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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Chamber of Commerce takes on Trump

Once upon a time, the Chamber of Commerce was an American organization of American businesses. But now it is a $200 million-a-year lobbying group representing 108 countries. Naturally, the tax-exempt company opposes President Trump's economic policies because he puts America first.

I have three words of warning for them: Trump Schadenfreude List.

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday denounced President Donald Trump’s handling of global trade disputes, issuing a report that argued tariffs imposed by Washington and retaliation by its partners would boomerang badly on the American economy," Reuters reported.

Our trading partners rip us off to the tune of $817 billion a year on manufacturing. They impose tariffs and use regulations to protect their industries -- while demanding we not do that.

The chamber is trying to scare us by saying how retaliation will hurt our economy.

"For example, nearly $4 billion worth of exports from Texas could be targeted by retaliatory tariffs, the Chamber said, including $321 million in meat the state sends to Mexico each year and $494 million in grain sorghum it exports to China," Reuters said.

$4 billion?

In a $20 trillion -- $20,000 billion -- economy?

Don't make me laugh. This is the best that the Chamber of Horrific and Terrible Commerce for the United States can do because these countries buy so little from us. And note that the Texas items cited are not computers or cars, but rather farm products.

"The Chamber is expected to spend millions of dollars ahead of the November elections to help candidates who back free trade, immigration and lower taxes. It has already backed candidates who share those goals in Republican primaries," Reuters reported.

I say to the chamber, go ahead. Back Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. We are in a trade war and losing badly. I thank the chamber for siding against us. Once again, President Trump has unmasked a group of phonies.


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  1. Good to see old Tom join the fight directly. He's been letting his puppet Ryan do all the fighting.

  2. Donahue's been the source of a lot of bad government.

    Let's see how he likes messing with Trump.

  3. They should be made change their name from "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" to "New World Order Star Chamber". More accurate.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The Chinese can't feed their people. Where are they going to import their food from? Mexico can't feed its people, either. They send them here.

    Where were all these pundits when we were losing our factories and the jobs you could raise a family on? They're fine as long as we throw our ankles in the air but ask for reciprocity and they warn us how bad that will be for us.

  6. Deleted comment due to editing issue ... here it is fixed for now ...

    "Free Trade" has made billions upon billions for multinational corporations while at the same time gutting our manufacturing and making the US dependent upon other nations, some hostile.

    In the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith espoused the notion that a country would manufacture and/or export what it was good at or what it's natural resources would allow. In turn, others would do the same and trade could be fair and equitable.

    But even Reagan recognized that modern trade was/is not fair and equitable. All that went away with George HW Bush. Yes, Reagan did envision trade between Canada, Mexico, and the US unhindered, but in no way did he believe nor publicly support draining our manufacturing and displacing millions upon millions of US jobs to do so.

    Reagan stated many, many times that trade should be free, but fair.

    That's why he helped save Harley Davidson with targeted tariffs. That is why he put tariffs on Japanese electronics (also US national security concerns). That is why when there really was the Big Three US car manufacturers that were bleeding to the tune of $4 billion, he talked and acted tough.

    "There is a place where Government can be legitimately involved,'' Mr. Reagan said in a speech to auto assembly-line workers in Detroit, ''And this is where I think Government has a role that it has shirked so far, that is, to convince the Japanese that, in one way or another and in their own best interest, the deluge of their cars into the United States must be slowed while our industry gets back on its feet.''


    Protecting US industry and, in turn, US jobs has heen a core part of what it means to be conservative and Republican. That went completely away with HW.

    What seems to be forgotten is that Main Street policies tend to bring on more US jobs than Wall Street policies.

  7. Here's a paragraph from MISES from 1988 explaining how protectionist Reagan was ... notice the assumption and see how that has played out 30 years later ... just how many that can work do not? ... Note that trade defiicts drag down our productivity, GDP ...

    "The value of free trade does not depend on open markets abroad. It is good for the nation that practices it, regardless of what others do. The purpose of an economic system is not to produce jobs or sell products abroad. Those are means. The end is satisfaction of our material wants. Free trade is good because our standard of living depends on how easily we can get the products and services we want."


  8. How in the world did libertarians, conservatives and Republicans align themselves with Karl Marx of all people?

    "But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade."

    - Karl Marx, On the Question of Free Trade (1848)

    Yes, yes, he opposed in principle in his Manifesto, but supported it for the cultural revolution against the modern, Western style societies participating in capitalism.

  9. "It is good for the nation that practices it, regardless of what others do."

    Baloney. It may be good for consumers, but closed markets abroad are bad for producers. And we do both.

    Even a mother's love is not an absolute good if she's driviing the getaway car for Junior.

  10. Free Trade is good - even President Trump wants it.
    But that's NOT what we have now. What we have now is no tariffs (or non-tariff barriers) by the US, but many by our trade deficit partners.

    How to get to real Free Trade?

    First, go to Fair Trade -- if they tax us, we tax them. See the book, Evolution of Cooperation.
    There IS an optimal strategy for cooperation.

    It's called "Tit for Tat". Be open, at first. Then, do the same as the other guy. If he's open, stay open. If he's got barriers or tariffs, you get tariffs.

    And one key issue -- tariffs are better and cleaner than non-tariff barriers, plus do bring in some anti-fiscal deficit revenue.