In his speech on the economy on September 8, President Barack Obama tied our nation's fiscal recovery to the passage of three free trade agreements (FTA) currently awaiting approval. Said the president:
Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama and Colombia and South Korea — while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition. (Applause.) If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. (Applause.) I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with the three proud words: “Made in America.” That’s what we need to get done.
While the Republicans may disagree with much of what the president proposed, their leadership is adamantly and enthusiastically behind the trade agreements. Evidence of the bipartisan support for the agreements is found everywhere. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post lamenting the languishing of the trade agreements on President Obama’s desk and imploring him to pass them along to Congress.
When one studies international economics, one will inevitably encounter the topic of “free trade.” As always, it is a good idea to start with a definition, to avoid any possible confusion. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the expression “free trade,” whose earliest recorded use in the English language dates back to 1606, as “trade based on the unrestricted international exchange of goods with tariffs used only as a source of revenue.” Nowadays, free trade has come to mean the conduct of international business without any governmental interference, such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies, etc. Such a policy allows prices to be the result of nothing but pure supply and demand, without any artificial distortions entering into the process.
The term “free trade” is often used these days in multinational agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), although such arrangements do not eliminate government involvement in trade but create multinational entities to regulate it.
Mexican trucks may begin hauling freight throughout the United States by the end of this month or early September under a bilateral trade agreement that resolves a long-standing trade dispute, but not the controversy over driving goods across the U.S.-Mexican border.
Under the pilot program, announced last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 900 Mexican trucks will be hauling goods throughout the United States within the next three years. USA Today reported Wednesday that the pact continues to draw fire in the United States from the nation's largest transportation union, a national association of independent truckers, and some members of Congress.
"We think it's unsafe, unfair and wrong for America," Jim Hoffa, president of the Teamsters union, told the nationwide daily. "It's a danger to highway safety. ... It will cost thousands of trucking and warehouse jobs."
The National Governors Association Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15-17, was a smashing success — at least from the viewpoint of China's Communist Party officials and its state-controlled mega-corporations.
The National Governors Association Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15-17, was a smashing success — at least from the viewpoint of China's Communist Party officials and its state-controlled mega-corporations. A major component of this year's annual NGA confab was the first-ever U.S.-China Governors Forum, which brought the U.S. governors together with four of their Chinese counterparts, the governors of Zhejiang, Anhui, Yunnan, and Qinghai provinces. Leading the official Chinese delegation was Zhao Hongzhu, Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang Province.
Secretary Hongzhu told China Daily that the summit exchange was "direct, practical and effective." According to China Daily, billions of dollars in trade deals were signed:
The United Nations is preparing to finalize its Arms Trade Treaty in 2012, better known in the United States as the Small Arms Treaty, after a series of talks in the Third Preparatory Committee took place last week. The final talks on the treaty have been scheduled for four weeks next summer, and new rules indicate that a majority vote is not necessary in order for the treaty to be passed. The Heritage Foundation contends that though the stated purpose of the treaty is to “address the absence of commonly agreed international standards for the transfer of conventional arms, which, it is argued, contribute to war, crime, and terrorism,” the treaty poses a threat to American liberties and interests.
Throughout the talks on the treaty, members of the UN Security Council — which includes China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — voiced concerns over the establishment of a supranational authority. Security Council members and the European Union have now managed to eliminate the presence of that supranational authority originally designated by the treaty, replacing it with a more general statement of obligations related to arms trade which are to be fulfilled nationally, not globally.
William F. Jasper, Senior Editor of The New American Magazine and National Correspondent for Liberty News Network reporting from the China – U.S. Governors Forum in Salt Lake City, Utah (July 15-17, 2011).
The people of Great Britain have had enough of the European Union and its growing financial difficulties. In fact, according to a recent poll, if they had a choice in the matter, the British would leave the EU as soon as possible.
The ongoing financial crisis in Europe has already resulted in plans for a costly bailout for Greece — and the staggering cost of Greek socialism appears to be simply one installment of a much more costly proposition of rebuilding the economies of several member states of the European Union. Now, the bailout’s political cost is beginning to come due in Britain. A July 13 story for the Daily Mail reports that public opinion is decisively opposed to continued membership in the EU: