Fearmongering by president Obama and the UK “Remainers” regarding US-UK trade negotiations following Brexit is all the more humorous by a trio of interesting headlines.
Back of the Queue
On April 22, president Obama warned Brexit Would Put UK ‘Back of the Queue’ for Trade Talks.
Obama argued that he had a right to respond to the claims of Brexit campaigners that Britain would easily be able to negotiate a fresh trade deal with the US. “They are voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do, I figured you might want to hear from the president of the United States what I think the United States is going to do.
“And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done”.
He added: “The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”
Obama Stands by Back of Queue Brexit Warning
On June 25, The Telegraph reported Obama Stands by Back of Queue Brexit Warning.
On October 15, 2015, The Telegraph reported Major blow for Brexit campaign as US rules out UK-only trade deal.
US-UK Trade Bill in Congress One Week After Brexit
On July 1, HeatStreet reported US-UK Trade Bill In Congress Just One Week After Brexit Vote.
Despite claims that the US would banish Britain to the “back of the queue” if it dared to leave the European Union, Congress is already considering measures to boost trade with the UK.
A bill to lock down current trading arrangements, and fire the starting gun on a bilateral deal, was introduced to the US Senate yesterday.
The United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act mandates the US to keep trading on exactly the same terms after Britain leaves the EU.
He wants to preserve his idiotic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders are all against.
Hopefully we can now take that ridiculous proposal and put a torch to it. TPP contains 5,544 pages negotiated secretly over five years but now available in the preceding link.
Curiously, Clinton, Trump, and Sanders are against TPP because they do not believe in free trade. I am against it because the proposal has little to do with free trade.
Instead, TPP will create an “unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states”, precisely what one might expect after five years of secret backroom deals led by Obama.
Lagarde Points Finger at Trump
Lagarde is correct on one thing. And it’s a very big thing: “Waves of protectionism in the past had preceded many wars. Protectionism hurts growth, hurts inclusion and hurts people“.
The solution is so simple it’s beyond Lagarde’s comprehension.
The EU, US, and Asia ought to work out a genuine free trade agreement not a mind-numbing set of rules and regulations that encompass the EU, nor secret agreements like Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that has little to do with free trade.
Lagarde finally issued a statement on trade that made sense. But it was buried in a series of flip-flops and conflicting ideas that makes it clear she really does not understand what free trade means.
Nonetheless, her warning about trade is correct. A global trade war could indeed have disastrous consequences. And it’s not just Trump who could start one.
Clinton, Trump and Sanders have all made similar statements on trade. For details, please see Today’s Quiz: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton – Who Said It?
Free Trade on a Napkin
TPP, Tariffs, WTO, Free Trade Discussion
- April 7, 2015: Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Fiasco vs. Mish’s Proposed Free Trade Alternative; How Will TPP Function in Practice?
- April 11, 2015: Legacy Skills and Capital; Sugar and Steel; Turning TPP to TP
- May 30, 2016: Stacked Deck: US Bullies WTO, TPP Revisited
Free trade is simple. Any trade agreement that takes more than 100 pages, let alone 5,000 pages, is about restricting trade, not fostering trade.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock