Trade Agreements: Watching the World Go By

By May 2, 2007Trade

As we wait, with some hope, for congressional discussions and subsequent action on reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority, we note that others are not waiting.

S. Korea, Canada agree to speed up FTA talks
SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) — South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon and his Canadian counterpart Peter G. MacKay agreed to expedite bilateral talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) during their meeting in Seoul on Tuesday, ministry officials said.

The talks took place after MacKay’s arrival here for a two-day visit.

“Song and MacKay shared the view that a South Korea-Canada FTA will deepen bilateral commercial and trade relations and bring economic benefits to both countries,” said a ministry official, adding that the Canadian minister asked Song’s cooperation in having South Korea resume imports of Canadian beef.

And ….

Korea-EU FTA Talks Get Official Go Ahead
The Korean government officially decided to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union in a meeting of government officials presided over by Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu on Tuesday. The EU is also ready to begin talks, following an April 23 External Relations Committee meeting in Luxembourg in which member countries unanimously approved negotiating mandates for the trade pact.

Now that the preliminary work is finished, both sides will officially announce the start of FTA talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Sunday. The first round of talks will be held at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul from May 7 to 11.

The negotiations will progress in four sections: goods; services and investment; regulations binding government supply, intellectual property rights, and competition policies; solving conflicts, general provisions, labor, and the environment.

And just to be explicit, we offer this Reuters story from the previous week.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will lose its ability to negotiate new trade deals unless Congress renews White House trade promotion authority, which expires in a little more than two months, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said on Tuesday.

“If trade promotion authority lapses and is not renewed, we’re basically going to be sitting on the sidelines while lots of other countries are out there negotiating bilateral and regional trade agreements,” Schwab told members of the President’s Export Council, a private sector advisory group.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Stephen G. Dees Sr. says:

    When it comes to the perspective of the self-centered internationalist I just love both the clarity and completeness of their thinking. Evidently, NAFTA did not come into existence by Clinton AND Congress, and CAFTA did not come into existence by Bush AND Congress and the Most Favored Nation Treatment for slave labor using Communist China did not also come from Clinton.

    As we know all three of these wonderful additions to “law” assisted in providing great prosperity to Chinese, Mexican, European companies in Mexico, and now the rest of Latin America. Another fitting example of a truly representative government.

    Oh, you, America, you, get to pay for the “bill”, be burned by your “Bushes”, and if the pinko’s will have it, you will shortly get to “have at it” with Hillary.

    New, proven as false, but touted anyway, theories of Supply and Demand, unfortunately all false, and also, unfortunately, demonstrably so, continue to be disseminated. For over 35 years these “theories” continue to be spouted by high level “gubbamint” types all the time.

    The beautiful part of it is that, whether they are appointed by democrats or republicans, they always say the same thing. It always goes the same way, against middle and working America.

    Let me help them. Yes, by allowing foreigners to participate in the American market place the domestically located seller (of real estate) experiences an increased demand and higher potential price of sale than, in say, Communist slave labor using China (see California, Washington and Oregon).

    Yes, the American International Trade Importers do obtain many consumer products at dirt cheap rates, make a perverse profit and continue to low ball and destroy domestic competition which uses American labor.

    This MBA standard overhead cost reduction and maximization of profit approach, does yield significant cash flow incentives for such importers. As we know the MBA holding portion of the population is now approaching about 100,000. As the rest of us number 300 million, it is obvious that the direction of economic policy has been decided upon by democratic means.

    Of course, “disproportionate in fact illicit access and influence” to government has never been a favorite theme of “contribution receiving” public employees.

    Back to the chase, this leads to further pressure upon domestic parties to attempt to compete against Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and to a slightly lesser extent Latin American labor markets.

    The only problem is Americans live neither in thatched huts, Bahia’s, nor trees as the competing work force does,….yet. Their cost levels are too high, they dress in store bought clothes, live in houses, own cars, don’t subsist on bananas grown in the back yard and only eat rice about twice a month.

    All this must immediately change evidently; a fellatio rendering banking bozo, backed by bush, has spoken!

    Hence the wonderful illegal alien problem, which so neatly reduces the domestic manufacturer’s cost structure, while simultaneously putting the double screw on the tax payer, for all the governmental program burden, which instantly is impressed upon the lower and middle class.

    Love that cost shifting strategy! And look at that wage! A whole 5 friggin bucks and change, in a society where it costs close to 16/hour to stay ahead of the rent, car, food and doctor bills. Forget about going to college kids, because there is absolutely no way that is going to happen. Somewhere along the line here, if the concept of intentional economic and class subjugation gets into your head, you did not get that idea from me.

    But those wealthy, we make better than 90K a year, house representatives, will never pass a live-able wage. They want to hold out the path to socialism as their solution.

    They “struggle” with the idea of moving that cruddy wage to 7.50 when they know it won’t do a damn thing for anyone, but generate photo opps.

    Such wonderful social programs, as State Health Care plans, ESL programs, new construction for schools to cover stresses placed by illegal immigration, new hospitals needed because of the same, job training, new EEO override quotas which screw indigenous peoples out of their access to higher education because of “BAKKE Syndrome” and various “point assessing mechanisms”.

    Dammit can’t you see the benefit in all this? What is the matter with you, aren’t you patriotic? Don’t you want to do your part “for the team”. Dead Rayguns would be very disappointed with you.

    Just looking at the Health Care Issue, if the average working person cannot even afford the doctor, how in the hell are all of us going to pay for all the bills of everybody AND the huge governmental bureaucracy which will be used to “administer” it.

    Think that won’t happen right? Take a look at Medicare and Medicaid, as screwed up as that is, “Health Care for jeman” will be worse.

    The same wizards, like Clinton, Reagan, Bush Sr. and now Bush Jr. all like to tout a global economy approach, but only as it operates domestically.

    Try going to Mexico, England, Germany, Brazil, or just about anywhere, and buy a house as a private citizen. Guess what, that is not allowed. Hence for U.S. citizens, who have drunk from the diversity cup until sick of the crap, they cannot flee unless they want to be a renter, and most importantly cannot lower their cost levels as far as housing is concerned. Even at retirement age, when it might be possible to “slip away”.

    A little lop-sided? Not at all, just ask the gubbamint yoyo he will tell you how it is better for you to be limited in your options because then his are expanded.

    OK let’s look at trade again. We will make a game of it! What is the only industrialized nation on the planet without domestic content manufacturing laws? Which country routinely allows other countries, despite having the largest and best equipped armed forces on the planet, to rip off it’s inhabitants intellectual property? What nation of laws and just courts routinely issues crappy rulings of non-compensatory nature when the pirates bring the ripoff’s into its country and under its jurisdiction?

    Right again, the good ole U.S.A.. Can you now see a bought and paid for government?
    Can you now see who is exerting the influence?

    You guessed it, you are truly “in it”. What does that mean? Anywhere else on the monopoly board, the access is either arranged, by virtue of political dealing (meaning huge political contribution and therefore access) or, (for the rest of us) if you want to sell it there you must make it there.

    Ever wonder why Ford had to put it’s automobile factory in Germany, and Volkswagen still sends finished imports over here?

    And who can blame them, with the EEO laws, you can predict what would happen to their product quality by the time a diversity wand was waved over their new factory. They had one here about 20 years ago, closed up, went back to Germany and immediately their financial problems disappeared.

    How’s that for food for thought? If you have to use the EEO process you better get a protected market is one interpretation.

    Yep, it sure is not only better, it is fairer here in the U.S.A., which is why there were riots in Seattle the first time and the second time there was enough security in plain view that if you broke wind in the crowd you were going to jail. How is that for a fair trade talks atmosphere and citizen participation in government?

    Smell that FREEDOM!

    OK, OK lets look at capital formation and its availability in association with fostering that “good ole American” ingenuity. Ask any business owner of a non-minority business about getting growth financing.

    Hell, see if they can even get accounts receivable financing. The choke hold is really in the best interest of you fellow Americans, the more you struggle against it the more your wind pipe gets crushed. So, please, for your own good, just listen to George’s, Bill’s and Hillary’s line of crap and quit struggling.

    The existing “blue sky”laws and federal exemptions on securities dealings are absolutely ridiculous. Try making a “public offering” without paying for the “privilege”. After making the statutorily demanded “disclosures” to the state, see what happens to your enterprise if it means any significant effect on current market “partitions”.

    How about a “public offering” of an unlisted security? What do you mean you have never heard of it?????

    It is virtually impossible to launch a business with any degree of confidentiality in a multi-state manner. Multi-state, hell, try it within one state and see where you wind up. If you are lucky you may get to go to one with the tennis courts, but I doubt it. Why, because those doors of financial assistance were closed over 70 years ago, after the current gazillionaires used the very means I just described.

    Can you say anti-competitive legislation enacted to limit domestic competition as a result of undue and improper influence, okay, how about simple structurally imposed impediments? Can you see wide scale piracy which is unprosecuted? What happened to the rights of defense of business/personal assets, by usage of the laws of hot pursuit and of forceful deterrence by the individual? No, the state prosecutes for that. You are expected to take the loss.

    Now, lets look at export financing, you know, the guy at the other end of the road, despite all the hamstringing by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the foreign government, decides he wants to actually buy something American. In association with that purchase, he wants financing. Well he is not gonna get it here from an American Bank.

    Contrast that to the same situation involving a German National. The German Banking system and other countries are “set up” for EXPORT financing. The result is greater wealth for German business, bigger business opportunities and more national prosperity.

    The people who are clamoring for isolationist policy enactment are aware of the totally screwed nature of the playing field.

    They are pursuing a single card solution because it would take so damn many corrections to the farce of policy and position, which will never occur, that they say screw it. Obviously they are wrong, wrong, wrong, because George’s and others’ puppets say so.

    The balance of trade is indeed the major contributor in the matter. Why? The money is leaving the country. The wealth is leaving the country. The incomes of the major taxpayer body is getting slashed.

    Simultaneously, because of diminishing tax burdens on the wealthy, lack of taxable manufacturing base remaining, the working stiffs get a more disproportionate load.

    Finally, in a more opulent manufacturing-rich society, there is a larger Gross National Product, higher paying jobs, more tax base and therefore the ability to pay off that damn intergalactic sized national debt.

    That debt financing need causes the government to give the international lenders all the “sweeteners” they demand in terms of trade concessions. It is a never ending cycle of bad fiscal policy which subsequently causes bad political and trade policy which then leads to more bad fiscal policy.

    And that is reality as I see it? How about you?

    By the way, the previous blog entry was not government financed or influenced in any way so it bears a passable resemblance to truth.

    Stephen G. Dees Sr.