It doesn’t matter how many times now-President Donald Trump declares his love for free trade.
It doesn’t matter how many times people like us express the exact same enamor.
Ignoramuses still insist on calling us anti-free trade.
What we are – is opposed to the titanically stupid fake free trade to which we have been for so long subjected.
Trump was explaining exactly that on The Oprah Winfrey Show…thirty-two years ago – when he was still just a real estate mogul:
“We let Japan come in and dump everything right into our markets. It’s not fair trade. If you ever go to Japan right now and try to sell something – forget about it, Oprah, just forget about it. It’s almost impossible….
“They come over here, they sell their cars, their VCRs – and they knock the hell out of our companies. And hey – I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people. You can respect someone that’s beating the hell out of you. But they are beating the hell out of this country.”
If you allow a country unfettered access to your market – but they allow only very limited access to their market – what is going on is NOT free trade.
Communist China has mass-added a new facet of fake free trade – the government subsidy.
China’s government enslaving people to work for free for Chinese companies is a humanitarian abomination – and the cruelest of government subsidies. Because US companies have to adhere to the Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment and, you know, pay their employees.
China’s government handing tons of cash to Chinese companies – allows Chinese companies to charge tons less for their stuff. Which undercuts US companies charging, you know, actual market prices for their stuff.
Of course it ain’t just China subsidizing like crazy.
More than seven years ago – when Trump was still a real estate and reality television mogul – we wrote this:
“Brazil’s gi-normous sugar industry (receives)…huge Brazilian subsidies – $2.5 billion worth last year alone.”
And Brazil has subsidized about $2.5 billion per annum – each and every annum since. It’s almost hard to believe that Brazil controls almost half of the entire 100-plus country global sugar market.
Government subsidies – ain’t free trade.
Then there’s the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Given our long, abysmal history with other global entities – the United Nations, the World Health Organization – Trump’s skepticism of the WTO is not only understandable…it’s the only rational state of mind.
Speaking of Communist China – they are excellent at corrupting global entities. Granted – the global entities would be corrupt with or without Communist China. But these days China is far-and-away the world’s highest briber.
“Despite accusations of human rights violations, Beijing is in charge of free speech appointments.”
Did the WTO escape Communist China’s corrupting? Heavens no:
“After joining the WTO,…China gamed the organization, pursuing a mercantilist policy in a supposedly free-trade body. China stole intellectual property, forced technology transfers from foreign businesses and continued managing its economy in authoritarian ways.”
None of which has anything to do with free trade. Nor does a WHOLE LOT of other things in which the WTO engages.
Hence the Trump Administration’s WTO skepticism.
Which ignoramuses the world over have incorrectly assessed. And incorrectly folded into their incorrect assertions of Trump being anti-free trade.
“The international trading order is weakening as a result of U.S. actions.”
Get that? Decades of Communist China’s anti-trade corruption didn’t “weaken…the international trading order.” Trump trying to fix it has.
That makes…no sense whatsoever.
Which brings us to Trump’s US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Who on Friday in the Wall Street Journal addressed the Administration’s approach to the WTO – and its very many necessary reforms.
“The WTO needs to return to the vision of equal rules for all….
“The international trading system has devolved into one of wildly uneven tariffs, rules that apply to some countries but not others, and scores of so-called free-trade agreements that in many cases codify protectionism and undermine the core WTO principle of most-favored-nation treatment.
“At the same time, the WTO’s dispute-settlement system rewards litigation over negotiation and has attempted to create a jurisprudence often divorced from the text of the rules agreed to by the WTO’s member states.”
Sounds like Lighthizer and his boss – oppose all of this anti-free trade WTO nonsense. It’s almost as if they want…actual free trade. Ignoramuses’ assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.
And Lighthizer and his boss – want to mend the WTO, not end it. Ignoramuses’ assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.
There are some non-ignoramuses out there – who understand this.
“US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has outlined a five-point plan to overhaul the World Trade Organization as the body searches for a new leader.”
The five points – are through and comprehensive. Again, please read them for yourselves.
Suffice to say – the WTO is currently an anti-free trade mess.
To want to clean it up – makes you about the biggest actual free trader there is.
This first appeared in Red State.