Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump's War on Trade

The president’s protectionist agenda threatens U.S. businesses and consumers.

After spending months complaining about the disparity between the United States and other nations' duties, along with the unfair treatment of U.S. exporters, President Trump is once again threatening to pull the plug on one of the best tariff-equalizing deals ever made: the North American Free Trade Agreement. As always, his allies argue that this is a brilliant negotiating strategy to force the Democrats to adopt his new NAFTA. I don't know if that strategy will succeed, but it's incredibly inconsistent with his stated goal of wanting lower and reciprocal tariffs on U.S. exports.

A quick reminder of how we got here: From day one in the White House, the president has declared his intention to pull out of NAFTA. He has claimed many times that the 1994 deal was the worst deal ever agreed to by the United States. He used this threat of withdrawal to extract a new deal with Canada and Mexico called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a deal he modestly labeled "the most important trade deal we've ever made by far."

This statement, however, should be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, while the USMCA includes some needed modernization to the 25-year-old NAFTA and delivers a sliver of trade liberalization in a few areas, on net it's more protectionist than NAFTA, due to punishing new "rules of origin" and high minimum-wage requirements. But no matter how imperfect the agreement is, it may ease the fear of a NAFTA withdrawal—for now, at least.

With the Democrats regaining a majority in the House, the future of the USMCA is somewhat in limbo. As a result, the president is in full attack mode. He announced last weekend, "I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly…. And so Congress will have a choice of the USMBCA or pre-NAFTA, which worked very well."

I fail to see what leverage the president believes he has against the Democrats. For one thing, they have always largely opposed free trade in general. I doubt that moving away from trade liberalization will be a big problem for them. Besides, since Trump's election, the Democrats' strategy has consisted of opposing him at every turn. With this ultimatum, Trump is giving them a golden opportunity to do just that. The cherry on top is that he will likely be blamed for the economic downfall that would inevitably follow the end of NAFTA.

I also fail to see how the president sees a return to the pre-NAFTA world as advancing his goal of reciprocity in trade duties. Under NAFTA, all U.S. exports going to Mexico are duty-free, as are non-agricultural U.S. exports to Canada. Even in spite of the Canadians' high dairy duty, 97 percent of U.S. agricultural exports go to our neighbor to the north duty-free. In exchange, Mexico and Canada export their goods to us free of tariffs.

A withdrawal would shatter this balance. Not only will tariffs go up, hurting consumers and exporters in all three countries, but the tariffs would be highest on U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico. As my colleague Dan Griswold explained to me, "without NAFTA, U.S. duties on imports would jump from virtually zero to an average of 2.3 percent on non-farm products and 3.8 percent on farm products. The corresponding average duties in Canada would jump to 2.3 and 12.4 percent, and in Mexico to 3.5 and 20.1 percent."

In other words, by his own standard, President Trump would make trade even more "unfair" to American exporters than it was when he came into office. But it gets worse. As it happens, Mexico is the king of free trade agreements. The country has some 40 agreements with other nations. Unlike Americans, exporters in these favored nations will face low duties when exporting to Mexico.

The bottom line is that if President Trump believes unfair trade is defined by other countries imposing higher tariffs on U.S. exporters than the U.S. imposes on them, he needs the current NAFTA in place in case the Democrats reject the USMCA. If he withdraws and the Democrats pull out of the USMCA, he will have done more to bring about unfair trade to U.S. exporters than anyone before him.

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  • Frank White||

    The US purchases more goods than it exports to Mexico. I don't care that there's an "imbalance." I'm a good Libertarian and trade imbalances are nothing to worry about, or so I'm told. If NAFTA collapses, trade between the two countries will be destroyed. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria. Let's assume all that is true. Who is in the worse position? The buyer or the seller? Yes, we may both be hurt, but which party in this situation is more motivated to re-establish trade? The country with lots of money to spend who likes to buy tons of cheap stuff or the country who has a large supply of cheap stuff to sell and now lost their biggest customer? HINT: It's not the USA.

  • sarcasmic||

    In your household, would you be better off if you sold more stuff (worked) or bought more stuff? You might say you'd be better off if you sold more stuff (worked) because then you'd have more money, right? But don't you want money so you can buy stuff? In the end you're trying to buy (import) because selling stuff (working) is the price you pay to buy stuff (with that money). It's the same idea on a national level. Exports are the price you pay for imports. What you really want to do is maximize imports and minimize exports. Money is not wealth. It is something you use to purchase wealth. It takes some contorted reasoning to say you want to maximize exports to get money so you can use that money to buy imports.

  • Frank White||

    In your household, would you be better off if you sold more stuff (worked) or bought more stuff?

    It depends. Am I rich or poor? If I'm poor, I'm in a worse position regardless if I am the buyer or seller. A poorer party can be bullied by a much richer party into an unfair deal since they can afford to stop buying or selling with me. On a large scale with thousands or millions of parties, this simplistic model breaks down. That's a necessary component of a free-market. Lots of parties who can make independent decisions. However, this is not such an example. It's two (okay, three) parties negotiating a contract. If the contract goes away, now you have a free market situation, but the author of this article seems to not like that option. Funny that.

  • sarcasmic||

    A poorer party can be bullied by a much richer party into an unfair deal since they can afford to stop buying or selling with me.

    Then the poorer party can go buy stuff from someone else.

    That doesn't refute what I said. Exports are the price you pay for imports. You're saying that one party can bully the other party into an "unfair" deal. OK, why would they do this? To maximize the profit from exports so they can use that money to buy stuff?

    In your convoluted attempt to refute my argument you are actually agreeing with me.

  • Frank White||

    Then the poorer party can go buy stuff from someone else.

    Try reading EVERYTHING I wrote. I already addressed that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Regardless it's still a red herring. The point of trade is to maximize imports. Be it in your household or as a nation. You want more coming in than going out.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic thinks the point of trade is to maximize IMPORTS.

    Fuck businessmen trying to EXPORT.

    The USA should be a nation of buyers not sellers. We dont need jobs, we can just keep printing dollar dollar bills yo!

  • Shirley Knott||

    Of course the purpose of trade is to maximize imports. The more we get for the same output, the better off we are.
    How could it be otherwise?

    The sole purpose of production is to provide consumables, else why bother?
    But you, like all mercantilists and socialists, think money is wealth, stuff just clutters up the place.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Good think Knott is not in charge of trade policy.

    American exporters would be shit out of luck.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    God you're ignorant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ship of Theseus
    sarcasmic
    Leo Kovalensky II
    Sometimes a Great Notion
    chemjeff radical individualist
    Peter Duncan
    Shirley Knott

    Pretty good collection of trolls all in one thread.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Me too! ME too! I want to be on your list! Can I please! I think I once made in on Hihn's list, but I much prefer yours. What do I need to do? Call you a ruskie troll pimpin for DT? Because I believe there is a good chance of that.

  • sarcasmic||

    What do I need to do?

    Oh, that's easy. Defend libertarian principles. That'll get you labeled a troll lickety-split around here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Mcgoo95

    Another angry troll.

  • JesseAz||

    The point of trade us to increase efficiencies. Nothing more and nothing less. Let the farmer grow crops more efficiently than I can.

    What the hell is this idiotic notion that trade is anything but a trade for efficiency?

  • Overt||

    Set aside trade between borders. The reason anyone specializes is so that they can get more of the stuff and services they need to survive. I could be completely self sufficient, and provide my every need myself, but it is terribly inefficient. Instead I pick one or two things I am really good at, and sell that good or service to others so that I can buy the other stuff. Others do the same. And since we are all doing only the things we are good at, we can each offer better quality and cost to other people.

    With Tariffs, the country is basically saying, "We are going to make it easier for you to sell widgets. But buying food is going to be more expensive." But the whole point you are focused on selling widgets is so that you can get the money to buy food. Making it easier for you to sell (export) has made it harder for you to buy food (import).

  • JesseAz||

    I always sell more if my labor than I import in goods and labor. Then again I'm not an idiot who thinks debt is king.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm talking about wealth, not money.

  • JesseAz||

    Wealth isn't trade.

  • JesseAz||

    Wealth isn't trade.

  • sarcasmic||

    We don't trade for money. We trade for goods and services. We don't buy money. We buy goods and services. The more goods and services we get, the better. We don't lose when our money goes out there when we buy stuff. That money has to come back. That money has to be used to buy stuff, or to invest. When we had a trade deficit with Japan it was supposedly the end of the world, remember? What happened to those dollars? They turned into Subaru and Honda factories in the states. That's a bad thing?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    We don't lose when our money goes out there when we buy stuff.

    No, but we lose when our money is taken by the government and redistributed to out of work blue collar workers, on top of still having to pay for the goods we buy from China, Europe, and Mexico.

  • sarcasmic||

    The point of work is to have money to buy stuff. Even saving is buying. It's just delayed buying. And I said nothing about debt. Advocating for exports over imports is saying you want to work for less. You want to receive less for your efforts. Advocating for imports over exports is saying you want to maximize the return for your efforts.

  • Shirley Knott||

    ^^This

  • JesseAz||

    The point of work is to obtain a transient form of money for the efficient use of my labor so I can purchase labor or goods that have been created with another persons more efficient use of their labor.

    Again. Trade and markets is about increasing efficiency.

  • sarcasmic||

    The point of work is to ... purchase labor or goods

    You export work to import goods and services into your household. Which is better, more work for less stuff (trade surplus) or more stuff for less work (trade deficit)?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    JesseAz +100

  • JesseAz||

    Reason is pushing the new naive libertarian agenda. You can't know how the world really is, you must act how you wish it could be. This is no better than idealistic communism.

  • Zeb||

    I think it's a lot better than idealistic communism. A lot fewer people getting murdered.

    And while it has its downsides too, unilateral opening of trade has great benefits for the country that opens.

  • JesseAz||

    Ideal communism doesn't have murders. Everyone acts in the same interest of the state. It's why I used the word ideal.

  • Zeb||

    But open trade is possible and ideal communism isn't (to judge by available evidence). Open trade also has large material benefits and creates wealth, even if it has downsides too. Ideal communism is a dreary, pointless existence.

    Yes, ideally everyone would do free trade and abolish tarrifs and import restrictions. That doesn't mean that partial, even unilateral free trade policies can't be a good thing unless it achieves the ideal.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How do we get from NAFTA, which is managed trade to open trade?

    Open trade being free trade, I take it?

    Free trade being trade with no trade restrictions. No tariffs, no taxes, no customs, no bans on products or services, no quotas, no limits, no subsidies.

  • Zeb||

    Well, any country can just drop all of its tariffs and restrictions on trade. I'm saying that has its benefits. There is a reasonable argument to be had over whether any downsides outweigh the positives. But there are choices other than managed trade on both sides and completely free trade.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Unilateral trade does not help American exporters sell their products and services overseas.

    There are massive trade restrictions to overcome. China wont even let Google have the best search engine without massive big brother bullshit.

    If you dont have free trade, you have some kind of managed trade, or no trade. Even if your nation drops all trade restrictions, when you deal with other nations, you will have managed trade.

    Most people on here are trolls or discussing degrees of managed trade.

    Some want to keep NAFTA levels of managed trade overall, some want to negotiate lower levels of managed trade overall.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    And while it has its downsides too, unilateral opening of trade has great benefits for the country that opens.

    Not for welfare states. For welfare states, when we open borders to a cheap producer like China, it's true that we pay less for the goods. But we also pay (in taxes) to support those Americans whose labor is now priced completely out of the market by cheap Chinese labor.

    In the context of the US welfare state and taxation regime, unilateral free trade amounts to little more than a redistribution scheme: it redistributes from income tax payers to two groups of people: super wealthy investors on the one hand, and out of work blue collar workers on the other.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder what the Always Trumpers will say to this.

    It isn't true free trade because Canada has duties on milk?

    Trump is playing multidimensional chess with true free trade as the goal?

    Economists don't know shit because the real world doesn't work like a textbook?

    Who knows. Either way, the Always Trumpers can always be trusted to flip out on anyone who dares to criticize Dear Leader.

  • Frank White||

    Libertarian: I want less government in all aspects of life except when it comes to trade deals. How will companies be able to make deals with foreign entities without central planning by bureaucrats?

    Makes perfect sense.

  • sarcasmic||

    Um, no. The point of the article was that while NAFTA is far from perfect, it is better than what preceded it. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  • Frank White||

    China imports goods into the USA through Canada because of a loophole in NAFTA. The new agreement closes that loophole. That doesn't mean we stop buying goods from China or Canada. It means our trade agreement with Canada is for Canadian products and our trade agreement with China is for Chinese products. Yet this will somehow ending NAFTA will cause an "economic downfall that would inevitably follow."

    Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

  • JesseAz||

    It's the reason writers asking for perfection... they oppose any and all agreements instead of recognizing current barriers.

  • sarcasmic||

    they oppose any and all agreements

    Um, no. They have read the new agreement that doesn't even have free trade in its name, and recognized it to be worse than the current one. If a new agreement was better than NAFTA, I'm quite sure they would acknowledge and support it.

  • JesseAz||

    Have you not read their articles. I doubt any writer has read the full text. They wouldn't have had enough time to digest all the pros and cons. They just feel it is bad. It was an exchange of barriers. Was the sum total more or less restrictionists? Time will tell. We don't know yet. NAFTA wasn't a good agreement. It caused far too much imbalance. The only way to garner free trade is by giving up what excess benefits each country has, then there is no reason for the agreement.

    If you were fleecing someone on a contract, would you renegotiate freely? We will know in ten years if the imbalance is lessened or not. Until then it is ignorant projections based on personal assumptions.

  • sarcasmic||

    What do you mean by imbalance? That the value of what we import exceeds the value of what we export? That's a bad thing?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The other thing the propagandists at Reason ignore is how one goes about getting strictly controlled states to lower their trade restrictions.

    You can ask nicely
    You can negotiate nicely or harshly
    They can do it sua sponte

    Many of these propagandists dont want the USA to negotiate a better trade situation.

  • Mithrandir||

    Or maybe the Reason writers think Trump holding free trade hostage has a small probability of leading to actually real, freer trade. If that is what you are inclined to believe (which isn't irrational given that we don't really know how it will turn out), holding the position that it would be better to unilaterally drop all our trade restrictions regardless of other countries' protectionism is a very rational argument in my opinion.

  • Mcgoo95||

    "Was the sum total more or less restrictionists? Time will tell. We don't know yet. NAFTA wasn't a good agreement. It caused far too much imbalance."

    So what your saying is we must pass it to find out what's in it? Sounds familiar.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks Trump for trying to negotiate lower trade restrictions for the USA.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Except that's not what he's doing. Being a statist protectionist, you should know that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is doing so well, that hordes of trolls are sent each day to sabotage discussions about his pros.

    Proof is in the pudding and Lefties are kicking and screaming to get out of the pudding that Trump got them to climb into. What morons.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    When you deal with China, you are dealing with the Communist central planners.

    Pragmatism is a biyotch.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    To combat central planning, WE need central planning.

    Do you actually read what you write?

  • JesseAz||

    When we deal with countries that have central planning and protectionist agendas we don't ignore facts and think they don't. Do you understand how naive you sound?

  • sarcasmic||

    Why does it matter what they do? They tell their producers what to do and limit what their consumers can buy. So that means it's naive to not want our government to tell our producers what to do and limit what we can buy?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor new troll who was summoned to the troll party.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "There is no downside to enriching Emperor for Life Xi. Libertarian Moment!"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic is not a Libertarian anyway. Hes an Anarchist.

    The quicker Trump and the USA fail and implode, the quicker Anarchyland will rise again....just like the Confederate States of America.

    Bottom line: People like Sarcasmic's bot programmers dont want the USA to get freer trade. NAFTA is a bureaucrat's tool to control trade and that is the status quo. The USA cannot turn things around and get better trade deals and freer trade. Trump must be stopped!

  • sarcasmic||

    yasafi

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor Sarasmic and his magical friends.

  • sarcasmic||

    old school cafehayek readers know what yasafi means. They've also forgotten more economics than you will ever know

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I take shits bigger than your brain capacity.

    Thanks for playing your band: Sarcasmic and his magical friends.

  • Zeb||

    So, anarchists want bureaucrats running trade? OK.

  • sarcasmic||

    I know. I'm simultaneously an anarchist who wants no government and a supporter of trade agreements that require big government. Contradictions taste good.

  • Myshkin78||

    You free trade, socialist, big government minarchists are all alike...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anything to get Anarchyland up and running.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Anarchists that are actually Communists- yeah

    The Anarchists that want no US Government at all, need the USA to implode and from the ashes will come Anarchyland!

  • Mcgoo95||

    And yet you somehow think that it is possible to achieve free trade. That is as stupid as believing a society can exist as perfect anarchy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You're trolling is pretty stupid.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    From reading your comments on here, you are not even remotely libertarian. Your every instinct is to fellate power and grovel to "great men", who you look to save you. You are not a man at all but a jellyfish. You hide your cowardice in rhetoric of "pragmatism". Cowards have done that for centuries. Please explain how you can be a libertarian and support the idea of a politician deciding who you can and cannot do business with? I could get behind your opposition to NAFTA, and almost believe your schtick about secretly wanting freedom, if you followed it with a call for unilateral U.S. free trade. But you don't do that. Instead you follow it with a textbook socialist economic analysis using the labor theory of value to peddle some ignorant tripe implying we export so we can create jobs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor troll.

  • Mcgoo95||

    It's because he's fucking statist masquerading as a libertarian.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    New angry trolls...how exciting!

  • buybuydandavis||

    The more the Left loses on the facts, the more it's all "you're a bad person".

    It's so boring and stupid.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Libertarian: I want less government in all aspects of life except when it comes to trade deals

    No, not at all.

    I want free trade and open borders. But I only want them after we have abolished the welfare state.

    As long as we have a welfare state and a highly progressive income tax scheme, it is taxpayers like me that pay the price for free trade and open borders, while other groups benefit.

  • JesseAz||

    Do you understand how much you demean your point hybassuming anyone who disagrees with your brand of libertarianism is an always trumper? You do have salient points at times, but you are ruining it for.this thread.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thing is, the loudest voices here are always trumpers. This place has been overrun with merchantilist conservatives who claim to be libertarians. It's become a fucking joke. It used to be a place for interesting debate. It used to be a place where I could learn something. Now anyone with a remotely libertarian viewpoint is shouted down by a half a dozen trump supporters.

    Immigration bad! MAGA! Unilateral free trade bad! MAGA! American jobs first! MAGA! Imports bad! MAGA! Exports good! MAGA! If you want less government you want no government! MAGA!

    MAGA!
    MAGA!
    MAGA!

    what a fucking joke

  • JesseAz||

    Palin and Jeff are pretty God Damn loud. So is Arthur and hihn.

    You demean your point and close yourself off to debate by writing off everyone who disagrees with you as having an immoral basis.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not everyone.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " the loudest voices here are always trumpers."

    We're not the loudest, we're just the most accurate.
    You don't have to be loud when you're right.

    The loudest are ninnies like you with their hysterical pants shitting fits.
    Case in point.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Thing is, the loudest voices here are always trumpers.

    That perception is a result of your own biases, not a result of cool, calm reflection.

    This place has been overrun with merchantilist conservatives who claim to be libertarians.

    This place has been overrun by progressive nincompoops who think that free drugs and free sex amount to libertarian principles. In reality, what you want is that taxpayers like me pay for the consequences of your personal foibles, like low cost Mexican nannies/whores, and cheap Chinese crap. Because when you say "libertarianism", what you want is the benefits of libertarian policies, while socializing the costs. That's not libertarianism.

    I don't like Trump and Trump clearly isn't a libertarian. But at least he doesn't pursue the foolish anti-libertarian agenda that you promote. That means that after Trump, there will at least be a country left to move in a more libertarian direction. People like you would simply destroy the country altogether with your selfishness and greed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic logic is that people mention the good and bad things Trump does, so....

    I can spout nonsense.

    A proud Anarchist would discuss Anarchy pros and cons as much as possible. Convince people.

    Not Sarcasmic! He doubles down on what he doubles down on.

  • Mcgoo95||

    It's because he's actually capable of arguing in good faith from a libertarian perspective. All you can do is toss out pejoratives and retreat from an argument. You want very badly to bear the mantle of libertarianism and even have the audacity to speak for people here, but you don't even have a grasp on simple libertarian principles. You are nothing more than a trump-republican.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    McGoop the trolls does not get paid if commenters ignore him.

  • buybuydandavis||

    New deal sounds better for American workers than the old deal.
    Winning.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The problem being that much of Trump's base are the people who never thought NAFTA was a good deal going back to the Ross Perot's voters.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It could be some people are not satisfied with NAFTA and want more free trade than NAFTA offers.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Then they shouldn't be too satisfied with this deal. More regulations in exchange for the same "free" trade.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your link keeps falling off.

    Hint: compare and contrast NAFTA and USCMA.

  • sarcasmic||

    linky, another linky

    Cue the Always Trumper to criticize the source while ignoring the content.

  • JesseAz||

    It's a bit to early to determine if the new deal is more balanced than the previous. Anyone making a claim on its merits at this point is ignorant. Even says it's basically the same. It was a set of one barriers for another. Vox even had faint praise.

    But pretending you know the outcome prior to results is silly.

  • JesseAz||

    Messed up links. Too lazy to r

  • JesseAz||

    To redo. Phone acting up.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Do we have to vote for the bill to see what's in it?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You COULD compare and contrast both NAFTA and USCMA, but you wont.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oops. SF'd another linky

  • Mcgoo95||

    Thanks for doing what comrade 1789 promised to do several articles ago but then never did.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    so no comparing and contrasting NAFTA and USCMA.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Imagine that the media does not compare and contrast much of the two trade treaties.

    IMAGINE!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We all know that trolls like Sarcasmic dont like to do work.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah, someone finally gives you the links you've been on your knees begging for, the links you refuse to find yourself, and all they are the ones who don't like to do work. Jesus you're a fucking dishonest piece of shit troll.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    That's not why he's on his knees. He's always on his knees, just in case Trump's around...

  • Mcgoo95||

    Exactly, he's a fucking worthless statist troll. Can't even argue in good faith.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You made the claims...back it up or remain the piece of shit that you are.

  • Mcgoo95||

    "You made the claims...back it up or remain the piece of shit that you are."

    Um he did. Are you also fucking blind as well as stupid?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    New trolls backing up the other trolls...

    Who would have ever thought.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    More country of origin regulations and minimum wage on the automotive industry. Tariffs on dairy exports to Canada reduced. The aluminum and steel tariffs stay in place. Some more IP protections.

    All in all, I'm not too impressed. A few benefits for a lot more regulations. The price of cars is sure to go up.

    Link.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Keep going, you got tons more comparing and contrasting of NAFTA and USCMA to do.

    My link to NAFTA rules is below in the thread.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    You've provided no link to compare and contrast anything. Sarcasmic and I have.
    Hint... this link might be helpful.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So, you refuse to compare and contrast NAFTA and USCMA.

    Just like before.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shame I was looking forward to you and Sarcasmic tag teaming hundreds of pages of NAFTA and USCMA to compare and contrast.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its clear that Leo and Sarcasmic refuse to compare and contrast NAFTA and USCMA to support their positions.

    Because their positions are shit.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I gave you the highlights. Do you agree that we need more regulations on the auto industry? Is it fair to trade that for slightly lower tariffs on dairy products?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Highlights dont cover your claim.

    Back it up or remain the piece of shit that you are.

    Do I need to blockquote your claims?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I claimed more regulations. It would be hard to argue that it's not, given the huge supply chain shocks that are going to be sent through the auto industry. You didn't answer my question... do you agree that we need more regulations on the auto industry? Are you for minimum wage restrictions? Because it seems that you might be arguing for them.

    I claimed the same free trade in return. That might not be 100% accurate. We actually guarantee less free trade than pre-Trump in keeping the ridiculous aluminum and steel tariffs. Canadians get fewer tariffs on US dairy, which is good. While not the same, it doesn't seem better enough to justify the necessary increase to the price of cars that we're going to see.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Leo Kovalensky II|12.6.18 @ 8:08AM|#
    Then they shouldn't be too satisfied with this deal. More regulations in exchange for the same "free" trade.
    Leo Kovalensky II|12.6.18 @ 8:23AM|#
    More country of origin regulations and minimum wage on the automotive industry. Tariffs on dairy exports to Canada reduced. The aluminum and steel tariffs stay in place. Some more IP protections.
    All in all, I'm not too impressed. A few benefits for a lot more regulations. The price of cars is sure to go up.
    Link.
    Leo Kovalensky II|12.6.18 @ 8:29AM|#
    I gave you the highlights. Do you agree that we need more regulations on the auto industry? Is it fair to trade that for slightly lower tariffs on dairy products?

    Back up your claim that USCMA is MORE regulations and that it is less free trade than NAFTA. I will accept YOU or Sarcasmic comparing and contrasting all of NAFTA vs USCMA. USA Today does not do anything but cherry pick 10 points out of hundreds of pages of NAFTA and USCMA. As you said, highlighting their biased position.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Are you disputing this:

    Stricter rules of origin for automobiles and parts
    Including a 75 per cent regional value content (RVC) requirement for passenger vehicles and light trucks; 75 per cent or less for parts; 70 per cent for steel and aluminum and minimum high-wage (US$16) labour value content requirements of 40/45 per cent for passenger vehicles and light trucks respectively.
    Because the new automotive rules of origin are prescriptive and complex, compliance is likely to be logistically and administratively challenging.

    link

    Do you agree that we need more regulations on the auto industry or not? My claim is that we do not. Nobody can be sure about what you claim beyond Trump is great.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So let me see if I understand LC1789's position here.

    He believes USCMA is "freer trade" than NAFTA, even though it is AT BEST a wash, and probably worse overall.

    And the only way he will ever change his mind is if you provide a Ph.D.-level dissertation comparing the entirety of the two mammoth treaties. By which point, LC will have moved on to his next #MAGA talking point.

    And if you do happen to provide this Ph.D.-level rigorous analysis, LC will pick nits to death, argue unfairly, and otherwise lead you to believe that you just wasted your time trying to argue in good faith with a pro-Trump troll.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nope. As usual, you cannot read Chemjeff.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Then make it crystal clear:

    Do you believe that we need more regulations in the automotive industry or not?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So, you refuse to compare and contrast NAFTA and USCMA?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Let us know when you're ready to debate this in good faith, NPC1789.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yeah, thanks for playing troll.

    Leo, makes claims and refuses to back them up.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Pay for my tariffs if you like them or fuck off slaver! Please send me a check for $500,000 that should cover me for the year. Pretty easy to act like a tough guy on the internet when it isn't YOUR MONEY! Or do you subscribe to the "You didn't build it" argument?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor trolls and their troll army to avoid talking about trade details.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Comrade1789 just got pwned.....big league. That was awesome,

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Any bets on which sock puppet McGoop95 belongs to?

  • Mcgoo95||

    The one that loves watching you get pwned.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor McGoop.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Which you, rather conspicuously, fail to do.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Another troll that wont back up their work.

    At least the web traffic is coming together.

  • Shirley Knott||

    I made no claims, other than the obviously true assertion that you don't back up your own claims.
    Or as someone recently said:

    loveconstitution1789|12.6.18 @ 8:29AM|#

    You made the claims...back it up or remain the piece of shit that you are.
  • Zeb||

    Yeah, dude. Everyone's a troll.

    When everyone else is always the problem, it's probably a good time to take a look at yourself.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor Knott, jumps in to back the people who refuse to back up their claims.

    Which is why you're a troll. You dont support your ridiculous claims either.

    You jump in to attack commenters requesting someone back up their claims.

  • Shirley Knott||

    The one making the claim was you.
    You failed to back it up.
    You have never backed it up.
    I, and many others, call you on it.
    You try to shift the burden of proof.
    You fail.
    The cycle continues.

    You are ignorant and uneducable. And apparently proud of it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So, Shirley wont back her buddy's claims up either....big surprise.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    If that is the case, why are those people not calling for unilateral free trade on the part of the U.S.?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump offered free trade and that was rejected. The goal now is some trade deal that is better for the USA.

    Unilateral trade is not as good for the USA since it keeps American exporters loaded with heavy foreign trade restrictions.

  • Jerryskids||

    If he withdraws and the Democrats pull out of the USMCA, he will have done more to bring about unfair trade to U.S. exporters than anyone before him.

    No, no, no, it won't be Trump's fault, it will be the Democrat's fault. Just like when Trump brags about increasing the military budget and blames Congress for the bloated budget. Same thing with the stock market, when it goes up that's Trump's doing and when it goes down that's someone else's doing. Anything good that happens is to his credit, anything bad that happens is not his fault. (Of course if you're a Democrat you just need to reverse the argument - anything bad that happens is Trump's fault, anything good is someone else's doing.)

    And it's not like Trump invented the single-edged sword, politicians have always taken credit for the good and denied responsibility for the bad. It's one of the drawbacks of democratic compromise, all sides get to say "See, if we'd done this my way, it would have worked" even if their disagreements over the best policy amount to arguing over which leg to amputate on a patient with a broken arm.

  • sarcasmic||

    Anything good that happens when the other team has power is because of the previous administration.

    Anything bad that happens when your team has power is because of the previous administration.

    Anything good that happens when your team has power is because of the current administration.

    Anything bad that happens when the other team has power is because of the current administration.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Because no NAFTA and no USCMA automatically means more 'unfair' trade.

    We all know that 'unfair' trade does not mean less free trade.

    Free trade means less rules and regulations for all parties involved in a trade.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Ok, so will you publicly call for unilateral free trade by the U.S.? Are you in agreement that this is the only stance by the government that is in line with the principals of individual freedom?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Free trade or as close to as Trump can get.

    Foreign nations want access to US markets, so get them to lower their trade restrictions to help American exporters get access to their markets.

    N-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-e

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "...President Trump is once again threatening to pull the plug on one of the best tariff-equalizing deals ever made: the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Your link fell off.
    NAFTA regulations

    NAFTA is not free trade, yet they trick you in the name.

  • sarcasmic||

    Haaaaa ha ha ha ha! Right on cue the Always Trumper says the economist is wrong because it isn't true free trade! You're as predictable as the sun! Haaa ha ha ha ha!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I get it. Sarcasmic is the trade article bot. Good to know.

  • sarcasmic||

    Always Trump! Always Trump! MAGA MAGA MAGA! Always Trump! Always Trump! MAGA MAGA MAGA!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Never Trump... Never MAGA...Anarchyland of bust!

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    If there is an Anarchyland of Busts, I'd like to be there. Busts or bust!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I agree, Minarchy is a joke.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Among Maxarchists...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Among unfunny people.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    if having the freedom to conduct business with people as I see fit, without the interference of petty bureaucrats, then I guess I'm an anarchist as well.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor trolls are fine with the bureaucrats controlling trade as it currently is under NAFTA.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • Peter Duncan||

    MakeAmericaGagAgain!

  • Peter Duncan||

    MericaAlwaysGrenadesAnyone?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Making American Great Again!

    Thanks Trump!

    Bonus is it makes Lefties and Anarchists super pissed off.

  • Peter Duncan||

    LoveCock, tell us when you think America was "great".

    What made it "great"?

    Why is it not "great" anymore?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA makes trolls angry!

  • Peter Duncan||

    You really do not know do you, troll?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor angry troll.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chinese troll be angry.

    MUST control American public opinion for Winnie the Poo and friends.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    It is sad to watch a grown man lavish such simpering, boot licking praise on another man. Have some pride. No self-respecting man worships or bends a knee for a politician or leader this way. You are just debasing yourself. Why not just offer up your wife for him to sleep with as well while you're at it?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How does Hillary's dick taste?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    mAgA!

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    The only conclusion i can come up with is that you fetishize being "taken" and "possessed" by a strong man.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The only conclusion is that you're another troll or sock puppet with nothing good to contribute.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Pretty sure you're the only one who has nothing useful to contribute. You can't even engage in an honest debate without just resorting to ad hominems. So far, you've labelled nearly everyone on here who has participated in these threads for many years as trolls. Pretty sure the only real troll here is you.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trolls hate Libertarian points of view.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Case in point.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    McGoop is all the proof you need.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Veronique de Rugy, another person who has zero idea what she is talking about but is pushing that propaganda.

    I also fail to see how the president sees a return to the pre-NAFTA world as advancing his goal of reciprocity in trade duties. Under NAFTA, all U.S. exports going to Mexico are duty-free, as are non-agricultural U.S. exports to Canada. Even in spite of the Canadians' high dairy duty, 97 percent of U.S. agricultural exports go to our neighbor to the north duty-free. In exchange, Mexico and Canada export their goods to us free of tariffs.

    NAFTA does not curtail all trade restrictions. It is NOT FREE TRADE.

    Here are all the rules and regulations of NAFTA illustrating why it is NOT free trade.
    NAFTA

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You're right, NAFTA is not free trade.
    Neither is USCMA free trade.

    So the question is, which is freer trade?

    Where is YOUR evidence that USCMA is better than the status quo?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Veronique makes these ridiculous claims and needs to back them up.

    She cant which is why her claims are propaganda.

    Chemjeff, Where is your evidence that you are not a pedophile?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I'm not asking you to prove a negative.

    I'm asking you to provide your evidence that USCMA is freer trade compared to NAFTA.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Fuck off troll.

    Veronique made the claim, she needs to back it up.

  • Peter Duncan||

    Because you really don't know, now do you, punk?

    LoveCock is merely a sock puppet who doesn't know anything and only goes by feelz.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    She's made her case, over and over.

    This is the type of crap that you do - try to dodge the question by inverting the burden of proof.

    Where is your case that USCMA is freer trade compared to NAFTA?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    poor trolls.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Where is your case that USCMA is freer trade compared to NAFTA?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trolls wont DO work but DEMAND work.

  • Mcgoo95||

    No asshole, you are the one who is looking like a fool by never providing a SINGLE source or link to back up your claims. Yet you demand others do, and then when they do you call them trolls and wont argue in good faith.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    New sad trolls.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Thanks for proving my point, Einstein.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trolls like Mcgoop _____ .

  • Mcgoo95||

    sad

  • loveconstitution1789||

    1. Trolls like Mcgoop are full of shit.

    2. Trolls like Mcgoop are liars.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    3. Trolls like Mcgoop are ignorant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    4. Trolls like Mcgoop are moronic

    5. Trolls like Mcgoop are outmatched every time.

  • Mcgoo95||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    6. Trolls like Mcgoop are unpaid when they dont get the last comment so their supervisor can see

  • Rational Exuberance||

    So the question is, which is freer trade?

    As long as the US has heavily regulated labor markets, an enormous system of entitlement programs, and highly progressive taxes, "freer trade" isn't a libertarian policy because it simply amounts taxpayers indirectly subsidizing the import of cheap foreign goods. Free trade only makes sense between entities with comparable regulatory and welfare regimes.

    So, the question is not "which is freer trade", the question is "which increases overall liberty for Americans". I don't know the answer to that, but it's just as likely USCMA than NAFTA.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Hillary would never have done this.

  • Peter Duncan||

    In LovesCock1789's world he will stop beating his children just as soon as his neighbor stops beating his own children.

    Somehow this will make his fantasy great again.

    LC is a true statist eagerly willing to impoverish anyone choosing to trade with another country, especially if that country is occupied by persons born with a different skin pigmentation from his own.

    All you need to know about him is that he's nothing more than a trigger little Progressive twat.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Peter Duncan, you're a true statist who loves to put Americans out of work and on taxpayer funded welfare programs, just so that you can enjoy the fruits of cheap Chinese manufacturing and cheap Mexican immigrant labor. Sure, that works great for you; it doesn't work well for people who actually pay taxes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

    The trolls are angry today.

  • Peter Duncan||

    Shouldn't you be lighting the candles around your Trump shrine, statist?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    See....angry the trolls are.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Any reasonable person reading this thread would recognize immediately that you are the troll here.

  • Peter Duncan||

    Get some fresh material, twat.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trolls....super angry!

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    I'm rubber yer glue

  • loveconstitution1789||

    New trolls are even angrier.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well, it is true that MAGA has never been a rallying cry for libertarians. MAGA in the sense of "Let's bring back all those jobs we lost to comparative advantage by institution proctionism!" has never been something championed by advocates for liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks Trump for trying to negotiate freer trade for the USA.

    Its why you're so popular.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Tariff Man" wants free trade. Suuuuuuuuuuure...

  • Mcgoo95||

    Tariff Man's superpower is destroying a thriving economy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump's gonna get reelected and nominate a new justice to replace RBG.

    Gonna be sweet!

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

  • JesseAz||

    I get confused how a lot of these writers don't realize that every country has protectionist practices. We aren't operating a clean and perfect world. Reason seems to be pushing a naive theory that if we just practice from a naive but pure agenda, others will follow suit. Do reason writers not go outside and see how humans are? You don't have to be naive to be a libertarian. Sometimes a string threat is required to get good agreement that is closer to a libertarian perspective. Mutually assured destruction can be just as conforming to an optimal ideal as smoking hashish in a hippie commune.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Meanwhile, Rome burns...

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You cannot control what others do, you can only control what you do.

    Others can be statist assholes. We can't stop that. We can only change what is in our power to change.

    Moreover, the existence of statist assholes elsewhere doesn't justify statist assholery for ourselves.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Yeah, but we've gotta win!... or something.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Amen. This should be the response to every idiotic statist non-rationalization on here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The newer angry trolls are even funnier than the trolls that were here earlier.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Others can be statist assholes. We can't stop that. We can only change what is in our power to change.

    Well, let's start with the "statist asshole" policies that actually matter much more than trade: income taxes, property taxes, entitlements, and welfare programs. Right now, the state takes more than half my income in the US. And if you put more Americans out of work by lowering trade and immigration barriers, my taxes go up.

    Moreover, the existence of statist assholes elsewhere doesn't justify statist assholery for ourselves.

    Yet, statist assholery is exactly what you advocate when you advocate lowering trade and immigration barriers without eliminating entitlement and welfare programs.

  • John||

    There is that and then there is the idea that placing tarriffs on a even a few hundred billion dollars worth of goods in a 20 trillion dollar economy or whatever it is we have amounts to some kind of "war on trade". The inconvient fact for both sides in this debate is that the trade deficit is booming. The fact that it is undercuts the claims made by Trump that these measures are going to solve the trade deficit, assuming you believe a trade deficit is one. It also undercuts the hysterical claims of Trump's critics that he is making war on trade and is going to destroy the world economy.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I think you're miss-characterizing the libertarian position. Trade is not a game to be won. Tariffs cause harm to the country that imposes them, because it is a tax on imports. Lowering tariffs unilaterally will be beneficial for the country that lowers the tariffs, regardless of how our trading partners react.

    Do reason writers not go outside and see how humans are?
    This is the same argument that the left uses for implementing regulations against domestic trade. Now you're using it to promote regulating international trade.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Trade is not a game to be won."

    Power is. And so Trade is.

    The US is in competition with China, and the outcome of that competition matters. Enriching the world's most populous and powerful dictatorship is not a Libertarian Moment.

    "This is the same argument that the left uses for implementing regulations against domestic trade. Now you're using it to promote regulating international trade."

    If your theorizing can't see the difference between trade with Emperor Xi and South Carolina, your theories have a serious flaw.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: JesseAz,

    I get confused how a lot of these writers don't realize that every country has protectionist practices


    And so if they shoot themselves in the foot, we should do so in... What? Reciprocity?

    SO WHAT if other governments restrict their buyers? Who cares? That's those buyers' problem, not mine.

    Reason seems to be pushing a naive theory that if we just practice from a naive but pure agenda, others will follow suit.


    Don't tell me you operate on the theory that you only do good things if everyone is good to you? Have you at least warned your neighbors about the monster that lives among them?

  • Zeb||

    I don't think it's as naive as you are saying. Many will argue that opening up trade more will benefit us whether or not others follow suit. I think that is at least mostly true. It worked well for Britain in the 19th century. It works for Hong Kong.

  • sarcasmic||

    Exactly. Advocates for unilateral free trade can find examples where it has worked. Opponents have nothing but "It's not fair if they have tariffs and we don't!"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your unilateral trade claim had its citation fall off.

  • sarcasmic||

    The history of 19th century Britain and of 20th century Hong Kong are well known among people who aren't completely ignorant of economics.

    Besides, if I provide a link it's not like you'll check it out and learn something. I'll save links for people who argue in good faith and are intellectually honest.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So no citations?

    Yeah, didnt think so.

  • sarcasmic||

    I provided you two links comparing NAFTA and USCMA, just like you asked. Sorry Lucy, but I'm not going to try to kick the ball again.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic lying again.

    NAFTA and USCMA have hundreds of pages each.

  • sarcasmic||

    The burden of proof is on those who want to replace NAFTA, not the other way around.

    Those who want change have the burden of proof, not the status quo.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Those who want change have the burden of proof, not the status quo."

    Libertarian Moment!

    What a clown. TDS is making you folks so stupid.

  • Ken Shultz||

    From a political perspective, what Trump is doing makes sense. If he wins reelection, it will be because he carries rust belt swing states again, and just because what he's doing is ultimately bad for those voters, that doesn't mean that isn't what those swing voters want him to do.

    I think Trump cares more about those voters than he does about having any free trade agreement with Mexico. If he gets the "blame" for destroying NAFTA, I'm not sure that hurts him with the voters he cares about most.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "what he's doing is ultimately bad for those voters"

    A dogmatic article of faith.

    Would you be better off by having your entire neighborhood thrown out of work for you saving a nickel on an air conditioner?

    That's the article of faith. The absolute only thing that determines in whether a tariff policy is bad for you is your point of sale consumer costs.

    Whether your neighbor has a job doesn't matter. Whether he pays taxes doesn't matter. Whether he's on the dole doesn't matter.

    Whether the US or China is the predominant power in the world doesn't matter.

    All that determines for whether a tariff is "bad" for you are your point of sale consumer costs.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I fail to see what leverage the president believes he has against the Democrats. For one thing, they have always largely opposed free trade in general. I doubt that moving away from trade liberalization will be a big problem for them."

    So, you're saying that the Democrats may let Trump take the credit for destroying NAFTA by blaming him for its loss?

    Trump's ultimate goal is not to persuade Democrat politicians. It isn't to persuade the unions' leadership either. If unionized workers in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and western Pennsylvania break for Trump again, it may be over the objections of their union leaders again. The unions' leadership, however, will fall in line with their pro-Trump dues-paying members eventually, and it's possible that the Democrats could become the party of free trade over the long run.

    Even if the Democrats lose the white, blue collar, middle class in the Midwest, they would likely keep the support of government employee and their unions. After all, has a government employee ever lost his or her job because of free trade?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Ken Shultz,

    Trump's ultimate goal is not to persuade Democrat politicians.


    Perhaps. Actually, no one knows the ultimate goal of Tariff Man!

  • Ken Shultz||

    It really isn't that confusing.

    Trump has consistent ideas on trade. He's anti-free trade, and he's been consistently against free trade since the 1980s.

    He also wants to get reelected, and that largely depends on consolidating the support of swing voters in the rust belt.

    The problem with the idea that you look to see who benefits from something in order to tell what people are doing and why is that it assumes that people know what's in their own best interests. I've made a career out of showing some really smart people that they're wrong about their own best interests, showing them what their best interests really are, and then helping them do that. Trump is wrong about what's in the best interests of the country on trade, but the blue collar workers in the rust belt are wrong about that, too--and that's why pushing for what they want is in Trump's best interests if he wants to be reelected. If we fall into recession between now and 2020, all bets are off because recessions make people crazy--it makes it even harder for them to tell what's in their own best interests. They just know they want something different than what they're experiencing. Again, assuming that people are rational in matching what they want and what's in their best interests is probably a mistake. Markets are amazing because price signals, etc. make people smarter than they would be otherwise about that. Carrying that phenomenon over into electorial politics is a mistake.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Unless he changes his tune on trade he wont carry michigan again. Workers in the state are feeling the pain much more directly than Trump probably counted on. And the timing of it leaves little doubt as to the cause. Trump can blame private companies for plant closures all he wants, but with more and more closures, his claims begin to look like weak sauce. I saw similar rhetoric from Obama and the far left during the occupy movement, which also didn't play well in Detroit. The lefties tried to paint companies as greedy and evil for worrying about profits and their bottom line instead of "the workers". Trump's rhetoric is more of the same leftist, union tripe.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Will those workers blame Trump for GM closing plants, or will they blame GM? Am I to understand those workers blame Trump because of his stance against free trade? Again, we probably shouldn't assume that people will assign blame as they should.

    Obama blamed the bank bailouts on the banks. I still blame the bank bailouts on Bush and Obama bailing out the banks. Even in retrospect, voters don't always assign blame as they should.

    Regardless of whether Trump's tariffs are responsible for those plant closures, Trump will blame them on GM. I'm not sure those union workers have suddenly changed their tune on free trade just because they lost their jobs--even IF IF IF tariffs are the real reason they lost them. They may be more inclined to blame free trade for the loss of those jobs--especially if they're already anti-free trade.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Congress was also to blame for TARP bailouts and many of those Congressmen got hammered.

    Some weathered the storm.

    Since I look at how the media reacts and issues propaganda accordingly, the media is scared shitless that Trump will come out ahead on trade, the economy, and GM layoffs.

    The midterms did not go as planned for Democrats in the rust belt areas. As you can see from this NYT map of the midterms, its still a sea of Red. More importantly, the rust belt is mostly Red.
    NYT election map

    The Democrats did get some surprising wins and so did the GOP. Many of the wins were in districts that I was shocked that Republicans even won elections past.

    Hundreds of thousands of GOP voters did not vote in the midterms for whatever reason, while nearly every Democrat voter who wanted to vote, did. Maybe the RINOs got the boot because Republicans did not want to vote for them or Democrat opponents. Maybe voter turnout was the only reason for GOP loses.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As you point out, the Americans workers are wrong about what is best for the USA and them but you can push the truth and not get voted in or use the wiggle room and get elected.

    Same with national debt and old people on Social Security and Medicare. The truth does not get you elected.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly Ken.

    Trump knows that he cannot win union leaders and Democrat leadership. They cannot afford to side with Trump because it takes away reasons to give Democrats and therefore Unions money.

    Trump wants the American workers to vote for him again.

    Democrats are not for free trade either, so trump is taking away their talking points. IIRC you or John did an outstanding series of comments on this Trump tactic and it worked for Trump.

    If Trump and the GOP legalized weed federally, the Democratic Party would see a mass exodus since the Democrats would offer little that the GOP does. Trump offers record unemployment and lower taxes for all.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The unions' leadership, however, will fall in line with their pro-Trump dues-paying members eventually, and it's possible that the Democrats could become the party of free trade over the long run."

    Globalists on the Left, nationalists on the Right.

    The Left has determined that a wholly government dependent underclass is a much more dependable voting bloc than the working class, especially when you can keep importing them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The burden of proof is on those who say we should keep NAFTA, not the other way around.

    Those who dont want change have the burden of proof.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    so are you calling for unilateral free trade?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Im calling for the trolls to put up something substantial positions with support or fuck off.

  • sarcasmic||

    How's this?

  • Ken Shultz||

    When I get this from lefties (which loveconstitution is not!), I'll sometimes hand them this quote to chew on:

    "First of all, whatever you may say about the benefits of free trade, most of those benefits have already been realized."

    ----Paul Krugman

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05......html?_r=0

    In loveconstitution's and sarcamic's case, I think you two may be talking past each other when you're talking about the "benefits".

    I suspect sarcasmic is talking about the benefits of free trade for American consumers, the standard of living, the check on inflation, etc.

    I suspect loveconstitution is talking about wage growth and unemployment.

    People in the rust belt who lost their jobs to foreign competition are not necessarily better off because they can save money on consumer discretionary items that they can no longer afford to buy, which is another way of saying that not everyone benefits from trade equally. Creative destruction can benefit the economy as a whole and can benefit the overwhelming majority of people--at the expense of those who were creatively destroyed. Those people's losses are real, and they may never recover to what they had before in their lifetimes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    My position is free trade but since that wont happen, my pragmatism dictates that we get as close as is good for the USA. By "good", I mean lowest trade restrictions possible and least onerous restrictions for America.

    Americans are sick of politicians creating creative destruction every 2 years.

    The USA can do better than NAFTA. Trump has already cracked our trading partner's promises to not work with Trump to lower trade restrictions. NAFTA was better than many trade deals before it.

    Sarcasmic, if hes a real person and not a troll bot, has heard my same positions time and time again.

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    Trump has "cracked our trading partner's promises to not work with Trump to lower trade restrictions"? How so? Do you mean Canada's agreement to allow the US access to 3.6% of its dairy market even though Canada had already agreed to allow access to 3.3% under the now-dead TPP? I wonder when he'll do away with our tariffs on Japanese automobiles since the Japanese do not have any tariffs on ours.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Canada, china, mexico, and the EU refused Trump's offer of free trade and effectively said that they would not cater to Trump's demands for lower trade restrictions.

    They all cracked within 6 months.

  • buybuydandavis||

    You've identified the next higher order effect beyond your point of sale costs.

    Keep going.

    If you don't see the effect on *you* of those people in the Rust Belt not having jobs, you haven't thought hard enough about this.

    If you don't see the effect on *you* of enriching the most powerful dictatorship in the world, you haven't thought hard enough about this.

  • Mithrandir||

    "When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo."

    Emphasis mine. Link

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Aw, dont read into the sarcasm at all. It might scare you.

    The claim is that NAFTA is better than what Trump is doing to try and reduce trade restrictions. Prove it. You and your little trolls, cite and convince us Libertarians.

    Emphasis mine.

  • Mithrandir||

    The claim is that a change is better than the status quo. Generally the burden of proof lies with the claim that challenges the status quo. Put up or shut up ILC. Your intellectual dishonesty is getting tedious.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    President Trump is once again threatening to pull the plug on one of the best tariff-equalizing deals ever made: the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Shut up you fucking liar.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I don't know if that strategy will succeed, but it's incredibly inconsistent with his stated goal of wanting lower and reciprocal tariffs on U.S. exports.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If he withdraws and the Democrats pull out of the USMCA, he will have done more to bring about unfair trade to U.S. exporters than anyone before him.

  • Mithrandir||

    "one of the best tariff-equalizing deals ever made: the North American Free Trade Agreement."

    Name 3 historical trade agreements that were better for free trade than NAFTA.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I didnt make the claim, Veronique did.

  • Mithrandir||

    Okay, I'll make the claim that NAFTA is one of the best historical trade deals for moving the negotiating parties closer to free trade. To backup my claim, I will say that there are not 3 historical trade deals that were better for moving their negotiating partners to free trade. I point to their abscence as evidence.

    Do you disagree? If you do, please outline your counterpoints, I would be interested in seeing some actual examples. If you can't, I'm not sure what you're really wringing your hands for.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Who cares what you say troll.

  • Echospinner||

    OT but it is snowing today. This made me think of one of my favorite winter songs.

    Catch it while you can before it is banned everywhere. The classic duet Baby its Cold Outside.

    The song first appeared in the movie Neptunes Way for which it received an academy award. It has been covered by countless artists and remains a classic in the American songbook.

    The original from the movie is in two parts the first part performed by Ricardo Montelbon and Esther Williams then it switches with Red Skelton and Betty Garett reversing the usual male/female roles.

    This is what SJWs want to ban in the name of social progress.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7MFJ7ie_yGU

  • M.L.||

    "There may be good policy in retaliations of this kind, when there is a probability that they will procure the repeal of the high duties or prohibitions complained of. The recovery of a great foreign market will generally more than compensate the transitory inconveniency of paying dearer during a short time for some sorts of goods. To judge whether such retaliations are likely to produce such an effect, does not, perhaps, belong so much to the science of a legislator, whose deliberations ought to be governed by general principles, which are always the same, as to the skill of that insidious and crafty animal vulgarly called a statesman or politician, whose councils are directed by the momentary fluctuations of affairs."

    -- Adam Smith

  • buybuydandavis||

    "insidious and crafty animal"

    That's my President!
    MAGA!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thank God for Trump.

  • M.L.||

    "It will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign industry for the encouragement of domestic industry, when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter. In this case, it seems reasonable that an equal tax should be imposed upon the like produce of the former. This would not give the monopoly of the borne market to domestic industry, nor turn towards a particular employment a greater share of the stock and labour of the country, than what would naturally go to it. It would only hinder any part of what would naturally go to it from being turned away by the tax into a less natural direction, and would leave the competition between foreign and domestic industry, after the tax, as nearly as possible upon the same footing as before it."

    --Adam Smith

  • buybuydandavis||

    "when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter"

    Like employment taxes? Corporate taxes? Income taxes?

    Luckily we don't have any of those!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trade restrictions include all those costs to trade.

    Reason and it trolls pnly discuss Trump tariffs. They ignore trade restrictions. All costs to business started on jan 20, 2017.

  • M.L.||

    "It will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign industry, for the encouragement of domestic industry, when some particular sort of industry is necessary for the defence of the country. The defense of Great Britain, for example, depends very much upon the number of its sailors and shipping. Defense is of much more importance than opulence."

    --Adam Smith

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Defense is of much more importance than opulence."

    A clever fellow in this thread said:
    The US is in competition with China, and the outcome of that competition matters. Enriching the world's most populous and powerful dictatorship is not a Libertarian Moment.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +10

  • M.L.||

    Exactly right.

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    "The bottom line is that if President Trump believes unfair trade is defined by other countries imposing higher tariffs on U.S. exporters than the U.S. imposes on them, he needs the current NAFTA in place in case the Democrats reject the USMCA."

    Actually Trump thinks unfair trade is defined by other countries having a trade surplus, and even if it doesn't it may still be trading "unfairly."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You're citation fell off.

  • Echospinner||

    Unfair trade is how Trump thinks. He also thinks that trade is zero sum.

    Playing with other people's money is win - win.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Playing with other peoples money is the status quo. All the trade restrictions costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Trump is trying to reduce that burden on Americans.

    Luckily, china, the EU, Canada, and Mexico cracked eithin 6 months.

  • Echospinner||

    Luck

    Heh let's have some drinks and fun at the casino.

    That is luck.

  • vek||

    As much as I agree in the vague idea of what Trump is trying to do... He's not doing a great job of it.

    He should have drafted a boilerplate bilateral free trade agreement, and then sent negotiators to practically every country on earth. Tell them we're willing to do a few very minor tweaks, but this is mostly the deal. Take it or leave it. With nations where we don't have good deals already, we have nothing much to lose.

    We could potentially threaten to whack some countries with a stick if we actually cared about a certain nation lowering tariffs on our goods or whatever. Any which way, it would be a good broad way to go about it. Offer carrot of US market access to nations that don't have good agreements with us as yet, and offer sticks to those that have unfair practices on our exports and we take it easy on theirs. Simple.

    The devil would be in the details of course, but this would be a systematic and logical way to go about it. It would likely get decent results too, at least with a lot of smaller nations most likely.

  • Echospinner||

    What is he trying to do?

    Score points on the media. Increase his fan base.

  • M.L.||

    It's not that simple, my friend. True free trade with China would mean drastic reform of its entire government and internal policy. That's not something that can be forced from the outside in any kind of immediate way. A lot of other countries are in a much better position, though.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    China is very dependant on trade with the USA.

  • M.L.||

    I agree but dealing with China is going to be a protracted effort. I think we just need to stop trading with them so much and allow trade flows to redirect to other countries. The tariffs need to stay.

  • vek||

    Well, on the whole they would need to make a lot of changes... But no particular thing would cause too big a ripple right off. I think we could get them to cave to a few of the bigger issues right away with the threat of major retaliation if they don't.

    Their economy is simply too dependent on exporting to the US. We could throw them into a depression literally tomorrow if we felt like it... Any, or indeed all, of the things they need to change would NOT throw them into a depression. So the choice is clear for them.

    Other than some of the direct subsidy stuff, we could get everything we need without it causing much more than a hiccup for them in the immediate future. Low/no tariffs on our goods, better IP protections, no more required joint venture nonsense, etc. All that is totally doable. Currency manipulation and direct subsidies not so much, but we could probably also get them to work on that stuff a bit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +100

  • Rockabilly||

    I'll trade you one pound of home grown marijuana for 1,000 hits of LSD.

    Deal?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I fail to see what leverage the president believes he has against the Democrats. For one thing, they have always largely opposed free trade in general. I doubt that moving away from trade liberalization will be a big problem for them. Besides, since Trump's election, the Democrats' strategy has consisted of opposing him at every turn. With this ultimatum, Trump is giving them a golden opportunity to do just that. The cherry on top is that he will likely be blamed for the economic downfall that would inevitably follow the end of NAFTA."

    This is so delusional.

    The Globalist establishment is entirely for sticking it to the American working class. It's been a couple of decades since the Left viewed the working class any anything but the enemy.
    Blame is assigned to people who get their way. If the Dems reject USMCA, they get the blame for resulting problems. Trump gets the blame only if USMCA goes through.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    The bottom line is that if President Trump believes unfair trade is defined by other countries imposing higher tariffs on U.S. exporters than the U.S. imposes on them

    The bottom line is that the US has millions of men who have permanently left the workforce and are dependent on government handouts because they can't compete with men in Europe or China. That's both an economic and a social problem, and if it takes trade restrictions to address that problem, then so be it. Whether it's "fair" or "unfair" is irrelevant.

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