Finally: Some good news from Congress on trade, jobs

Bipartisan actions to boost the economy at minimal cost to taxpayers are possible, after all. From Politico:

Congress on Wednesday approved three long-stalled free-trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

Both the Senate and House sent the free-trade agreements to the White House with large bipartisan majorities…. Advocates say the deals will result in the export of billions of dollars of U.S. goods and boost hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

And the House doubled the pleasure by shooting down the China currency bill that doesn’t address our real trade problems with Beijing and might instead spark a harmful trade war.

Good news, and good news. Let’s just leave it at that for once.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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72 comments Add your comment

UGA 1999

October 13th, 2011
11:38 am

This is a good thing for every American.

HDB

October 13th, 2011
11:44 am

……now if Congress could REALLY get to the issues that would put Americans BACK TO WORK…….

Karl Marx

October 13th, 2011
11:50 am

Great! Now what are we selling to them…….. Car’s, no….. Tractors, well no, Clothing… no they do that……….TV’s,no South Korea does that…….Computers no, no……well just what can we sell them Politicians? No need to worry about a trade war with China by the time we reach 3rd world status our currency won’t be worth the imported paper it written on anyway…..

Kyle Wingfield

October 13th, 2011
11:55 am

Actually, Karl, U.S. auto exports are expected to rise…along with a lot of other stuff.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
12:16 pm

I’ve read several articles on this, and they all read like the above. I guess it’s no coincidence that they all imply that it was Congress that was bottling up these free trade agreements, rather than putting the blame where it belongs, on the Idiot Messiah, who refused for nearly three years to send them up for a vote.

ragnar danneskjold

October 13th, 2011
12:23 pm

Agree, but the Luddites among us will disagree. The cumulation of these will not be as great an effect as NAFTA, but it will help the economy.

jt

October 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

“Both the Senate and House sent the free-trade agreements to the White House with large bipartisan majorities…”
.
What kind of idiot would think that a bipartisan agreement on ANYTHING from this congress would be good news?
.
Hold on to your wallet.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
12:37 pm

Hold on to your wallet? Why? Free trade makes prices go down, not up.

quick work break

October 13th, 2011
12:38 pm

The way I’ve heard it summarized by economists is that the net result will not really be any significant job growth, but that we’ll tend to have a little more purchasing power overall. The growth will only come from things we’re great at.

@@

October 13th, 2011
12:57 pm

It’s not FAIR-R-R-! Since I work, I’m not able to comment in a timely fashion. About Newt’s acknowledgment downstairs:

“I think the people who are protesting on Wall Street break into two groups,” the former Georgia congressman said. “One is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people, who frankly are very close to the tea party people in actually caring.”

Don’t know if they’re the majority or not…they’ve certainly been silent…or less vocal, shall we say.

Anyhoo

I FOUND ‘EM!!!

Wall Street Protests Get Specific: Could ‘Bank Transfer Day’ Pit Americans Against Their Big Banks?

The growing anger directed at U.S. banks (especially the big ones that took federal bailout funds) over recent fee increases coalesced this weekend into a Facebook-driven campaign urging Americans to close their accounts at large banks and move their money to credit unions by Nov. 5.

They’re busy doing something constructive. Of course, ‘ya gotta have money IN an account before you can walk away with it.

On any given day, movin’ your money has more of an impact than just moving your mouth or tent.

I’ll have to come back to comment on this topic. A shower awaits. I’m wearing one of my students’ lunch.

ew

CJ

October 13th, 2011
1:04 pm

That these trade deals will “boost hundreds of thousands of American jobs” is not clear. Many argue that it will do the opposite and cost American jobs.

The Colombia and Panama deals typify Washington’s other big trade policy mistake. Since the NAFTA negotiations of the early 1990s, America repeatedly has sought economic integration with countries too small, or too poor, or too indebted, or some combination of these characteristics, to possibly become big net importers.

At the same time, these countries have often become major exporters to America thanks to super-cheap but highly trainable workers, lax regulatory regimes, and governments willing to pay to attract business.

Through production and jobs outsourcing by U.S. and other multinational companies, Mexico, China and others like them have made impressive economic progress. Yet because domestic incomes have remained so meager, their production and exporting power and export orientation will long dwarf their consumption and importing power.

Agreements with these developing economies have enabled America’s Big Corporate sector to reduce its global cost base and boost profits — by guaranteeing access to the lucrative U.S. market from low-cost export platforms.

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/pro-con-free-trade-984692.html

detritusUSA

October 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

Free trade agreements. Listen closely! You’ll hear that giant sucking sound again. You know? Jobs leaving the U.S.

Karl Marx

October 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

Kyle, what autos are we exporting? Kia’s? Just because some government agency publishes a report touting how well this will work the devil is in the details. So far governments track record isn’t too good. We will export some more Ag products until they find a reason to shut that down for “safety” reasons. However I am sure we will see more cheap imports.

Finn McCool

October 13th, 2011
1:15 pm

Yeah, how’s that NAFTA agreement working out for us?

More lost jobs! Yipeeeeee!

Don't Tread

October 13th, 2011
1:15 pm

Free trade deals are great for countries with a lower standard of living than ours…not so much for average Joes in this country, though. Companies “offshore” their production lines, charge consumers in the US the same amount for the goods, and pocket the difference.

Ayn Rant

October 13th, 2011
1:29 pm

Yes, it’s great to have free trade agreements with other countries. Now, if we could just manufacture something to sell them, to offset the stuff we buy from them!

UGA 1999

October 13th, 2011
1:34 pm

Free trade is a great concept as long as it is a 1 for 1 ratio on importing and exporting goods. Too bad that right now it is not.

ragnar danneskjold

October 13th, 2011
1:54 pm

Opposition to free trade is rooted in the same willful blindness as the left’s generalized worry about the trade deficit.

What is the effect of a “trade deficit,” a condition where the aggregate value of imported goods exceeds the aggregate value of exported goods?

The simplest way to look at such trade is “we will give you a piece of paper -a dollar bill – in exchange for your hard good.” The manufacturer who accepts dollars for goods then has only a few choices as to what he can do with those dollars. Note that merely exchanging those dollars for other currencies does not diminish the quantity of dollars afloat, and someone, somewhere, has only a few choices as to what one can do with those dollars:

(1) he can shred those dollars and eat them as a breakfast cereal. This would be a rare occurrence.

(2) he can take those dollars and deposit them into a bank, which then uses the currency as capital for re-lending, thus increasing the supply of investable capital, and decreasing the costs of capital. Note that those benefits can only accrue to a country using the dollars as currency.

(3) he can take those dollars and invest in financial instruments (stocks or bonds), thus pushing up the relative value of such dollar denominated instruments.

(4) he can take those dollars and invest in plant and materials in a country that uses the dollar as currency.

(5) he can exchange those dollars for dollar-denominated goods and services, thus diminishing the trade “deficit.”

Item #1 is a wasteful activity, thus almost never occurs in a rational economy.

Items #2, #3, and #4 have a private market stimulative effect for that economy where the dollars are invested, an unmitigated good.

Item #5 raises the costs of good for American consumers of those goods, thus diminishing the quality of life for Americans.

#5 is a hard one for most Americans to get their heads around, but it is better known by the conventional term “demand-pull inflation.”

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
1:57 pm

Are the “Occupy” morons producing anything worth exporting?

Bill Hilly

October 13th, 2011
2:03 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)
October 13th, 2011
12:16 pm
I’ve read several articles on this, and they all read like the above. I guess it’s no coincidence that they all imply that it was Congress that was bottling up these free trade agreements, rather than putting the blame where it belongs, on the Idiot Messiah, who refused for nearly three years to send them up for a vote.

Yes, Obama just left that little piece of paper sitting on his desk and wouldn’t put it in the mail. The Congress, (specifically the house) can take up any piece of legislation they want, as after all, they are the legislative branch of our government. Perhaps they should have taken this up a few years ago. When was the last jobs bill submitted by the House?

Still waiting for that Revised Updward name change….

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
2:11 pm

Actually, international treaties are negotiated by the president and approved by the Senate.

Bill Hilly: Another unfortunate victim of public schooling.

UGA 1999

October 13th, 2011
2:21 pm

Lil Barry….and both of which are currently Dems…..NOT FOR LONG!

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
2:24 pm

Now if we could just get our public education system out of Democrat hands, our kids might be able to compete with their more ambitious, harder working contemporaries in Asia.

JV

October 13th, 2011
2:30 pm

Get some Cows.

“The FTAs will expand U.S. dairy exports and, when fully implemented, will create thousands of export-supporting jobs in the dairy industry,” said Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “We hope that all necessary steps can be taken in the coming months by all four countries so that the agreements may enter into force at the beginning of the year and benefits to the U.S. economy can begin to be felt immediately.”

@@

October 13th, 2011
2:35 pm

The reality? It’s a global economy…dependent on trade.

Ask George Soros. He’s a globalist.

Can we trade some (not all) OWS protesters to China, in exchange for some cheap underwear, tents and blankets? Surely they’d be willing to sacrifice themselves for their fellow campers.

schnirt

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
2:36 pm

What would the Chinese do with them?

@@

October 13th, 2011
2:46 pm

What would the Chinese do with them?

Whatever they want. I’d prefer they not recycle.

They could work on China’s green technology? High speed rail. OWS loves that stuff. It’s all “the rage”.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
2:51 pm

I doubt they’d find them any more useful than we do.

Karl Marx

October 13th, 2011
2:57 pm

JV. Getting some cows will not work for the southeast. The Feds killed the dairy business down here in the south back in the 70’s. Maybe chickens, no, nope the chicken business is moving out of Georgia. Pecans? No China already get’s those……..Onions!… no not allowed due to genetic engineering……

@@

October 13th, 2011
3:22 pm

Getalife (if you show up):

Thanks for the “Welcome back” BUT…

I won’t be coming back.

I’m tired of the mundane chit chat. I’m tired of jay’s rules. I’m tired of watching him wag his biased finger.

There’s only one person living who gets to scold me, and that’s my Mother.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
3:23 pm

Pres. Obama to Ed Henry: ‘I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney’

FNC’s Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry got the first question at today’s joint news conference between Pres. Obama and Lee Myung-Bak, President of South Korea. Henry asked the president about the alleged Iranian terror plot, and used a quote from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who had criticized Obama’s leadership.

Obama responded with, “I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney.”
————————

Not very presidential.

Obozo: Immature, petulant putz.

Bill Hilly

October 13th, 2011
3:35 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)
October 13th, 2011
2:11 pm
Actually, international treaties are negotiated by the president and approved by the Senate.
Bill Hilly: Another unfortunate victim of public schooling.

The Korea deal was finalized December 4, 2010, Panama in June 2007, and Colombia in November 2006. But it took Congress took months and years because of ???? …….. Is this what Boehner means by “laser-like focus” on jobs?

So good try Lil’ Blowhard. Still waiting for Revised Upward.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
3:42 pm

That’s right, Bill Hilly. It took this long thanks to the xenophobic Democrat senate and your Idiot Messiah holding things up on behalf of their labor union masters. Obozo is so desperate to do something about his 9% unemployment problem that he decided to finally get these treaties approved.

Glad to see you read up on the Constitution.

@@

October 13th, 2011
4:02 pm

Rob Portman is a pretty stand-up guy no matter which side of the aisle you sit on. He, himself, said the delays were due to Democrat’s concerns. Labor unions definitely had a hand in it.

GETTING OFF THE SIDELINES

For Portman, the vote on the pact with South Korea will be particularly satisfying since he started negotiations with the longtime ally in February 2006, when he was U.S. trade representative under former President George W. Bush.

The two countries reached a deal 14 months later and signed the agreement in June 2007 but Bush was unable to win approval of the accord and the other deals with Panama and Colombia before leaving office in January 2009.

Obama has worked to address Democratic concerns about the pacts, which the administration estimates will help create or sustain tens of thousands of American jobs.

“These agreements have been sitting on the sidelines as the U.S. sat on the sidelines,” Portman said, adding that rival deals between the European Union and South Korea and Colombia and Canada were negotiated, signed and put into force while the U.S. deals languished.

Get on with it

October 13th, 2011
4:06 pm

WE wont sell anything, it will all be imports. All the good manufacturing has already moved out of the country.

@@

October 13th, 2011
4:10 pm

2010 data:

The union membership rate for public sector workers (36.2 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for private sector workers (6.9 percent).

They were delayed on behalf of 6.9% of the American workforce.

JDW

October 13th, 2011
4:11 pm

@ Barry….”putting the blame where it belongs, on the Idiot Messiah, who refused for nearly three years to send them up for a vote.”

Sounds to me like Boner et al was the impediment…

“Obama submitted the legislation after House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said he would consider worker assistance along with the trade deals. First reached under President George W. Bush more than four years ago, the measures overcame a stalemate with Republicans on aid for workers who lose their jobs to foreign competition. ”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-13/south-korea-colombia-panama-trade-pacts-reached-under-bush-pass-congress.html

carlosgvv

October 13th, 2011
4:14 pm

Kyle, if you really believe the advocates’ claim that these actions will “boost hundreds of thousands of American jobs”, I have some great oil wells in Snellvillle for sale and you will get a great discounted price..

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

If that’s what it sounds like to you, JDW, then you should get your facts straight. The GOP wanted to approve the treaties all along…the Democrat party that put the roadblocks in place at the behest of their labor union taskmasters, including more handouts and bailouts for the Democrat base (i.e. losers).

jconservative

October 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

From Politico – “Both the Senate and House sent the free-trade agreements to the White House with large bipartisan majorities…”

From a reader – “Actually, international treaties are negotiated by the president and approved by the Senate.”

Actually trade agreements are not Treaties as defined by the Constitution. Trade agreements are contracts. And Congress decided that the House would also vote on these agreements. So on Trade Agreements it takes both houses of Congress.

For example the Columbia Trade Agreement passed the House 262-167 and the Senate 66-33.

But there is a provision in law that the President must submit trade agreements to Congress. Congress can not take it up on their own.

Chuck

October 13th, 2011
4:19 pm

Lil’ Barbie Brainfart,

I don’t know if you’re a Christian but your blasphemy of comparing the POTUS to an idiot Jesus Christ is going to put you in hot water one day. If you want to criticize Obama and call him a clown, okay. But using all this negative Messiah talk is highly offensive. Cut that crap out you jerk!

JDW

October 13th, 2011
4:19 pm

@ragnar…your forgot a couple of other thing that can be done with “those dollars” in your 1:54….

(6) He can save them up until he has a really big pile, and then at an inopportune moment of his choosing dump them on the market causing a currency crisis and economic chaos in the US.

(7) He can simply threaten to unleash six and dictate his terms on most any issue in return for restraint.

See China….

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
4:20 pm

Advocates claims? Like Obozo?

“The series of trade agreements I am submitting to Congress today will make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South Korea, Colombia, and Panama and provide a major boost to our exports. These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three proud words: Made in America.”

Obozo forgot to thank our President Bush for getting these agreements done with our trading partners.

Greg S.

October 13th, 2011
4:24 pm

This is the best good news? That’s all those idiots in congress can deliver? THAT is why I recommend voting every sitting numb-skull out of office!

JDW

October 13th, 2011
4:27 pm

@Barry…”The GOP wanted to approve the treaties all along”

Of course they did on their terms compromise and discussion be dammed. After all its my way or the highway and we will just wait until he!!freezes over. :roll:

See to most folks that means they are at fault for copping the ‘TUDE.

See not so hard to see the facts when you stand a little further from the tree.

JF McNamara

October 13th, 2011
4:30 pm

How is this good news? What is the balance of trade? If these countries import drammatically more than we export then isn’t that a net loss?

If its a free trade agreement, won’t American business fire workers here and send them over there since the only additional cost versus an American worker is the difference in shipping? Even with the shipping, we can’t compete against $.70 a day.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
4:34 pm

Bottom line: Obozo caved on Bush’s free trade agreements.

Enjoy, libtards!

Fast and Furious Spending

October 13th, 2011
4:36 pm

Clinton and NAFTA, Obama and these agreements:

The one thing that Democrat presidents do well–get xenophobic Democrat legislators to vote for these things.

Way to go Barry. Three years was a long time to wait to show the leadership, but we’ll take it.

JDW

October 13th, 2011
4:37 pm

@Barry….

“The price of getting these deals through was passage of the Trade Adjustment Authority program, a payoff in effect to organized labor. It was, however, a scaled-down version of the bill. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) explained in a written statement: “In addition to the trade agreements, today’s trade package included Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation that the White House insisted on before it would send the three trade agreements to Congress and allow them to move forward.”

That sounds to me like Obama got what he wanted all along…

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 13th, 2011
4:40 pm