President Obama was hoping to get two trade agreements in the waning days of his administration.
However, this week the German Economy Minister stated the US-EU TTIP talks were “de facto dead”. The US-Asia TPP talks have been dead as a doorknob for some time.
Both deals were allegedly about free trade. In fact, neither was.
Nonetheless, that both deals died after years of negotiation is systematic of a bigger problem: rising protectionism everywhere, led by the US and EU.
Please consider Austria, France to Propose Restarting EU-U.S. Trade Talks Under New Name.
Austria and France will on Friday propose ending the current round of trade talks between the United States and the European Union, and starting fresh talks under a new name, Austrian Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner said.
“The free trade talks with the USA should begin again under a new title and with different substantive headings,” including greater transparency, Mitterlehner told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper.
He said he and French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl would push for a new start to the WTO’s Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) at a meeting of EU trade ministers in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
He said the talks should resume after the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.
Fekl last month said he would request a halt to TTIP talks at the ministerial meeting after German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that they were “de facto dead”.
The French minister told the Handeslblatt newspaper that the United States had demanded too much and not compromised enough.
“A crazy machine is moving here, the negotiations are a failure, nobody believes that they will come to a successful conclusion,” he was quoted as saying.
New Name Needed
Since a new name is needed, I invite readers to suggest some. I am drawing a blank. But I have to warn, manure by any other name still stinks.
A sweet trade agreement would fit on a napkin: “Effective immediately, we abolish all tariffs and subsidies.” Anything else is not free trade.
I would settle in a heartbeat for “Effective immediately, we abolish all tariffs”, whether or not any other country did the same.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock.
john wetherhold said:
you say the tpp is dead. I havent hear that from anyone. Hope you are absolutely right and right on re free trade. It doesnt take 21 chapters to eliminate tariffs and quotas.
EIAATS – Effective Immediately Abolish All Tariffs & Subsidies
Yes, let’s just change the name and start talking again! Hot air appears to ruling the world right now.
Seems to work pretty good when ramming “security” legislation through congress against the peoples will.
Tony Bennett said:
“President Obama was hoping to get two trade agreements in the waning days of his administration.”
It ain’t over till the Lame Duck session quacks.
Tim Wallace said:
I want to see BALANCED trade, not “trade agreements”. In the past 25 years, ALL trade “agreements” have spawned NOTHING but HUGE goods deficits for the USA.
Brian M said:
TATTER – Trade Agreements to Terrify Every Region
STUPID – Superior Trade Uniting Privileged Institutions and “Democracies”
iTurd – International Trade Using Regional Deceptions
LOOT – Laissez-faire Operations for Oligarchic Trade
There are literally thousands of excellent names… 😉
Excellent. The intersection of mind and humor is the flowing state of Grace.
NUF – Negotiate Until Failure
Stuki Moi said:
“Effective immediately, we abolish all tariffs and subsidies.”
While noble, it’s not really precise enough to be properly actionable. Plowing the road to Boeing’s headquarters, is a subsidy. So is paying for a police and judiciary that provide some deterrence against shooting it’s CEO. As well as subsidizing Boeing’s borrowing cost by ZIRP, QE et al.
Similarly, taxing, regardless by what means those who ship VW cars to the US, and those who distribute them, and build parts for them, is a tariff.
As long as we have a federal government, it needs to be funded. And tariffs, as the Founders realized, is probably the least distorting way to do so. The Feds’ main, or only, real duty, is to regulate/control/protect the border, and what flows across it. Meaning, they have a need to know, hence inspect, goods being imported. Which costs money. So, bill those who bring them in. Then mark that bill up a bit, and you’ve got a way to fund the general government. Without any more intrusiveness from government than what is already necessary in order for them to perform their primary, border control, duty. No Income taxes and it’s spying on who pays who what, which as the Euro s have figured out wrt Ireland is just another relative subsidy. No sales taxes (spying on who buys what from whom), which in a trade deficit country like the US, is another tariff……
So, the goal really ought to be to make tariffs and subsidies as minimally distorting as possible. Meaning, as simple and general as possible. No exceptions, no “per industry”, no “those guys are dumping….”, no “that stuff is unhealthy…” Just a straight 10% of the value of whatever crosses the US border on the way in, whether that be crack cocaine or some Zika vaccine, and abolish every other conceivable tax and levy. And ditto for “subsidies.”
Hey, Mish, please tell Gordon T. Long to do something about the audio clipping on his end of his interviews. I don’t think he’s looking at the comments to his videos where people have been complaining about this problem for a very long time. I suspect he just has a level set too high somewhere.
Troy Ounce said:
Failure, your name is Obama.
However, Obama did just manage to commit to spend $38 billion of your money, and support the military industrial complex too.
Did congress approve that? or was it another end run by the Imperial President, who doesn’t like to be bothered with congress?
Political Atheist said:
Blow for Obama’s TPP as Vietnam parliament defers ratification!
Maximus Minimus said:
These trade talk are doomed to fail if it was put to a referendum. US and Europe might share the same economic system, but not culture. No amount of promised candies can change that. It was negotiated in secret for a reason.
If CETA cannot pass, what are the odds for US-EU deal where the US can twist arms?