Saturday, September 17, 2016

John Kasich supports TPP

Kasich did an op ed in the Wall St Journal yesterday.  He came out four square in support of TPP, saying that it would increase exports, create jobs, and reduce consumer prices.  All good stuff.  That's stuff I would like to believe. 
   Trouble is, Kasich said nothing about that TPP is.  Does it reduce other country tariffs against US exports?  How much? When?  What else does it regulate? 
   I am OK with a TPP that brings other country tariffs down to US levels.  US tariffs (except for sugar) are really really low.  That's why you see so many Japanese and South Korean cars on the road, and why pretty much everything on sale at Walmart is made in China.  Fair trade means other countries lower their tariff barriers to match ours. 
   And I am OK with a TPP that tries to lower "non tariff barriers",  hard to meet safety regulations , pollution limits,  and the like.
   I am not OK with lowering US tariffs any further.  I am not OK with using TPP to impose international minimum wages,  worker safety, and worker benefit laws.  Or to impose controls on money exchange rates.
Or other things that have nothing to do with tariffs.
   So far Obama has kept the contents of TPP secret.  It could have anything in it.  I am not in favor of ratifying a secret treaty that might well hurt us. 


Craig Welch said...

"So far Obama has kept the contents of TPP secret". Huh? The entire TPP text was officially published on 26 January, just before it was signed on 4 Februay.

Dstarr said...

I stand corrected. Can you tell me where I might read the TPP?

Craig Welch said...

Sure. New Zealand is the official repository of the agreements, so here is the 'official' text:

Each country has also published it. You can see it on the USTR site at:

The latter might be more interesting to you in that each of the 12 countries includes side letters with itself and the other 11.

Dstarr said...

Hmm. The obfustication in this document is pretty high. Each country has a "Tariff Reduction Schedule". The one from Japan is 1133 pages long. It lists every imaginable product, from fish (broken out into a dozen breeds from trout to tilapia) industrial chemicals, ivory carvings, and on and on for 1133 pages. I was unable to locate some key products like beef or automobiles. Most of the listings show Japan is currently not charging any tariff on the product. The majority of no tariff products overwhelms and hides the products that they might charge tariff on. The file is a PDF. I will have to find a reverse PDF program somewhere, turn it back to ASCII, preferable comma separated variables format, and suck it into Excel to sort the 1133 pages into tariff order (highest tariff first, no tariff last) and then try to find some important products. Or even just figure an average tariff level. That's gonna take a while.
Somehow I think the writers of this piece of sludge were deliberately trying to conceal what they are doing to us.