Issues, TPP, Trade

Free Trade Means Less Government – Less Government Means Freer Trade


There has been a lot of discussion of trade of late – both here and across the Pond in Europe. As with most things subjected to public discourse – there is much mis- and disinformation being thrown around.

Over There, Great Britain just voted to leave the European Union (EU). They did so because they wanted less and more localized government. They voted to shed the EU’s unelected governmental superstructure – and restore immigration policy autonomy.

Great Britain did not leave the EU as some sort of assault on free trade. Quite the contrary. Brexit leaders repeatedly said – before and after the vote – that they will immediately begin negotiations to restore previously existing trade deals. And cut new ones.

Great Britain existed quite nicely for many, many centuries prior to its two-plus decades in the EU. During which time they reinvented and exponentially expanded global free trade. Not sure why it is so difficult for some to envision a return to that long-standing status quo.

If you’re looking for Brexit anti-free traders – look to U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama Warns Britain on Trade if It Leaves European Union; “President Obama on Friday bluntly urged Britain to vote to remain inside the European Union in a referendum scheduled for June 23, and warned that a Britain outside the bloc could not count on maintaining its current economic relationship with the United States….The president said that to (vote to leave) would send Britain to the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade deal with the United States”

Sounds like a retaliatory anti-trade threat to me. Britain is reaching out the hand of free trade – and Obama threatens to slap it away.

It is Obamas my-way-or-the-highway attitude that has in part led to great and growing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. How big is TPP?

“This international treaty includes 12 countries and represents more than 40 percent of the world’s GDP.”

TPP is HUGE. So it is more than a mite disconcerting that the Obama Administration was long imposing unbelievable amounts of oppressive secrecy on those very few who were allowed to read it:

“If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

“If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.

“And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.”

When you behave in such an authoritarian and secretive manner – it raises many questions. Which isn’t good for this trade deal – or the concept of trade deals in general.

In November, the full TPP text finally became public – and it became quite obvious why Obama was engaged in such totalitarian secrecy. TPP turns out to be much less free trade – and much more international cronyism of the sort this administration has nigh perfected.

And conscripts the U.S. to all sorts of international inanity:

“An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment ‘expectations’ and hurt their business, according to a classified document.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s remaining economic agenda — would grant broad powers to multinational companies operating in North America, South America and Asia. Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.”

An international trial lawyer bonanza – masquerading as a part of a “free trade” deal.

The TPP is in fact ruining the very good name of real free trade deals everywhere.

Free trade deals don’t hand out government favors to government friends. They don’t subject their nations to global, globalist assaults. Free trade deals – you don’t have to hide.

Free trade deals reduce government – for everyone, equally. Less taxes and tariffs, less subsidies, less government-favoritism. And free trade deals – are almost never thousands of pages long. Additional pages tend to add government – not subtract it.

There is a shoot of actual free trade greenery breaking through the pseudo-“free trade” barren ground.

“Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho has put forward on zero-for-zero a ‘Sense of the House’ resolution, ‘Expressing the sense of Congress that all direct and indirect subsidies that benefit the production or export of sugar by all major sugar producing and consuming countries should be eliminated.’”

Less government – more trade. And we can take this free trade approach light years beyond just subsidies – and light years beyond just sugar. We join many nations at the negotiation table – and have conversation after conversation that goes something like this:

“Britain – how about if you get rid of this subsidy, we’ll each get rid of one.

“India – if you get rid of this tariff, we’ll each get rid of one.”

Lather, rinse – and repeat. And repeat, and repeat, and….

Zeroing out trade barriers – of all sorts. Rendering much less government – and much freer trade.

It’d be a refreshing change of the current pace.

This is a guest post by Seton Motley Founder and President of Less Government

    Obama’s plea to Britain to not leave the EU was based more on the fear that such action would force a rush to the door by other EU members who are currently experiencing economic collapses and a push to enact brutal economic austerity by foreign banks. Forces in this country and Israel were more concerned with the possible collapse of NATO and our loss of military domination over Eastern Europe including Russia and Iran ! This had little to do with trade given that all manufacturing is done somewhere else now !

    • Robert

      Those other European countries have a better credit rating than the USA, the exception to the rule is Spain and Greece, which have been in trouble for the past 15 years and did nothing to correct it, just went on like nothing was wrong. Yes you are more than correct on the rest of your reply.

      • RLTMLT

        My Wife’s eye specialist married a Greek woman years ago and about five years ago he arranged for her parents to move to the U.S. Obviously things were getting bad before the escalating Greek crisis was reported by the Main Stream Media in this country !

        • Robert

          Yes as long as 10 years ago the warning were up, and anyone with a little bit of common sense pulled any stock that had a Greek Connection, when the really wealthy start moving their money most are smart to follow.
          HAVE A GOOD DAY

  • Robert

    Smaller Government just means companies and Corporations can do as they please with my money I invest and also with the environment. We need more control over business like they have in Europe where industry thrives, and the money market is closer control than in the USA. The only reason business can not flourish in this country is because they are more concerned with great wealth than the welfare of the country that spawned them. If Foreign Corporations can make great profits her in the USA then American companies could if they knew how to run a business, other than getting rid of their competition so they make more money. GREED IS GREED NO MATTER WHERE YOU FIND IT.

    • Allen

      Business “thrives” in Europe? You are delusional, more so than usual. There is not one single real statistic that shows business in Europe thrives. It doesn’t. Businesses are dying, moving over seas rapidly. The only growing European economy is Ireland and what did they do? They CUT TAXES AND REGULATIONS.

      The last thing anyone needs for for people like you who know nothing to have a say in how real businesses owners run their businesses. The more you get out of the way the better of humanity will be

      • Robert

        Allen you are the one delusional. The most expensive cars in the world are made in Europe, nearly every gear box in every American car is made in Europe. If you flew on an airplane lately the chances are about 5 to 1 the engine was made in Europe, Rolls Royce. The credit rating in most European countries is higher than the US, here it is check for yourself.
        Cutting taxes does nothing for anyone economy, Taxes are a necessary evil, in the US the taxes are wasted on over priced Government Contracts to keep the rich, richer and the poor poorer, we have the greatest disparity between rich and poor in the industralized world. If taxes and regulations are the problem how come European companies come to the US and with the same regulations and less tax breaks than American companies pay build expand and hire and make hugh profits. Subaru is building a full assembly factory and will be the Second car company making the total car in the US.
        Four of my 5 children live and work in Europe and love it because they have more take home money than their college counter parts in the USA.
        I ran a business for 35 years with 3 other partners and went from .a $10,000 investment and $40, credit with 6 workers plus us 4 to a company with 700 workers and valued at $450 .Million. That is the trouble with this country people do not know how to run a business, if you run your business to support your workers and take care of them the rest is history. We followed all regulations and we never asked for a tax cut. If your ONLY interest in Busines is to get rich you have failed before you start. I could do the same thing today, because the regulations have not changed that much. I am 79 years old and indepently wealthy from running a business that you say I know nothing about.

        • Allen

          Go and lend money to Greece or Spain or Portugal or Italy. Please do so. I’m sure you’ll be paid back on time and in full

          • Robert

            We can all find fault with anything when we are cherry picking. Bad administration does not mean bad policy. in fact i did just invest in Spain, they will be back on target in about 5 years. If you had a ship load of cars come in and you found one or two bad cars on the ship would you condemn the whole ship load of cars, that is what you are doing with the Countries with bad management, and Venezuela should not even be in the picture the USA has been trying for at least 40 years to bring Venezuela down, even supported a rebel army to over throw the Government, again all about oil and who can control it.
            Why do you never mention the Countries that have been highly successful under Democratic Socialism, which is most of Europe. They even have a higher GDP than the US, so they must be doing something we are not.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

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