Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sold down the river with the new "Free" trade agreements

Bipartisanship isn't always a good thing. Oftentimes it is a very bad thing. Bipartisanship is usually when both political parties get together to kick America's ass. NAFTA and GATT were bipartisan disasters, especially in Michigan. So was Most Favored Nation Trade Status with China. I have a strong libertarian streak on a lot of things, but when it comes to foreign policy and trade policy, I lean paleoconservative more than anything else. Nowhere I do lean that way more than with trade.

Free trade agreements work with countries similar to ours. Countries that are not protectionist, have wages close to our level, and have regulations close to our level. Unfortunately, free trade agreements aren't free. They are thousands of pages of regulations. Also, when we outsource our skilled labor, it's a problem. In Michigan, this strongly affects our auto industry, tool and die, and our furnature industry. In the 1990's, computers were the wave of the future. Silicon Valley. Today, Silicon Valley lost a lot of their jobs to India. 15 years.

From the AP

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress approved free trade agreements Wednesday with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, ending a four-year drought in the forming of new trade partnerships and giving the White House and Capitol Hill the opportunity to show they can work together to stimulate the economy and put people back to work.

In rapid succession, the House and Senate voted on the three trade pacts, which the administration says could boost exports by $13 billion and support tens of thousands of American jobs. None of the votes were close, despite opposition from labor groups and other critics of free trade agreements who say they result in job losses and ignore labor rights problems in the partner countries.

"We don't do much around here that's bipartisan these days," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who was U.S. Trade Representative during the George W. Bush administration. "This is an example of where we can come together as Republicans and Democrats realizing that with 14 million Americans out of work, we need to do things to move our economy forward."

President Barack Obama said passage of the agreements was "a major win for American workers and businesses."

"Tonight's vote, with bipartisan support, will significantly boost exports that bear the proud label 'Made in America,' support tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs and protect labor rights, the environment and intellectual property. ... I look forward to signing these agreements.""

What a coincidence. Korea.

GM then has this

After enduring years of Chevy Volt hype, we now get a new "new best thing" from General Motors in the form of an electric version of the Chevy Spark. And I have it on good authority that the Spark will be made in Korea.
Another very important question regarding the electric Chevy Spark production is, "where will it be built?" Will the technology be shared with China by SAIC so that GM can benefit from the huge Chinese subsidies? Will the taxpayer money that was used to bail out GM and then develop electric cars go towards creating green jobs in other countries while neglecting the American public that paid for the job creation? According to GM North America Director of Communications, Greg Martin, both conventional and electric versions will be built in Korea.

Why the hell are we bailing out companies with US tax money who are building new products outside of America? There's plenty of blame to go around here too, from Republicans like Portman, Corker, and Bush to Democrats like Feinstein, Obama and Reid. Bipartisanship sold us and our sovereignty down the river. Again.

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