Dont think we are part of the TPP - we are sort of on the wrong side of the world - but I suppose that the EU has a trade agreement separately with all those involved - and we will be leaving that show eventually. Most of the English speaking world will support us, most of the rest of it probably wont. China will be an issue, as we have to like them as we need the goods, which may be a problem when we pally up with them and the US, as we have to follow the US now as Europe doesn't like us very much anymore (which I think is terribly poor show actually considering how much we poured into the project for the last 40 years, and how little we got out of it)... well the EU administration is as corrupt and as it gets anyway.
I'm all for American jobs for Americans, British jobs for the British and so on. I know that China constantly devalue their currency to satisfy the export market yada yada yada... but the reason all this 'globalisation' (a word that has gone full circle from the gift of god to the worst thing imaginable in about a month) was actually the product of free market economy. We wanted good stuff at a cheap price - we all want that.
So, i'll sit back and observe the changes that are happening, but I remain unconvinced that the US will be able to reindustrialise to the extent seen previously. Firstly, taking a car for example - well those prices will shoot up as the cost of labour is higher, then - no good just producing for yourself, you need an export market - so how is that going to happen by selling US made goods abroad that cost more to produce than most of the rest of the world, and you've just ripped up all your trade agreements and made enemies of all your neighbours?
We started buying Japanese cars en mass in the UK because (among other things) they were better, and we had a choice. So, to load import tax on foreign goods to protect jobs may work in a limited way - it's not going to do any favors for the consumer at all. Want to subsidise infrastructure - well that's gonna cost tax revenue, so that means prices will rise somewhere/ your purchasing power goes down/ inflation.
So... looks like you will be paying to protect domestic jobs, and be rewarded with less consumer choice. That's what I call social welfare, and we have a lot of that in the UK, and I'm 50:50 on it - as in it's a necessary evil for unresolved bad policy made in the past. It's also highly anti-capitalist (again we are good at that in the UK with all our socialist freebies - free healthcare, unemployment handouts etc etc).
So... in summary - I don't know where this goes. I like the sound of a lot of it, it's sexy and all - but a back-of-the-envelope calculation just doesn't lead to a logical conclusion. Either you stand by the pillars of free market economy, or you dont (and the UK is very much a mid-point between free-market and centrally planned - it works sort of, but life gets very expensive). What you can't do (and win a successive term for) is go for iron clad free-market capitalism, then essentially max-protect things by some sort of central planning and still call it free market economy: you have to be clear about your policy direction, or you're a fraud.
We stopped buying British cars because productivity fell to about 10% of the Japanese worker, and the product ended up being high cost, low quality junk - shot in the foot way back in the 1970s... never recovered.
The US could be fairly self sufficient, the UK can't - not enough landmass for the population, and not enough sunshine to grow most things. So, where i'm happy to see where all this goes, and respect that changes are needed - the gold standard Government approach to dealing with failures of the past tend not to be to fix things properly, but rather rehash the organisation of how things are administered until the next bunch of politicians assume office.
... I just figured out the solution... what you do is 'make' the car in the US so that it qualifies as a US made product, but all the steel gets imported, the engine and transmission stays at the Mexican plant, tyres from Brazil, electronics from China and Korea, seats made in Malaysia... all that comes in as 'components' not subject to the relevant tax levvies - and then you bolt the thing together right in the centre of the US where your 45 degree pencil lines cross on your map. Sorted.
Quality control - whats that?
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