in Korea and Japan.

    Are you attempting logic with these little Marxians, Chapman?
    Don’t waste your breath.

  22. Warren looks like she ignored her mom’s warnings about it staying that way and has been making the Concern Troll face since the age of six.

    Reasonoid challenge: Locate a photo of her in which she appears as a pleasant, approachable human being.

  23. Everything about this so called “Free Trade Agreement” is completely, utterly secret. Even senators briefed on the agreement are not able to take notes, digital copies, or even DISCUSS IT’S CONTENTS.

    To back this agreement at this stage is madness. It is an utterly unknowable piece of legislation, other than a nice, focus tested name: “Free Trade”

    Why not call it the “Free Trade, Puppies and Kittens, For the Children Bill”?

    Who could oppose that? Why, reading such a bill would be churlish…the name itself is enough, right?

    1. Everything about this so called “Free Trade Agreement” is completely, utterly secret. Even senators briefed on the agreement are not able to take notes, digital copies, or even DISCUSS IT’S CONTENTS.

      This. Congresscritters have to read into the bill like they’re getting read into something TS/SCI. If the trade bill is so great, open it up for public debate in both parts of Congress.

      Enough with laws that we don’t get to figure out what’s in them until they get signed into law.

    2. “Free Puppies and Kittens in Trade For the Children Bill”

      FIFY

  24. I love this magazine, but I honestly do not get Reason’s schizophrenia on this issue.

    The point is that legislators are rejecting the notion of giving a monarch-like president *more* power. THIS IS A GOOD THING! Do Matt and Nick even *read* the pieces that Gene Healy writes?

    There’s also the issue that we are, once again, in another situation where legislators have to pass something before we can know what’s in it. We libertarians lampooned this stupidity when Pelosi applied it to Obamacare. But it’s okay in the TPP discussion, because freedom?

  25. It’s easy to forget now, but way back in 2008, Barack Obama (the candidate) railed against NAFTA and insisted it cost a million American jobs. So this is another issue that he “evolved” on. Apparently.

    Obama always wants to get on the winning side of any issue. He probably reviewed the numbers and saw that much of the NAFTA fear mongering was more noise than fact. There are giant industries and entire states in this country that benefit from exports, and Obama bailed out auto industries that turn a nice profit in China.

    Obama also noticed that unions are losing influence in this country. Even liberal cities are seriously considering pension reform. The police union isn’t likely to enjoy ironclad protection.

  26. In principle, I feel fast track is a good thing. Is that just me being weird?

    As I understand it, all fast track does is force congress to give the proposed agreement an up-or-down vote, without opportunity for any amendments. This makes sense to me, since any amendment would require restarting negotiations with all the other nations: the amended agreement would no longer be what they had agreed to. Fast track doesn’t give the administration a free pass to do whatever it wants. If the administration negotiates a sucky deal, congress is still free to vote it down.

    Typically, the folks who oppose fast track are people who are opposed to ever making any trade deal with anybody. Their whole purpose in opposing fast track is to make trade deals impossible. That’s not a stance that libertarians should find appealing.

    I still have significant reservations about TPP, partly because of bad press and partly because I still have no idea what’s really in it. However, I’m all for fast track, just on general principle. I think fast track should be a routine thing for any agreements we negotiate with other countries.

  27. A natural consequence of the supremacy of the McGovern Doctrine in the Progressive Party.

  28. What “free trade”?

    You mean managed, crony capitalist, corrupt trade?

    What is “free trade”? If I shoplift in Canada I can sell in the US? (can’t ask where the stuff came from or how it was obtained?).

    You mean China or others stealing our patents, copyrights, and the rest? Why can’t I sell “Mickey Mouse” swag for less than Disney? Why can’t I build modern machines (that someone else spent his life inventing) cheaply?

  29. My dear, the next five minutes can change your life!
    Give a chance to your good luck.
    Read this article, please!
    Move to a better life!
    We make profit on the Internet since 1998! ?????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  30. It’s about time the Democrats quit acting like sellout Republicans and start supporting Americans. It’s too bad though that Hillary Clinton isn’t on board with this, though she is intentionally avoiding corporate mainstream media and not addressing this issue. One more thing — there are a lot of lunatics that comment on this “free trade” matter who probably do a disservice to Reason. Libertarianism is all well and great until it begins to erode American values and nationalism. To the libertarians that read Reason or write for it, you guys really need your heads checked for lunacy or simply low IQs. The ideology of libertarianism is great but does not necessarily need to include global fascism. The form of libertarianism that some of you guys preach about is nop different from crony capitalism. And if you had a clue as to how Democrats and Republicans sold out American citizens and workers over the past 40 years, you really wouldn’t be supporting the TPP in 2015. Good luck with your contributions to the destruction of the US… or what’s left of it. I wish I was making millions and billions from it then maybe I’d be on board with it, but I don’t so I can’t be.

  31. Can we ban Mexican pot? Oh. wait.

  32. U.S. manufacturing output being higher in spite of hundreds of thousands of jobs lost is not necessarily because of greater efficiency. I know from the companies that I’ve worked for that many products labelled “Made in the U.S.A.” are made from components shipped here from China. My opposition to the trade agreements stems from the fact that they are crafted in secret by corporations for their own interest, at odds with small business and freedom of choice of consumers. We do not need any more secret laws in the U.S. The non-secret laws are bad enough.

  33. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.work-cash.com

  34. Democrats abandoned free trade about 80 yrs ago.

  35. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.freelance-cash.com

  36. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  37. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  38. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  39. The TPP is not really about trade. “Free trade” is a misleading label used to promote the scheme. Its real purpose is to impose bad laws (for instance, nasty copyright enforcement) and to give foreign companies rights in the US above those of American citizens. Foreign companies would be permitted to sue against any law in the US that interferes with their profits, even laws to protect public health and safety.

    The plan is, thus, to replace democracy with plutocracy.

    TPP = Treacherous Plutocratic Poison.

  40. The author has no idea if it is free trade or not, since he has not read it. The bill is more secretive than the Manhattan project, with access basically only given to the corporations who wrote it. Even Congressmen are hardly allowed to look at it. Obama keeps the bill in *extreme* secrecy, and won’t let even a hint of it be exposed to the sunlight.

    Given the secrecy and the origin of the bill, it is probably not an unreasonable assumption that it is a lot closer to an unholy mix of mercantilism and crony capitalism than “free trade”, and that there are very good reasons why the executive branch doesn’t want anyone to see it.

    Even if it *is* free trade, the process being used (i.e. hiding it from the citizens whom are heavily affected by it) is completely unacceptable, and it should not be passed until the bill is made publicly available.

    1. Additionally, the yielding of treaties (trade or otherwise) to the executive branch is patently and blatantly unconstitutional. Congress has the right to modify the treaty as it sees fit.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.