Frihandel i media vecka 15


Glada överraskningar för USA:s industri i nästa NAFTA-avtal lovade Donald Trump vid ett möte med industriledare enligt WSJ:

”President Donald Trump promised “some very pleasant surprises” to come on the North American Free Trade Agreement, in a gathering with U.S. chief executives in which he also said he wants to overhaul the federal government’s computer systems to make them more secure and up-to-date.

The president sounded upbeat notes at the gathering at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, but offered few specifics on his plans for Nafta, the trade pact he frequently attacked on the campaign trail. He is expected to seek mainly modest changes to the agreement in coming negotiations with Mexico and Canada.

“It’s been a disaster from the day it was devised and we’ll have some very pleasant surprises for you on that one, I can tell you,” he said.”

Nyhetssajten Omni skriver om stödet för frihandeln bland världens ledare:

”Medan den amerikanska presidenten Donald Trump skrämmer upp många med sin protektionistiska retorik väljer flera tunga organisationer att gå samman i en pakt för frihandel och mot protektionism. Till dem som undertecknat ett gemensamt uttalande hör Världshandelsorganisationen (WTO), Internationella valutafonden (IMF), OECD, Världsbanken och ILO. Även Tysklands förbundskansler Angela Merkel har ställt sig bakom uttalandet.”

Daniel Gros på Center for European Policy Studies i Bryssel skriver på Project Syndicate om att frihandeln inte är så hotad som vanligtvis antas: 

”In the past, coalitions of workers and capitalists from the same industry would lobby for protection. Their interests were aligned, because higher tariffs allowed workers to demand higher wages, while capitalists could still make higher profits in the absence of foreign competition. The infamous 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which many believe helped precipitate the Great Depression, was the result of such lobbying.

Today, however, the interests of workers and capitalists are no longer aligned. Most manufacturing is now dominated by multinational firms that operate production facilities in many countries. This is particularly evident in China, where US and European companies have made huge investments. Any policy that hurts the Chinese economy will hurt them, too.

Foreign-owned enterprises account for about half of China’s exports; and US firms are the biggest investors in the country. So, if Trump followed through on his campaign promise to impose a 45% import tariff on Chinese goods (most likely in violation of World Trade Organization rules), he would strike a major blow to US multinationals’ profits. This may explain why most of the administration’s protectionist rhetoric comes from Trump and some of his academic advisers, and not from the experienced CEOs who occupy key cabinet positions.

Another major difference today is that many firms are a part of global value chains, whereby goods are assembled in countries like Mexico or China from imported components, the most sophisticated of which often come from the US. If these countries imposed tit-for-tat measures on US imports, the US companies that export those components would suffer, as would companies that collect royalties on intellectual property used abroad.

Those who want to “get tough” on China or Mexico claim that their goal is to persuade US companies to make their products entirely in the US. But assembly is usually a low-skill, low-wage activity at the bottom of the value chain. So, slapping a tariff on goods made in China would only push assembly operations to other low-wage countries, not back to the US.”


Frihandeln minskar fattigdomen skriver The Daily Signal på ledarplats:

”According to the Pew Research Center, from 2001 to 2011, the number of “poor” individuals—those living on less than $2 a day—decreased by 14 percent globally.

During the same period, world trade (as a percentage of gross domestic product) increased by over 9 percent, from 51.5 percent up to 60.7 percent.

This strong correlation between trade freedom and reductions in poverty seems to refute the narrative we often hear. Rather than hurting the poor, the removal of international trade barriers allows millions of impoverished people to escape poverty.

A recent report from the World Bank Group gives further support to this correlation. Based on the most recent estimates, while 35 percent of the world’s population lived on less than $1.90 a day in the year 1990, that percentage had dropped to 12.4 percent in 2012.”



Kategorier: Frihandel i media