Issues, TPP, Trade

It’s Not ‘Free Trade’ – If They’re Stealing Tons of Our Stuff

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President Donald Trump became President Donald Trump because he saw a whole host of naked emperors – and publicly pointed out the dearth of respective wardrobes.  Establishment Washington, D.C. has spent decades pretending a whole host of things labeled “A” – are “Not A.”

We the People were tired of DC lying to us – and itself.  So we elected Trump – the guy who joined with us in decrying the lies.  “Drain the Swamp,” anyone?

Image Credit: Beat Strasser   CC by SA 2.0

Image Credit: Beat Strasser CC by SA 2.0

The examples of DC snowing us – are myriad.  Social Security and Medicare are a combined nearly $300 trillion short – a looming cataclysm of monumental proportions.  Yet in DC, both are hailed as “successes.”  Obamacare is a premium-and-deductible-exploding, choice-contracting disaster.  Yet in DC – it is another “success.”

And then there’s DC’s definition of “free trade.”  In which DC has for decades cut one-sided deals – in which we didn’t impose any limits on imports, while nigh every other nation on the planet imposed all sorts of taxes and limits on the things we export to them (while subsidizing the daylight out of their domestic production).

The United States is an $18-trillion-Gross-Domestic-Product-800-pound-gorilla in the global trade room.  We have leverage to burn when it comes to cutting deals.  We have thus far used…none of it.

We the People spent decades watching this DC stupidity – and the resulting mass exodus of businesses and the jobs they provide.  While DC periodically waved around the next, latest lame “free trade” deal – which delivered even more of the exact same America Last stupidity.

There is no end to the willful blindness in which DC engages – in the name of fake “free trade.”  And nowhere on the planet are we blinder – than in China.

China manipulates its currency – which warps the entire world market.  Their fabricated, intentional devaluation of its yuan – makes our dollar and every other global currency artificially “stronger.”  Which is yet another boost to China’s exports – and hurts every other nation attempting to have their stuff imported into China.

The United States has spent decades cutting trade deals with China – NONE of them have seriously addressed their massive money manipulation.

China is also a HUGE thief of Intellectual Property (IP).  IP – is the 21st Century’s chief form of property.  Software, movies, music and other cerebral creations used to be on physical CDs and DVDs – they are now digital files like MPEGs and MP3s.

To steal them, you don’t have to break into a bunch of Office Depots, Blockbusters and Tower Records.  You “break into” – i.e. hack – the servers that house the digital files.  And then steal and mass duplicate them.

For China – this is BIG bad business.  Last May, former Speaker Newt Gingrich was on Fox News Sunday – and said this: “When you hear, for example, that the Chinese last year probably stole $360 billion in intellectual property from the United States, I think being tough about that’s a good thing.”

That is HUGE bad business.  But is Gingrich correct?  No – he’s underselling it: “The first thing we should note, however, is that the $360 billion figure is only for losses from cyber-hacking – a limitation that Gingrich didn’t specify. Of course, adding in non-cyber losses would only increase that figure beyond $360 billion.”

And just like with China’s currency manipulation, we have spent decades cutting numerous trade deals with China – NONE of them have seriously addressed their massive IP theft.

Oh – and, of course, China is by no means the only country stealing our stuff.  India – another huge trading partner – scores the absolute worst globally on IP protection.

We the People need not be populated with Intellectual Trade attorneys and socialite international negotiators – to know that this sort of DC business-as-usual is titanically stupid.  (In fact, it likely helps our mental clarity that we aren’t stocked with said persons.)

Gingrich was – and is – correct.  We could and absolutely should be tough on China’s, India’s and everyone else’s institutional IP theft.  It is, in part, for what We the People voted when we elected Trump.

Here’s hoping the next set of trade deals finally addresses the rampant IP heists, money manipulations – and all the other fake “free trade” things we have for too long ignored.

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

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