USTR Froman's exit memo attempts to cast misguided failures as success

January 05, 2017


U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman views the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a crowning trade achievement of the Obama administration despite the deal's highly uncertain future, suggesting in an “exit memo” this week that the incoming Trump team use it to “shape” globalization.

[Daily News| January 7, 2016 |Inside US Trade]

Agreements like TPP “offer a positive vision for American leadership in the global economy,” he writes in the nine-page document, released Jan. 5. “This vision is vitally important, because in the absence of U.S. guidance and leadership, the world is likely to turn to alternative policy models that will put the United States at a permanent disadvantage.”

The memo cites a familiar litany of Obama administration trade policy arguments, insisting that the U.S. must lead in the Asia-Pacific or cede important ground to China. It also touts what Froman sees as a very strong enforcement success record, noting that every World Trade Organization case it has brought has ended in the United States' favor.

Read more at Inside US Trade

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  • Mark Sanguinetti
    Michael Froman has primarily promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the United States by mentioning increased U.S. exports that he says this agreement will result in. While doing this he deceptively or ignorantly ignores our nations high amount of imports. He has been trying to get people to ignore how trade between nations is calculated with exports minus imports equaling the trade balance of a nation. For trade between nations this is the equivalent of a fourth grade math student when taking an exam ignoring the minus signs (-) and only looking at the plus (+) signs. Could that student get a good passing grade? No and only if the teacher also ignored the minus (-) sign in writing the test.
  • Mark Sanguinetti
    People like U.S. trade representative Michael Froman who favors the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are now acting as lobbyists for multi-national companies so that the companies can outsource production to foreign countries where they can get cheap labor through the overvalued U.S. dollar compared to undervalued foreign currencies, for example in China and Vietnam. Also so they can avoid U.S. Taxes. Very small taxes on U.S. imports with much higher overall taxes on U.S. manufactured goods and their productive workers does NOT follow the original U.S. constitution and has resulted in very high yearly U.S. trade deficits.

    Should any person representing their country as a trade representative when writing or talking about trade only mention exports and other related words such as exported, export, exporting, etc., and never mention import and its related words? As an example an article by Michael Froman published on May 10, 2015 in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper has twelve usages of export and related words, with seven additional export usages in a chart as part of the article. There are zero usages of import and its related words. Shouldn’t a trade representative when writing about trade, be concerned with the trade balance of their nation? Balance of trade is the largest component of a country’s balance of payments. It is the difference between a country’s imports and its exports. A country has a trade deficit if it imports more than it exports. The opposite scenario is a trade surplus. Froman never mentions our high U.S. imports, which lose real wealth creating United States production and also lose higher paying jobs for the majority of U.S. employees with less tax revenue flowing into the United States treasury.