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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Again, There is No Such Thing as "Free Trade"

Phyllis Schafly gives an example of what actually goes on whilst people talk about "free trade":
Although China is called a major trading partner, it treats U.S. companies like suckers, cheating them coming and going. China even intimidates U.S. businessmen so they don't dare to criticize China's unfair trade tactics.

Take, for example, the attitude of CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt of General Electric, the company now laying off hundreds of U.S. workers and giving those jobs making light bulbs to Chinese workers. He won't comment about the current U.S. case in the World Trade Organization accusing China of giving illegal subsidies to Chinese wind-turbine makers.

A few years ago, GE caved in to the Chinese government's demand that it build a large wind-turbine factory in China. Since GE owns a crucial patent for wind turbines, this demand was based on the Chinese anti-free trade policy called indigenous innovation (which China expert James McGregor calls "a blueprint for technology theft on a scale the world has never seen before").

China then developed its own wind-turbine manufacturers and is now directing purchasers to buy from those Chinese firms instead of from GE. That's the reality in what free traders naively believe is the world's fast-growing market for U.S. goods.

China wants to be the world's biggest exporter based on stealing U.S. know-how and subsidizing local manufacturers. China blatantly violates international trade laws and has no plans to be a market for U.S. products; China's principal imports are and will continue to be U.S. jobs.


Some people foolishly call our relationship with China "free trade." But there is nothing free or fair about it. It is trade war between an aggressively protectionist communist government and a U.S. that is shackled by foolish and out-of-date illusions about free trade.
I'll put it very succinctly, for the umpteenth time: there is no such thing as free trade, despite what some libertarian-leaning economists (You can scarcely get a libertarian to admit that the government has a legitimate power to tax at all, let alone get them to admit that tariffs are legitimate.) will tell you, despite what libertarians who would love for you to believe that free trade is a "bedrock conservative principle" will tell you. Other countries find ways to protect their markets. That's the reality.

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