Comments about ‘In our opinion: Free trade’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 13 2014 3:00 a.m. MST

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Neoclassical support for free trade mostly derives from the theory of comparative advantage. But that theory assumes comparative advantages are innate to various countries. The multi-national corporation shoots that down in that resources can be moved from country to country within the global corporation. Senator Reid has very real reasons to be wary of fast track trade authority.

In the new international era fast track yields advantages to corporations, but not to labor. So-called free trade has trashed American labor the last 25 years, in case you haven't noticed.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Perhaps Senator Reid's reluctance to negotiate more Free Trade Agreements is due to the rather mixed results of NAFTA. NAFTA has hurt the US manufacturing sector and much of the loss of middle class jobs can be traced to the shrinkage of manufacturing.

Free Trade Agreements are much like Olympic Games or NFL Franchises. When they are being pitched, they presented as an endless stream of benefits to all. In the aftermath, the reality is far less rosy. Not to say there are no benefits to any of these, but for Free Trade Agreements, they are far less clear than this article suggests.

You want support for Free Trade Agreements? Then let's get honest (bi-partisan) data out of the CBO or other similar group and have the President (this one or any one) first discuss the positives AND negatives in the harsh light of day. Then Congress can decide if the President should get fast track authority.

caleb in new york
Glen Cove, NY

america is richer than many other countries, so with free-trade agreements their can be some adjustments for the u.s. in the short run.

But non-free trade is the rich guy taking advantage of his present wealth to get a head start on the poor guy. The U.S. will not advance economically by screwing weaker foreign nations.

Not allowing free trade artificially props up certain sectors of the U.S. economy at the expense of the U.S. economy as a whole.

Free trade strengthens weaker countries of the world much more naturally than free aid does. When those countries become stronger, that helps the U.S. even more in the long run because those countries will have more money to buy products.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

The fast track trade agreement is nothing new. According to Wikipedia, " It was in effect pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974 from 1975 to 1994 and was restored in 2002 by the Trade Act of 2002. It expired for new agreements at midnight on July 1, 2007, but continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law."

Labor Unions are against it. That is the reason that Harry Reid won't bring it to the floor. Too many Democrats have campaigns that are largely funded by unions. Once again, the Democrats put their own offices above the needs of this Country. They would rather hold office than do anything that might get millions of people back to work and off welfare.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

RE J Thompson "That is the reason that Harry Reid won't bring it to the floor. Too many Democrats have campaigns that are largely funded by unions. Once again, the Democrats put their own offices above the needs of this Country." Well, I am part of labor. I also belong to a labor union. And pardon me, but I am part of this "Country."

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Great Britain became the world's preeminent economic power by following highly protectionist policies. The U.S. became the world's preeminent economic power by following highly protectionist policies. Both countries began to lose economic ground after they adopted free trade.

China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc, have all achieved remarkable economic growth by pursuing highly protectionist policies. They have apparently seen our example and are not going to adapt free trade. Sure they'll sign free trade agreements, nut they'll never live up to them.

Free trade might work as advertised if all the world followed the same rules, but when we're the only free trade country competing with a bunch of mercantilists, we're being played for chumps. Free trade has destroyed the American working class and now it's destroying the middle class.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

RE marxist,

I am not a member of a labor union, nor will I ever be. I have a voice. I can speak directly to those who hire me. I do not need someone to "intimidate" the owners. I do not need someone to tell me that I have "ownership" in a company when I have invested nothing, have taken no risk, and have received a decent pay from the owners for my labors.

I have a right as a citizen to have that bill voted on by the full Senate. I have the right to know exactly who has been bought by unions in the Senate. I have the right to campaign against anyone who sells himself to the unions instead of representing the STATE. Harry Reid thinks that unions control this nation. He thinks that his office is more important than his integrity. He fails as a Senator and, as the highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, to do his duty, which is to represent the State of Nevada, not the unions in Nevada nor the unions throughout the United States.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

J Thompson,

I am not a member of a union either (though I have worked where unions are an option). Union member have a voice and can speak directly to their employer OR utilize the union to do so. Unions are no more intimidating to employers than employers are to workers. As to ownership? Only if there is a profit sharing plan or something similar. As to risk? Workers certainly take risks - both physical and financial for their employer (maybe not the same kind of financial risks, but risks nonetheless).

Agreed that you (and all of us) have a right to know who has been bought and sold in Congress. That includes unions and also includes ANY large contributor no matter what form it takes (corporations, unions, etc.). We should be able to trace who are the real contributors to any campaign.

As to what Harry Reid believes or who he is or is not beholden to, I leave that to him.

VST
Bountiful, UT

marxist said, “And pardon me, but I am part of this "Country."

And so is J Thompson, and so am I, also a part of this country. We also have rights and have a free voice of opinion, just as you do.

That’s what I like about this country.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

We already have internal free trade in following the supreme power of constitutional law which requires it. So far as international free trade agreements they may be sweet to the great corporations which have no nation but do nothing to help our atrocious unemployment problems in this nation.

The US Constitution gives authority to the federal government to impose import and export duties. I hope they will do so wisely to protect the people of the United States against the bane of unfair foreign competition. To do so is not the same as caving to union pressure. Government can do the right thing for the right reasons and cave to no one in international commerce or unions.

I am not sure that I like repeatedly giving government "fast track authority", and I really would like to hear a good and thorough discussion of these issues in Congress and throughout the nation now and in time to come.

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