On Fair Trade, Governor Deal Appears to Agree with Donald Trump

In a major speech dealing with the economy on Tuesday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pitched a protectionist message, vowing to opt out of trade agreements such as NAFTA or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and pledging to impose tariffs on imported goods that in his opinion could be made in America.

A front page story in this morning’s Washington Post summarizes Trump’s positions, which appear to be out of step with traditional Republican policies:

Trump has long blamed broad trade agreements for harming U.S. workers. But this week has marked a rhetorical shift as he aggressively casts members of both parties who have supported trade deals as anti-American and in league with “special interests.” For many Republicans in particular, the rhetoric amounts to an assault on core ideological beliefs that have undergirded conservative economic policy for generations.

Trump has repeatedly blamed outsourcing and big trade agreements for domestic economic decline. He has vowed to renegotiate NAFTA as president and withdraw the United States from TPP — promises many experts in both parties call unrealistic and highly risky.

While Trump insists he is not trying to challenge free-trade principles, he has repeatedly argued that it is more important for the United States to have “fair trade” agreements. He has said that he would prefer to negotiate deals one-on-one with countries rather than enter into multi-national settlements.

Governor Nathan Deal  Photo Jon Richards
Governor Nathan Deal Photo Jon Richards
According to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, the Peach State ranks 11th in the country for exports, and 7th for imports. The ports of Savannah and Brunswick are a significant part of the state’s economy and directly or indirectly provide almost 400,000 jobs across the state.

At a press availability last week, Governor Deal was asked if he was concerned about Trump’s proposed trade policies, and whether they might hurt Georgia’s economy.

“I haven’t heard anything that would indicate that to me,” Deal said. “What I think [Trump] is really saying in the broader context of things is that we need fair trade. We need trade agreements that once they are signed and entered into are actually enforced.” The governor noted that the United States enters into broad trade agreements, yet no one appears to look at the terms and conditions of those agreements, and ensure their provisions are enforced.

“I think it is appropriate at the federal level that we have broad discussions about our trade policies in terms of opening up trade,” Deal said, noting that when he served in Congress, he voted in favor of free trade agreements. “We have a state interest in making sure our trade agreements work fairly.”

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billdawers
billdawers

Deal says he is interested in “opening up trade,” but Trump’s position is clearly for restricting trade. It’s curious that Deal finds the need to translate for us what Trump is “really saying.” Trump is pretty clear on trade, and yesterday on the stump he predicted that prices would go up under his trade policies (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/us/politics/donald-trump-campaign.html?ref=politics).

John Konop
John Konop

Prices is just one data point. The real issue is the ratio of prices to wages. Obviously, spending power as a ratio is declining or we would not have a world wide demand problem.

IMF: The last generation of economic policies may have been a complete failure

http://www.businessinsider.com/imf-neoliberalism-warnings-2016-5

billdawers
billdawers

Interesting article. A couple quick points:

1) I’d be cautious about saying that there is any one “real issue” when it comes to trade.

2) The Business Insider piece seems to me to be largely an indictment of the idea that austerity and consolidation are the preferred approach to reducing extreme debt. We can create policies to replace that misguided idea without kicking free trade to the curb.

John Konop
John Konop

FROM IMF! ………However, there are aspects of the neoliberal agenda that have not delivered as expected. Our assessment of the agenda is confined to the effects of two policies: removing restrictions on the movement of capital across a country’s borders (so-called capital account liberalization); and fiscal consolidation, sometimes called “austerity,” which is shorthand for policies to reduce fiscal deficits and debt levels. An assessment of these specific policies (rather than the broad neoliberal agenda) reaches three disquieting conclusions: •The benefits in terms of increased growth seem fairly difficult to establish when looking at a broad group of countries.­ •The costs… Read more »

augusta52
augusta52

As someone from the Libertarian CATO Institute wrote recently, the trade issue is often a source of demagoguery in an election year—from both the Left (like Bernie Sanders) and the Right (Donald Trump). The port of Savannah has about an equal ratio of exports and imports, and Brunswick is one of the top car import ports in the United States. The problem free traders have is that the benefits of trade are dispersed (such as lower prices for items) while the costs are concentrated (workers losing their jobs). But a lot job loss is due to automation—our freight railroads for… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

Should we just let trade partners violate agreements?

The Eiger
The Eiger

So I ask this with zero snark. I promise. What do we do? Do we go back to the trade policies of the 1950s? I don’t believe that’s the answer or even possible.

John Konop
John Konop

Your solution is do a business deal, and let the other party rip you off, and hope it works out. LOL….

The Eiger
The Eiger

Where have I ever said what my solution is John? I asked a simple question. Not to you by the way. I would like to have a discussion about this, but not with you. You are incapable of having a discussion about anything.

The only thing you are capable of are straw men arguments. Putting words into other people’s mouths and acting like a jerk………………………………………………………………………

Sun is out so I’m heading to the river. I’m not here to entertain your sad soul.

John Konop
John Konop

What you do is called projection! I ask a direct question, all you do is go straw-man. LOL…It does not matter the issue…..

……… Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts. personality: Freud….

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Eiger, I’ll try to answer with zero snark. Chinese IP theft: For a lot of companies, this is, unfortunately, the price of doing business in China. You do everything you can to combat infringement where you find it, to ensure good relationships with the companies you’re using to manufacture goods, and you factor in the cost of knock-offs into your calculus when determining where is the best and cheapest place to make your goods. One of the hopes of TPP is that the US will be establishing its preferred IP protections in the region and that this will serve to… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

Andrew,

LOL….You as my lawyer would advise the price of doing business is let them violate an agreement you put together? WOW!

You claim prison labor camps in places like China have nothing to do with stolen jobs? You sound like the slave owners who claimed the same thing pre our own civil war.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Konop gon’ Konop.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Jon, with respect, Konop is one of the sharpest posters here, on many, many different subjects. He’s passionate in his opinions, as are most of us. I don’t see being a bad, insulting guy. I’d really hate to see him banished! Keep John here!

Davo65
Davo65

So funny that we would agree…your the person I was describing. Why your still allowed to post is beyond me.

John Konop
John Konop

I respect both of you guys….as you guys know I am very independent with my views. I think open debate with facts helps all of us.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Ummm, I think you mean “You’re ” LOL!

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

“The governor noted that the United States enters into broad trade agreements, yet no one appears to look at the terms and conditions of those agreements, and ensure their provisions are enforced.”

Not so different from Georgia’s handling of tax exemptions and credits. Take beneficiaries words at face value in their establishment, and do little monitoring to confirm the results sustain proponent’s claims.

gcp
gcp

If Trumpet’s trade policies could hurt Georgia, what about Hilly’s trade policies? She also opposes TPP, would renegotiate NAFTA and she complains about currency manipulation and China “dumping” products on this country.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The specifics of their pronouncements are indeed like two peas in a pod.

augusta52
augusta52

The recruitment of foreign investment to Georgia has been a bipartisan exercise the last 40 or so years—as examples Democrat George Busbee (who served 1975-1983) and Sonny Perdue (2003-2011), who lured the Korean KIA plant to West Point in his second term. When Barnes was governor, he tried to lure Daimler-Chrysler to Savannah (but failed). I thought Jim Galloway of the AJC had a good article over the weekend about how the South, when the textile industry started to wane in the 970s, instead looked to foreign investment, while many Northern states tried to do the equivalent of “saving snowballs… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

What made the south more versitile in it’s ability to shift from one industry to another while the north saved snowballs in July? There are a lot of reasons, but I would say the cost of living and not having unions with a straglehold on indusrties are two leading factors.