Colombian free trade agreement (1 Viewer)

dbridge

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What does everyone think of the Colombian free trade agreement? IMO international trade is good, but these agreements are so heavily slanted toward the foriegn countries that they seem to hurt the U.S. They grow our trade deficit, cause jobs to get outsourced, and devalue the dollar. China has raped this country through trade. What should be done?
 

sbodom1080

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a lot of things should be done! however nothin will...
 

Jeff Miller

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What does everyone think of the Colombian free trade agreement? IMO international trade is good, but these agreements are so heavily slanted toward the foriegn countries that they seem to hurt the U.S. They grow our trade deficit, cause jobs to get outsourced, and devalue the dollar. China has raped this country through trade. What should be done?
I've heard that Columbia is the #5 country we export to. In general i'm all for free trade as long as its fair trade. I have no problem buying goods from Columbia.

I don't consider the concept of companies shutting down locally to relocate to Columbia "trade".

The way i see it, the congress should vote on the agreement and eithe pass or vote it down, i don't care. Its there job to legislate, not shevel bills by changing house rules because you didn't enough add ons (bribes) like unemployments benifts tacked on to a trade bill.

This congress is a pathetic embarrassment.
 

Saint77

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As I understand it, this agreement puts heavy tariffs on our goods, and very little to onon on theirs coming in. Its garbage IMHO, as is most of the other FTAs in place.

big global economy...so...

be careful what you wish for :)
 

blackadder

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What does everyone think of the Colombian free trade agreement? IMO international trade is good, but these agreements are so heavily slanted toward the foriegn countries that they seem to hurt the U.S. They grow our trade deficit, cause jobs to get outsourced, and devalue the dollar. China has raped this country through trade. What should be done?

Reciporocal trade. They get the same deal they give us.

Free trade is an ideal. Among its proponents it takes on an almost sacred charachter. It's like a religion. If you just remove tariffs, wea ll reach Nirvana.

For the most fundamentalist free traders they advocate "unilateral" free trade. The argument is that we should drop all trade and investment restrictions of any type because even if other countries close their market to us, the U.S. consumer still benefits.

How?

The argument is that allowing the consumer the choice to buy anywhere increases the variety of goods available which adds to quality of life and to "choice." Investment opportunites are also expanded.

For example, you might like star fruit. But if we restrict imports from a country that sells star fruit, you will not be able to enjoy start fruit, or be forced to pay a lot for it. Thus your quality of life or "utility" is impaired.

These are the kinds of academic arguments that the unuilateral free traders make, usually backed up by arcane econometric models.

Basically, the policies that fit under the rubric of "free trade" disproportionately benefit large corporate interests. For the average worker with low to moderate skills who is happy to be on a factory floor, it is disruptive. The only chance to benefit from free trade is to get what cash you have into a mutual fund or ETF that tracks the growth of other countries that are benefitting from the outsourcing that goes along with "free trade."

Free trade is as much about captial flows as it is the movement of physical goods. That's why Wall Street likes it so much.

The people in the best position to capitalize on free trade are not the average middle class worker.

I don't go for the unilateral free trade argument. I think it should be reciporocal on a case by case basis. If we are going to throw open our market to competition that puts our jobs at risk, then we need the same opportunity to compete on a level playing field in markets overseas so we can reap benefits also.

We need markets to be open because we need the competition. Without it companies get lazy and consumers get abused. Look what happened to American cars in the 70s. Quality imports keep you honest, keep your manufacturing lean and mean (if you can keep it here).

But for free trade to work in a sustaned fashion it's got to result in tangible benefits for all sectors of the work force and it's hard to see that it has so far.

Wages have stagnated and it is due in large part to offshoring.

The best argument people can come up with is that free trade has made so many goods cheaper that even though your wages are flat or declining you can still substitute into your consumption all these wonderful Chinese goods at Wal-Mart and Target that allow you to keep your standard of living largely intact.

That's not going to cut it for the long term. People have to see gains and the market access between us and our trading partners has to be essentially equal.
 
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JimEverett

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What is telling is that one of the last arguments the free-traders-at-any-cost people have is that the current policy creates higher end jobs here. Jobs in the service sector that pay very well.
But we are already seeing that those jobs are being transferred overseas as well. Why hire a U.S. accountant, lawyer, engineer, etc. who receives and has received relatively little in the way of government subsidies, and costs a relatively large amount of money when you can hire a foreign professional whose government subsidizes like heck the best and brightest and therefore costs relatively little?
Free trade for sure!
 

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