Free Trade #1: Thoughts On Potential Canada-China Free Trade Deal

(Tucker Carlson: Social Costs to Communities Most Important)

1. Offshoring, Globalization, Free Trade

The other posts on outsourcing/offshoring are available here. It focuses on the hidden costs and trade offs society as a whole has to make. Contrary to what many politicians and figures in the media claim, there are always costs to these kinds of agreement. These include: (a) job losses; (b) wages being driven down; (c) undercutting of local companies; (d) legal action by foreign entities; (e) industries being outsourced; and (f) losses to communities when major employers leave. Don’t believe the lies that these agreements are overwhelmingly beneficial to all.

2. Important Links

(1) https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/consultations/fta-ale.aspx?lang=eng
(2) https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/consultations/china-chine/index.aspx?lang=eng
(3) https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/consultations/china-chine/toolkit-outils.aspx?lang=eng
(4) https://www.epi.org/publication/the-china-toll-deepens-growth-in-the-bilateral-trade-deficit-between-2001-and-2017-cost-3-4-million-u-s-jobs-with-losses-in-every-state-and-congressional-district/
(5) https://www.forbes.com/sites/charleswallace1/2018/07/21/chinas-currency-manipulation-is-a-response-to-trumps-tariffs/#33295e9a663b
(6) https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/02/11/harper_in_china_free_trade_agreement_with_china_in_canadas_sights.html
(7) https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-trudeau-intends-to-work-toward-free-trade-deal-with-china-despite/
(8) https://www.maximebernier.com/canada_china_free_trade_speech
(9) https://www.ndp.ca/news/ndp-statement-pms-trade-trip-china
(10) https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/disciplining-chinas-trade-practices-wto-how-wto-complaints-can-help
(11) https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa856.pdf

3. From Archived Pages

There have been many concerns with dealing with China. To name just some of them:

  1. Human rights abuses
  2. No respect for intellectual property
  3. Preferential treatment
  4. Unsafe products entering Canada

To put is bluntly, the answers are not reassuring. They are the political-talk we have come to expect that avoids giving concrete answers.

Canada has robust regulatory requirements and strong enforcement action can be taken on unsafe products entering the country. Regardless of country of origin, if the Canadian government identifies products that do not meet regulatory requirements, enforcement action will be taken. Enforcement action can take a number of forms, including recall.

Canada’s Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China works to protect Canadian investments in China, and is among the most ambitious investment agreements China has ever ratified.

A possible FTA could include provisions that would help to mitigate the risk of IP infringements. We would like to hear from you on your experience with IP rights in the context of the Canada-China commercial relationship. Additionally, Canadian firms are encouraged to raise any IP problems they have in China or other overseas market with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

This all sounds lovely, but to a critical person, this seems more like an attempt to emotionally soothe than to persuade with facts.

4. Major Job Losses

Looking at the Economic Policy Institute Study, shown here, from 2001 to 2017, the US lost 3.4 million jobs to China as a result of a growing trade deficit. China can produce much cheaper and in much higher numbers.

Both increased imports and technical products have done a number on the US job market, who simply cannot compete.

While this is an American study, it would be wise to use it as a cautionary tale for Canada as well.

CURRENCY MANIPULATION EXPLAINED


One unfair way to gain an advantage over a foreign competitor is to manipulate the currency. China has been doing this for a long time, and it leads to an economic advantage that few can match. The Forbes article explains it well.

First, a bit of background. The Chinese currency, called the renminbi, is what’s known as a policy currency. That means that unlike the U.S. dollar, which rises and falls in value in free market trading, the currency’s value against the dollar is set by the People’s Bank of China, an arm of the Chinese government.

While the PBOC has gradually tried to make the value of the renminbi more reflective of market forces, setting trading bands in which the renminbi is allowed to fluctuate every day, in the last analysis it is still under government control. Put another way, the value of the renminbi is manipulated by the government and always has been. It’s just that when Beijing was manipulating the value so that the renminbi appreciated against the dollar in the last few years, nobody in Washington complained.

When the Chinese Government manipulates its currency, it does so in order to artificially cheapen the costs of its products, and to gain an advantage over competitors.

In a “free market” world, this sort of thing should never be allowed.

5. CATO Institute Hypocrisy

Note: CATO calls itself a public policy institute, dedicated to free trade, liberalization and free markets. It is based in the US. But its conflicting observations are disturbing. From their website, they post an article which contains these remarks:

The Trump administration believes that the international dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO) offers no effective remedy for these practices, and prefers an approach that relies mostly on unilateral tariffs. The administration sees the issue as follows. China’s mercantilist state systematically discriminates against foreign products and foreign producers in China while forcing foreign companies to hand over their intellectual property (IP) as the price of access to China’s large and growing market. China engages in widespread cheating in its trade practices, including not only high tariffs, domestic content requirements, and other traditional forms of protectionism, but also rigged regulations that erect trade barriers by favoring Chinese companies and outright theft of foreign IP. And, Trump and his trade cohorts say repeatedly, there is virtually nothing the United States can do under current WTO rules to stop this predatory Chinese behavior.

Worth noting is that CATO doesn’t dispute the accuracy or factual basis of Donald Trump’s claims. They don’t dispute the one sided advantage that is posed here. However, there is an interesting brochure that CATO released:

Supporting China’s membership in the WTO in 2001 was not a mistake by the United States. All 163 other members of the WTO, including the United States, are much better off because China is inside the rules-based global trading system and has not been left outside it. China has made great strides since 2001 toward full compliance with the rules of the WTO trading system.

An organization which promotes liberalized trade is okay when one of its members blatantly acts against the rules and its principles. Okay.

6. Main Canadian Parties Support This

Despite all the problems outline above, it is:
SUPPORTED, by People’s Party.
SUPPORTED, by the Conservative Party.
SUPPORTED, by the Liberal Party

However, NDP acts <a href=”https://www.ndp.ca/news/ndp-statement-pms-trade-trip-china”” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>as the voice of reason.

A potential free trade agreement raises many questions that are yet unanswered. China has no free press, torture is widespread, workers do not have a right to collective bargaining, and hundreds of human rights defenders and dissidents have been detained.

Environmental protections, labour standards, and human rights must be at the forefront of any trade and investment discussions, and any trade deal must support Canadian jobs, not just focus on selling Canadian resources to be processed abroad.

The Liberals have failed to take action to address steel dumping by Chinese companies which put Canadian businesses at a dangerous disadvantage. China also has a questionable record on currency manipulation and unfair trade practices, and does not have market economy status, which means it would be very difficult to have a level playing field in a free trade deal.

There are also concerns about protecting the intellectual property of Canadians and the behaviour of state-owned enterprises in China, including through the takeover of Canadian companies that work on sensitive technologies. Before making a decision on whether to begin formal negotiations, the government needs to clearly address all these concerns, and consult with Canadians before rushing into a deal that is against their interests.”

What the hell? Why am I agreeing with the NDP on this? Since when did an openly socialist party become the voice of reason?

The again, a <a href=”https://www.nationalcitizensalliance.ca/NCA-trade-environment-policy-statement/”” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>NATIONALIST approach would also conclude free trade with China is a bad idea.

7. Not Worth It

Watch the video with Tucker Carlson, at the top of the article. He explains that it is a better way to ensure stability of communities and jobs than to look at a purely profit motive. Well worth a watch. While the talk relates to automating vehicles — and putting truck drivers out of work — the same rationale can be applied here.

While there may be some benefits to an agreement with China, there are simply too many social costs to Canada that need to be seriously looked at:

  • How many jobs will be lost?
  • What will happen to communities with major job losses?
  • What about environmental protection?
  • Would we be rewarding sweatshop conditions?
  • Can we protect people’s intellectual property?
  • Will we be undercut by currency manipulation?
  • Is getting cheaper products worth the social cost?

It’s not all about GDP, stock prices, or corporate profits. What will a free trade agreement with China do to Canada?

OUR PEOPLE COME FIRST.

UN Security Council: Legalized Aggression


(Then President George W. Bush, arguing for an invasion of Iraq under blatantly false pretenses. The UN Security Council approved the use of force in 2002 by a 15-0 vote. War was launched on March 20, 2003).


(A critique on the problem with veto power)

1. Important Links

CLICK HERE, for UN Security Council home page.
CLICK HERE, for the page on sanctions.
CLICK HERE, the UN Charter.
CLICK HERE, for Article 41 of the UN Charter (Sanctions).
CLICK HERE, for an index of voting records.
CLICK HERE, for Wikipedia page on “Proxy Wars”.

2. Stated Mission

Peace and Security

The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

That is correct. 15 nations can decide what is “in the interest of global peace and security”. Hardly seems that other nations get much of a say in international matters. Would your own sovereignty be limited by what these 15 members of the “Global Community” have to say?

Even more undemocratic is the make up of the Security Council. There are 15 members, 5 of which are permanent, and 10 others which are chosen on a rotational basis.

The 5 permanent members are: 1/ the United States; 2/ Russia (formerly the Soviet Union); 3/ Britain; 4/ France; and 5/ China. These were the “winners” of World War II, when the UN was founded. Each of the 5 permanent members has “veto” power, meaning they can unilaterally block any resolution from passing.

In order to pass a Security Council resolution, a majority of members have to approve it. Additionally, none of the “Permanent 5” can veto. They each have to abstain or support.

3. Non Military Options

What if the UN doesn’t opt for military force? There are less direct, but more passive-aggressive measures called “sanctions”. These are essentially punishments the Security Council imposes.

(From Article 41)

“The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.”

From the page on sanctions:

“Security Council sanctions have taken a number of different forms, in pursuit of a variety of goals. The measures have ranged from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, and financial or commodity restrictions. The Security Council has applied sanctions to support peaceful transitions, deter non-constitutional changes, constrain terrorism, protect human rights and promote non-proliferation.”

The UN Security Council also lists who it has imposed sanctions upon: “Since 1966, the Security Council has established 30 sanctions regimes, in Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia (2), Haiti, Iraq (2), Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Eritrea, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Liberia (3), DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Lebanon, DPRK, Iran, Libya (2), Guinea-Bissau, CAR, Yemen, South Sudan and Mali, as well as against ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida and the Taliban.”

4. UN Contributing To World Peace?

Does UN Security Council Create World Peace?
Not really. This is especially true when one of the “Permanent 5” has veto power over any resolution to stop or condemn the aggression. Though the major powers may not directly be involved, they may provide aid to others and fight proxy wars.

Though not always the best site, Wikipedia is great for a quick reference.

Chinese Civil War (1944–1949)
Greek Civil War (1944–1949)
Iran crisis of 1946 (1945–1946)
First Indochina War (1946–1954)
Paraguayan Civil War (1947)
Malayan Emergency (1948–1960)
Internal conflict in Myanmar (1948– )
Balochistan conflict (1948– )
Arab–Israeli conflict (1948–present)
Korean War (1950–1953)
Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960)
Second Indochina War (First Taiwan Strait Crisis (1953–1975))
Algerian War (1954–1962)
First Sudanese Civil War (1955–1972)
Suez Crisis (1956–1957)
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis (1958)
Lebanon crisis (1958)
Tibetan uprising (1959–1962)
Central American crisis (1960–1996)
Congo Crisis (1960–1965)
Portuguese Colonial War (1960–1974)
Xinjiang conflict (1960s–present)
First Iraqi–Kurdish War (1961–1970)
Eritrean War of Independence (1961-1991)
North Yemen Civil War (1962–1970)
Dhofar Rebellion (1962–1976)
Sarawak Communist Insurgency (1962–1990)
Sand War (1963)
Aden Emergency (1963–1967)
Insurgency in Northeast India (1963–present)
Rhodesian Bush War (1964–1979)
Dominican Civil War (1965)
Communist insurgency in Thailand (1965–1983)
Bolivian Campaign (1966–1967)
Korean DMZ Conflict (1966–1969)
South African Border War (1966–1990)
Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970)
Naxalite–Maoist insurgency (1967–present)
Communist insurgency in Malaysia (1968–1989)
Operation Condor (1968–1989)
Al-Wadiah War (1969-present)
Civil conflict in the Philippines (1969–present)
Yemenite War (1972)
Angolan Civil War (1974–2002)
Ethiopian Civil War (1974–1991)
Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990)
Western Sahara War (1975–1991)
Indonesian occupation of East Timor (1975–1999)
Cabinda War (1975–present)
Insurgency in Laos (1975–present)
Civil conflict in Turkey (1976–present)
Shaba I (1977)
Ogaden War (1977–1978)
Cambodian-Vietnamese War (1977–1991)
Mozambican Civil War (1977–1992)
Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict (1977–1997)
Shaba II (1978)
Uganda–Tanzania War (1978–1979)
NDF Rebellion (1978–1982)
Chadian–Libyan conflict (1978–1987)
Yemenite War of (1979)
Soviet–Afghan War (1979–1989)
Sino-Vietnamese War (1979
Internal conflict in Peru (1980–present)
Ethiopian–Somali Border War (1982)
Sri Lankan Civil War (1983–2009)

This isn’t even a complete list. But when researching conflicts, you will find that it is most often one or more of the “Permanent 5” behind these conflicts. How can the UN actually help world peace when its own Security Council members can flaunt the principles without consequences?

Why are a nation’s well being and sovereignty dependant on the will of 15 nations, 5 of whom appointed themselves as permanent members with a veto.

This is not to say that nations should not be free to enter into military alliances and pacts. However, this arrangement seems stacked against smaller and weaker nations.

5. What Does UN Say About It?

Under the United Nations Charter, the functions and powers of the Security Council are:
.
-to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations;
-to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction;
-to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement;
-to formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments;
-to determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;
-to call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;
-to take military action against an aggressor;
-to recommend the admission of new Members;
-to exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in “strategic areas”;
-to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges of the International Court of Justice.

There has been much speculation within Canada that Justin Trudeau is being so “UN compliant” because he is aiming for a seat on the Security Council. Not sure if this is true, though it’s certainly possible.

Military aggression. But “democratically performed” military aggression.”

6. Who’s Behind US Military Aggression?

In a word: Israel.

The State of Israel has been influencing US military policy, particularly in the Middle East, for decades. Western (Christian) nations go to war against Muslim nations. This in turn creates refugees who are forced to take shelter in other countries. Of course Israel won’t take them, but will help ship them off to the West.

Stop Replacement Migration, Have Bigger Families


(UN Promotes replacement migration)


(Hungary proposes making it more affordable for Hungarian women to have children)

1. Previous Solutions Offered

A response that frequently comes up is for people to ask what to do about it. Instead of just constantly pointing out what is wrong, some constructive suggestions should be offered. This section contains a list of proposals that, if implemented, would benefit society. While the details may be difficult to implement, at least they are a starting point.

2. Population Replacement Agenda

CLICK HERE, for the topic of “REPLACEMENT MIGRATION”.
CLICK HERE, for March 2000 Report.

NEW REPORT ON REPLACEMENT MIGRATION ISSUED BY UN POPULATION DIVISION
20000317

NEW YORK, 17 March (DESA) — The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a new report titled “Replacement Migration: Is it a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?”. Replacement migration refers to the international migration that a country would need to prevent population decline and population ageing resulting from low fertility and mortality rates.

United Nations projections indicate that between 1995 and 2050, the population of Japan and virtually all countries of Europe will most likely decline. In a number of cases, including Estonia, Bulgaria and Italy, countries would lose between one quarter and one third of their population. Population ageing will be pervasive, bringing the median age of population to historically unprecedented high levels. For instance, in Italy, the median age will rise from 41 years in 2000 to 53 years in 2050. The potential support ratio — i.e., the number of persons of working age (15-64 years) per older person — will often be halved, from 4 or 5 to 2.
Focusing on these two striking and critical trends, the report examines in detail the case of eight low-fertility countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States) and two regions (Europe and the European Union). In each case, alternative scenarios for the period 1995-2050 are considered, highlighting the impact that various levels of immigration would have on population size and population ageing.

Major findings of this report include:
— In the next 50 years, the populations of most developed countries are projected to become smaller and older as a result of low fertility and increased longevity. In contrast, the population of the United States is projected to increase by almost a quarter. Among the countries studied in the report, Italy is projected to register the largest population decline in relative terms, losing 28 per cent of its population between 1995 and 2050, according to the United Nations medium variant projections. The population of the European Union, which in 1995 was larger than that of the United States by 105 million, in 2050, will become smaller by 18 million.

— Population decline is inevitable in the absence of replacement migration. Fertility may rebound in the coming decades, but few believe that it will recover sufficiently in most countries to reach replacement level in the foreseeable future.

– 2 – Press Release DEV/2234 POP/735 17 March 2000

— Some immigration is needed to prevent population decline in all countries and regions examined in the report. However, the level of immigration in relation to past experience varies greatly. For the European Union, a continuation of the immigration levels observed in the 1990s would roughly suffice to prevent total population from declining, while for Europe as a whole, immigration would need to double. The Republic of Korea would need a relatively modest net inflow of migrants — a major change, however, for a country which has been a net sender until now. Italy and Japan would need to register notable increases in net immigration. In contrast, France, the United Kingdom and the United States would be able to maintain their total population with fewer immigrants than observed in recent years.

— The numbers of immigrants needed to prevent the decline of the total population are considerably larger than those envisioned by the United Nations projections. The only exception is the United States.

— The numbers of immigrants needed to prevent declines in the working- age population are larger than those needed to prevent declines in total population. In some cases, such as the Republic of Korea, France, the United Kingdom or the United States, they are several times larger. If such flows were to occur, post-1995 immigrants and their descendants would represent a strikingly large share of the total population in 2050 — between 30 and 39 per cent in the case of Japan, Germany and Italy.

— Relative to their population size, Italy and Germany would need the largest number of migrants to maintain the size of their working-age populations. Italy would require 6,500 migrants per million inhabitants annually and Germany, 6,000. The United States would require the smallest number — 1,300 migrants per million inhabitants per year.

— The levels of migration needed to prevent population ageing are many times larger than the migration streams needed to prevent population decline. Maintaining potential support ratios would in all cases entail volumes of immigration entirely out of line with both past experience and reasonable expectations.

— In the absence of immigration, the potential support ratios could be maintained at current levels by increasing the upper limit of the working-age population to roughly 75 years of age.

— The new challenges of declining and ageing populations will require a comprehensive reassessment of many established policies and programmes, with a long-term perspective. Critical issues that need to be addressed include: (a) the appropriate ages for retirement; (b) the levels, types and nature of retirement and health care benefits for the elderly; (c) labour force participation; (d) the assessed amounts of contributions from workers and employers to support retirement and health care benefits for the elderly population; and (e) policies and programmes relating to international migration,

– 3 – Press Release DEV/2234 POP/735 17 March 2000

in particular, replacement migration and the integration of large numbers of recent migrants and their descendants.
The report may be accessed on the internet site of the Population Division (http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm). Further information may be obtained from the office of Joseph Chamie, Director, Population Division, United Nations, New York, NY, 10017, USA; tel. 1-212-963-3179; fax 1-212-963-2147.

3. The Hungarian Alternative

Far better than “importing” replacement populations, Hungary has decided to make it more affordable to have their own children. Recently, Prime Minister Victor Orban announced a policy that women who have 4 children or more will no longer pay income tax. The goal is to encourage women to have more children, and reverse falling birth rates.

By growing your own population, you don’t have to worry about “multiculturalism”. You don’t have to hope that a group assimilates and adopts your values. There isn’t language and culture clash, like their is with mass migration.

Mostly importantly, you don’t have to worry about cultures (like Islam) INTENTIONALLY REFUSING to assimilate and replace your way of life with their way of life.

Note: in small amounts, immigration “can” benefit a nation. But mass migration to “replace” the dwindling old-stock simply leads to the disappearance of the host culture and people.

4. Conservatism & Libertarianism Fail

In order to preserve a nation, unity and common bonds are far more important than merely “keeping the numbers up”. There is more to a nation than number of people, GDP, and economic growth. Nationalists understand this. Conservatives and Libertarians do not.

Canada — and all nations — wanting to grow, should follow the Hungarian lead of boosting its own population. Forget about using replacement migration as a solution.

Ungrateful, Snooty, French President Wants ”E.U. Army” to Protect Against U.S.

(Paris, the last time there was a ”European Army”)

(Macron, lobbying last year for a single European (1) army; (2) budget; (3) tax structure)

(Macron admits France would have voted to leave EU if referendum held)

Where to begin with this one? French President, Emmanuel Macron is calling for the formation of a European Army, to protect Europe from the U.S., Russia and China. He also calls out rising nationalist sentiment in Eastern Europe, such as with Hungary and Poland.

Aside from the the arrogant tone Macron has, there are a number of flaws with this move. I am tempted to classify it as ”satire”.

(1) Macron completely whitewashes France’s history as an imperialistic and colonising power.

(2) The U.S. and Russia helped defend France from a German invasion in World War I (1914-1918).

(3) The U.S. and Russia (the Soviet Union) defeated Hitler and the German army, in World War II (1939-1945). Incidently, France has surrendered after just 6 weeks.

(4) From 1945 to 1989, the U.S. presence kept the Soviet Union from pushing further into Europe. Macron seems to forget about NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), which both the U.S. and France are part of.

(5) Macron is not the first arrogant French President in this type of case. Charles de Gaulle was a constant embarrassment, and eventually forced NATO headquarters to be removed from Paris, and relocated in Brussels, Belgium.

(6) Macron omits that the U.S. has had tens of thousands of troops in Europe for decades, and could have conquered France at any time.

(7) Macron omits that European nations gutted their military budgets in the 1990s, to focus on social spending.

(8) Macron denigrades ”nationalists”, but those leaders, like Viktor Orban in Hungary are actually very popular. Macron is the one acting against his people’s wishes.

So what is the real motivation for the army? Is it to stamp out any anti-EU factions? Is it to ”expand EU influence” into other regions? Macron is not Napoleon, and France is no longer a military power. Get real.

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