The U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea tripled during the first full month the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement was in force, amid a slight decrease in the overall U.S. goods and services deficit that month, according to April trade data released last week by the Commerce Department. The bilateral FTA went into effect on March 15.
via Eyes on Trade: Korea trade deficit balloons under NAFTA-style deal.
Cheap imports at the expense of a deficit in exports.
According to the leaked excerpt, the Obama administration has been considering TPP provisions that would allow foreign corporations operating within the United States to appeal regulations on the environment and banking that would be forced on American-owned businesses with no chance of reprieve. While the United States could be sanctioned for failing to impose regulations on American-run businesses, multinational corporations are practically encouraged to do as much because the TPP outlines a clear avenue to file an appeal. If one of the eight Pacific nations chooses to do as much, their plea would be heard by an international tribunal that could overrule US law.
via TPP secrets: Obama covertly granting more power to multinational corporations — RT.
This is just like the WTO agreement. You’re going to allow an international body to overrule US law? Yet, the United States can’t even get the Law of the Sea convention ratified?
Ron Kirk is a person who flies under the radar in the Washington press corps. You don’t hear his name mentioned a lot by the likes of Chris Matthews and others. It’s probably because trade issues aren’t sexy enough I suppose. Well, other than during presidential campaigns when NAFTA was actually discussed because Obama criticized what Clinton had supported.
But the question to ask is this: how is some of the trade deals under this administration any worse than NAFTA? Just look at what the USTR wants to do with Trans-Pacific Partnerships.
69 Members of Congress (68 democrats and one republican) sent a letter to President Obama urging him to reconsider US proposals for the TPP that would effectively ban popular Buy American and buy local government contracting policies. An article in the Huffington Post called it a congressional “revolt”.
See that? You even got one Republican to actually care! As to Ron Kirk my question is: why are you kneecapping domestic manufacturers with your TPP deal? Is there some grand scheme that you’re pursuing?
I read about this WTO ruling against China earlier this week and was meaning to blog about it.
The decision announced today by the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a huge victory for American workers. In clear and unequivocal language, the WTO stated that China’s decision to limit the export of key raw materials violated the commitments China made when it joined the WTO.
People don’t realize how protective an economy China really is. They manipulate their currency and restrict imports. In this case China restricted exports of raw materials because it went against their national economic interests.
In 2007, Congress put conditions on any pilot program that would allow Mexican trucks onto US highways. Apparently the Obama administration has been ignoring many of those conditions.
Under the program, Mexico-domiciled trucks entering the United States do not need to show that they are built to U.S. safety standards, nor do drivers of these trucks need to meet all physical standards required of U.S. drivers. Furthermore, the administration did not follow proper procedures when conducting an environmental impact assessment. The program does not even serve its stated purpose of evaluating the ability of Mexico-domiciled trucks to operate safely in the United States, since there is no plan to collect a statistically valid sample of program participants. Finally, Congress insisted that any pilot program achieve comparable access for U.S. trucks in Mexico, but due to the limited availability of certain fuels, the program does not guarantee reciprocal access to Mexico for U.S. trucks.
Krugman notes – and we have pointed out previously – that U.S. GDP growth is dragged down by the trade deficit. When U.S. consumers spend money on imported goods rather than domestically-produced goods, there is less output from U.S.-based producers, factories shut down, and workers lose their jobs. Since studies have predicted that the Korea FTA will lead to an increase in the deficit, implementation of the Korea FTA will likely stunt the economic recovery and destroy American jobs.
via Eyes on Trade: Krugman Slams Korea FTA.
I wonder what economist Ha-Joon Jang would say about this.
I found this post rather interesting. It would appear that there are corporations that object to NGO’s sitting on the ITAC and working with the United States Trade Representative.
Two witnesses who function as ITAC chairmen testified that the increased presence of NGOs onMonogamy ITAC could dilute the effectiveness of the ITAC system, a claim echoed by some Republican members of the subcommittee.
The Trade Advisory Committees (TACs) are (mostly) corporate, who get privileged access to USTR and negotiating documents – including lots of stuff that Congress and the public don’t even get to see.)
We need to have NGO’s working with the USTR to counter balance corporate America. Trade is extremely important concerning many issues related to social justice and &c. Weed need trade policies that aren’t going to treat people like numbers, inputs or commodities. This is where NGO”s can play an important role.
This is rather sad and pathetic if you ask me.
We heard Bill O’Reilly is having trouble finding American-made T-shirts to sell in his Patriot Store. We know he’s heartbroken because, after all, what good is a Patriot Store if its products are made in El Salvador or Haiti?
O'Reilly said that he can't get the volume of shirts he needs made in America. It seems that the AFL-CIO has come to his rescue!
A spokeswoman from Image Pointe, based in Waterloo, Iowa, says the company has 40,000 T-shirts on hand, and another 200,000 easily accessible from their vendor. That’s on hand, instant delivery. After that, the company can churn out 10,000 T-shirts a day. The shirts are made in places like Chicago, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas and San Francisco. That is, made in the USA. And all made by union members.
Not enough T-shirts there for you, Bill?
Posted via email from Jason’s posterous
Let it be known that if Grover Norquist and a lot of conervatives had their way we’d face this problem all the time.
After investigation, it was found that the couches were packed with sachets containing dimethly fumarate (DMF), an antifungal agent intended to prevent the leather from getting moldy during storage and shipment from China. The chemical evaporates, penetrating the leather and can transfer to clothing and skin. Even small levels of exposure can cause serious skin sores, blisters, rashes and eye irritation. And some victims have reported that their problems have persisted long after the couch has been put on the curb.
On May 1, the European Union and British governments ordered a recall of all products containing dimethyl fumarate.
The European Union is always out there unafraid to regulate on a lot of things. I hope that one day we’d see a return of that vigilance in our government.
People should know by now that there is no such thing as a “free market” or “free trade”. While I accept that markets are the best way for society to organize commerce and &c. That doesn’t mean those markets go unregulated or poorly regulated.
Over at Joe’s Union Review he’s asking for some help….
Your help is needed! During this time of economic downturn and continuing job losses, we need to reiterate our opposition to trade deals left over from the Bush Administration, such as the Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Panama FTA is modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and should not be approved by Congress. Congress should not continue the Bush legacy of bad trade agreements, which cost jobs and hurt families.
We especially should not enter into a trade agreement with Panama, a country known as a tax haven for multinational corporations. A Government Accountability Office study identified Panama as one of eight countries listed on all the major tax haven watchdog lists. A trade agreement with Panama only perpetuates the use of this country as a tax haven and a money laundering center.
There’s an e-Action that you can take part in here.