Thursday, November 10, 2016

880 Would Trump's Trade Policy really Cause a Recession? - Howard Richman and Raymond Richman

Would Trump's Trade Policy really Cause a Recession? - Howard Richman
and Raymond Richman

Newsletter published on 7 November 2016

(1) Would Trump's Trade Policy really Cause a Recession? - Howard
Richman and Raymond Richman
(2) Is Trump a True Conservative? - Howard Richman and Raymond Richman
(3) Trump's Got It Right on Trade - Peter Morici
(4) Trump Has A Sound Trade Policy - Eamonn Fingleton

(1) Would Trump's Trade Policy really Cause a Recession? - Howard
Richman and Raymond Richman


http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/would_trumps_trade_policy_really_cause_a_recession.html

Would Trump's Trade Policy Really Cause a Recession?

By Howard Richman and Raymond Richman

March 8, 2016

On Thursday, Governor Mitt Romney gave an anti-Trump speech in which he
called upon Republicans to vote for anybody but frontrunner Donald Trump
so as to produce a brokered convention.  Romney claimed that Trump's
economic plans would cause a recession. He said:

     If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects
for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished. Let me explain
why[.] ... His proposed 35 percent tariff-like penalties would instigate
a trade war and that would raise prices for consumers, kill our export
jobs and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee America.

On Friday, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the U.S. goods and
services trade deficit was $45.7 billion in January, up one billion
dollars from $44.7 billion in December.  January exports were $176.5
billion, $3.8 billion less than December exports.  The reduction in U.S.
exports predicted by Romney just happened, but Trump is not yet
president.  On February 26, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced
that U.S. economic growth slowed to a measly 1.0% during the last
quarter of 2015, but Trump is not yet president.  Billionaire investor
Jim Rogers predicts a 100% chance of a U.S. recession within a year. If
he is correct, a recession will occur, whether or not Trump is elected
president.

It is true, as Romney claims, that Trump has called for tariff-like
penalties to prevent American factories from moving abroad and also to
bring currency-manipulating countries (including China, Japan, and
Mexico) into trade-balancing negotiations.  But would Trump's tariff
threats slow U.S. economic growth?  No!  Exactly the opposite!

Trade-surplus countries have a lot more to lose from a trade war, so
Trump's negotiations would likely succeed.  For example, in 1981,
Congress threatened trade-balancing import restrictions against
trade-surplus Japan, which resulted in President Reagan negotiating
"voluntary restraints" on Japanese automobile exports.  As a result,
Japanese automobile companies built factories in the United States that
continue to employ American workers and to buy American-made auto parts,
greatly increasing American incomes.

Positive Effects of Tariffs

Even if Trump's negotiations did not succeed, the American economy would
benefit if he imposed his tariff-like penalties.  First, government
revenues would increase, which would reduce the budget deficit.  Second,
American consumers would be encouraged to switch their purchases to
American producers and to the products of those countries, such as
Brazil and Canada, that buy more from us when we buy more from them.
America would become more attractive to foreign manufacturers and to
American manufacturers who had moved their factories abroad.  American
factory production would increase, and so would the employment and
incomes of American workers.

Romney's current attacks are ironic, because during the 2012 campaign,
Romney talked tough on Chinese currency manipulation and other trade
violations.  Romney said that the U.S. should tell China, "You can't
keep on holding down the value of your currency, stealing our
intellectual property, counterfeiting our products, selling them around
the world, even to the United States."  But Romney's attack on Trump
reveals Romney's stance as the sham that many of us suspected it was at
the time.  Trump is right to propose imposing significant tariffs on
China precisely because of the litany of trade violations 2012 Romney
claimed to be exercised about.  But now Romney claims that if Trump does
anything about China's rampant mercantilism, it will lead to a
depression.  Clearly he planned to go no farther in his China trade
policy than another ineffectual round of asking China to stop its
mercantilism.

In short, Romney doesn't appear to understand the economics of trade.
Economic research about the "tariff-growth paradox," including one of
our own academic papers, has found that tariffs hurt economic growth
only when trade is relatively balanced.  But periods of history during
which world trade has been relatively balanced (such as 1840-1865 and
1950-1973) have been followed by periods during which world trade became
more and more unbalanced.  The world is once again experiencing a period
of high trade imbalances (like the 1890s and the 1930s) in which
trade-deficit countries can grow more rapidly simply by increasing their
tariff rates.  Anything that Trump does to balance the enormous U.S.
trade deficits will be economically beneficial.

How Trade Deficits Have Been Hurting the U.S.

When countries run trade surpluses with the United States, they give us
trade deficits.  Those trade deficits reduce aggregate demand for
American products, American incomes, and investment in American
factories.  In his speeches, Trump has focused upon the three countries
that have large trade surpluses with the United States: China, Japan,
and Mexico.

     China.  Despite running huge and growing trade surpluses with the
United States, the Chinese government won't let its people buy
American-made Boeing passenger jets, Cadillac SUVs, or Caterpillar
tractors.  Instead, the Chinese government forces Boeing, GM, and
Caterpillar to build new factories to China in order to sell to the
Chinese market.  If Trump's negotiations force China to import as much
from the United States as we import from them, American companies could
locate new factories in the United States for shipment of their goods to
China.  Also, American farmers would export more meat to China.  The
benefit to American exporting industries and to American workers would
be enormous.

     Japan.  Under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement,
Japan can continue to manipulate the yen-dollar exchange rate so it can
grow its enormous trade surpluses with the United States.  With the yen
priced low compared to the dollar, the costs of production in Japan will
continue to be low compared to the costs of production in the United
States.  These low costs give Japanese vehicle and electronic producers
high profits, which they have plowed into R&D and robotics so that they
can continue to gain market share in their competition with U.S. vehicle
and electronic producers.  If anybody but Trump is elected, American
companies that produce in the U.S. will continue to lose market share in
their competition with Japanese producers.

     Mexico. Despite being part of the NAFTA free trade agreement with
the United States and Canada, Mexico manipulates the dollar-peso
exchange rate so that its businesses have lower costs than businesses
that produce in the United States.  As a result, American industries
move factories to Mexico.  If Trump succeeds in his negotiations with
Mexico, U.S.-Mexico trade will move toward balance.

Effect of Trump's Trade Balancing on the U.S.

So if Trump succeeds, how much would his trade balancing help the U.S.
economy?  Doing so would cause businesses to locate new factories within
the United States.  Since R&D gets located near factories, new
innovations would be invented in the United States.  Since workers learn
by doing, American workers would gain on-the-job skills, increasing
their pay over time.  Since American workers buy services from American
service providers, American entrepreneurs would prosper. In sum,
Americans would get more pay, more factories, more R&D, more
innovations, and a more prosperous country.

Trump is the only candidate who has consistently opposed TPP. Although
he voted against fast-tracking it on final passage, Senator Cruz had
helped TPP get momentum by co-authoring an op-ed with Paul Ryan in its
favor.  The other Republican candidates have always supported TPP, and
Hillary Clinton was part of the administration that negotiated it. All
are members of the Republican/Democrat establishment consensus, which
supports overseas production in return for campaign contributions.

And TPP is not just about trade.  It is also part of the open borders
agenda, to which the establishments of both political parties subscribe.
  Under TPP, foreign service providers will be able to recruit cheap
workers in Mexico and Malaysia and bring them legally to the United
States to take American service-sector jobs.  The destruction of the
American middle class will accelerate.  The popularity of socialist
candidate Bernie Sanders tells us where this is going.

The economic case for Donald Trump is clear.  If any other candidate is
elected, U.S. economic growth will continue to stagnate in the 1% to 2%
range.  In contrast, Trump's trade policies would return the United
States to its normal 3% per year growth.  If any other candidate is
elected, median U.S. family income will continue to decrease, but if
Trump is elected, it will return to its normal increase.  Under Trump,
the U.S. middle class, a bulwark against socialism, will gradually be
restored.

The Richmans co-authored the 2014 book Balanced Trade: Ending the
Unbearable Costs of America's Trade Deficits, published by Lexington
Books, and the 2008 book Trading Away Our Future, published by Ideal
Taxes Association.

(2) Is Trump a True Conservative? - Howard Richman and Raymond Richman

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/02/is_trump_a_true_conservative.html

February 8, 2016

Is Trump a True Conservative?

By Howard Richman and Raymond Richman

During Saturday’s Republican presidential candidate debate in New
Hampshire, Donald Trump was asked:

     Mr. Trump, you've heard the argument from many of the candidates on
this stage that you're not a true conservative. Tell the voters watching
tonight why you are.

He replied:

     Well, I think I am, and to me, I view the word conservative as a
derivative of the word "conserve." We want to conserve our money. We
want to conserve our wealth. We want to conserve. We want to be smart.
We want to be smart where we go, where we spend, how we spend. We want
to conserve our country. We want to save our country. And we have people
that have no idea how to do that, and they are not doing it, and it's a
very important word and it's something I believe in very, very strongly.

Trump gave a general definition of conservative, which is valid. But
there are more specific definitions as well. A political conservative is
one who believes in a limited role for government, a strict construction
of the constitution, fiscal discipline, rule of law and free enterprise.
Social conservatives support the traditional family and oppose abortion,
pornography, sexual promiscuity and redefinition of marriage. One can be
politically conservative without being socially conservative and vice
versa. We are not experts on social conservatism, but we do know
something about economics, so we will examine whether Trump is a
political conservative.

No president is 100% conservative. From the politically conservative
Mises Institute comes the following quote: "Contrary to popular myth,
every Republican president since and including Herbert Hoover has
increased the federal government's size, scope, or power—and usually all
three." Were they political conservatives? Not by our definition. That
applies to Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush
and George W. Bush. Republicans woo the same constituencies that the
Democrats do, so that is no surprise.

Many self-described conservatives say they will not support Donald Trump
because he does not have a record as a conservative. But Trump does not
have any legislative record at all, so it is not surprising that he does
not have a record as a conservative. Trump’s credentials come from the
private sector. He is an entrepreneur with an undergraduate degree in
economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of
Pennsylvania. It is time we had a president who understands economics
and has a practical grasp of how the economy really works.

The National Review, which self-identifies itself as a conservative
magazine, recently devoted a special issue with writings by 20 persons
that it deems to be conservatives, indicating why they believe Trump is
not.  But very few of the reasons cited have anything to do with
conservatism. Let’s look at Trump’s current positions to see if they are
conservative.

Centralized Power vs. Distributed Power

The key issue dividing liberals and conservatives is centralized power
versus distributed power. Liberals prefer centralized power that makes
it possible for them to impose their policies from the top. This is
especially important in the economic realm because liberal policies only
work if they are imposed from the top. Otherwise, localities that follow
liberal dictates deteriorate economically, while those that follow
conservative dictates prosper.  So liberals want big government, the
bigger and more powerful, the better.

In contrast, conservatives, including America’s founding fathers,
believe in distributed power. When they created the United States, they
maintained separate states each with its own power, and reserved to the
states those powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution.

Take education for example, President Reagan sought to eliminate the
Department of Education. But today’s Republican establishment favored
"No Child Left Behind" under President George W. Bush and now favors
"Common Core" under President Obama, both being attempts to implement a
national educational program. In contrast, Trump opposes Common Core and
has called for cutting the Department of Education.

Or take the environment. Each state has its own environmental protection
agency, and most environmental problems are local. Liberals favor giving
more and more power to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, so
that they can control environmental policy from Washington.
Conservatives prefer leaving environmental policy to the states, so that
if California enacts regulatory policies that make gasoline and eggs
more expensive, other states can out-compete it economically. Trump
wants to cut the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Or take the issue of using trade agreements to enforce environmental
agreements such as the Paris climate treaty. When President Obama
negotiated the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), his trade negotiator
wrote that TPP will enforce multilateral environmental agreements or "we
will not come to agreement." His trade negotiator now says that TPP is
too controversial for climate commitments to be added, so Canada’s
Minister of International trade says that they will be added, instead,
to a different trade agreement, NAFTA. Trump is skeptical about global
warming and opposes both TPP and NAFTA.

Or take federal government growth.  Republicans have controlled the
federal government’s purse strings for the past six years and have
little to show for it.  Their only accomplishment was an
across-the-board cut in the growth of federal expenditures, cutting both
good programs and worthless programs indiscriminately. The Republican
controlled House and Senate just capitulated to the President’s threat
of a veto and gave him a two year budget much larger than 2015. In
contrast, Trump promises to put fellow businessmen in his cabinet with
instructions to make significant cuts in the federal government.

Immigration and the Law

Conservatives tend to support the rule of law and to oppose lawlessness.
Take illegal immigration, for example. Unskilled immigrants are pouring
across the porous U.S. borders. Some are committing crimes. Some are
taking jobs that unskilled Americans would otherwise have. Trump
promises to enforce the law, which is a conservative position.

Or take Muslim immigration. Islam is the only major religion that still
believes in conquering the world by force. Pamela Geller, citing Peter
Hammond, laid out the pattern. As the Muslim population rises,
lawlessness directed against non-Muslims tends to increase. If Pres.
Clinton had examined our open doors to Muslims after the first attack on
the World Trade Towers, the 9/11 attack could have been avoided, three
thousand lives saved, and enormous property damage avoided. Not only
that, the Boston Marathon bombing and the San Bernardino massacres could
have been averted. Trump is the only candidate to advocate temporarily
closing our borders to Muslim immigrants "until we are able to determine
and understand this problem and the dangerous threat that it poses."

The Issue of Trade

During the past several decades, trade deficits converted the United
States from being the world’s leading creditor nation to the world’s
leading debtor nation, resulting in the loss of millions of U.S.
manufacturing jobs and a decline in American economic and political
power, relative to the rest of the world.

There is a huge divide within the Republican Party between those who
favor and those who oppose Trump’s trade proposals. All, including
Trump, favor free trade with Canada, because it is balanced.  The
disagreement between Trump and many conservatives occurs regarding those
countries that run trade surpluses that give the U.S. trade deficits.
Trump advocates placing tariffs upon their products to bring them to the
negotiating table. The two positions on free trade when it is unbalanced
are: (1) one-sided free trade and (2) balanced trade.

Some conservatives want to continue the Bush-Obama one-sided free trade
policy. In fact they want to double-down on it by passing the Trans
Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12 country trade agreement which would let
Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, and Malaysia run growing trade surpluses with
the U.S. while preventing any response from the United States.

Others prefer balanced trade agreements. For example, on January 19,
Sarah Palin endorsed Trump’s candidacy for President. Almost five years
earlier, after meeting with Trump, she told the Los Angeles Times:

     What do we have in common? Our love for this country, a desire to
see our economy put back on the right track. To have a balanced trade
arrangement with other countries across this world so Americans can have
our jobs, our industries, our manufacturing again. And exploiting
responsibly our natural resources. We can do that again if we make good
decisions.

University of Maryland Professor Peter Morici, a former chief economist
in the U.S. trade office, also supports Trump’s balanced trade policy.
He recently wrote (Trump’s Got it Right on Trade):

     Donald Trump has been savaged by economists and media aligned with
establishment candidates for tough positions on trade — including a 45
percent tariff on imports to force China to the negotiating table.

     Actually, he’s got it right….

     Overall, the U.S. trade deficit exceeds $500 billion a year and
kills about 4 million jobs. Lost manufacturing takes a big bite out of
R&D spending and that goes a long way toward explaining why growth is so
disappointing and median family incomes are down $4000 since 2000.

Before President George W. Bush, conservative presidents acted against
unbalanced trade by forcing our trade surplus trading partners into
negotiations, just as Trump proposes:

·      In 1971, conservative U.S. President Richard Nixon took advantage
of a provision for trade-deficit countries in GATT rules (which became
WTO rules) by imposing the across-the-board 10% tariff that got the
negotiations going which brought U.S. trade into balance by 1973.

·      In 1981, conservative U.S. President Ronald Reagan threatened to
support a Congressional bill that would limit U.S. imports from Japan.
In the negotiations that followed, he got Japan to "voluntarily"
restrain its automobile exports to the United States.

In a 2012 article, Federal Reserve researcher Justin R. Pierce and Yale
economist Peter K. Schott found a direct link between the sharp drop in
U.S. manufacturing employment after 2001 and the U.S. granting of
permanent normal trade relations to China. U.S. trade agreements have
encouraged U.S. companies to move their operations abroad, secure in the
knowledge that their products could be shipped to the U.S. free of duty.

So which is the principled conservative position when countries run
trade surpluses with the United States? Presidents George W. Bush and
Barack Obama gave their answer by doing next to nothing when China,
Japan, Mexico, and other countries ran huge trade surpluses with the
U.S. throughout their presidencies. During Bush’s presidency, the
Republican Party lost first the Senate and then the House, while during
Obama’s presidency the Democratic Party lost first the House and then
the Senate.

Yet the Bush-Obama trade policy is still supported by Republican
congressional leaders. Majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell recently
asked President Obama to postpone the vote on TPP until after the
November elections, knowing that many Republican Senators would have to
vote against it if it comes up before the election, but could vote for
it if it comes up afterwards.

So is Trump a true conservative? He would transfer power back from the
federal government to the states. He would cut the federal government’s
budget. He would enforce immigration laws. He would combat lawlessness
due to immigration. And he would balance trade. His proposals indicate
that he is indeed a true political conservative

The Richmans co-authored the 2014 book Balanced Trade: Ending the
Unbearable Costs of America’s Trade Deficits, published by Lexington
Books, and the 2008 book Trading Away Our Future, published by Ideal
Taxes Association.

(3) Trump's Got It Right on Trade - Peter Morici
http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/Peter-Morici/donald-trump-trade-economy-china/2016/01/28/id/711561/

Trump's Got It Right on Trade

By Peter Morici

Thursday, 28 Jan 2016

Donald Trump has been savaged by economists and media aligned with
establishment candidates for tough positions on trade — including a 45
percent tariff on imports to force China to the negotiating table.

Actually, he’s got it right.

Establishment Democrats and Republicans embrace free trade because it
puts free markets first with benefits any decently trained economist
should extoll. Unfortunately, trade with China and many nations is
hardly market-driven.

It hurts U.S. growth and victimizes America’s families.

Obama’s six-year expansion has averaged 2.2 percent annual economic
growth and added 13.6 million jobs. Coming off a similar bout with
double-digit unemployment, Reagan delivered 4.6 percent growth and in a
smaller economy, added 18.1 million jobs.

Now conditions in China threaten to derail the U.S. recovery. Beijing’s
statisticians report China’s growth slowed to 6.9 percent in 2015, down
from double digits a few years ago. Western estimates are as low as 4
percent, and much of that is decadent.

Building apartments and office complexes that attract no tenants, and
entire ghost cities, count in China’s GDP tally but add little to
productivity. Wasteful outlays have boosted debt to 260 percent of GDP.

Nervous about a looming credit crisis, Chinese investors are heading for
the doors — selling yuan for dollars to invest in overseas real estate
and securities. This panics global stock markets and pushes down the
yuan against the dollar — making Chinese goods artificially more price
competitive against American-made products than underlying costs warrant.

For all the talk of a faltering dragon, U.S. imports from China were up,
exports down and the bilateral trade deficit increased nearly $25
billion in 2015 — killing 200,000 American jobs.

Crippling debt is epidemic among emerging economies, as many borrowed in
a mad race to expand manufacturing. Like Japan and the European Union,
they now seek to cope with excess capacity and crushing interest
payments by cheapening their currencies to juice exports and ship
unemployment to America.

Those strategies have pushed U.S. manufacturing into recession —
employment in export-focused durable goods is down 35,000 since June.

Trade should work better for America. We have a highly productive
workforce and generate most of the world’s cutting edge innovations, but
commerce doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Governments put up tariffs, impose
tough regulations on foreign goods and investment, and offer businesses
subsidies to export more.

That’s why American automobile and electronics manufacturers locate in
China, and the same goes in other Asian venues.

How tough conditions are for U.S.-based industry is strongly determined
by international trade agreements — those administered by the World
Trade Organization and deals struck with individual countries.

The Obama Administration heralded the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement as
creating "countless new opportunities for U.S. exporters to sell more
Made-in-America goods, services and agricultural products to Korean
customers — and to support more good jobs here at home."

Since implemented in 2012, imports from Korea have risen much more than
exports, and the bilateral trade deficit is up about $16 billion —
destroying 130,000 good-paying American jobs.

Now the Obama Administration is making similarly fanciful claims to win
congressional approval for a Trans-Pacific Partnership. It would
establish free trade with 11 other nations, including Japan, without
cleaning up subsidies and currency manipulation.

Overall, the U.S. trade deficit exceeds $500 billion a year and kills
about 4 million jobs. Lost manufacturing takes a big bite out of R&D
spending and that goes a long way toward explaining why growth is so
disappointing and median family incomes are down $4000 since 2000.

Trump’s proposals for fixing trade — starting with China — address the
salient issues of currency, trade barriers and subsidies. Those echo
Mitt Romney’s 2012 platform — and candidate Obama in 2008 — but threaten
entrenched interests in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Trump is hardly reckless on trade — just a long needed agent for change.

Peter Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of
Maryland, and a national columnist. He tweets @pmorici1

(4) Trump Has A Sound Trade Policy - Eamonn Fingleton
http://www.unz.com/efingleton/trump-has-a-sound-trade-policy-but-where-will-he-get-sound-trade-policy-aides/

Trump Has A Sound Trade Policy, But Where Will He Get Sound Trade Policy
Aides?

Eamonn Fingleton

April 30, 2016

Donald Trump’s speech on foreign policy on Wednesday has been widely and
predictably misrepresented. The Economist, for instance, claimed to see
many "errors" there, yet curiously failed to identify a single one.

In suggesting his proposed strategy is riddled with contradictions, the
only substantiation the magazine offered was this:

     He….vowed that his America would be a "reliable friend and ally
again". But moments earlier he explained how he would begin his
presidency by summoning allied leaders for a summit to discuss how they
"look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation
to honour their agreements with us."

Pace the Economist and its compulsion to belittle the Trump phenomenon,
his attitude to allies is no way contradictory. He is evidently
referring to trade agreements and is saying that just because a nation
like Japan or South Korea is classified as an American ally does not
relieve it of an obligation to honor its trade agreements. If such
nations continue to discriminate against U.S. exports, it will be they,
not a Trump-led America, that will fall short on obligations of friendship.

Trump’s larger point is that for any serious future Presidential
administration, trade can be a powerful lever in influencing foreign
partners – and not just China, whose rivalry with the United States is
now obvious and ever-present, but nations like Japan, South Korea, and
Germany, which have long used saccharine-sweet professions of friendship
towards the United States to try to slough off their trade obligations.

So much for the broad outline of Trump’s strategy. But if it is to work,
he will need a small army of reliable aides to implement it. Although he
has already named several advisors on other issues, he seems not yet to
have reached out to any trade experts. Yet in trade more than almost any
other area of policy, the devil is in the details and a President simply
has to delegate much of the strategizing and most of the negotiating to
trustworthy aides. The evidence of history is that the caliber of trade
negotiators in the past has generally fallen way below what the American
nation is entitled to expect.

The challenge for Trump is to find aides who cannot be either corrupted
or broken (in the latter case, via, for instance, blackmail).

The traditional first port of call for administrations in search of warm
bodies is, of course, the Washington think-tank industry. But far too
many think-tank types are hired guns whose only loyalty is to their own
pocketbooks. In any case, almost without exception think-tanks are on
the wrong side of the issues. So too for the most part are Washington
law firms and Ivy League universities.

A major part of Trump’s problem will be transforming the culture at the
Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Hitherto the
USTR seems to have been peopled largely by an amoral breed of young
lawyer for whom, in typical revolving door fashion, government service
is just a stepping stone towards the real deal, a big paying job in the
private sector. For such people, and their likely future employers in
the Washington foreign trade lobby, a reputation for standing up for the
U.S. national interest is not considered an asset.

Yet Trump is right to prioritize trade. It is not only a field that has
long cried out for strong presidential leadership, but it is one where,
given aides of appropriate commitment and strength of character, a
future President Trump could aim for large early victories.

As a practical matter, however, people of the appropriate caliber are
not thick on the ground. Some of the most clear-sighted trade economists
moreover are left-leaning Democrats like Robert Kuttner, Jeffrey
Madrick, and Robert Scott who will probably not be available to a
President Trump.

Meanwhile some key figures who in a previous life came to national
attention as trade hawks have long since tiptoed away from their former
positions and have even in some instances cosied up to persistently
protectionist nations (it may not be a coincidence that such nations are
noted for big-budget attempts to subvert intelligent American criticism
of their trade policies). In the nature of things, such experts are
better left unnamed but a useful litmus test is the extent to which they
have written about, say, Japan’s globally crucial car market. That
market remains as closed as ever and provides the Japanese car industry
with a high-profit sanctuary from which to "target" world markets.

A further problem is that many people with deep knowledge of the issues
(acquired typically in the 1980s and 1990s, when trade was last a
hot-button issue) are now in their late 60s or older. Whether they will
be as enthusiastic as the 69-year-old Trump for a new challenge is
anyone’s guess.

All that said, let’s name some appropriate names. Two people Trump
should call immediately (if he hasn’t already done so) are Patrick
Buchanan and Pat Choate.

Buchanan ran for President as a third party challenger in both 1992 and
1996 and among his top issues were America’s ill-advised trade strategy
and trade’s role in American industrial decline. A familiar face to the
American public from a long career as a television commentator, Buchanan
is an erudite historian who first came to prominence as a senior advisor
to Richard Nixon in the 1960s.

As for Choate, he was Ross Perot’s running mate in a 1996 presidential
campaign in which they strongly challenged Bill Clinton’s trade
policies. An institutional economist positioned on the moderate right,
he is a noted expert on the shortcomings of extreme laissez-faire. He is
also the author of Agents of Influence, a bestseller on the Washington
trade lobby, and in recent years has served as an advisor to corporate
America on international patent problems.

Here are a few other well-informed and reliable trade experts whom Trump
should seek out at the first opportunity:

Dan DiMicco. In his former capacity as chief executive of the Nucor
steel company, DiMicco fought many trade battles and is an expert on
East Asian dumping.

Ralph Gomory. A noted applied mathematician and former head of research
at IBM, he is the author, with William Baumol, of Global Trade and
Conflicting National Interests. In this book and follow-up papers,
Gomory has challenged the theoretical foundations of textbook free trade
theory.

Kevin Kearns. Head of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, an
organization representing domestic manufacturers, Kearns formerly served
as a foreign service officer in Germany, Korea, and Japan, and in that
capacity observed first-hand the obstacles faced by US companies in
trying to export to key foreign markets. In Japan, he opposed the
give-away of American taxpayer funded aerospace technology to the
Japanese FSX program.

Robert Lighthizer. A partner in the Skadden Arps law firm and a former
deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR), he divides his time
between traditional trade litigation, policy advice, and legislative
initiatives. He represents heavy manufacturing, agricultural and
high-tech companies and has been lead counsel in countless antidumping
and countervailing duty cases.

Richard McCormack. Publisher of Manufacturing & Technology News, a
well-regarded newsletter, McCormack is an expert on the practical
problems faced by U.S. industry in competing in rigged global markets.

Peter Morici. A professor of international business at the University of
Maryland and a former advisor to the U.S. International Trade
Commission, he is one of the few prominent academic economists who
forthrightly challenges his colleagues’ ivory tower commitment to
unilateral free trade.

Patrick A. Mulloy. A lawyer who served five two-year terms on the
bipartisan United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission,
he currently serves as a consultant to non-profit groups interested in
reforming U.S. trade and economic policies.

Michael Sekora. A noted physicist, he founded Project Socrates, a
classified U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency program established in 1983
within the Reagan administration. He holds that the cause of U.S.
industrial decline is that U.S. decision-makers abandoned
technology-based planning and adopted economic-based planning at the end
of World War II.

Alan Tonelson. As research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry
Council Educational Foundation, he has written extensively on free trade
and globalization and their role in U.S. industrial decline.

How realistic is it to hope that a future President Trump can bring
America’s now persistently disastrous deficits under control? Many
observers are daunted at the scale of the undertaking. Kevin Kearns, for
instance, believes that the organizational effort required will be
monumental.

" Trump will need to formulate a comprehensive plan to fulfill his
promise to bring back jobs to America," Kearns comments. "It will
involve not just USTR and the Commerce Department, but also Treasury,
Defense, Energy, Labor and other departments and agencies. He will have
his work cut out finding people who share his vision and are willing to
man the various federal government positions to carry out his plans.
They exist, but they are few and far between. And certainly, there are
legions of lobbyists, think-tankers, and academics who would be only too
glad to take a job and subvert his program."

Eamonn Fingleton is the author of In Praise of Hard Industries: Why
Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy, Is the Key to Future
Prosperity (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999).



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