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Don’t End NAFTA. Fix It. - POLITICO Magazine

Trade in Texas – specifically along our Southern border with Mexico – doesn’t just work in theory. It’s the reality on the ground too. Last week I led a congressional delegation to the border to see this economy in action. We visited the Pharr International Bridge in the Rio Grande Valley – a bridge that facilitates about $30 billion in trade a year. We also visited Laredo, a port that handles about a third of all international trade in Texas, with 14,000 trucks passing through daily. In other words, the Texas border serves as a major gateway for agriculture and manufactured goods trade. It moves more freight along its 1,200-plus miles of southern border than any other border state. And this trade in turn fuels economic growth and vitality across the region and the entire country. But like anything that’s dated, there’s room for NAFTA to be improved. It’s now more than 20 years old. Texas and the United States as a whole would benefit from a revised agreement that makes trade freer and fairer. By fixing NAFTA, we can address modern-day challenges and preserve and protect America’s unrivaled stability and prosperity into the next century.

Trump Is Right About Mexico Trade -- Just in The Wrong Way - Bloomberg

Bloomberg's Nacha Cattan's trip around Mexican retailer Selecto reveals an array of made-in-USA goods and produce that are flying off the shelves. Mexico's rapidly expanding middle class dines on U.S. steak, fruit, cookies and whet their whistle with soda, beer and hot chocolate all made in the USA.

The 2013 Trump Was a Lot Better on Trade Than the 2016 Version | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

We are now closer to having an economic community in the best sense of the term -- we work with each other for the benefit of all. I think we've all become aware of the fact that our cultures and economics are intertwined. It's a complex mosaic that cannot be approached with a simple formula for the correct pattern to emerge. In many ways, we are in unchartered waters. The good news, in one respect, is that what is done affects us all. There won't be any winners or losers as this is not a competition. It's a time for working together for the best of all involved. Never before has the phrase "we're all in this together" had more resonance or relevance.

Citi Sees Future of LNG Trading in Tanker Traffic Near Texas - Bloomberg

“What appears to be unfolding into next year is a seismic change in the functioning of the global LNG market,” Morse said in the report. “The U.S. Gulf Coast is likely to begin to emerge as a major, if not the major, gas trading hub in the world, with cargoes being lifted and awaiting direction.”

Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs Would Be Harder Than It Sounds : NPR

It's not, if you do this one thing, manufacturing is going to come back to the United States. You have to do a little bit of a lot of things.

Chamber CEO Tom Donohue: Without Trade, U.S. Can Forget About Growth | Fox Business

“95 percent of the people that we want to sell something to don’t live in the United States. If you look at the growth in exports to China, they continue to go up, and China’s huge and it will continue to go up… A lot of the imports are the kind of imports in high quality, that go to Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) store where mid-America wants to go shop. Take that away and their costs go up,” he said.

Review & Outlook: China Trade Benefits - WSJ

Railing against imported Chinese goods is especially shortsighted given that so many of America's own exports are components for the products the U.S. eventually imports again. And don't forget the transportation, retailing, marketing and other jobs that are dependent on those Chinese goods. Roughly 55 cents of every dollar that Americans spend on "Made in China" products goes to the Americans who design, ship and market those products, according to a study last year by economists at the San Francisco Federal Reserve. This is in addition to the boost to standards of living as import competition checks price increases for consumer goods. All of this is a reminder that free trade is a bedrock of American prosperity, and that it should be a bipartisan priority. U.S. leaders can and should press China to continue opening its economy to trade, not least for the benefit of the Chinese. But protectionist policies would only hurt millions of U.S. companies and consumers who benefit from the China trade.

Amid Trump’s Rise, Americans Warmer on Free Trade and Immigration — Poll - Washington Wire - WSJ

On average, Americans tend to like the idea of free trade better than particular free trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico or the Trans-Pacific Partnership signed in February and awaiting a vote in Congress. Asked to rank their feelings on Nafta from zero to 100, Americans on average rated the trade pact at 44.6. The TPP rated 42.0, according to a poll published last week that was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. A rating of 100 indicates “very warm” feelings, with zero indicating a “very cold, unfavorable” feeling. In the same poll, Mr. Trump got a rating of 34.3, while Democratic rival Hillary Clinton got a 42.2.

Trump Is 'Raping' the GOP's Free Trade Agenda -

Cato Institute's Dan Ikenson notes that by all relevant metrics—output, value added, revenues, exports, imports, investment, R&D expenditures—U.S. manufacturing remains a global powerhouse. It attracts $1 trillion in foreign direct investments, the highest in the world, and more than double what China's manufacturing sector attracts. The auto industry alone (which Trump keeps threatening with punishing fines if it moves any operations to Mexico) has seen vehicle production more than double from 5.7 million in 2009 to 12 million by 2015. The U.S. exported over 2.1 million cars in 2014, becoming the third largest auto exporter after Germany and Japan, with Mexico as a distant seventh.

Who Stole All the Manufacturing Jobs? - AAF

Developed countries around the world are experiencing similar trends in manufacturing employment. Germany, which consistently runs large trade surpluses, has been steadily losing manufacturing jobs for years. This demonstrates that the decline in manufacturing employment is a global phenomenon not necessarily linked to unbalanced trade.

Cox: Slicing global trade with a GE carving knife | Columns | Breakingviews

As Johan Van Overtveldt, the finance minister of Belgium, which has seen its fair share of industrial hollowing-out, said this week in an interview: “The advantages of trade are divided and shared among the entire population, so the per-capita impact seems relatively small. But the disadvantages can be huge, highly concentrated and visible. That’s why it is essential for policymakers to explain the benefits clearly.”

Dear 45: Unleash the Power of Global Trade | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

After all, no one country – not even the U.S. – can efficiently produce all of the products and services its citizens need; thus, no country can have a prosperous economy and a high standard of living without trade.

How Anti-Trade Nativism Wrecked the Ancient Greeks - WSJ

Fast forward to today’s world. As in the past, Americans face a choice. We can erect trade barriers and build walls—and stoke bad will among nations. Or we can continue on the road to peace and prosperity by maximizing free trade in goods, ideas and people (vetted for national security) while offering a plan to bring back prosperity for those in need without re-erecting trade barriers. Our leaders need to make the case for the second path, clearly and fearlessly. In short, we need smart, tough and responsible leadership. Otherwise, make way for Cleon—demagogues, nativists and protectionists who risk stoking a new conflict. That could make the Peloponnesian War look tame by comparison.

Winners and losers from globalization - Apr. 24, 2016

He can't prove that trade and globalization caused Asia's middle class to surge and the middle class in the U.S. to stall, but he says it's a very "plausible story."

The Miracle in a Coffee Cup - WSJ

The author’s morning coffee is grown in an Ethiopian village, trucked to a port in Djibouti, and then shipped through the Suez and Panama canals—more than 10,000 nautical miles. “The average American coffee-drinking household,” he writes, after doing a bit of cocktail-napkin math, “. . . never has less than 572,000 miles of travel pass through its coffeemaker every year.” Domino’s Pizza, he says, is really in the logistics business, funneling inputs—pineapple from Thailand, boxes from Georgia, salt from Minnesota—through 16 distribution points in the U.S.

Why the Case for Trade — and Against Protectionism — Remains Strong | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Unfortunately, the U.S. government’s training and transition assistance programs are a mess, as Lincicome details. He cites Charles Kenny, author of The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Good for the West, who told the Financial Times: “In short, evidence suggests that about one in four hundred federal dollars helped workers retrain out of [trade-]exposed industries and the other $399 helped them retire or invalid out of those industries and the workforce completely.”

Everything Trump Says About Trade With China Is Wrong

the U.S. trade deficit reflects little more than America’s longstanding comparative advantage as a global investment destination.

You can finally stop feeling guilty for eating quinoa - Vox

Not only has the quinoa craze benefited farmers in Peru — it's even benefited quinoa consumers in the region who don't actually plant the crop.

Surprise: Americans Kind Of Like Trade : NPR

One way of summing it up is that for most Americans, the benefits of a trade pact are subtle — lower prices and, say, greater avocado availability. But for the rarer people who, for example, see a factory close because of trade, the effects run much deeper and can even be life-altering. And this works to the advantage of politicians who sincerely oppose these trade deals.

Trade Deficit Angst - Walter E. Williams - Page full

The uninformed buys into the mercantilist creed that trade deficits are bad and trade surpluses are good. My George Mason University colleague Donald Boudreaux wrote a blog post titled "If Trade Surpluses are So Great, the 1930s Should Have Been a Booming Decade". The U.S. had a current account trade surplus in nine of the 10 years of the Great Depression, with 1936 being the lone exception. The fact of the matter is that our nation has registered current account deficits throughout most of our history, from 1790 right up to our modern period ( Over that interval, we went from being a poor, relatively weak nation to the richest and most powerful nation in the history of mankind. So if, as our fearmongers would have it, current account deficits are so harmful, how did we accomplish that feat?

Would Trump's trade threats work? Many experts are skeptical

Levying those tariffs would probably require congressional approval. It would violate commitments the United States made when it joined the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, and the tariffs would trigger retaliation from Mexico. No problem, Trump says. He'd rip up NAFTA. He could exit the agreement provided he gave Mexico and Canada six months' notice. Experts differ on whether Congress would have to authorize this. Regardless, leaving NAFTA would cause chaos for businesses that have arranged their operations around its rules. Trump has threatened to hit Chinese imports with a 45 percent tariff. But in Thursday's Republican debate, he suggested that the tax might be negotiable. "The 45 percent is a threat if they don't behave, if they don't follow the rules and regulations so that we can have it equal on both sides, we will tax you," he said on stage. If Trump replaced the low tariffs provided by NAFTA and World Trade Organization rules with punitive tariffs on Mexican and Chinese goods, he probably would ignite a trade war that would raise prices for Americans and cause diplomatic havoc.

Free Trade Doesn't Have to Devastate Workers - Bloomberg View

But a major retreat from trade appears unlikely to be a good strategy. The countries that rank lowest in trade openness are, from the bottom of the list, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Algeria. Those don't seem like great role models for the U.S.

The Donald Trump Theory of International Trade – InsideSources

That premise is fundamentally flawed: My wife and I buy all our groceries from the local supermarket, and we sell them nothing. So we have a large “bilateral trade deficit” with them; so what? Moreover, Trump has gone on to describe such deficits as “losses,” rhetoric that is particularly ridiculous: Does he believe that we send dollars to, say, China and receive nothing in return? Nor are total trade deficits a problem; if foreigners added together buy less from us than we buy from them, then the dollars that remain in their hands must be used to buy U.S. assets; that ultimately is the only possible alternative use. That is, those dollars must be used to invest in the U.S. Precisely how is that a problem?

Bashing Trade Is a Popular Election Year Target | Competitive Enterprise Institute

But the focus on deficits and surpluses also misses a major evolution in trade. With global supply chains operating in almost every industry, seldom are major goods produced entirely in any one country. Almost every electronic product, for example, has intermediate inputs from several different countries before it is assembled and exported. That also means that imports of those inputs are critical to much of U.S. manufacturing today.

Trade isn't the bad guy: Our view

But any fair analysis of the decline in manufacturing jobs would conclude that technology is a bigger culprit than trade. Trade is a bit like immigration. It puts a face — a foreign face — on people’s job frustrations and financial insecurities. But to say that trade agreements are responsible for the job destruction misrepresents what is actually happening. One indication of this can be seen in the nature of manufacturing. Even while shedding jobs, manufacturers have significantly increased output by shifting to more automated factories and focusing on more sophisticated products.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: The view from the Obama Administration | Brookings Institution

Citing the proliferation of bilateral trade agreements involving TPP countries as evidence of the rapidly evolving international economic environment, the official insisted that “The choice isn’t between TPP and the status quo. It’s between TPP and the direction the world is heading.” TPP represents our best opportunity to shape these trends to our advantage, the official suggested. If we fail to seize it, we’ll be worse off in the long run.