New US protectionism confirmed

America sinks further into protectionism, imposing costs on taxpayers and foreigners.

President Biden is set to sign an order that will revise the definition of American-made products as he seeks to boost government procurement of U.S. goods.

Inability to understand the benefits if trade was a blind spot with Trump and it is even more so with the Democrats.  Trump was correct to attempt to get more balanced trade treaties with countries that got free access to the US market but restricted their own access. That’s something that Australian agricultrural exports have suffered from for 60 years (though for much of that period we had tariffs of 80 per cent plus on cars and clothing).

He was also correct to draw attention to the patent theft that was prevalent by China.  And in seeking to depose the Paris Accord, he demonstrated the benefits (at least in those states that avoided Eurocentric climate policies) of less energy regulation, benefits that would eventually have caused the entire climate con to collapse.  But too much of his policy was simply seeking to force US firms to source product in-country and to gain access for American produce at the expense of that of other countries.

We will see far more of this with the Dems – trade protectionism was just about the only bipartisan area of government policy in the golden years of Trump. And, as I suggested in previous postings, we will see the new administration using trade policy to try to impose its climate policy with its attack on coal and oil.

We are now facing a darker era of international politics than we have seen since the 1930s

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24 Responses to New US protectionism confirmed

  1. stackja says:

    Red China is a threat to the world. Replace the CCP, then discuss trade.

  2. Roger says:

    But too much of his policy was simply seeking to force US firms to source product in-country…

    Mmm…yes; and globalism was working out so well for Americans.

  3. Rex Anger says:

    But too much of his policy was simply seeking to force US firms to source product in-country…

    Mmm…yes; and globalism was working out so well for Americans.

    Or us, for that matter…

  4. Paul says:

    Trump used win win strategies with trade to modify the behaviour of other countries. Tariffs were not merely to bludgeon recalcitrant China, but to reverse Obamas Make Communist China Grest policies, to a more balanced trade account. For that the left called him racist.

    Bidens policies are still Make Communist China Great, as long as the west continue to ignore China’s building of 160 coal fired plants, at the expense of everyone else.
    Cheap energy is the point of differentiation, flows onto cheap products.

  5. Roger W says:

    Lucy must be so pleased…so different from that nasty orange man.

  6. Tel says:

    Inability to understand the benefits if trade was a blind spot with Trump and it is even more so with the Democrats.

    Trump perfectly well understood the benefits of trade … he wanted to get a better deal for those American workers who had been left on the scrap heap with “Learn To Code” stamped uselessly on their heads.

    Since high unemployment causes a bunch of other problems, especially when concentrated in particular areas, the government will benefit from finding ways to at least put the brakes on sudden socioeconomic shifts that cause disruption.

    He was also correct to draw attention to the patent theft that was prevalent by China.

    There is a disagreement as to which property rights can be granted, and therefore who can claim “theft” when their ideas are copied. Patents are granted by a national government, there is no world government that can allocate property … the Chinese government only offers weaker property claims that other governments, because it’s obviously in their interest to do so. The USA has the converse interests so they offer stronger claims. The concept of “theft” only exists under a common agreement as to who owns what.

    In case you think there is a deep moral basis behind all this, take note that the developing USA did exactly the same thing to old Europe with weak intellectual property protection … when it suited their position at the time, which was fairly analogous to where China is now.

  7. Tel says:

    Bidens policies are still Make Communist China Great, as long as the west continue to ignore China’s building of 160 coal fired plants, at the expense of everyone else.
    Cheap energy is the point of differentiation, flows onto cheap products.

    Yes, that definitely makes a big difference … and China can continue to justify this on the basis that they are owed the opportunity to increase their energy consumption per capita up to levels on a par with Western countries. They have a sense of entitlement to keep doing what they are doing.

  8. Rabbi Putin says:

    Red China is a threat to the world. Replace the CCP, then discuss trade.

    Exactly. And we can add the lefty globalists who are in economic alliance with the CCP against the rest of us.

    There are no absolute goods really. I like the benefits of free-trade when it is amongst friends. It become a weakness when it is with adversaries who then use the trade to try and dominate us. We don’t need anything from China.

  9. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    Communism was always an international movement,the bolshevic fascists used to form cells in different countries like China is . Communists are not original thinkers that is why although it has failed so many times they keep trying it again . Like the EU ,if you lose a referendum keep having more referenda untill you win .

  10. max says:

    Red China is a threat to the world.

    Russia China and Iran wants war:

    https://www.exopermaculture.com/2017/04/20/iran-russia-china-want-war-u-s-proof/

  11. Brian Boru says:

    Unfettered globalisation is international laizzez-faire. Whenever I hear the word “globalisation” I can’t help but think of former Trade Minister, Andrew Robb spruiking how we would all be able to buy cheap TVs. Then I think of him and the Port of Darwin. (I understand that Robb has now given up that lucrative consultancy.)

    But globalisation is international specialisation and can bring benefits to consumers in participating nations. For example Australia’s defence budget would be so much smaller if we were to arm our soldiers with Chinese made AK47s and other armaments.

    Globalisation also brings employment to nations producing goods at prices attractive to worldwide consumers. But when those attractive prices, often the result of neo slave labour, result in unemployment in consumer countries as in USA, social unrest follows.

    Luckily in Australia we have been able to develop a (once) booming tourism industry where our youth can learn how to lick and polish boots for wealthy foreigners. Our youngsters may not be able to buy their own home because of insecure casual employment but they sure can make good coffee and wait on tables.

    The problem is that the governments who were swayed by elites who urged and benefitted from globalisation in USA and Australia have no successful defined or implemented policy to ameliorate its effects on the lower socio-economic classes it has harmed.

    I am a supporter of globalisation but only if its concurrent harms can be addressed.

  12. Paul says:

    Tel

    #3737490, posted on January 26, 2021 at 10:30 am

    they are owed the opportunity to increase their energy consumption per capita up to levels on a par with Western countries. They have a sense of entitlement to keep doing what they are doing.

    But but but Climate Emergency!

    There really doesn’t appear to be one, except for the urgency to Make Communust China Great.

  13. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    The USAwill thrive using expensive solar and windpower as a Chinese colomy The people will be assured of a big mac a day in lieu of wages . The carpetbaggers like soros,bloomberg koch bros will thrive under the benevolent chinese communist bureaucrats
    The worlds “democrstically elected ” Leaders will make the pilgrimage to Beijing annuallyto kowtow to emperor Xia the first,yes the ratfaced paedo president ushers in a new era in world democracy .
    Au]y you live in interesting times we are .

  14. Gorilla Dance Party says:

    Screw free trade and globalism!

    I’d rather pay more and get it here, especially for essentials. Being able to get cheaper consumer goods is not a great substitute for losing our entire manufacturing base and getting strong-armed by China. It is a failed experiment.

  15. Colonel Crispin Berka says:
  16. Hasbeen says:

    If we had maintained import duties on cars, there would still be a car industry in Oz.

    Imports should only be of things you can’t make or don’t want to make.

  17. max says:

    Documentary series Revolution mapped the social and economic changes in New Zealand society in the 1980s and early 1990s. This first episode focuses on NZ’s radical transformation from a heavily regulated welfare state to a petri dish for free market ideology.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZXpeUQ0tD8

    Gary North:
The socialists have now adopted a new tactic: the attempt to fuse together the economic incentives of capitalism with the central planning of socialism. They have been willing to give up some degree of centralized control in order to increase the size of the national economic pie. Even in cases that have involved alienating certain segments of the voting population that created the democratic socialist parties, socialist leaders have been willing to scrap some of the older ideology, as well as the promises of government protection, if the economic (and therefore political) pay-off has seemed high enough.
    New Zealand
    A good example of this transformation is the tiny nation of New Zealand. New Zealand is a picture-postcard nation split into two large islands, with a climate and terrain close to western Oregon’s, and a population (3 million) and geographical area (103,000 square miles) almost identical to the state of Colorado, except that it is shaped more like California.
    Almost from the beginning of the nation, it has clung to the principles of Fabian socialism.
    Its mild climate, its vast (and now depleted) forests, its small population density which was made up of mostly educated, white, and vaguely Christian residents, its sheep farms, its remarkable agricultural output, and its geographical isolation (tiny defense budget) gave New Zealand all the resources it needed to compete in world markets. Did it compete?
    In some areas of the economy, yes, especially agriculture. But it never did without subsidies and tariff protection. Since the great depression of the 1930’s, the New Zealand economy has relied on protection for producers at the expense of urban consumers and taxpayers. The nation has had a marvelous quality of life, so long as that quality of life was not based on high-quality, low-cost imported consumer goods. The trouble for socialist ideology is that New Zealanders, like everyone else in the West. wanted all those Japanese electronic goodies. And to get access to them, they had to compete in international markets. But their government-protected economy did not encourage this sort of competition.

  18. Paul says:

    max

    #3737933, posted on January 26, 2021 at 6:13 pm
    The socialists have now adopted a new tactic

    Yep, market intervention means crony capitalism same program China use.
    You can play in our market only under strict conditions. Be nice to your masters be obedient, always say and do what we tell you. Many riches are to be made if you behave.

    Its happening here, crony capitalism, where friendlies get in, no competition.

  19. max says:

    Mr.Paul

    Gary North
    Economic Fascism

    In 1791, the United States government created the Bank of the United States. It was a privately owned central bank. It was a monopoly. It bought government bonds with counterfeit but legal money. It earned money on the interest payments.

    In 1816, a second Bank of the United States was created. It was the same scam: counterfeit money to buy government bonds and anything else it wanted to buy. It earned money on the interest.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/9723.cfm

    Benito Mussolini identified his economic policies with “state capitalism”–the exact phrase that Vladimir Lenin used to usher in his New Economic Policy (NEP). Lenin wrote: “State capitalism would be a step forward as compared with the present state of affairs in our Soviet Republic.”

    The economics of Italian Fascism is often ignored or trivialized because so much of it is found in today’s world economies. Consider some of the components of fascist economics: central planning, heavy state subsidies, protectionism (high tariffs), steep levels of nationalization, rampant cronyism, large deficits, high government spending, bank and industry bailouts, overlapping bureaucracy, massive social welfare programs, crushing national debt, bouts of inflation and “a highly regulated, multiclass, integrated national economic structure.”

    Fascism is simply Marxism under the guise of a capitalistic facade.
    In Fascism, people retain title to their homes, or their businesses, but they are so regulated and so controlled, that they are simply owned by the state, but held by individuals in their own name.
    Now, this is what we have today in this country and all over the world in varying degrees.
    There is not one good book in the English language on Mussolini, because if they were to write honestly about him, they would have to say the United States, Great Britain, every country today is following Mussolini’s pattern. The postal service is a Fascist organization. It is supposedly an independent entity, but it is actually a federal entity. Amtrak and so on. All these things are copied from Mussolini’s Italy, plus the fact that regulatory agencies govern our utilities, govern us, govern the environment, and we have no say-so about them. The essence of Fascism is its hypocrisy. Fascism gives you Marxism in the name of freedom, because people are unwilling to come out openly for freedom, or openly for Marxism, and as a result, you have Fascism.

  20. max says:

    Tariffs, Autarky, and Empire: The Economics of National Socialism
    Gary North:

    I received this letter yesterday.

    Adolf Hitler, who didn’t have a PhD in economics, also had it figured out. When he became Chancellor, the German economy was at the point of collapse, so he established the economic policy of “autarky” for Germany, meaning that anything that Germany needed, which could be manufactured in Germany, would be manufactured in Germany, regardless of the cost to do so. This policy created so many “wealth creating jobs” that within two or three years, Germany went from 30% unemployment to a labor shortage, and the Germany economy boomed.

    He invokes Adolf Hitler. Hitler did indeed get people working. He set up a command economy that told people where to work. It told them what wages they would receive. And it directed production.

    Nothing is easier to achieve than full employment, once it is divorced from the goal of full production and taken as an end in itself. Hitler provided full employment with a huge armament program. The war provided full employment for every nation involved. The slave labor in Germany had full employment. Prisons and chain gangs have full employment. Coercion can always provide full employment.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/13955.cfm

  21. Rockdoctor says:

    Problem I am noting with the cheap Chinese crap is it is no longer cheap. Same crap quality though. Suppose that happens when dealing with unscrupulous gangsters hiding behind the veneer of an alleged 4k yo civilisation that’s last vestigages were pretty efficently eliminated in Mao’s cultural revolution.

    There are too many eggs & vestiged interests in the China basket.

  22. Albatross says:

    We are now facing a darker era of international politics than we have seen since the 1930s

    Oh no! Not muh free trade!

  23. Albatross says:

    Tel
    #3737485, posted on January 26, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Tel, your Libertarian card has been revoked for this sensible post.

  24. Albatross says:

    Hasbeen
    #3737932, posted on January 26, 2021 at 6:13 pm
    If we had maintained import duties on cars, there would still be a car industry in Oz.

    LOOL!

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