3 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. First, great job on your article. I thought you covered the benefits and consequences of free trade and protectionism very well for an audience who does not necessarily have experience in economics and business like myself. Your sources were great and had a lot of ethos behind them due to their reputations as qualified news organizations and economists. Overall, the tone and flow of the piece were both perfect for the subject matter, and you effectively communicated what you wanted.

    Now to the meat of the issue. The main point of your article was comparing free trade and protectionism, but from my research that was not the issue with the Trans Pacific Partnership. It appears to be the opposite. According to the AFL-CIO, the TPP was anything but a free trade agreement. It would be free trade, except for the fact that various countries in the deal, manipulate their currency values so that their exports are artificially inexpensive, hurting production industries in the U.S. and other countries.

    Additionally, countries participating in the deal can intervene in the market and add extra funding to their industries to get ahead in the balance of trade, a practice the U.S. mostly refrains from. This imbalance would further disadvantage American companies who are in competition with companies abroad. Finally, foreign companies are permitted to bypass U.S. business law in certain circumstances, again giving them unfair and unnecessary advantages in the cutthroat world of business.

    In conclusion, you did a great job comparing economic systems but I think you missed the essence of why the TPP was problematic. The issue of the TPP was that it forced the U.S. to follow free market principles while the other participants could get away with a variety of underhanded market manipulations. I can’t wait to see your next article on economics, as I can tell that I will learn a lot from this blog!

    Source:
    http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Trade/Trans-Pacific-Partnership-Free-Trade-Agreement-TPP/Ten-Critical-Problems-with-the-Trans-Pacific-Partnership

    • To start things off, very well done. Your article was both informative and easy to read. You picked generally reliable sources and used them effectively without extrapolating too much. As well, I didn’t feel like I was reading a textbook so much as a conversational piece of literature meant to stir conversation, so I believe you fulfilled the assignment quite well.

      While I think you did a good job explaining the differences between free trade and protectionism, as well as the historical pros and cons (though I must say The Great Depression reference was somewhat misleading, as that was caused by runaway spending on credit rather than a trade issue), the subject of your article was initially the TPP. As it was negotiated, the TPP was not a free trade deal. While it did lower tariffs and taxes on trade, it also engaged several countries who artificially manipulate the value of their currency and interfere in the markets of their countries in a way the United States almost never does. This means that the United States could end up undercut not by market efficiency, but by other signatory governments subsidizing industries to get ahead in the market.

      Another issue with the TPP is that it was never really about free trade. It was presented as such because in theory it does allow for freer markets, but as The Daily Wire’s Robert Kraychik noted in September of 2016, “in [an] interview with left-wing CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Barack Obama inadvertently acknowledged that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) serves to consolidate increased economic regulation of its signatory states. Rather than lower economic barriers to commerce and trade, TPP will increase and consolidate regulations.” Obama went on to explain that “The answer [to inequality] rather, is to make sure [all signatories have] high labor standards. That all countries are accountable to their citizens in terms of things like minimum wages, worker standards, making sure that there is an education system that people can access.” To paraphrase, the goal of the TPP was not actually to create free trade, but to use it as a tool to spread liberal progressive ideals about labor to other nations in the Pacific.

      While on the surface that may not seem like an issue to those with the same ideals, it again comes down to what would actually happen in the TPP. While lower tariffs would suggest freer trade, there are major differences in ethics and tradition between signatories like the United States of America and, for example, China. American companies can rarely expect to be subsidized simply for the sake of making American goods cheaper in a global competitive market. China, on the other hand, has no problem subsidizing their steel industry if it will help put American steel companies out of business and take Chinese steel one step closer to a monopoly.
      Given the circumstances and the reputation of various signatory states in this deal, I would have to agree with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal.

      Source:
      http://www.dailywire.com/news/8895/obama-admits-tpp-isnt-about-free-trade-robert-kraychik

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