Days of Change

Trading Our Life Away | June 12, 2015

The headline for me today is “The legislative process makes no sense.”

What we call “fast track” authority is actually two things, one is Trade Adjustment Authority and the other is Trade Promotion Authority. Since we are not allowed to know what the trade agreements say, the titles are all we get. For whatever reason, the TPA passed, but the TAA did not. While this trade bill is a White House priority, the Democrats (who are facing elections in just over a year) oppose parts of it. The administration now has to rely on the Republicans to do Obama’s bidding… again.

Fair trade is a good idea in theory, but in practice, every other country practices levels of protectionism. They’ll let us buy from them, but they make it more difficult for us to compete in their markets. It’s not only tariffs, but their own promotion of domestic industry to make them competitive over us. Presidents always seem to want the ability to create these deals fast and without oversight, probably because Americans hate them.

I literally got into an argument 12 hours ago about my own company about manufacturing domestically. The current plan is to turn the clock back about 5 years and start assembling a product in the USA from parts made in China. The parts thing is unavoidable. Most US fabrication houses are expensive and don’t have enough customers to get prices down. We kind of tried to get fabrication domestically.

The latest proposition is that some lower assemblies would be better handled outside of our production facility. This way lies madness. We are a horrible distribution company. We can’t put in these orders in a timely enough manner to have things built ahead and then finish assembly here. Our customers’ unreasonable demands and our inability to plan is what allows us to come back to the US. Plus, our state is giving us tax breaks to manufacture here.

That’s one of the things that’s insane. At the state level, taxes are so high that businesses have left. Instead of lowering taxes, they grant tax-free status to some businesses and let the others languish. At the federal level, we let the competition blow us out of the water with devices that are so cheap they can throw out 20% of them because they are DOA at the customer’s location.

Trade policy is a good thing. It is intended that one country with a surplus of goods can trade with another country that needs it and has a surplus of something else. Instead, we export our need for slave labor to countries that recreate their entire culture to serve our material requirements.

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2 Comments

  1. The administration is hiding the terms of the trade agreements because (1)obamatrade sneaks in provisions to advance his destructive immigration agenda, and (2) it advances the rest of his destroy-America agenda.

    Comment by Mary — June 13, 2015 @ 1:58 am

  2. Agreed, except I’d not limit it to one administration. It’s been this way too, too, too long.

    Comment by 49erDweet — June 13, 2015 @ 5:09 am


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