Economics

Why All Americans Should Support the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Rich countries open their borders to trade (and poor countries don't).

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Vietnamese
Dreamstime

Quick question: could you manufacture all by yourself the computer on which you're reading this opinion piece? Could you source and create the thousands of inputs that go into what on its face is fairly simple? If so, you're in possession of superhuman mechanical skills.

At the same time, the act of literally constructing a computer from scratch with no parts "imported" from across the street or around the world would be a tragic waste of your time. It would be because it would likely require all of your years on this earth to build what would be an unattractive, slow and poorly performing version of the sleek, fast, and endlessly capable machine in front of you.

What your use of a computer should tell you about yourself is that whether you know it or not, you're an ardent free trader. Your life without open trade would be horribly bleak. But thanks to the globalized division of labor that defines free trade, you have the world's abundance before you at prices that continue to fall.

Not more than 5 or 10 years ago the computer on which you're reading this piece would have qualified as a supercomputer (this describes your smartphone too), with a multi-million dollar price tag reflecting its super status. Thanks to open trade and the global cooperation among specialized producers, odds are what's "super" cost you as little as $200 brand new.

Whether produced one city over, or on the other side of the world, imports are the sole purpose of our production. They're also the surest sign of our wealth. We trade products for products, so the more one produces the more one imports. Donald Trump acts as though imports are a sign of Americans "losing" to the Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans, but since we can't consume (import) without producing (exporting) first, the abundant inflow of goods from around the world is the surest sign of enormous economic strength in the United States. Imports are the clearest indicator that we're "winning." It's only in impoverished locales that imports are light to non-existent.

With trade, the focus is often understandably on the raise we all get for being open to the production of others. In the U.S. alone this means that we have the most talented producers in all of the United States competing to serve our needs at lower and lower prices. Looked at globally, the unrelenting beauty of the U.S.'s largely open borders to the world's plenty is that we have the most talented people on earth competing to give us bargains too.

But even the wide range of worldly goods that expand our paychecks doesn't truly speak to the incomparable wonders of free trade. What makes it unquestionably brilliant is that it maximizes the possibility that we as individual actors in what is called an "economy" will get to pursue the kind of work that most animates our individual talents. Let's face it, when we can import what we're not good at doing from others, we're then free to focus our energies in areas where we thrive.

What this should remind us is that open borders to trade don't impoverish us as much they're the easily one of the quickest paths to much greater wealth. The U.S. is a rich country not despite its openness to foreign production; rather the openness to foreign production is an essential source of staggering American wealth. Because our tariff barriers are generally very low, Americans are increasingly able to pursue the kind of work that most amplifies their talents.

All of which brings us to the economic importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), not just to the U.S., but to the rest of the world. Without getting into the weeds, the TPP intends to reduce barriers to trade among twelve different countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Peru, Japan, and Vietnam. American voters should hope the pact passes.

They should simply because the abundantly wealthy U.S. economy is already almost totally open to foreign production. The latter is once again a certain feature of the U.S. economy, not a bug. Across all foreign goods the average U.S. tariff placed on them is 1.4 percent. What this should tell those who mistakenly abhor more open trade is that the agreements signed by U.S. trade negotiators are generally about reducing tariffs placed on American exports.

To provide but one example, Vietnam presently slaps a 70 percent tariff on U.S. made cars, and a 50 percent tariff on American machinery. Important for the purposes of this piece is that Vietnam is extraordinarily poor relative to the U.S., and one reason is because its markets aren't as open to imports. Reduced tariffs will not only expand global markets for U.S. producers to sell to, they'll also enrich the Vietnamese by virtue of open trading lanes maximizing the possibility that its people will get to do as Americans have long done: migrate toward the work that most magnifies their talents.

A major reason the U.S. is rich is because it's open to the production of others regardless of country. Conversely, countries like Vietnam are quite a bit less prosperous thanks to barriers to trade pushing its people into the kind of work that is less commensurate with their talents. Imports are the gift that keeps on giving for them freeing us from the work we despise. Imagine once again being forced to construct the computer on which you're reading this piece. The act of doing so would impoverish you.

So while in a perfect world global trade would be wholly untouched by politicians, the TPP is advantageous to American producers for it reducing taxes on their exports. It's then hugely advantageous to the other countries involved simply because imports by their very name speed the path to economic specialization.

An economy is just individuals, and the individual is best off economically when able to import as cheaply as possible thanks to production that is as specialized as possible. That's what open trade is all about. While not close to perfect, the TPP brings the world closer to the kind of free exchange that is the certain source of rapidly expanding wealth.

This article originally appeared at Forbes.com.

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  1. The stated rationale is weak indeed, since any government understanding the benefits of free trade would instantly and unilaterally drop its tariffs, bans, subsidies, and other impediments, without regard for what other nations did.

    The real reason to be disgusted by the TPP is how it enshrines so much US-centric status quo in treaties, such as copyright.

    1. Yes, if you’re a fan of draconian copyright policies and censorship, you’ll love the TPP.

      1. OOOooOOO does it have carve outs for special interests in a secret extra judicial court system with no basis for appeals too?

        1. Oh, you know it will! And, foreign countries will get EVEN MORE of a say in our government! This is the end of the line for us peasantry. Our masters will tell us how to live and make us sorry we ever questioned their authority!

    2. The stated rationale is weak indeed, since any government understanding the benefits of free trade would instantly and unilaterally drop its tariffs, bans, subsidies, and other impediments, without regard for what other nations did.

      You’ve got a flawed premise there. Plenty of governments do understand the benefits of a free market but they are beholden to the special interests and the voters who don’t give a rat’s ass about a free market when it comes to their particular industry. See: The Petition of the Candlemakers, for example. They understand the idea of cutting off your nose to spite your face, but when voters demand the nose come off, the nose comes off. Same with Trump – Mr. Smartest Businessman Who Ever Lived – bitching about China selling us stuff for cheap. Those bastards! How dare they sell us stuff for cheap when we could be paying domestic producers more for those same goods! And look at the wealth we would create with the jobs produced by making stuff more expensive. (But don’t look over there at the 99.9% of everybody else made poorer by paying more for those same goods.)

      Great Britain at one time had the most open markets in the world and benefitted immensely from it; the richest nation on Earth, a nation of shopkeepers, understood the benefits of free trade.

    3. fucking nailed it, scarecrow

  2. I find that “trade deals’ which have to be written and negotiated in great secrecy to usually to be less than free trade agreements.

    I’ve posted this before but will again.

    When NAFTA was first passed I did a thriving business with Mexican used car dealers. Once NAFTA passed that business avenue was taken from me. Prior to NAFTA I would get a list of approved cars that could be exported by me or imported by the Mexicans. I would gather up all I could on the list and once a month or so one of my Mexican contacts would show up and buy them all and head back to Mexico. Post NAFTA he could still come into the US to buy but I could no longer ship the cars into Mexico. I can’t see the difference but the people who wrote NAFTA saw a difference

    Free trade IS a great thing but free trade agreements shouldn’t have to run into thousand page documents. You either have free trade or you don’t. A thousand page document with carve outs for special interests isn’t free trade. It’s bought and paid for trade.

    1. Free trade *would* be a wonderful thing, in the same way theat Santa Clause would be a wonderful thing – they would both have to actually exist to be wonderful. As is, neither does, but they’re very handy for selling you things you wouldn’t normally buy.

    2. True, “free trade agreement” is sort of an oxymoron – free trade doesn’t require an agreement, it just requires government to do nothing. If there’s an agreement to be hashed out, it’s automatically an agreement as to how much exactly you’re going to interfere with free trade. But freer generally is better than less free – and the IP provisions I think don’t mean shit to the pirates so you’ll still be able to download your free copies of the latest movies and music and feel noble about striking a blow for freedom.

      If France doesn’t allow the US to ship beef to France, that’s bad for US beef farmers but how does the US then banning imported French cheese benefit either the US beef farmers or American cheese-eaters?

    3. Very good observation. This is the difference between the real world and the fairyland looter politicians anaesthesize idiots into imagining will come of agreements that fold robbery into thousands of circumlocutions backed by guns and handcuffs, fines and imprisonment. Free means uncoerced.

  3. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!
    Yes lets all just start trusting politicians to make “free trade” deals in secret after all its the ‘Murican thing to do, some clueless jackass on the interwebs told me so….
    youre new around these parts, but please FUCK OFF SLAVER!

    1. It’s not “secret” you idiot. The full TPP was released in November.

      1. Kewl. The average person can read about 150 words a minute, so since late November that’s time enough to read some 2.8 million words working 40 hours. How many words are in that Trans-Porkcivic Agreement?

      2. Did you pay off your wager yet?

      3. “The full TPP was released in November.”

        “was released” means that initially it was created behind closed doors. You can split hairs all you like, but Vic’s statement was not inaccurate.

  4. Didn’t read the article because the headline is perhaps the stupidest and most offensive thing I’ve ever read at Reason. Pass.

  5. For anyone who buys this, Tamny has a bridge to sell. Also some wonderful beachfront realty in Idaho. The same line of logic he uses would justify a “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and such “features” as an individual shared responsibility penalty mandate.

    Deals like this are written in secret for two reasons: First, to empower and expand the governments involved, and further turn citizens into subjects. Second, to enrich and entrench incumbent firms. Sunlight would expose those motivations and the mechanisms that the deals use to try to hide their intended effects.

    You don’t need a five-thousand page deal to liberalize trade and remove trade barriers. The TPP is that long because of all the carve-outs and special preferences that are baked in.

    1. True dat. How many here recall the DemoGOP pointing out that Obamacare would include heavy fines and penalties levied on ex-pats or anyone else less than quick about coughing up cash to meet its demands? After this latest many-words-and-many-lies fraud is bought and paid for, I will chuckle to see Forbes personnel haled into the dock on its myriad intention, thoughtcrime and asset-forfeiture clauses.

  6. but since we can’t consume (import) without producing (exporting) first,

    Only if you count exporting IOUs, the debt for which we’ll bequeath to later generations, as “exporting first”.

  7. Is the staff looking to get clocked in their faces with dildoes?

  8. How many times can Reason jump the ol’ shark? Fonzi would be proud.

  9. Donald Trump acts as though imports are a sign of Americans “losing” to the Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans

    No. He acts as though *us* opening our markets, and *them* not opening theirs, is not a good deal for American workers in need of employment and American exporters in need of markets.

    And he is right.

    If you’re for free trade, you should be for Trump, who wants to open foreign markets to US goods.

    1. While that may not be a good deal in the short-run for some American workers and exporters, it is indeed a good deal in the long-run for all American consumers.

      1. It’s a good deal for Americans *as* consumers, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for all American consumers.

        Consumers are also neighbors and taxpayers. Buying American has greater positive feedback benefits to Americans generally than buying Chinese. Marginal costs are generally lower than average costs as well, providing another generalized benefit buying local.

        On both sides of the ocean, there is a benefit to each side buying local. As long as neither side is *cheating* through government power, you can probably trust Chinese consumers to be as selfish as American consumers, and ignore the generalized benefits to purchasing local in favor of their own *personal* benefit on price.

        But cheating *can* have aggregate benefits to the side cheating when the generalized local benefit exceeds the price differential between local and foreign goods.

        One sided free trade is a bad deal, just as one sided rule of law is subjection, and a one sided cease fire is surrender.

        1. What do you mean by cheating? If the Chinese government subsidizes solar panels at the expense of American workers, do American consumers not benefit from those lower prices? Would American consumers be better off if the US government made imported solar panels more expensive in the name of fairness? I think not.

          1. What do you mean by cheating? If the Chinese government subsidizes solar panels at the expense of American workers, do American consumers not benefit from those lower prices?

            Cheating would be applying some local tariff or trade barrier.

            Yes, the American consumers benefit *as* consumers, but may lose as *tax payers* and *neighbors*. In aggregate, that can be a net loss.

            Would American consumers be better off if the US government made imported solar panels more expensive in the name of fairness?

            Sometimes. See my previous statement:

            But cheating *can* have aggregate benefits to the side cheating when the generalized local benefit exceeds the price differential between local and foreign goods.

            1. Yes, the American consumers benefit *as* consumers, but may lose as *tax payers* and *neighbors*. In aggregate, that can be a net loss.

              What? The only tax payers who lose out in this scenario are the Chinese ones. I don’t even know wtf you mean by “neighbors” in this scenario.

            2. What is this generalized local benefit you speak of?

              That your neighbor has a job, maybe making solar panels? If you got your solar panels from China instead, your neighbor would find a different job, in a sector that the U.S. was more competitive in, and you’d have more money in your pocket because you bought a cheaper solar panel.

              That the government would get more tax revenue? Even assuming that the tax is put to good use, do you really think it is a better use than what you would do with the money you saved?

              Free trade, really, any competitive economy, is going to result in some winners and losers. I won’t deny that. So yeah, your friend at the solar panel factory might fall on some hard times until he finds a new job, and maybe that particular friend won’t find as nice a job as the one he had. But over a sufficiently large population, and over time, free trade, really, any free economy, will make more people better off than the alternative.

              1. And again, this assumes you actually live near a solar panel factory. If that factory is actually the next city or state over, whatever potential local benefits there might be have even less impact on you.

            3. But cheating *can* have aggregate benefits to the side cheating when the generalized local benefit exceeds the price differential between local and foreign goods.

              I’m not seeing it. Can you give an example?

        2. Buying local is feel-good tribalism. And if that’s your thing, have at. Let’s not pretend it has any greater economic effect than a one-day gas strike, however.

        3. How is buying something made in across the country in California “local”?

  10. Free trade means not having to ask permission and obey orders set out by some ridiculously long piece of legislation.

    1. True dat. Also, I’ve witnessed NAFTA negotiations up close in Ecuador. The alcohol lobby explicitly directed what could and could not be included in a treaty without incurring its wrath. Outside, graffiti on the walls drily proclaimed: “Alca pone!”
      The banks were surrounded by gorilla-faced guards with machine guns and papered over with National Socialist posters warning against disloyal tax dodgers and prohibition violators.
      I like Forbes better than most of the looter press, but it is hardly a grownup publication when it comes to evaluating the impact of looter party laws thicker than phone books.

  11. To the Woodchipper with you, Tamny.

    1. Wow. I’m pretty quick on the draw with my woodchipper, but I haven’t been inviting Reason staff in yet. Not even Sheldon.

      The natives are restless today.

      Vote Woodchipper 2016.

  12. It’s interesting, and sad, how unpopular Reason is getting with it’s own commentariat.

    So far, everyone is tearing him a new one. He’s got a worse batting average than Sheldon.

    And here’s the laugh – this is his third article at Reason. He started a week ago.

    His first article was “Donald Trump’s Anti-Immigration Views Aren’t Conservative; Neither Are Many Conservatives” which no doubt earned him a ton of friends.

    Is this some new genius intertube strategy? To get clicks by pissing off your readers?

    1. No, this is what you get when you allow people to post without first being restricted to lurking for a year. There’s a lot of “libertarianish” posters here, they’re just not libertarian on one or two certain subjects. (Technically, nobody’s really libertarian, all of us are merely libertarianish, since part of the initiation ritual for the Esteemed Order of The Monocle-Polishing Orphan Beaters Society involves denouncing every single other member as not being a “true” libertarian.)

      1. this is what you get when you allow people writers to post without first being restricted to lurking for a year

        I’ve been here much longer than the recent Proggy Friendlies invasion on staff.

        1. The guy advocating for trade protectionism is calling others “proggies”. Rich.

      2. A libertarian has signed a nonaggression pact drafted by Ayn Rand on April 17, 1947. Without that you cannot pay dues to join the party or contribute to its expenses. As elsewhere in nature, predators and competitors camouflaged through mimesis seek to infiltrate, corrupt and sabotage the party’s efforts to repeal coercive and deadly legislation and secure individual rights. H.L. Mencken translated Jefferson’s declaration into plain English that likewise brought out the non-aggression implicit in its construction, but despaired of making it work just as he doubted ethical principles could be objectively framed. His loss. There will always be spies and saboteurs, for the same reason there will always be looters and other criminals. Face it and move on.

    2. Reason is only unpopular due to the influx of TEAM RED members which has occurred because of there being a Democratic president in office. Once Reason starts criticizing a Republican president again, the pendulum will swing back.

  13. MSNBC has hijacked Welch and placed agent provocateurs! We must save him. It is both our duty and our right.

  14. What else should I support?

  15. Well, I’m sure I’ll get a lecture from a few of the commenters here about how protectionism is the essence of libertarianism, but I kind of do have a problem with the government telling me I’ve got to pay them for the privilege of buying a product from a foreign competitor rather than one of their cronies.

    The TPP may or may not be a good piece of legislation. But, I can’t see the legitimacy in the state demanding tariffs for imports.

    1. These States is surrounded by looter satrapies with nuclear, chemical and bio-weapons and requires a navy (see Amendment 1). A revenue (not protective) tariff is not necessarily a bad thing compared to the progressive income tax lifted verbatim from the communist manifesto of 1848. Ask yourself how communism has panned out since it became a real thing.

    2. You should try to read the damned thing. I’d bet it is at least a foot thick, and crammed full of looter prohibitionist usurpations written by the parties backing the lying thieving candidates we read about here on a daily basis. Compare: “And Congress shall make no laws restricting or abridging the freedom of production and trade.”

      The US Constitution is under 7600 words. How many are in the TPP?

    3. The TPP may or may not be a good piece of legislation.

      I have no doubt it’s far worse than having no legislation at all, but is it better or worse than what we have now? Obama and Clinton both supported it – bad – but now Clinton and the unions oppose it – good – so I don’t know. Having seen bureaucratic lawyer-speak before, I have no illusions as to my being any more knowledgeable about the TPP after reading it than before so I can only guess by the opponents and the supporters whether it’s likely to be more good than bad or vice versa. This is one of those issues I’m willing to take what I can get on. It’s larded with crony-capitalist carve-outs and government leech palm-greasings I’m sure, but if you can get this many nations to agree it’s better to pass than reject I have some hope there’s plenty of wriggle room for us little maggots. Or it’s so god-awful bad every freedom-hating government on Earth sprouts a woodie just thinking about how evil it is, in which case, screw it, let’s bring on the apocalypse and get it over with.

    4. “””But, I can’t see the legitimacy in the state demanding tariffs for imports.””

      So where is the legitimacy in the state demanding sales tax, or income tax or whatever tax.

      Lets end those taxes first and return to the original idea of the US government being paid for by tariffs. It involves far less in money and the federal government is limited by a lack of money

  16. The example I choose to set is by voting libertarian, that is, against looter aggression. Saying you believe in fairies or whining to politicians does not pack the wallop of voting for a free trade platform. If not for the LP, I doubt the TPP would exist as a draft, just as I doubt John Tamny has ever read that draft. The anti-corruption clauses, for instance, are a nationalsocialist call to assist armed looters in robbing all citizens through tax laws taken to be an irreducible primary good rather than a corrupt parasitical tentacle into your livelihood and pocket.

  17. Completely OT: Happened to turn on the TV this morning and there’s Marco Rubio talking to George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America – you’re a goddamn moron if you don’t start the answer to every question with “Well, George, as you yourself know from all your years as the mouthpiece of the Clinton Administration and as an admirer of Hillary Clinton,….” but Rubio never said it even once.

  18. The TPP eliminates tariffs on 18,000 US exports.

    Peanuts hate it because – Obama.

    1. You may very well be right – but there’s the issue of rational ignorance. If all you know about a given policy is that Obama’s for it, the odds suggest you’d be better off opposing it. Obama really is just that terrible. Unfortunately, it’s also true that if the GOP is for it the odds suggest you’d be better off opposing it. If the political class supports anything, it’s a good bet it involves you, your ass and a red-hot poker.

      1. Not to be mean, but “Obama = bad” is just intellectually lazy. As is the speculation on the “secret” negotiations which are now public. Criticizes the TPP on substance, not on the principals involved.

  19. Is the “we need the TPP because true free trade is not achievable in this political climate” argument, the same argument that we need to recognize same-sex marriage, because getting the gov’t out of marriage isn’t going to happen?

    And if so where does the Open Borders Argument fit in: We can’t have unlimited free immigration because the welfare state isn’t going away, vs. the purist view that any restriction on people crossing the border is a violation of the NAP

  20. Check out the linked article about all the unfree aspects of this allegedly free trade deal.

    For starters it includes a bunch of climate change crap that has nothing to do with free trade at all:

    “…. the carbon emission reductions being negotiated in Paris are voluntary, not mandatory. However, they have missed the fact that there will be at least one exception to the “voluntary” rule. The Paris agreement won’t be voluntary for the U.S. — if TPP passes!”

    http://www.americanthinker.com…..ement.html

  21. This article is a disappointment.

    Advocating for the TPP without discussing intellectual property it fatally incomplete. There is no point talking about the TPP at all unless one discusses the intellectual property provisions in the agreement.

    Also, David Ricardo makes a much better case for free trade than does this author. And he died nearly 200 years ago.

  22. If the author reads the comments he should know that if Obama advocated full recreational drug legislation the Peanut Gallery would oppose him.

    1. Obama and every Republican in Congress.

      FTFY

  23. “Not more than 5 or 10 years ago the computer on which you’re reading this piece would have qualified as a supercomputer”

    Lets not go overboard here. A modern desktop might have been considered “super” 20-25 years ago, but certainly not 5.

  24. This article makes Sheldon Richman look like JS Mill.

  25. So upon closer reading, this is just a boilerplate argument for free trade in general, completely ignoring the substance and eliding the disturbing rent-seeking provisions embedded within TPP.

    Mr. Tamny, if you want to write a general defense of free trade, that’s fine, and that article has probably been written dozens of times, and would be like preaching to the choir around here, but trying to assert that TPP is primarily about that is absurd. TPP is a novel device for circumventing national sovereignty in the name of allowing corruption to flourish, wrapped up with the kind of dross that this article provides.

  26. ‘Without getting into the weeds’

    Well that pretty much describes Reason when it comes to economic advocacy. Ooh – ‘free trade’ – it must be so. No cronyism here. Move along now.

    With friends like Reason, free markets don’t need enemies.

  27. Free trade is great as long as its on a level playing field and in this case its not go home and try again

    1. This is false. Free trade is a benefit to a nation even when its partners do not reciprocate.

      1. Nations don’t trade. But even in that context where terms of trade go along with national borders, the reality is that Ricardian comparative advantage only produces a net benefit if the trade winners compensate the trade losers. Since they never do that, this is all nothing more than a winners/losers game – at best utilitarian, more likely powerful insiders/cronies screw the outsiders/weak.

  28. Nobody is arguing free bad is bad, or that mercantilism is good. From a Mises Daily missive: “There is no denying that the secret negotiations among unelected elites appointed by TPP members may result in the lowering of trade barriers for selected friends of the global regulators. This cronyist system of rewards and punishments for global favorites, however, should most certainly not be confused with free trade.”

    The TPPA gives a small group of politicians control over trade between the participating nations. I defy you to give an example of an instance where more centralized control has ever resulted in more freedom, economic opportunity or betterment of the general welfare.

    1. “The TPPA gives a small group of politicians control over trade between the participating nations.”

      And like that clock, they might ‘grant’ lower tariffs twice a day or so.

  29. “Not more than 5 or 10 years ago the computer on which you’re reading this piece would have qualified as a supercomputer (this describes your smartphone too)”

    This is, at best, a gross exaggeration. Moore’s Law has been on the decline for some years, and any half-decent computer from 5 years ago is still a half-decent computer, today. A modern computer is not a supercomputer by comparison. A 10yo computer will not be quite a spiffy, by comparison, but a modern computer, again, is no-where near what would qualify it as a “supercomputer”. In fact, a modern computer viewed 20 years in the past would still not be a supercomputer.

    That you use this gross exaggeration to lead into the meat of your perspective is unfortunate, as it tarnishes the rest of your article.

    I humbly suggest you remove that entire paragraph, and find another example to tout free trade.

    PS. I am a systems administrator by trade and title, and actually know what I am speaking about.

  30. Reason, your slip is showing.

  31. TPP & other Treaties/’Arrangements’; Corporate ‘America’s’ Desperate ‘Extortion’; Join in U.S. Increasing Avaricious $17+ trillion Debt/Plunder to harmless taxpayers, or, Scorched Earth, Global Depression? Harmless U.S. taxpayers wait for the ‘shoe’ to drop as ‘Debts’ comes home to ‘Roost’?

    TPP, et al, base for future changes for Global Corporate Economy; your tax dollars to fund their enterprises & value of shares with No Corp. Liabilities & for their future considerations?

    ***
    FULL Article, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com

  32. Any right-thinking individual should support free trade, however in the case of the TPP(and many other trade deals) they are essentially managed e.g. rigged in favor of protected parties hence why they are technically unfree.

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