Donald Trump

If Free Trade is Rape as Trump Says, Then He is Leading the Party of Rape

Without the GOP's help, NAFTA would never have passed

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Trump's hands
Philip C. Cohen via Foter

Donald Trump lit into Hillary Clinton this week for her support of NAFTA and other trade deals her husband pushed as president. But whatever headaches he creates for her are minor compared to the migraines he is going to cause his own party. That's because Hillary had very little to do with these deals and the Republican Party a great deal. Without the GOP's help, Bill Clinton would never have been able to get NAFTA through and arguably become the most trade friendly president – Democratic or Republican – in the last half a century. That was both the GOP's and Clinton's finest hour.

But this rare moment of bipartisanship that didn't actually screw the country is now being compared to "rape" by Trump. Hillary may be married to an alleged rapist. But if Trump is right, then his party will need to explain to the country why it joined in Bill's "rape."

So the GOP has a choice, I note, in my column in The Week. Repudiate Trump or repudiate its trade principles and legacy.

Its choice is clear.

Go here to read the full article.

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  1. Reading a Dalmia article is rape.

    1. Who is forcing you to read it?

      1. I secretly enjoy the thrill of it, like Bernie suspects women do.

        1. Then it’s not really rape, is it, if you enjoy it. Besides, you were asking for it, in your skimpy commenter garb.

          1. Brochetta’s body has a way of shutting that down.

  2. Go here to read the full article.

    Nah I’m good.

    1. Yeah. Don’t want to upset that finely tuned bubble of ignorance you live in.

      1. THEM WHUTS WOMNS IN OTHR CONTRYS AMS FAT

      2. Don’t rock his umwelt, bro.

      3. Because Shikha Dalmia is the bringer of wisdom and enlightenment. All three of you trolls are the most bubbled set of commenters on these boards, notwithstanding Tony. Congrats.

  3. I’ll have the strawberry tart without so much rape in it.

  4. For starters, Hillary was only the first lady when the deals passed, and had very little to do with them except to make an occasional obligatory speech in support of her husband. She gave NAFTA a tepid endorsement when she ran for Senate in 2000, but stomped all over it when she mounted her 2008 presidential bid and had to face off against Barack Obama, who talked smack about the treaty too.

    Hillary counts her time as First Lady in her experience. It’s the only reason she was ever elected to anything. Her position on NAFTA in that time is entirely relevant as is her continued endorsement of it after. She purposely crafted the image of being an active First Lady, and was the most influential of the twentieth century alongside Eleanor Roosevelt.

    That she has switched positions is irrelevant. Hillary was shilling for the TPP.

    I rate that Dalmia’s claim fails to rise to either the level of sophistry or lying. She is just incoherently rambling.

    1. That paragraph wasn’t exactly praising Clinton. Whether she supported it or not, it’s still a stretch to put her at the center of it, or to blame NAFTA for the US losing jobs.

      1. Dalmia is intentionally downplaying her support of NAFTA and trade agreements. Dalmia didn’t just argue that she isn’t to blame, but that Hillary never really supported it. Even though she is also on record endorsing the TPP after 2008 all on her own. I’m not up to date on the latest Trump ramblings, but his attacks on Hillary for supporting those trade agreements are completely legitimate (that isn’t me endorsing his position – just pointing out that it is a legitimate line of attack).

        Dalmia has no real point and the notion that she has been blamed for NAFTA rather than people noting she supported is a strawman.

        1. Dude. Don’t you know better than to read Dalmia? Check the by-line, come down to the comments and run amok, freestyle.

          *rolls up Dalmia article and whacks you on nose*

          STOP HITTING YOURSELF.

        2. I’m no fan of Dalmia, but she does make a decent point at the end: Is the GOP leadership okay with Trump’s anti-trade rambling nonsense, or not? What is their position now? Trumpism or free trade? There may be nuance to that answer, of course, but it’s a question they’re going to have to answer.

          1. Not one word since parenting licences, but you do you, broheim. I’m cool with that.

            1. uh… what?

              1. Weird. I thought you were replying to me. I suppose it’s been that long since we frequently had long discussions that weren’t two trolls yelling at each other. I’d forgotten how many comments it takes to hit the wall.

                My bad. It’s a lovely comment, too.

              2. Weird. I thought you were replying to me. I suppose it’s been that much time since we frequently had long discussions that weren’t two trolls yelling at each other. I’d forgotten how many comments it takes to hit the wall.

                My bad. It’s a lovely comment, too.

          2. Why cant it be both?

            1. Could be. Probably is. Who knows? Who cares? These people are all morons. I’m done with it all. See you when the visigoths get here.

        3. “Dalmia is intentionally downplaying her support of NAFTA and trade agreements. Dalmia didn’t just argue that she isn’t to blame, but that Hillary never really supported it.”

          I read it as her saying that Clinton will support whatever is politically convenient at the time.

          In anything, Dalmia doesn’t think NAFTA was bad, so Clinton never sincerely supporting it would be a bad thing to her, not a good thing.

        4. “Dalmia didn’t just argue that she isn’t to blame, but that Hillary never really supported it.”

          I read it as her saying Clinton will support whatever is politically convenient at the time. Dalmia thinks NAFTA is/was good, so Clinton never sincerely supporting it would be a bad thing to her, not a good thing.

          1. Squirrels

            1. For some reason that other comment wasn’t showing up after I refreshed so I posted another. And then the original showed up. That’s a new one for me.

          2. I didn’t read it as a defense of Clinton. Just an inane attack on Trump. Hillary has endorsed NAFTA and Dalmia seems to ignore her position on the TPP entirely. I have no reason to believe that Hillary won’t sign onto those deals once in office regardless of what she feeds her retarded base today.

            The overall gist of the article is fine, if you ignore how she gets there (which is about the best you can say for Dalmia’s writing). Though it’s also not a new point. It’s kind of just noting how stupid party politics are. The GOP wasn’t completely gung-ho on foreign interventions before Bush the Lesser, but they sure as hell came to terms with it by the end to the point where it’s the standard now. The Neo-con foreign policy is firmly entrenched.

            Trump is also openly hostile to the GOP establishment. It’s part of his sales pitch. So it’s not so much a contradiction for Trump as it is a problem for the GOP.

        5. Blame? Dalmia is refusing to give her *credit*. You seem to be forgetting that you’re on a libertarian website. We like free trade.

  5. But did you see what the American people were wearing?

  6. Trump’s speech took aim at Hillary Clinton, of course, but the entity he’s really shooting in the foot is his own party ? which has been championing free trade for at least quarter of a century, in words if not always in deed.

    Yes, but you have to remember that he’s promoting himself (and being touted by others as) the ‘anti-establishment’ candidate. Since a lot of those who feel disfranchised think that free-trade is something imposed on them by the ‘establishment’ (a belief stemming from their own and pitiful economic ignorance) then El Trumpo feels he can afford to make such outrageous statements without minding the consequences.

  7. I’m just confused about who is raping who.

    Also, how do you tune a bubble?

    1. Imagine a snake raping its own tail.

      1. ….
        that’s no help at all. i think you’re the same guy who tried to trick me with that “One hand clapping”-scam.

  8. When I talk about trade with my friends, they tend to make two errors:

    1) They’ll always focus on the “loss” factor and never any of the gains. That you tell them America’s exporting to Mexico has increased six times since NAFTA doesn’t matter to them. (We’re also a much larger and richer country than Mexico so the per-capita benefit swings in our favor.)

    2) They’ll assume that the US dollars that end up in China or Mexico or Japan *stay* in those countries. The US is the leading recipient of foreign investment which even includes a lot of US dollars sent to other countries in trade deals.

    1. Re #2: People dont understand about fiat money.

      The gedanken experiement with regard to US Dollars: What would happen to the value of the dollar if the US Government refused to accept it as payment for taxes? What if they required gold or whatever?

      Dollars are only valuable to the Chinese because they can turn around and spend them in America (or with other people who spend it in America). And we only accept it in return because of the “full faith and credit”, ie, that we can pay our taxes with it.

      There is no such thing as a trade deficit. This was much more obvious when we had gold money, but it is true today too. It always balances.

      Back when Japan was the big trade bugaboo, I liked to point out that we imported Japanese cars and electronics and exported Hawaiian golf courses and Manhattan skyscrapers.

      With China, we apparently primarily export T-bills.

      1. Dollars are only valuable to the Chinese because they can turn around and spend them in America (or with other people who spend it in America). And we only accept it in return because of the “full faith and credit”, ie, that we can pay our taxes with it.

        There is no such thing as a trade deficit. This was much more obvious when we had gold money, but it is true today too. It always balances.

        Bingo. I remember reading somewhere that 20% of US agriculture exports go to China? Can anyone support/debunk that? (Too lazy to Google!) In any case, China will simply use US dollars to purchase cheap US food from Americans, whether it’s grain/wheat, beans, sugar, produce, etc. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed in China.

      2. I liked to point out that we imported Japanese cars and electronics and exported Hawaiian golf courses and Manhattan skyscrapers.

        Um…

        1. The Japanese still own all that land, right?

          1. I think they sold most of it for a fraction of what they paid for it.

            Win-win.

    2. Re: Clint Eastwoodchipper,

      1) They’ll always focus on the “loss” factor and never any of the gains.

      indeed. Mostly because their biases are fueled by envy and not by rationality. Even when they are not affected personally, they share a collectivist view of jobs that makes them treat them like national treasure and not like contracts between free individuals.

      2) They’ll assume that the US dollars that end up in China or Mexico or Japan *stay* in those countries.

      Yep. That also explains why the xenophobic Trumpistas are so ready to agree to the confiscation of remittances since they think that the dollars ‘made’ in the U.S. should ‘stay’ in the U.S.

      1. 1) All together now: “DEY TUK ER JERBS!”

        I just love it how “anti-elitist conservatives/nationalists” have such a self-important attitude of royalty that they feel they’re entitled to jobs because MURIKA!!!

        2) Which is an endorsement of slavery. I don’t give a shit whether it’s “legal” or “illegal.” You shouldn’t need the Royal Kingdom of Washington’s permission to earn money by providing labor. Whether it’s “illegal” immigrant labor, illegal sex work, or anything else, once you’ve paid taxes the government can’t just confiscate all of your money because you were working “illegally.” That’s bullshit.

  9. Oh please. As though we couldn’t ever see better government-managed trade than what we have today.

    When did any Dem or GOPpie other than Ron Paul ever champion actual free trade?

    1. Erm, I’m not sure anyone is going to disagree with you, but that’s never been Trump’s position (freer trade). He’s anti-free trade per se.

      1. He’s a populist on the campaign trail. Every word out of his mouth about the economy is a lie, just as every word out of the campaign trail for as long as I’ve been alive has been a lie.

        1. Oh… ok. We agree then. F*** ’em all.

          1. Amen

        2. “just as every word out of the campaign trail for as long as I’ve been alive has been a lie.”

          So Trump’s going to give Mexico money to build a wall??

          1. This is what happens when you’re stupid folks, a lie becomes do the exact opposite.

    2. If you put “free trade” in the title of the treaty then clearly it’s a “free trade” treaty, I’m told. I guess that’s why it takes a mountain of paper to implement of a free trade policy as opposed to legal language you could print on a postcard. The progressive libertarians like Dalmia swallow the bait without question, probably knowing that it’s managed trade but she’ll support it anyways because she thinks everyone else accepts the premise of the treaty at face value, and she wouldn’t want to appear to be against free trade.

      1. Even Boudreaux talks about holding his nose and signing the “free trade” agreement. It doesn’t occur to him that a little rhetoric might make for a better “free trade” deal.

        The bullying genius of Trump is like Reagan’s. Whether the_donald actually believes the economic bs he’s spewing or not is irrelevant, as everyone else in his cabinet is not going to forget every economic lesson we’ve learned over the past 200 years. What it might do, though, is frighten other nations into giving ground in those managed deals, which is the whole point of having an economic bad cop like Trump running around giving EU lovers & Obama voters sleepless nights.

      2. Re: Free Society,

        The progressive libertarians like Dalmia swallow the bait without question, probably knowing that it’s managed trade but she’ll support it anyways because she thinks everyone else accepts the premise of the treaty at face value, and she wouldn’t want to appear to be against free trade.

        But she’s not evaluating the free trade bona fides of NAFTA because that is not the focus of her article. She’s judging El Trumpo’s bombast against the actual record and for all intents and purposes, NAFTA has been a net benefit for Americans than what El Trumpo would like us to believe.

        Of course NAFTA is not a *free* trade agreement. It is merely a tariff agreement. But even so, lower tariffs benefit commerce and trade MORE than higher tariffs and that is the point lost among the Trumpistas.

        1. DEY TUK ER JERBS!!!

          1. Swing and a miss.

  10. “Meanwhile, Trump has dramatically increased the dissonance between him and the GOP. The party must now choose between repudiating its principles or its candidate: If it picks Trump, it’ll have to explain to the American public why it kept pushing free trade if it meant decimating the economy. And if it picks its principles, then it’ll have to distance itself from Trump and hope he loses.”

    Republican voters more align with Trump’s views on “Free Trade” than the other party leaders – at least according to Reason – if anything Trump is correcting the party to reflect the will of it’s voters more. And, historically, he’s taking the party closer to it’s roots in regards to trade.

  11. Didn’t read it, knew you’d figure out some way to make it a hit vs. Trump no matter how the GOP stood on trade.

    If somebody’s got some new info that could better divine how the various candidates are likely to act re certain trade issues, that’s something I’d read. Johnson looks good, & is especially good re trade if you assume he’s running only an education campaign, & won’t get elected. Cruz would probably have been good, given how fearless he was on trade issues during the campaign. Most other prez candidates you couldn’t’ve predicted how they’d act on trade once in office, whether you have the evidence because they got elected or not. Tough to correlate w the campaigns, except when it came to Clinton’s 2nd term.

    Trade was getting to be a huge popular issue just before the terror. 9/11 took the WTO out of the headlines.

  12. Free trade is a recent flirtation of the Republican Party. Middle school textbooks and dimwitted history teachers have indoctrinated Americans that the Party of Lincoln was all about ending slavery, but the party was originally founded to impose protective tariffs to promote industry in the Northeast US, to encourage homesteading, and to promote federal appropriations for large-scale infrastructure projects. Consider the following plank of the Republican Party platform of 1860:

    12. That, while providing revenue for the support of the general government by duties upon imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imports as to encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole country; and we commend that policy of national exchanges, which secures to the workingmen liberal wages, to agriculture remunerative prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor, and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.

    Donald J Trump’s policy regarding free trade restores the Republican Party to its roots.

    1. On immigration, however, Trump is 180 degrees from the 1860 Platform, which reads:

      14. That the Republican party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws or any state legislation by which the rights of citizens hitherto accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.

  13. There are too many conservative types who are dazzled by the claims of the neo-mercantilists anymore.

    Recently, one Vox Day debated Bob Murphy on free trade on the Tom Woods show. Both claim to be adherents of the Austrian School of Economics. A lengthy debate was conducted in the comment section of the podcast.

  14. “Without the GOP’s help, NAFTA would never have passed”

    Isn’t that why there are so many people pissed off? Isn’t that part of the foundation of how trump beat out the other cockroaches?

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