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WSJ Op-Ed Gets Social Conservatives (and Trump Supporters) Way Wrong – Yet Again

Westlake Legal Group cross-vote WSJ Op-Ed Gets Social Conservatives (and Trump Supporters) Way Wrong – Yet Again trade import limits trade Taxes Tariffs subsidies Politics Policy News intellectual property theft Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fair trade Business & Economy

I begin with a disclosure.

The Wall Street Journal piece we will examine was penned by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)’s Iain Murray.  CEI is a fine organization.  And I consider a great many of their people to be friends – including Murray.

But Murray really misses the mark with Tuesday’s “Free-Marketeers Have Taken Social Conservatives for Granted.”

And let us please take a moment to note:

In this piece, the Venn diagram of Social Conservatives and Donald Trump supporters – is a nigh perfect overlay.

Murray fundamentally misunderstands Social Conservatives – in almost exactly the same way the Never Trump Right misunderstands Trump supporters.

It’s why the Never Trump Right (and many others) has spent the Era of Trump wondering how Social Conservatives can possibly support the serially-marrying-and-philandering Trump.

As you read on, when you read “Social Conservatives” – you can mentally add “and Trump supporters.”

Actually, Murray’s title is semi-accurate.  The Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent has indeed taken Social Conservatives for granted.

But the title’s unspoken, incorrect assumption is Social Conservatives – aren’t also free-marketeers.  Many if not most…are.

The subtitle really begins to reveal the inaccuracies:

“Capitalists need to make the case that prosperity is crucial for protecting tradition and security.”

Again, most social conservatives already understand and agree with this.

What Social Conservatives have witnessed for the last half century-plus – is the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent fail to protect the free market – AND tradition and security.

DC is a two-party collusive cabal.  Democrats and Republicans put on Partisan Theater – squawking at each other on TV and in print.  But it is all for show.

All the while, Ds and Rs have been working together to empower and enrich themselves and their cronies – at the expense of the nation.

DC gets bigger and bigger.  And regulates more and more.  And spends more and more.  Because the bigger DC is – the more power and money the DC cabal has.

All the while, America has grown poorer and poorer.

The Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – failed miserably in their many attempts to stop any of this.

Meanwhile, DC has left our nation’s borders wide open to a mass Third World invasion.  Because Democrats want Third World votes – and Republicans want Third World cheap labor for their donors.

And the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – has been the right-of-center head cheerleader for this insanity.

Stop right there.

Murray acknowledges social conservatives want to protect tradition and security.  Mass Third World immigration – completely destroys both.

Social Conservatives do not oppose mass Third World immigration – because of anything having to do with race.

Social Conservatives oppose mass Third World immigration – because they have witnessed a half century-plus of it…and it has eviscerated our nation’s tradition and security.

We have idiotic sanctuary cities and states.

Which much more closely resemble the Third World they’ve imported than they do the US.

Which refuse to work with law enforcement – and release illegal alien gang member murderers and rapists back into our disintegrating society.

Mass importing Third World Worlders – has obscenely overcrowded the likes of our nation’s classrooms and emergency rooms.

Teachers spend most of their time working with students who do not speak English – at the expense of everyone else.

Americans wait endless hours to see health care providers – because there simply aren’t enough health care providers to handle the overload.

And the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – has long championed open borders.  Which would turn America – into a sanctuary nation.  And this tradition-and-security insanity – would occur EVERYWHERE.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

Mass Third World immigration – is awful American economic policy too.  Because America is a nation – with an economy.  Not an economy – with a nation.

Americans elect American officials – to do what’s best for America and Americans.  Crazy, I know.

Mass importing Third Worlders – takes jobs from and drives down wages for Americans.

Mass importing Third Worlders – drives up the likes of housing and health care costs for Americans.

Mass importing Third Worlders – costs us tens of billions of dollars per annum (and probably much more) in government money.  In welfare, health care and education money spent on the invaders.

Americans are taxed more and more and more – to pay for all of this.  They are taxed more and more and more – on fewer jobs and lower wages, and while paying higher housing and health care costs.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

Murray only mention’s Trump once:

“While President Trump’s antipathy to free trade was well-known, his and other conservatives’ sudden embrace of aggressive antitrust actions was more surprising. Now self-described ‘national conservative’ thinkers are pushing industrial policy—government planning that meddles with economic decision-making to promote favored industries or social outcomes.”

This is just…so much wrong.  In the interest of verbiage conservation – we’ll only address the free trade wrongness.

Trump doesn’t have “antipathy to free trade.”  He’s just about the only guy in DC actually trying to achieve it.

Trump has rightly highlighted the incredibly awful, one-sided, anti-US trade deals DC has spent decades cutting – and the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent has been applauding.

The US engages in free trade.  The rest of the planet – absolutely does not.

Nigh every other nation tariffs the daylight out of our stuff.  Nigh every nation severely limits the import of our stuff.  Nigh every other nation subsidizes their stuff – thereby rendering it artificially cheaper on the global market.

This isn’t free trade.  This is FAKE tree trade.

Social Conservatives work on farms.  And on assembly lines.  And in mines.  And on oil rigs.

They’re the ones whose jobs are outsourced, whose wages are crushed, whose towns are hollowed out – by DCs fake free trade.

Because DCs fake free trade makes making anything in the US less attractive than…anywhere else on the planet.

And now the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent is defending this obscenely awful DC status quo – against Trump trying to even things out.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

One last thought….

We’ve noted the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent’s pronounced, prolonged inability to effect any positive change.

Trump has already delivered a ton.

The best US economy in decades.  The lowest unemployment in decades – including the lowest Black and Hispanic unemployment ever.  Great Wall Street growth.

And great consumer confidence and spending.  In large part because for the first time in half a century-plus – wages are actually, substantially increasing.

How and why are wages finally increasing?

Because Trump is deporting competitors to Americans for jobs and wages.

And because Trump is – amongst other helpful things – imposing tariffs on trade cheats.  Thereby making America exponentially more attractive to job creators – who are returning to our shores in growing numbers.

Two things to which the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent are vociferously opposed.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

Trump just this week achieved yet another Social Conservative win – by delivering yet another economic policy win.

Trump banned federally funded clinics from giving abortion referrals.  Which caused the nation’s largest abortion mill – Planned Parenthood – to refuse the federal funding.

Boom.  Something very simple the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent could have very easily delivered at any point for years and years – but never, ever did.  (Where were you on this, George W. Bush Administration?)

Trump is time and again delivering on Social Conservative priorities – on economic, traditional and security grounds.

The Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – never, ever has.

And is now actively working against – the policies that are benefiting Social Conservatives.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

The post WSJ Op-Ed Gets Social Conservatives (and Trump Supporters) Way Wrong – Yet Again appeared first on RedState.

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NBC: Support for free trade reaches new high thanks to Trump

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His most lasting conservative legacy might be turning the trade war into such an economic trainwreck that neither party goes near tariffs again for decades.

In fact, I wonder if Trump’s trade policy might end up so unpopular by next year that even some like-minded Democratic candidates will be forced to scramble to the center to try to pick up voters who feel disaffected by it. Elizabeth Warren’s trade program is plenty protectionist in its own right, demanding as a precondition to negotiations that potential trade partners meet certain standards on labor, taxes, energy, and the environment which even the United States at present doesn’t meet. If the U.S. ends up in a recession and the public concludes that Trump’s trade war with China is the prime suspect (a belief that’ll be eagerly encouraged by the media), how aggressive can Warren really be on the stump in trying to shift blame away from tariffs and onto Wall Street?

Whether or not Trump creates a long-term public consensus in favor of free trade, it’s a cinch that ardent anti-Trumpism among Dems will create a short-term Democratic consensus in favor of it.

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NBC didn’t provide a partisan breakdown but its story notes that “Democrats and independents much more supportive than they were four years ago.” That’s the best-case scenario for protectionists here, that most of the new love for free trade is pure, mindless opposition to anything Trump does. Even if we dodge a recession and the economy remains healthy into next fall, some critical mass of Dems will decide that the policy is bad because everything the orange man does is bad.

The worst-case scenario for protectionists? Well…

In the survey by the National Association for Business Economics, out Monday, 72% of economists predicted that a recession would occur by the end of 2021. That’s up from 67% in February and according to data gleaned from more than 200 respondents.

The new figure combines the 38% of economists who said they expect a recession to strike in 2020 with the 34% who said they see one befalling the US economy in 2021. In a survey conducted in February, 42% said they saw a 2020 meltdown, while just 25% forecasted one in 2021.

Trump is already incorporating some preemptive scapegoating into his rhetoric about this, insisting on the one hand that the economy has never been better while also informing the country that if he’s wrong then it certainly isn’t his fault:

Having already passed tax cuts and alienated Democrats to the point that no infrastructure stimulus is in the offing, he has few legislative tools at his disposal to try to goose growth if the economy falters. So we’re left to wonder what strange forms his panic might take if the monthly numbers begin to slow down. Would he try to fire Powell? Would he capitulate to China on trade in a desperate attempt to reverse unemployment trends? Would he start ranting on Twitter every day about a vast left-wing conspiracy to talk down the economy in hopes of defeating him next fall? Actually, he’s already started doing that, notes the Times:

“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”

Mr. Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election. Mr. Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him. And several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.

WaPo says that behind closed doors he’s taken to accusing his enemies of manufacturing phony data to shape public opinion: “Trump has a somewhat conspiratorial view, telling some confidants that he distrusts statistics he sees reported in the news media and that he suspects many economists and other forecasters are presenting biased data to thwart his reelection, according to one Republican close to the administration who was briefed on some of the conversations.” Odds can’t be worse than 50/50 that if we end up in a true recession he’ll figure out a way to pin it on Soros.

By the way, this same poll found 89 percent in favor of universal background checks for gun purchases and 62 percent in favor of banning assault weapons, which is in line with other recent surveys. Is Trump still open to expanding background checks? Twelve days ago he said, “I’m looking to do background checks. I think background checks are important.” Yesterday he sounded more cautious, saying, “We do have a lot of background checks right now” and emphasizing that mental illness is the core problem that needs to be addressed. Sounds like gun-rights supporters have been talking to him since his insta-reaction after the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

The post NBC: Support for free trade reaches new high thanks to Trump appeared first on Hot Air.

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Jamie Arnell: The conventional wisdom about a trade deal with America is wrong. Trump will want a fair one. Here’s why.

James Arnell is a partner at Charterhouse. He writes in a personal capacity.

I disagree with most commentators who believe that the UK will get a raw deal in any US-UK trade negotiations after Brexit.

I do not underestimate the fickleness of Trump, nor the Irish-American lobby in Congress. I recognise the overwhelming weight of the US relative to the UK.  I know that the US looks after its interests and does no one any favours.

But I don’t think any of that will stop us agreeing a decent trade deal. I believe that the US has major strategic interests in a trade deal with the UK, and that it will decide not to use all the undeniable leverage it has to strike the toughest possible terms.  It will want to strike a fair deal.

The US is in “America First” mode.  Contrary to what most people seem to believe, I believe that means Trump, and the American people, wish to see a global trading system which it sees as fair from its perspective.  There are many senior American business people who believe that the renegotiation of NAFTA was long overdue, and who are throughly fed up with the uneven playing field between the US and China.

Yes, they worry about the effects of the US-China trade war on the US economy, but many of them believe that some fights just have to be had.  There is more patriotism in American business and much more business support for Trump’s China line than the media presents.

The opportunity to strike a trade deal with a long-term ally like the UK is timely.  Agreeing an even-handed trade deal sends a strong message: this is about fairness, not American economic bullying.  I am optimistic that the US, across the political spectrum, will support a fair deal with the UK, because I think that it has a very strong interest in sending that message.

And that is not all.


A thriving UK, in a comprehensive free trade relationship with the US, right on the periphery of the EU, will put massive pressure on it.  Other EU countries, fed up with the federal agenda of the EU, will look at the UK and wonder whether they too might be better free and able to strike their own trade relationships.  This threat to the EU will be eyed by the US as great leverage to force the EU into what the US would see as a fair trade deal.  They will want the UK to succeed in its deal with the US.  They won’t want to screw us – because that would make it far too easy for the EU to keep its trade barriers up.

The US’ leverage is greater if any UK-US trade deal is designed to be as close as possible to something the EU could, should and, ultimately, would accept.  There is no leverage in agreeing a deal which does not work for the UK and which certainly would not work for the EU, and the smart money in the US will know it.

Aside from its desire to show an openness to trade with partners who do not play the US for fools, and its desire to pressurise the EU, the US will also welcome a committed ally in the global struggle for a new trade order, binding the three big blocs (US, China, Europe) into a more open, more level world trade regime or, at least, binding the rest of the world into a trading system around an unreformed China.  That is the best chance of America remaining “First”.

At present, we are in the phase of pulling down the old system, which the US sees as rotten and against its own interests.  We should not confuse that with isolationism.  My firm belief is that the US will relish the opportunity to show the world what its new order should look like, by agreeing a sensible deal with the UK.

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International Trade – Is Rife with Omni-Directional Anti-Free Trade Practices


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One characteristic of humans – is we each view the world through our personal prism.  Perfectly understandable – how else would we?

But it can lead to difficulties.

If you are an honest and honorable person – you tend to look at everyone else as being honest and honorable.

You think “That’s how I would handle this situation – so that’s how he/she/they will handle it too.”

Unfortunately, more often than not, he/she/they will not handle the situation the way you would.

Americans are for the most part open and optimistic people.  Because we live in the most open and optimistic governmental system ever devised and enjoyed by humans.

So we enter the world – with smiling faces and arms wide open.  And far too often, the many other nations of the world – punch us in the face.

Our nigh eternal optimism – very often costs us dearly.

For my part, I am a realist – or a cynic.  Take your pick.  We realists/cynics look at optimists and pessimists both – a little askance.

So too did apparently realist-cynic writer William Arthur Ward:

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails.”

Of the three – only the realist is actually looking to solve the problem.

Far too often, pessimists and optimists accept far-from-optimal situations.  Pessimists assume it could always be worse – optimists that it can’t be any better.

We realists – are always looking to improve things.

And so it is with international trade.

International trade can be a very good thing – in theory.

In practice – many, many problems rapidly arise.

Actual international free trade – is free from government interference or imposition.

That’s mostly how we in the US do it.  That’s not how nigh any other country in the world does it.

Other nations tariff the daylight out of our stuff.  Other nations severely limit the imports of our stuff.  And other nations mass-subsidize their stuff – thereby artificially lowering their prices when competing with our stuff.

None of that is free trade.  Nor is it fair trade.

We the Optimistic – have smilingly endured this one-sided, anti-US insanity…for decades.  We’ve been lost in Ridgemont High – rigidly adhering to #3 of Mike Damone’s Five-Point Plan:

“Act like wherever you are – that’s the place to be.  ‘Isn’t this great?’”

No, Trade-Uber-Alles freaks – it hasn’t been great.  At all.

We have been getting royally screwed – for half a century-plus.  By basically the entire planet.

And these nations – often get very creative in their screwing of US.

Including: Screwing us internationally – then screwing us domestically…so as to further screw us internationally.

California Olive Growers Seek More Duties on EU:

“One year after winning anti-dumping and countervailing duties averaging about 35 percent on imports of Spanish olives, California growers are hoping a long-running dispute over European support for Airbus will lead to even more taxes on the tasty Mediterranean fruit.

“Michael Silveira, chairman of the Olive Growers Council of California, testified at a Trump administration hearing on Monday in favor of USTR’s proposal to include olives on the list of EU goods that could be hit with 100 percent duties in the aircraft dispute. He also asked that three ‘bulk’ categories of olives be added to the nine olive categories already proposed.

“Silveira complained that ‘the Spanish industry is working overtime’ to find any way it can to avoid the duties imposed last year. ‘A Spanish olive company has just invested in a U.S. ripe olive processor. The combined company has now terminated nearly all its contracts with U.S. growers, enabling it to import provisionally prepared bulk olives from Spain,’ Silveira said.”

“But wait” the Trade-Uber-Alles freaks screech – “Why did we impose tariffs in the first place?

Glad you asked:

“On June 12, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced its affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of ripe olives from Spain….

“In the AD investigation, Commerce…established a final dumping margin of 20.04 percent for all other producers and exporters of ripe olives from Spain.”

Spain’s government is mass-subsidizing olives.  Then Spain is mass-dumping them into the US.

Which has absolutely zero to do with free or fair trade.  And is egregiously damaging to our olive farmers.

So we imposed some tariffs.

The Trade-Uber-Alles freaks will ignore all of Spain’s anti-free-trade actions up to this point – and screech “Protectionism!!!” and “Tariffs are taxes!!!” when we finally respond to getting royally screwed.

The Trade-Uber-Alles freaks – appear to be thoroughly America Last.  At least when it comes to the hundred-million-or-so Americans who grow and make things.

The Trade-Uber-Alles freaks – appear to be international trade masochists.  I have a feeling more than a few of them – are Animal House’s Kevin Bacon:

“Thank you Sir – may I have another.”

Spain responded to our tariffs – by infiltrating our domestic supply chain.  And cutting almost all ties with domestic producers – and replacing them with Spanish producers.

Which has absolutely zero to do with free or fair trade.  And is even more egregiously damaging to our olive farmers.

About which the Trade-Uber-Alles freaks will say…absolutely nothing.

But if our olive growers get their way – and the tariffs are rightly upped and broadened to further deal with Spain’s anti-free-trade behavior…the Trade-Uber-Alles freaks will again screech “Protectionism!!!” and “Tariffs are taxes!!!”

“Thank you, Sir – may I have another?”

I’ll give Spain credit for its creative ways to implement its anti-free trade agenda.  And for their putting Spain First – even cheating out the wazoo to do it.

But that doesn’t mean we have to remain the eternal optimist – and continue to take it in the shorts.

We have to be a realist – and adjust the sails.

Which in this case means – upping and broadening the Spanish olive tariffs.

We should be at least as America First – as Spain is Spain First.

The post International Trade – Is Rife with Omni-Directional Anti-Free Trade Practices appeared first on RedState.

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Trade wars cause more casualties than winners

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It is said, “Trade wars are good and easy to win.”

Reality is trade wars are the sort of conflict where most casualties are innocent bystanders. They’re complicated with a wide variety of facets which include negotiations, offers, and counter-offers. The deals are typically done in private, yet it appears the current administration is taking things public in hopes of sparking some sort of movement.

President Donald Trump released a series of tweets – before following them up with comments to the media outside the White House – where he threatened to slap a 10% tariff worth $300B on Chinese goods.

“We have rebuilt China,” the president declared to reporters on Thursday. “So now it’s time that we change things around. If they don’t want to trade with us anymore, that would be fine with me. It would save a lot of money…They’re paying for these tariffs, we’re not.”

Trump appears to view these negotiations like a business deal or some sort of medieval king who enjoys a wide swath of power over the economy. The federal government does exert a bit of monarch-like force over the economy, through its various growth-stunting regulations and taxes, but it should be blunted by the invisible hand of the market. A hand battered and bruised for decades by a federal government looking to contort its actual fingers over the invisible ones.

The theory is Trump is simply negotiating through the media. It’s an annoying habit mostly done by the owners of sports teams or player agents when there’s some sort of stalemate or contract dispute. Braggadocious bravado may work in the West but it isn’t exactly something to take onto the international stage – especially with China.

“I think the particular problem here is China’s sensitivity,” Simon Lester with Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies told me over the phone. “[F]eeling that historically it’s been treated badly by Western powers, and so, you know, you look at and say in this context you’re just making it difficult for China to make concessions because then they’ll look like they caved in to your pressure. He’s taking what he learned somewhere else and applying it in a context where I’m not convinced that it makes sense.”

Lester’s notion makes sense. China issued a forceful response Friday with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying vowing, “If the US implements the tariff measures, China will have to take necessary countermeasures to resolutely defend the core interests of the country and its people.” She also said China wasn’t interested in a trade war while the Ministry of Commerce swore America would “bear all the consequences.”

Trade wars do not end well – as both America and China are soon to find out. Chinese-American investment is at a five year low, according to a May study by the Rhodium Group, with a humongous drop in Chinese investment in America from $46B in 2016 to just $8B last year. American investment in China is mostly steady at $13B last year. The bulk of China’s money flow into the U.S. appears to be in the last decade.

Both governments appear to share blame for the economic stagnation. China has put tighter controls on money while the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (a group which appears to be more secretive than the NSA) is doing more and more reviews of foreign dollars coming into the country. Blacklisting companies certainly isn’t helping, as The Dallas Morning News reports Futurwei – the research arm of China-based Huawei – is laying off dozens because the federal government is refusing to let it do business with American companies. It also cannot share any technology with Huawei making it akin to a dying fish flopping around on a beach. Americans are the ones losing out on work – not the Chinese.

“The combined effect of Trump’s trade policy and relations with China has been to place barriers on trade and place barriers on investment,” Lester observed with the warning it wouldn’t turn out all wine and roses in the end. “Most economists will say, ‘Hey, that’s bad. That’s bad for us. We want Chinese investment to come in and we want investment over there. We want, you know, to do business together. That’s better for the economy.’ I think Trump sees it differently and he thinks he’s all about deal-making and he’s thinking, perhaps, the Chinese are hurting from all of this and, you know, the U.S. economy is doing well.”

Except when soybean farmers have to be bailed out by the government due to retaliatory tariffs. This type of big government ‘solution’ only damages the economy because it increases government debt and taxpayer burden. This is the danger America is running into as it decides to fight China via trade. Prices on certain goods will shoot up depending on where companies buy their components for products. The economy will stagnate because consumers will probably pass on certain purchases.

“I don’t know what the president’s endgame is here,” R Street Institute’s Trade Policy Counsel Clark Packard emailed after being asked to crawl into the President’s head. “Does he want China to purchase more American soybeans and other agriculture products? Does he want to close the trade deficit? I don’t think they’re focused on the real, legitimate issues we have with China’s trade policy practices that were elegantly documented in USTR’s Section 301 report — cyber intrusions into commercial systems, abuse of intellectual property, forced technology transfer, etc.”

The peril is apparent for both sides.

The United States is enjoying a steadily low unemployment rate; however, the economy dropped an entire percentage point last quarter. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday he was worried about the global economy and cut interest rates to keep America’s economy steady. The New York Fed is concerned about nondefense capital goods. The Economist wrote banks are jittery about investment, especially because of the trade policy. America’s economy is more diverse due to liberalization, but the economy runs in cycles.

Let’s also not forget, despite the president’s boasting of the opposite, any rising costs from tariffs will be passed on to the consumer. Prices will rise and the economy will slow down. One should not forget the sins of 1930 when the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act passed. The retaliation exacerbated the Great Depression and led to the humongous expansion of government through the New Deal. Former President George W. Bush enacted massive tariffs on steel in 2002. The same tariffs were rescinded 18 months later because they damaged the economy. Protectionism will do the opposite of what proponents believe.

China’s situation is more unstable. Their economic downward slump is over a decade old partly due to local government debt and partially due to its federal rules. China is still communist, despite the reforms it’s done over the years, meaning the government owns (or backs) a majority of industry. The government is at a crossroads because it can either liberalize more or tighten its control over industry under the misguided belief it will ‘save’ it. Liberalization will save China, not attempting to do any sort of shovel ready project.

It’s understandable why Americans might want to see the Chinese economy fall into more ruin. The Chinese have a reputation, for good reason, of industrial espionage and currency manipulation. Their government has a horrific human rights record and corruption is rampant. Their government-owned media seeks to portray people with legitimate grievances towards the government as terrorists. The politicians are bad actors.

Those who disregard the damage done to China by this trade war would do well to consider the likely results. China’s government faces three options in the face of imminent obliteration: more powerful government, revolution, or reform.

Option one and two are historically intertwined. Revolutionary movements start within a country due to an overarching and forceful government. Conflict – sometimes philosophical, sometimes armed – occurs. The government attempts to squelch the rebellion through a show of force causing more and more resentment. It eventually descends into civil war. The victors are sometimes liberals but more often groups seeking to push an even stronger form of government with more atrocities and few freedoms.

Option three is more desirable. It involves the peaceful spread of freedom, liberalism, and free markets over a longer period of time. The loosening of regulations and private ownership give individuals more power. It allows liberty’s seed to spread throughout a country – forcing more peaceful reforms and changes. Conflict still ensues, in certain instances, but most often the reforms involve a minimal amount of bloodshed and the changeover is almost seamless. This tends to be the exception to the rule but is the most desirable and what Americans should support.

There is no reason to get into a trade war with China. They are not easy to win and only end up hurting those businesses they seek to ‘protect.’ The real solution is free trade – real free trade with no tariffs – because it encourages goodwill across the globe. It benefits everyone from the consumer to the worker to the business owner. The fact only a few seem to realize this is disappointing.

The post Trade wars cause more casualties than winners appeared first on Hot Air.

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Getting to Actual Free Trade Ain’t Easy – But It’s Necessary

Westlake Legal Group Owl-Financial-Management-OwlFM-Trade-barriers-come-tumbling-down-e1444606271609 Getting to Actual Free Trade Ain’t Easy – But It’s Necessary trade import limits trade Taxes Tariffs subsidies Politics Policy News intellectual property theft Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fair trade Business & Economy

President Donald Trump is rightly, reasonably trying to get the planets’ nations to stop robbing US blind.

It’s been global sport for decades.  We are the planet’s Super Suckers.

We get robbed in a wide variety of ways.  The net result of any and all of them?  Hundreds of billions of dollars per year that should be circulating in and strengthening our country – is instead poured out of it.

Open borders, you say?

We import tens of millions of people – who then rob US blind.  We have in this way been subsidizing central and South America – for decades.

More Than Half of Immigrants on Welfare

Most Illegal Immigrants in US Receive Government Benefits, Costing Taxpayers Billions

“Illegal immigrants are a net consumer of taxpayer benefits worth more than $100 billion a year.”

Immigrants in the U.S. Are Sending Home More Money Than Ever:

“Migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean are sending more money to their families back home than ever before.

“These annual ‘remittances’ – as they’re called by analysts — topped $69 billion in 2016, according to central bank data.”

Remittances Supersede Oil as Mexico’s Main Source of Foreign Income

Get all that?

We take from our citizen taxpayers – tens of billions of dollars per annum.  And give it to people we (illegally) import to receive it.

And they take our citizen taxpayers’ tens of billions of dollars per annum – and send it out of our country.

How stupid are we?

Fake “free” trade bleeds us even more that that.

We have lots of trade deals with lots of different countries and collections of countries.

We have actual free trade deals – with just about none of them.

President Trump is thankfully trying to clean up the massive mess.

It ain’t just central and South America our very stupid policies have been propping up for decades.

In perhaps the dumbest decision in the last half century – we decided in the early 1970s to begin trading with Communist China.

While we were rightly starving out Communist Russia – we bizarrely decided to feed the Communist China beast.

Today, Communist Russia is gone – collapsed in a smoldering heap a generation ago.

Communist China – is today’s far-and-away #1 global strategic problem.  Who only could have reached this level of pain-in-the-keister-ness – with trillions of our stupidly-given-to-them dollars.

Why the U.S.-China Trade Deficit Is So Huge

US Trade Deficit with China and Why It’s So High:

“The real reason American jobs are going to China.”

Since 2012, the average annual trade deficit with China has been $355 billion.

Which means since 2012, we have dumped $2.49 TRILLION out our country – and into Communist China.

Now, trade deficits are a not-entirely-perfect example of the robbery.  We do save some money taking advantage of Communist China’s slave labor – rather than having American companies hire Amercian citizens to do the work.

But on the main – I think it is almost inarguable the US would be much better off if that $2.5-trillion-since-2012 hadn’t left the US.  Even if it means paying an additional $20 for your flat screen television.

How do we know we have been (very stupidly) propping up Communist China?

Trump has only applied a relative pittance of tariff pressure upon but some of China’s exports to US, and….

China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

We should vastly up the pressure – and starve Communist China into Communist-Russia-esque oblivion.  Because….

We Shouldn’t Be Doing Business With Communist China

Because there are a lot of countries with whom trade isn’t quite so stupid.

Trump has demonstrably improved our deal with Mexico and Canada.  We only now await Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi allowing it to come to a vote.  Which will then almost certainly pass – with many Democrat votes.

But the world is a very large place.  With 196 countries.  President Trump has a LOT of one-sided-trade-excavating to undo.

Lots of tariffs on our stuff – with little or no reciprocal tariffs from US.

Lots of import limits on our stuff – with little or no reciprocal limits from US.

Then there are the government subsidies.

Lots of countries mass-subsidize lots of their exports.  Which artificially lowers the mass-subsidized exports’ prices when they hit the global market.

We all the time engage in this stupidity here – internally, domestically.  Perhaps no company gets more government help – than Amazon.

How Crony Corrupt Is Amazon? The Right And Left Are Both Nauseated By It

Government Uber-Crony Amazon’s Very Many Victims

As but one awful example:

Each Box Mailed by Amazon Gets $1.46 Government Subsidy

Which means Amazon can charge $1.46 per item less – than everyone else.

The government’s per-package-subsidy cronyism of Amazon – undercuts everyone with whom Amazon competes.

Amazon sells…just about everything.  Which means the government’s Amazon favoritism – undercuts just about everyone.

That ain’t domestic free trade.

Internationally, government subsidies are just as damaging.

I love this example – because it is so blatantly obvious:

“Brazil subsidizes its sugar industry to the tune of more than $4 billion per annum.  Think that massive subsidization doesn’t help them on the global market?

“There are more than 100 nations that hawk sugar internationally.  Brazil – thanks to its huge government help – controls about half of the entire market.  Nothing ‘free’ about that trade.”

Nothing – indeed.

Brazil is the Amazon of global sugar trade.  (Which is River-ironic.)

Brazil’s massive subsidies – make it awful for producers everywhere else in the world.  Including here in the US.

We want to get to no government-actual free trade.

Brazil’s massive subsidies – are not no-government-actual free trade.

And they make it harder to get other countries to get rid of their relatively-paltry subsidies.  Because unilateral disarmament of your rifle – when faced with Brazilian nukes – makes zero sense.

India to Keep Sugar Export Subsidies Even as Rivals Complain:

“The export subsidies are designed to increase shipments from the world’s second-biggest sugar producer and reduce their brimming inventories.”

Of course they are.  And guess who has the audacity to complain?:

“The Brazilian government said on Thursday it had asked the (World Trade Organization) WTO to establish a panel aimed at resolving its dispute over Indian sugar subsidies.”

$4-billion-per-year-in-subsidies Brazil – is complaining about Indian subsidies.

Something about specks and planks in eyes….

I am all for India getting rid of their subsidies.

Because I’m for everyone getting rid of their subsidies.

But it would seem going first after anyone other than Brazil – is self-defeating.

All subsidies are bad – but some are worse than others.

Let’s get Brazil to begin reductions – and the rest of the world will be far more likely to follow.

The post Getting to Actual Free Trade Ain’t Easy – But It’s Necessary appeared first on RedState.

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Nicky Morgan: Our report on Alternative Arrangements holds the key to leaving the EU at last – and avoiding a general election

Nicky Morgan is Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, a former Education Secretary, and MP for Loughborough.

Last Thursday, members of the Prosperity UK Alternative Arrangements Commission, which I am co-chairing with Greg Hands, visited Brussels. We were there to present our interim report on how alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland can be found, and to listen to comments on our report.

Later this week, we will present our final report and draft protocols, again to demonstrate how, with pragmatism and goodwill on all sides, a solution can be found. Without one, it appears that it will not be possible to have a withdrawal deal passed by a majority in the Commons and, if the UK is to leave the EU, then it will do so without any deal or formal understanding about the future relationship between the UK and EU being in place.

Meanwhile, last week, a number of MPs backed amendments to the legislation on Northern Ireland that we were debating in the Commons that aimed to stop Parliament being prorogued – and, therefore, to stop a No Deal Brexit taking place. One such amendment was passed and two were not.

We have reached a quite extraordinary state of affairs when the thought of proroguing Parliament to stop MPs having a say on a major shift in the UK’s foreign and trade policy is even a possibility.

I understand why colleagues want to put down a marker now that prorogation won’t work. And I understand why so many are so keen to take on the undesired outcome (for most people) of a No Deal outcome to Brexit.

On those issues it is worth reading the replies both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have sent to the One Nation Caucus on these issues.

From Boris Johnson:

“With regards to your question on ‘No Deal’, I want to again emphasise that this is not an outcome I am aiming for and is not an outcome that I want. As I have set out before, I believe that the very act of preparing for ‘No Deal’ will make that scenario less likely…I would also like to make it absolutely clear that I am not attracted to arcane procedures such as the prorogation of Parliament. As someone who aspires to be the Prime Minister of a democratic nation, I believe in finding consensus in the House of Commons.”

And from Jeremy Hunt:

“I would reassure your colleagues that I still believe that the quickest way, the safest way, and the most secure way to leave the EU is with a good deal….In no circumstances would I prorogue Parliament as a means of securing a No Deal outcome.”

So it seems to me that rather than poring over our Erskine May and Commons standing orders, we would be better to recognise the reality of parliamentary arithmetic, and the need for a positive way through the current Brexit impasse.

Now more than ever the public (and the EU) need to see what MPs are in favour of – not what we are against. If anything, we need to crystallise the Brady amendment into something tangible and practical.

And the tangible and practical proposal on offer will be the Alternative Arrangements report and protocols produced by the Prosperity UK Commission.

On these proposals and in reply to our letter, Johnson said this:

“Key to this new deal will be avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland, a prospect no serious candidate would ever dream of entertaining. To that end, I have read the Alternative Arrangements with great interest and I will continue to use it as a consultation document moving forward. The EU has also recently announced that it will be looking into the Alternative Arrangements, a clear sign that our joint goal to ensure there is never a no hard border in Northern Ireland is already underway.”

Hunt said this:

“The negotiating team would be tasked with producing an alternative exit deal, based on the Alternative Arrangements proposals, that can command a majority in the House of Commons and address, seriously and forensically, legitimate EU and Irish concerns about the Irish border and the integrity of the Single Market.”

I would therefore hope that all those working on plans to stop No Deal will find the time to add, to their summer reading lists, our final report. It is clear that it will be influential with whoever is the next Prime Minister. And it has always been the case that the best way to avoid No Deal is to have a deal, which is what we have been working on since April.

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Qatar Using Italy to Abuse US: Government Money Warps Everything Everywhere

Westlake Legal Group Cicci Qatar Using Italy to Abuse US: Government Money Warps Everything Everywhere us travel association United Arab Emirates United Airlines unions trade qatar Politics Policy Open Skies News law italian air International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade Economy Delta Air Lines Business & Economy American Airlines airlines airline industry

One hundred-plus countries engage each year in tens of trillions of dollars worth of global trade.

Far too many nations engage in all sorts of anti-free trade actions – so as to warp the markets to their advantage.

And when caught, far too many nations don’t stop their anti-free trade actions – they look for new and innovative ways to continue rigging the system.

To demonstrate an ongoing, rolling, evolutionary scam, we humbly give you – The Open Skies Agreement:

“‘The United States has 120 Open Skies agreements with countries from around the world. The agreements are meant to expand international passenger and cargo flights to and from the United States.’

“Outstanding – until someone starts cheating and lying:

“‘The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies released a report in January 2015 that alleges that the governments of Qatar and the U.A.E. have granted close to $40 billion in subsidies and “other unfair benefits” to its state-owned carriers.

“‘Since then, they say, another $10 billion has been identified as government subsidies.

“‘The Partnership asserts that the subsidies violates the Open Skies agreements and undermines the basic principles of fair and open competition behind the Open Skies policy.’

“A fifty-yard dash is not a ‘fair and open competition’ – if the other runners are putting $50 billion worth of rocks in your pockets.

“You can call this all sorts of things – but you can not call it ‘free trade.’”

Thankfully, Qatar got popped for rigging the system.

Here’s How President Donald Trump’s Open Skies Deal with Qatar Will Help Make America Great Again

Unthankfully, Qatar didn’t start complying – they started an anti-free trade, anti-Open Skies workaround.

In the cinematic classic The Godfather – Part II, we are provided a precursor to Qatar’s latest move.  Mob enforcer Willie Cicci is testifying before Congress – and he has this exchange with Senator Pat Geary:

Senator Pat Geary: I’m interested to know, was there always a buffer involved?

Willie Cicci: A what?

Senator Pat Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.

Willie Cicci: Oh yeah, a buffer. (Laughter)  The family had a lot of buffers.

Behold Qatar’s buffer – Air Italy:

Air Italy Is Just Qatar Airways Draped In An Italian Flag:

“Exploring new frontiers in commercial aviation, let’s take a chronically money-losing European airline and put it together with a heavily subsidized Middle East airline and then dramatically boost flying to the United States, even though the Middle East airline had indicated it wouldn’t do that.

“What do you get?

“‘The Italian version of Qatar,’ is what United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz called it earlier this month, during a conference call with reporters.

“In 2017, Qatar purchased 49% of Air Italy, which very quickly thereafter adopted a Qatar strategy:

“Build a hub with rapid expansion of U.S. service, enabled by lots of new airplanes purchased with government money.”

So Qatar hasn’t stopped their anti-Open Skies mass subsidies of flights into the United States.  They have purchased a foreign front – through which they run their mass subsidies of flights into the United States.

Whether the mass subsidies are in Qatari Riyal or Italian Euro – they are illegal.

I very much appreciate and admire President Trump’s taking on the mind-bogglingly monstrous task of trying to right the very many global trade wrongs the United States has for decades suffered.

One price of the mission – is eternal vigilance.

Having popped Qatar once – Trump must pop Qatar again.  And not just for the sake of the Open Skies Agreement:

“Qatar must be called to account, and not just for its own mischief but for the message that would send to the Chinese and other major U.S. trading partners.

“If Qatar Airways continues to use Air Italy as its proxy, and gets by with it, that would tell China, Japan, Mexico, Canada and Europe they can agree to trade deals and if they’re caught cheating the United States will look the other way. Someone could write a book, and call it ‘The Art of the Steal.’”

Which, by the way, countries like China have already been doing.

NAFTA’s ‘Uninvited Guest’: Why China’s Path to U.S. Manufacturing Runs Through Mexico

Uber-subsidizing China spent decades running trillions of dollars worth of their uber-subsidized goods through Mexico (and Canada) into the US.  To circumvent trade limits imposed upon them because of their uber-subsidies – by abusing the daylight out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) advantages Mexico and Canada enjoyed.

Which Trump for decades understood.  Which is why he – when he became President – rightly killed NAFTA.

And Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada – because China has been running through Mexico and Canada their ridiculously subsidized steel and aluminum.  Which he will remove when NAFTA successor USMCA – which addresses the China buffer – is ratified.

Qatar’s Air Italy – is China’s Mexico and Canada.

A Godfather buffer – to yet again get around the law.

President Trump popped Qatar once.

It’s time for him to do it again.

The post Qatar Using Italy to Abuse US: Government Money Warps Everything Everywhere appeared first on RedState.

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Trump Actually

Let’s get real.  There are issues on which Britain and America will disagree, such as how to deal with Iran.  But both countries are members of the “five eyes”, and the closest possible security relationship will continue, despite the occasional blip from both sides.  The two countries are, with the anomalous exception of Greece, NATO’s biggest contributors.  They work intimately together at the United Nations and in other international institutions.  The UK is the U.S’s seventh biggest trading partner with, the latter’s trade representative reports, “$127.0 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2018.”  And the two countries are bound together by a web of historic and cultural ties.

No Conservative Government would seek to weaken this relationship, regardless of whether it were led by Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson.  This applies regardless of Donald Trump’s tweets about and attitude to our Ambassador.  Perhaps Johnson should have taken the same line as Hunt and insisted that Kim Darroch would see out his term.  But nothing of import would have changed as a result.  Darroch was already due to leave his post this winter.  So he would have left.  Trump will continue being Trump, in any event.  And American and British Ministers, civil servants, members of the armed forces, security officials, MPs and Congress members will go about their business as usual.

The essence of the matter is that Darroch’s relationship with the White House, and thus his wider effectiveness, was finished from the moment those diplomatic cables were published.  He is no way to blame and (from a broader point of view than that of journalism) the leak of his cables was abhorrent.  Wearing our citizenship hat, we hope that the leaker is eviscerated – to use Johnson’s own word. But whether he is or not, life will go on, and a replacement will be appointed.  That person will serve under the new Prime Minister and it would thus make sense for this new Prime Minister to appoint him, rather than Theresa May.

There is a strain of anti-Americanism in British life.  Maybe this is inevitable if one cousin is bigger (America) and the other better (Britain, or so most of us would say) than the other.  That famous scene in Love Actually in which a British Prime Minister tells an American President to get knotted has a certain resonance.  This is especially so when the real-life President in question is Trump.  As a site that wanted Hillary Clinton instead – Trump’s position on NATO was very worrying – we understand the feeling.  But is has to be said that he’s turned out better than we feared.  To pick up on the very point that most concerned us, the defence alliance is still alive and, it seems, kicking.

We are suspicious of Trump’s protectionist stance, see no evidence that he has a plan for controlling spending, and wonder whether an economic correction will take place at precisely the wrong moment for the President in America’s electoral cycle.  That touches on a key point: as matters stand, Trump is likely to be re-elected.  We may have to live with all the faults of which Darroch complained a while longer.  In which case, whingeing about the President – his tweets, instability, his boasts – is like whining about the weather. Better to seek to exploit his instincts.  These may be anti-Darroch but they appear to be pro-British.

That being so, it is worth making every effort to strike a trade deal, and exploring whether NAFTA membership is a runner.  Some on the Right, reacting to anti-Americanism on the Left, take being pro-American off the chart: parts of it seem to think Britain should be the 51st state.  This isn’t where the temper of our country is and, when it comes to trade, the Trump administration will doubtless put America First (as any other administration would seek to do too).  But if Global Britain is to mean anything, striving for a trade deal with the United States should be part of it.  For better or worse, the facts of life are less Love Actually than Trump Actually.

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Daniel Hannan: For Brexit to work, power must be stripped from the quangorats – and returned to people we elect

Daniel Hannan is an MEP for South-East England, and a journalist, author and broadcaster. His most recent book is What Next: How to Get the Best from Brexit.

When Donald Trump entered the White House, his then senior adviser, Steve Bannon, set out the administration’s three priorities. First, “national security and sovereignty” (hurrah!) Second, “economic nationalism” (boo!) Third, “the deconstruction of the administrative state” (huh?)

Few Americans had much idea of what “the administrative state” was; but conservative think-tankers and writers were ecstatic. Indeed, Trump’s readiness to act against the administrative state (or the regulatory state) is, along with his judicial appointments, the main reason that they overlook his character flaws and back him.

In Britain, we call it “the quango state”. We mean the alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that can set rules without legislation, raise money without taxation, and impose decisions without accountability. We mean bodies like the Charity Commission, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the Carbon Trust, the Export Guarantees Advisory Council, the Care Quality Commission, the Food Standards Agency, the Low Pay Commission, the Information Commissioner’s Office, UK Sport, the Highways Agency and a hundred others.

There may be occasions when MPs need narrowly and contingently to delegate authority. But what has happened in Britain, as in other large democracies, goes well beyond specific outsourced functions. We have seen the growth of an imperium in imperio, a network of bodies staffed by people who think in similar ways, and who pursue their agendas more or less independently of the wishes of Parliament or people.

Naturally, those who share the quangocrat outlook – fondness for higher public spending, obsession with diversity and inclusiveness, enthusiasm for the EU – are untroubled by this state of affairs. But Conservatives have never much cared for it, and fitfully go through phases of scrapping the more obviously obsolete quangos while encouraging people from beyond the Left to apply for the others. This website, for example, runs a regular “Calling Conservatives” feature, aimed at encouraging more Tory applications to some of these bodies. None the less, perhaps inevitably, the system remains dominated by Blairite smoothies.

So pervasive is the soft Left culture in our administrative state that attempts to even the balance are often seen as an invasion, and the few Conservatives who take on positions on even purely advisory bodies can be hounded out of them. Just ask Roger Scruton.

The first task of the new prime minister in a couple of weeks’ time will be to reassert the supremacy of our elected representatives over our functionaries. That might strike you as an eccentric statement. Surely the new Prime Minister’s first task will be Brexit?

Yes, but the two things can no longer be separated. Over the past three years, we have seen large chunks of our standing bureaucracy – civil servants, quangocrats and other officials –working to frustrate the referendum result. The Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office have harassed Vote Leave campaigners. Eurosceptic donors even appear to have been targeted by the tax authorities. At the same time, senior civil servants have taken full advantage of Theresa May’s disastrous readiness to be ruled by official advice.

What I am saying should be uncontroversial. The purpose of having elected ministers at the top of departments is to ensure that those departments – including the quangos they fund – work for the general population rather than for themselves. A minister who simply does what his officials tell him is guaranteed a quiet life. He will be well regarded. He will get a reputation as a safe pair of hands. Approving remarks about him will find their way into the papers. But he is utterly failing to do his job.

Not every Secretary of State is like this, of course. Indeed, the starting line-up in the current Conservative leadership election included some of the ministers who had shown themselves most prepared to impose themselves on their departments. But, in general, May preferred – and offered preferment to – ministers in her own image: that is, ministers who deferred to the experts, said little in public and declined to rock the boat.

Well, that won’t do any more. Not at a time like this. We need the entire government machine to be working to make a success of Brexit. We need to be cutting taxes, especially business taxes, so as to attract investment. We need to be exploiting the regulatory freedoms we acquire as we diverge from Brussels. We need to let our financial services, in particular, compete against their global rivals. We need to remove tariffs and trade barriers, unilaterally if necessary. These things will require an act of collective national endeavour. We simply can’t afford to let Sir Humphrey frustrate things because of his sincere but, in the circumstances, inadmissible belief that we must cling on to every aspect of EU membership.

I’d be tempted to give Michael Gove the task of streamlining our standing functionariat, with Dominic Cummings as his SpAd. That should sort things out.

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