For "Free Trade" to work it must be fair.
The trade imbalance for the U.S. keeps on getting worse.
Currently it's more than $800 BILLION --- that's how much more we import than we export.
It's happening because the U.S. permits anyone who wants in access to our markets. The "free trade" is free to anyone other than the U.S.
President Bush has told the legislature and the American public that there is no reason to be concerned about the trade deficit because other countries will always be available to loan us the money to finance our deficit.
Apparently, this action is our trade policy.
And we are in a world of hurt because of that perspective because eventually any debt becomes due and as our trade imbalance continues to grow astronomically, our power and influence in the world greatly diminishes.
Approximately 12 years ago American car manufacturers sold 33,000 cars in Japan while Japan had sold almost 3 MILLION cars in the U.S.
In addition, for all the promises by the Japanese to build automotive plants in the U.S., thus providing jobs for Americans, the Japanese car corporations still were sending most of their components and parts from Japan.
That doesn't sound like "fair trade" to me!
The reason American car manufacturers were NOT selling more cars in Japan was that the Japanese weren't letting us. It wasn't practicing "free trade".
Japan is a predatory trader and it tries to maintain a lopsided trade imbalance and it is always cheaper for Americans to buy Japanese vehicles while making it more expensive for the Japanese to purchase American cars.
Our Congress doesn't seem to mind and the Bush administration sure doesn't. But in all due fairness, it's always been this way for generations of presidents.
While the U.S. is being "cremated" in a lopsided "free trade" system, the competition escalates. Our trade deficit with China is around $300 BILLION!
Our own production lines have gone the way of the Wooly Mammoth and Saber-tooth Tiger. We just can't compete. American companies continue to gravitate to China, Japan, India and other countries. Not only is the labor cheaper, but quite honestly, the quality of goods and services is getting better.
Some economists are predicting that China will soon replace the U.S. as the chief economic superpower in the next 5 years! There's a scary thought. What will happen to us?
Lee Iacocca tells us in his book, "Where Have All The Leaders Gone" that:
"China doesn't even try to play fair. The corruption is rampant. They don't think twice about stealing technology or infringing on copyrights. And anyone who has ever done business in China has encountered the blatant system of payoffs and special deals."
Certain nations in Africa are the same way. They play by a different set of rules that we do. In addition to astronomical trade tariffs or taxes, U.S. companies must also consider bribing government officers as an ongoing expense for doing business there.
India is another country that we need to monitor closely. Once it was a poverty-stricken nation, but today's India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. One of the areas of India's success is in the high tech field. In addition, very unlike our middle class which is rapidly becoming extinct, India's middle class has more than tripled in the last 30 years to 300 MILLION. That's around the size of our total population.
One major problem with our U.S. policy on "free trade" is that we just are NOT looking out for our own interests. You would think that Bush, our congress and American corporations would know better, but they apparently do not.
We have become the biggest market in the world for every other country but ourselves. Quickly, we are "cutting our own throats" by permitting the ongoing trade imbalance and it needs to change fast.
Since we are the world's biggest market place, you'd think we'd make it worth our while by charging other nations to market their goods and services here. We don't.
We are just continuing to rack-up huge debt that we will pass along to our children's children. One day all that debt will be due. Then what will we do?
Here in the U.S. we have a shortage of leadership that provides and negotiates for our own benefit. It may sound callous; however, if our leaders don't change the trade imbalance soon we will be at "the point of no return."
Some folks think we already are at that point and there's no reversing our economic plight.
We have remained quiet and stagnant as the old imperial warlords were in the old China who shut-out the rest of the world. Suddenly, during the past several decades under new leadership, China came "out of the closet" and it is quickly becoming a world leader economically. More and more nations are setting up markets there.
Apparently it's too late for the Bush administration to change our economic status and trade imbalance, but let's select a new leader who will make that a top priority.