Category Archives: Trade

Halloween Candy: When Made In China Is Magnificent

China, Ilana Mercer, Regulation, Trade

Sometimes the nastiest, unhealthiest Chinese candy, just shy of toxic, is what the doctor ordered. It’s what this household seeks out every Halloween. Candy too nasty for adults to consume is still legal at Fred Meyer, that great American supermarket.

If it’s in the house, chocolate fiends like myself will consume bad chocolate like Kit Kat or Hershey’s. So for Halloween, we look to China. The kids love the body parts candy on offer. None has yet to die.

The Freaky Fingers purple and green, for example, contain sugar, corn syrup, Sorbitol, gelatin, corn starch, malic acid, pectin, artificial preservatives like Potassium sorbate, and artificial colorants like Red, Blue, Yellow 5 and 6. Candy that’s just dandy for kids.

We’re up front about what we offer, thanks to explicit labeling that includes a “Chocking Hazard” alert on the wrappers.

In the case of Halloween candy, made-in-china is magnificent, so no tariffs on bad candy form China, Donald Trump.

Just as I was setting the stuff out, I heard one of Fox News’ female fascist “experts” advise parents to call the … cops if they spot untoward candy, presumably like the stuff our household puts out.

And we call China a police state.

Anyhoooo, as The Simpsons’ Mr. Barnes would say, there are leftovers, if you’d like some for your kid. The candy only expires in May of 2016.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

They’d Like You To Think Trump’s Immigration Paper Is INSANE

Economy, Free Markets, IMMIGRATION, Trade

READ IT. Before reality was raped with the aid of brain-addling, reality flouting, idiotic, academic theory; before common sense was replaced by the lemming’s lunacy that is political correctness; and in the days when political position papers were expected to be written in plain English and consist of a few—not hundreds of—pages; the Trump position paper might have been considered common sense:

The three core principles of Donald J Trump’s immigration plan:

… When politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first, not wealthy globetrotting donors.

We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change.Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

1. A nation without borders is not a nation.
2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all American …


Yeah, I’m a free trader. However, there is no such thing as free trade, not in the US and not globally; not de facto, and not de jure. We labor under managed, highly regulated trade.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

TPA: Republicans Cede Some More American Sovereignty

Barack Obama, Federalism, Outsourcing, Republicans, Trade

“Some” would call it treason. OK, I would call it treason. Republicans—who boast of their respect for the republican value of limited authority, and who vowed to keep Obama in his Constitutional place—banded together to give President Barack Obama yet MORE executive authority. “[T]he Senate voted 60-38 to grant final approval to the fast-track bill, reports the Washington Post.

… The trade promotion bill now heads to Obama’s desk for his signature. It gives the executive branch additional powers for six years and authorizes the president, and his successor, to present trade deals to Congress for a vote on a specified timeline without lawmakers being able to amend the terms.

What is the TPA? Also via the WaPo:

… Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA. This is also known as “fast-track” authority because it gives the president the ability to negotiate a deal that will receive only an up-or-down vote in Congress. Without fast track, Congress can amend the terms of the deal. You can remember that TPA is “fast track” because when you T.P. a house, you are on the “fast track” to juvenile delinquency. Or you can just call it fast track, which is easier.

Fast-track authority doesn’t apply to only one agreement. In the past, it has spanned presidencies, beginning in 1974 and lasting until the Clinton administration. It also existed during parts of both terms of George W. Bush’s presidency. From the president’s standpoint, fast-track authority is critical to negotiating agreements because he can negotiate in good faith — what he says to his negotiating partners he’s confident will be part of the final deal (if Congress approves it).

Broadcaster Mark Levin, who exulted in the Republicans’ mid-term victory only to find himself needing to trash these traitors daily—spoke to Sen. Ted Cruz on voting against the fast track deal.

“Enough is enough,” Cruz had written at “I cannot vote for TPA unless McConnell and Boehner both commit publicly to allow the Ex-Im Bank to expire—and stay expired. And, Congress must also pass the Cruz-Sessions amendments to TPA to ensure that no trade agreement can try to back-door changes to our immigration laws. Otherwise, I will have no choice but to vote no.”

As commendable as a Cruz vote against the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is—Levin failed to point out the following:

No bit of legislation should ever cede US sovereignty to signatory nations—not on immigration, not on self-defense, not on sentencing, not on anything.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: War Party Inc. Welcomes WikiLeaks Trade/Treason Revelations

Barack Obama, Conservatism, Neoconservatism, Regulation, Technology, The State, Trade

The War Party Inc. is forever raging against WikiLeaks and its heroic founder Julian Assange. Lo and behold, I heard Mark Levin approvingly mention the “secretive Obamatrade documents” uncovered by Wikileaks. Hmmm.

So, the liberty to scrutinize what tyranny is up to is not so bad after all?


Discovered inside the huge tranche of secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama’s executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

The mainstream media covered the Wikileaks document dump extensively, but did not mention the immigration chapter contained within it, so Breitbart News took the documents to immigration experts to get their take on it. Nobody has figured how big a deal the documents uncovered by Wikileaks are until now. (See below)

The president’s Trade in Services Act (TiSA) documents, which is one of the three different close-to-completely-negotiated deals that would be fast-tracked making up the president’s trade agreement, show Obamatrade in fact unilaterally alters current U.S. immigration law. TiSA, like TPP or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deals, are international trade agreements that President Obama is trying to force through to final approval. The way he can do so is by getting Congress to give him fast-track authority through TPA.

TiSA is even more secretive than TPP. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill can review the text of TPP in a secret, secured room inside the Capitol—and in some cases can bring staffers who have high enough security clearances—but with TiSA, no such draft text is available.

Voting for TPA, of course, would essentially ensure the final passage of each TPP, T-TIP, and TiSA by Congress, since in the history of fast-track any deal that’s ever started on fast-track has been approved. …

MORE (if you can unstick this website.)

TiSA Annex on Movement of Natural Persons.

TiSA Annex on Movement of Natural Persons by breitbartnews

UPDATED (6/15): “The secretive wheeling and dealing on the massive 29-chapter draft [of the Trans-Pacific Partnership] (kept under classified lock-and-key and only a tiny portion of which have been publicly disclosed through WikiLeaks) make the backroom Obamacare negotiations look like a gigantic solar flare of openness and public deliberation. Fast-track Republicans, who rightfully made a stink when Nancy Pelosi declared that ‘we have to pass the [Obamacare] bill so that you can find out what is in it,’ now have no transparency legs to stand on. …”

Michell Malkin On “Why America Hates the GOP-Obamatrade Deal.”

And if “America” doesn’t yet hate the TPP, it certainly should.

My position: all legislation is bad unless it is legislation to repeal legislation.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

Ordinary Iranians Deserve Relief

Foreign Policy, Iran, Israel, Trade

Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a patriot. About that there can be no doubt. Unlike American pols, whose policies vis-a-vis the American people border on treason, Netanyahu generally acts in the interests of his countrymen. As the patriot he is, one expects Netanyahu to disapprove of the deal Western powers are hammering out with Iran.

“I told them that according to the information reaching Israel, the deal that appears to be in the offing is bad and dangerous,” said Netanyahu. “Not just for us but also for them. I suggested that they wait and give it serious consideration, and it’s good that that is indeed what was decided. We will do everything we can to convince the leaders not to reach a bad agreement.”

The truth, of course, is that the “deal” is not dangerous to the U.S.

Israel’s concerns notwithstanding, pursuing negotiations that ease sanctions on Iran are good for the U.S. and indubitably fair to the Iranian people. Detailed in “The Warmongers: Not Looking Out For Us” are the costs to Americans—as opposed to their overseers in Washington—of sanctions:

Not to be overlooked are the costs to Americans of sanction enforcement, avers Harmer. In addition to the opportunity costs—the missed business aforementioned—there are “direct costs.” The Office of Foreign Asset Control in the U.S. Treasury Department squanders around $1 billion a year in developing lists of “financial institutions that are subject to sanctions,” and then infringing on the rights of individuals and companies to freely exchange privately owned property.

“Indirect costs” are incurred in the course of cultivating a massive U.S. intelligent infrastructure—a veritable alphabet soup of agencies—upon which the Treasury draws in enforcing a regimen of sanctions.

So, too, are the “deterrent costs” borne by the American taxpayer who pays for patrolling the Persian Gulf, the Northern Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz. …

The toll on ordinary Iranians is orders of magnitude greater. Especially pressing: “the disbursement to Iran in installments of up to about $50 billion of Iranian funds blocked in foreign accounts for years.”

Ultimately, trade, not democracy, is the best antidote to war with Iran. The more economically intertwined countries become, the less likely they are to go to war. More than boycotts, barter with Iran is bound to promote good will and reduce belligerence on both sides. As a general rule, state-enforced boycotts harm honest, hard-working Americans who use the economic means to earn their keep. They benefit servants of Uncle Sam—the political class and its media and think-tank hangers-on. For they deploy the political means to advance their ends and grow their sphere of influence. As libertarian economist Murray Rothbard once observed, these “are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth”—the economic means is honest and productive, the political means is dishonest and predatory.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: Multiculturalism & ‘The 18th-Century Levantine Mindset’

Family, Free Markets, IMMIGRATION, Liberty, Middle East, Multiculturalism, Trade

As hard as it is to believe, the “18th-century cities of the Levant” were liberal, libertine and prosperous. The secret to the successful, vibrant life in the Levant is detailed in a book by Philip Mansel, which traces “the story of how first Smyrna (modern Izmir), then Alexandria and then Beirut emerged to prominence, and how they waxed in wealth, power, beauty and influence over the 19th and 20th centuries.”

The Levant then was without the top-down, punitive, forced integration which is the hallmark of the 19th-century nation-state. Enforced across the Anglo-American and European spheres, this integration compels the founding peoples to prostrate themselves before minorities, each and every one of whom is said to suffer from historical wounds and claims to match their eternally suppurating wounds:

The reviewer reveals a thing or two about multiculturalism in these cities.

“The cities of the Levant were never a melting pot of peoples, rather a grid of self-governing communities, enforced by separate schools, places of worship, hospitals, burial grounds, clubs, charities, newspapers and libraries. Internal schisms – between Catholic and Orthodox, between Nestorian and Monophysite, between Sunni and Shia, between Ashkenazi and Sephardim further subdivided the urban tribes of Greeks, Jews, Syrians, Armenians, Turks, Franks and Egyptians. Trade, fame and the pursuit of pleasure alone brought the citizens together, and with it came a natural multi lingualism, so that it was not uncommon for a Levantine family to be fluent in half a dozen languages and scripts, or to use ‘farabish’ a slang-like fusion of Arabic, Italian, English and French. And because the divisions between the communities were so absolute there was a remarkable spirit of tolerance within a Levantine city. Noone felt that their children were in danger of being submerged by another culture and so there was a propensity for sharing, knowing and acknowledging the various festivals and rituals of the different faiths. This arose not out of any interest in a multi-faith fusion, but as neighbours with a taste for being amused by different dishes, street processions, dances and tunes.”

Levantine loyalty structures started with family, then progressed out to ethnic community with a light gilding of urban pride before drifting on outwards via thin personal connections (however faint or imaginary) to other trading cities and the court of the ruling dynasty. Nationalism was startling absent from the 18th-century Levantine mindset, as was any concern, kinship or sense of responsibility for the parochial hinterland. The laboriously constructed contract of 19th-century nationalism – duty, obedience and sacrifice (duty to pay tax, obedience to the heirachy of state servants and readiness to fight for the fatherland) was in almost comic opposition to the Levantine mindset. For the Levantine was a natural free-trader, if not a smuggler, a deal-maker, a tipper of minor officials and a hoarder – who would migrate rather than fight for a distant state, but also perish rather than witness the break-up of family. Mansel creates a mantra to help us translate the smiles of welcome, the immaculate tailoring, the charm and the intoxicating scents of the Levantine: Deals before Ideals, City before State, Trade before Politics.

UPDATE: “Deals before Ideals, City before State, Trade before Politics”: This quote from the review above is especially germane for those of us who champion the locality as the proper repository of conservative loyalties.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint