The Failure of Free Trade and US Leadership

November 18, 2014


In listening to Dr. Gomory's presentation and Q&A yesterday, sponsored by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA),  I came away more concerned than ever about the future of our Country and our ability to lead the world in a positive way.

[by Dan DiMicco | November 16, 2014 | dandimicco.com]

To be a leader for good in the world we must have a strong economy and a strong military. Our economy ,to be strong, must be based on creating, making, and building things with a service sector that supports this real wealth creation engine. An engine that supports the growth of a vibrant and growing MiddleClass and shrinks, not expands economic disparity. To have a strong military for good, we must have a strong and vibrant economy! It does not work in reverse, just ask the old USSR.

The very bad news for us and the world is that our principal global competitor, China, understands this all too well and is busily building their economic strength at the direct expense of the USA. Now China has a right to become an economic superpower. That's not where the problem is. The problem is that both our political and business leadership have significantly undermined our global competitiveness. How? By allowing the international laws of trade to be completely under minded by the massive trade mercantilism of the Chinese government. This includes first and foremost their massive manipulation of their currency vs the US Dollar and their massive government ownership of their economy thru SOE's, State Owned Enterprises, and massive government subsidies for exporting and massive non-tariff trade barriers to our imports. They top it all off with rampant and  massive stealing of our Companies/Country's IP. They do this while polluting their and our environment at levels never before seen in world history.

They have not lived up to a single agreement on trade or other areas in the last 30 years and yet our leadership believes they will honor new agreements like the recent global warming agreement. An agreement that even if they honored it, allows them to continue their historical pollution levels, in every area, for the next 15-20 years unabated. Yet forces us to reduce our CO2 footprint when we are the only country in the world to already have significantly reduced our carbon footprint by over 30% in the last decade or more. Their lack of environmental action, on every front, has allowed them to further keep their costs low vs us because we have led the world in being environmentally responsible across the board, much to our economic disadvantage.

This has been going on with the blessing of both multinational businesses leaders and our financial sector and our government in Washington, both R's and D's administrations. The last one to get it right on trade, as I have said many times before, was the Reagan Administration.

My extreme frustration comes from this fact that as many multinational companies work to take care of their shareholders, as they should, they can and often work in complete opposition to doing what's right for America and Americans. Patriotism really has little place in the Board Room and maybe that is the way it should be. But that's not how it should be in Congress or the Whitehouse! Our elected representatives need to recognize the real world of highly competitive and anything goes world of global trade and economic activity. There is no such thing as ' Free Trade', ALL trade is Managed and managed to their advantage by countries/governments, including massive cheating and illegally ignoring the rules of trade that all have agreed to abide by.

The biggest mechanism for the cheating is known as trade mercantilism, which is what free trade was theorized to stop and the WTO is supposed to police as well as, in our case, our Federal Government. The greatest perpetrator in the history of the world is China and the greatest enabler of this behavior is our leadership in Washington, our Government! The ones American workers and domestic manufacturers rely on to enforce the trade agreements. This has been true since Reagan left office. During his leadership both R's and D's focused on holding countries accountable for breaking trade agreements and did so effectively. Every Congress and Administration since then, while taking actions to fix small trade wounds, have ignored the causes of massive hemorrhaging occurring in our Economy, destruction of our Manufacturing sector and the resulting destruction of our Middle Class.

This is the real culprit behind the wealth gap that has soared in the last 20 years and in particular, the last 7.

To be continued......... America Wake -up!

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