HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 2016 On the Issues – Why ...

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 01:46 PM

2016 On the Issues – Why TPP is a non-factor for me

In my continued interest to use facts to inform my choices for the upcoming election, I’ve done some research on US trade that has me thinking the TPP can be ignored as an important issue for choosing my candidates. Feel free to comment and convince me otherwise. What follows is my support.

Trade Agreements Are not Major Contributors to US Trade Imbalances

The US has trade agreements with 20 countries. These are Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea. As a group, these 20 countries represent only 13.71% of the US $416 billion 2015 trade deficit (thru July).

The TPP partners include 11 countries, but only five countries where we don’t already have an agreement in place; Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Vietnam. Including numbers from these countries, only 16.94% of the US 2015 trade deficit comes from countries where we have a trade agreement.

Of the 20 countries where trade agreements exist, we have a positive trade balance with 15 of them in 2015. The negative balances are with Israel, Nicaragua, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. While we have negative trade balances with 4 of the 5 new countries brought in by the TPP, there’s no reason to think TPP will make them worse.

Then Why the Big Trade Deficits?

The 13 largest trade deficits thru July 2015 add up to more than the entire $416 billion US trade deficit:

China $202 billion
Germany $42 billion
Japan $40 billion
Mexico $31 billion
Vietnam $17 billion
Korea, South $17 billion
Ireland $16 billion
Italy $16 billion
India $14 billion
Malaysia $12 billion
Thailand $10 billion
France $9 billion
Taiwan $9 billion

Lacks environmental laws: Yale University does an annual scoring of nations' environmental performance indexes (EPI). 8 of these 13 large deficit partners (China, Mexico, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan) scored an average of 16.83 points lower in the study than the US (67.52 EPI for 2014). China (24.52), India (36.29), and Vietnam (29.35) were the largest.

Low Wages: A group called The Conference Board did a 2013 study comparing wage levels around the world. 9 of these 13 large deficit partners (China, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan) scored an average of $27.56 per manufacturing employee hour lower in the study than the US ($36.34/hr in 2013).

Cheap Facility Costs: Cushman Wakefield did a study in 2014 ranking, in part various countries on the basis of costs for manufacturing facilities. The US finished 13th. 8 of these 13 large deficit partners (China, Mexico, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan) were ranked higher than the US, e.g., it was cheaper to build there.

IMO, no trade agreement will make any country change its environmental laws, force higher wages, or make US manufacturing facility costs more competitive. It’s far better to challenge the candidates on how they will reduce trade deficits than to worry about what their opinion is on any treaty. The jobs will go to lower cost regions regardless of treaties, that’s how big business works.

I have a lot more data for those who want it. Feel free to offer opinions or ask questions. The more we know the better. Please also accept my sincere statement that I have no candidate of choice as yet and that I do not care what the candidates’ positions are on TPP. I feel they should be re-directed to a discussion about what to do about large US trade deficits.

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/topcurmon.html
https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements
https://ustr.gov/tpp/overview-of-the-TPP
http://epi.yale.edu/epi/country-rankings
http://epi.yale.edu/our-methods
https://www.conference-board.org/ilcprogram/index.cfm?id=28277
http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2014/06/03/china-asean-wage-comparisons-70-production-capacity-benchmark.html
http://www.cushmanwakefield.com/~/media/global-reports/ManufacturingIndex2014_NT_MReilly.pdf

4 replies, 1594 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply 2016 On the Issues – Why TPP is a non-factor for me (Original post)
GitRDun Sep 2015 OP
msongs Sep 2015 #1
GitRDun Sep 2015 #3
GeorgeGist Sep 2015 #2
GitRDun Sep 2015 #4

Response to GitRDun (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 02:24 PM

1. yes let's don't show the people what's in the TPP because it might offend our corporate owners nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 03:33 PM

3. hyperbole

You are free to make it a political issue if you wish, but since its passing means a mere 17% of our trade deficits are from countries with US trade agreements, showing / not showing is irrelevant to me. I will assume there are corporate goodies in there, always is.

I can also assume it will be rare we use the agreements to legally challenge other countries' trade practices as that is our history.

I want to hear what the candidates are going to do to stop trade imbalance, that's our kitchen table issue. India, China, others as well, are not covered by agreements. If I were going to ask the candidates a question about trade, I would ask:

Bernie Sanders: What can be done about the trade imbalances with China and India and other countries, where production costs are so much lower than here in the US?

Hillary Clinton: How do you think the TPP will impact labor costs for trading partners like Maylasia and Vietnam, where labor costs are 10% of what they are here in the US?

Hyperbole can be deflected. I am saying change the discussion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GitRDun (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 03:21 PM

2. Fools rush in ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 6, 2015, 03:33 PM

4. Sorry, I don't understand your post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread