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Trade Deficit

On Trade, The GOP Tax Plan Is Bonkers

Ian Fletcher | Posted 02.13.2017 | Politics
Ian Fletcher

Fundamentally, if you want to do something about the trade balance, it's problematic to focus on profits, rather than imports and exports themselves.

If Trump Wants To Get Tough On Trade, He Should Prioritize China, Study Says

The Huffington Post | Daniel Marans | Posted 01.31.2017 | Politics

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump has made Mexico the central focus of his push to reform U.S. trade policy, singling out the neighboring nation T...

No, Currency Changes Wouldn't Make a Tariff Pointless

Ian Fletcher | Posted 01.29.2017 | Politics
Ian Fletcher

One of Trump's options, to redress America's horrendous $500-billion-a-year trade deficit, is to impose a tariff. That is, a tax on imports. For a...

Sorry, but Trump is Right: the Trade Deficit Matters

Ian Fletcher | Posted 01.04.2017 | Politics
Ian Fletcher

Never have I seen a political issue so susceptible to tricky conceptual sleight-of-hand and weasel arguments as America's trade mess. Specifically, o...

Sorry, But the U.S. Does Indeed Have a VAT Problem

Ian Fletcher | Posted 10.09.2016 | Politics
Ian Fletcher

A number of commentators (here, here, here) have recently tried to deny that America has a VAT (Value-Added Tax) problem that's harming our trade bala...

Is Donald Trump Serious About Trade, Or Anything?

Dean Baker | Posted 07.19.2016 | Business
Dean Baker

While many working people would agree that recent trade deals have not benefited them, they have good cause to be skeptical about Trump's get tough promises.

The Trade Deficit Does, Too, Matter

Ian Fletcher | Posted 03.31.2016 | Politics
Ian Fletcher

America's trade deficit, which has fluctuated around the $500 billion per year mark for a decade, is real money, period. But free traders persist in "explaining" how it somehow, mysteriously, isn't real, doesn't count, doesn't affect anything important, etc.

When a Coin Drops in Asia, Jobs Disappear in Detroit

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 03.07.2016 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

The Economic Policy Institute found that currency manipulation is the most important cause of America's massive trade deficits with TPP countries. Trade deficits mean products are shipped to the United States rather than made in the United States. The math is simple.

TPP Would Further Emasculate America

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 02.07.2017 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

NAFTA and the TPP are giant greenbacks for multinational corporations. CEOs close U.S. factories, destroy the lives of American workers and collect bigger profits as a result of the less-than-subsistence wages they pay foreign labor.

This Congressman Thinks Beer Can Help Fix The Economy

The Huffington Post | Zach Carter | Posted 10.17.2015 | Politics

If you want to help the American economy, you should drink more fancy-pants beer, according to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). "One of the grea...

Tuesday -- China's 20.4 Percent Import Collapse Has Us Testing S&P 2,000 Again

Phil Davis | Posted 10.13.2016 | Business
Phil Davis

Other than the occasional bursts of IPhone shipments, it's been all downhill for China this decade.

China's Currency Devaluation and the Federal Reserve Board

Dean Baker | Posted 08.17.2016 | Business
Dean Baker

Discussions of economic issues in policy circles often suffer from a "which way is up?" dilemma; it's not clear what the problem is that needs to be solved. The massive fretting over China's devaluation of its currency last week is one such example.

China's Currency Manipulation Should Serve As A Warning About TPP

James P. Hoffa | Posted 08.17.2016 | Business
James P. Hoffa

At a time when income inequality is running rampant in the U.S., workers don't need even more "free" trade agreements that will further strip this nation's economy of middle-income jobs.

China Protects its Workers; America Doesn't Bother

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 08.17.2016 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Currency manipulation violates free market principals, but for China, doing it makes sense. This potent action by a major economic competitor raises the question of when the United States government is going to stop pretending currency manipulation doesn't exit.

Trade Deals and the Importance of Political Gridlock

David Coates | Posted 06.20.2016 | Politics
David Coates

Moves seem well underway in the Republican-controlled Senate to fast-track the vote on fast-tracking -- maybe as early as this coming Tuesday. That would be a pity, since the arguments for not passing the proposed trade deal continue to be worthy of long and slow consideration.

The Real Meaning Of Obama's Trade Defeat

Robert Kuttner | Posted 06.14.2016 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

It's about time that the Democratic rank and file rebelled against the corporate domination of the Democratic presidential party. Last week's events should ring down the curtain on the era of "trade" deals like NAFTA and TPP.

Trade Abuse

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.11.2016 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Despite their long history of battering the U.S. middle class with bad trade deal after bad trade deal, these lawmakers and CEOs contend workers should believe that their new proposal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will be different.

Enormous, Humongous March Trade Deficit Creating Jobs Elsewhere

Dave Johnson | Posted 05.06.2016 | Business
Dave Johnson

We should demand balance. Trade partners should agree to actually "trade" with us, not just sell to us. We should also balance the interests of working people, the environment and other stakeholders with the interests of businesses in our trade negotiations.

How Our 'Free Trade' Policies Kill Jobs

Dave Johnson | Posted 05.10.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

The ongoing trade deficit has transferred trillions of dollars out of our economy. It has cost us millions of jobs, tens of thousands of factories and entire industries. As it continues, it is costing us our ability to make a living as a country -- except for our financial sector. This has made a very few people unimaginably wealthy, but it has made the rest of us, and the country, poorer.

Fighting Fast Track: Is It Really China or Us?

Larry Cohen | Posted 04.22.2015 | Politics
Larry Cohen

This is not what democracy looks like -- secret trade deals rammed through in record time that guarantee fat corporate profits, but likely result in net job loss and wage competition that leads to pay stagnation in the U.S. for years to come.

Will the United States End Up Like Greece? The Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Dean Baker | Posted 04.11.2015 | Business
Dean Baker

For years people have been running around Washington yelling that the United States was at risk of becoming Greece. There may actually be a basis for such concerns, but not for the reason usually given.

Enormous, Humongous Trade Deficits Widen, Further Exposing Failed Policy

Dave Johnson | Posted 04.09.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

In December the trade deficit in goods and services made its largest percentage jump in more than five years and the 2014 yearly total is its highest since 2012 -- which begs the question: Why is the Obama administration doubling down on the failed trade policies of its predecessors?

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Bad for Workers, and for Democracy

Heather Gautney | Posted 01.23.2017 | Politics
Heather Gautney

Over the past few months, protests have erupted in the halls of the U.S. Capital, and in the streets outside, to thwart the passing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)--a boon to corporate interests, the protesters argue, and an anathema to U.S workers.

What Obama Got Wrong in His State of the Union Remarks on Trade

Dave Johnson | Posted 03.24.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

The president briefly spoke about trade in his state of the union speech. He admitted that "past trade deals haven't always lived up to the hype," but then he called for doing more of the same.

Not So Fast, Congress

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 03.21.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Instead of the plodding turtle he's normally satirized as, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is all cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof about Trade Promotion Authority, better known as Fast Track.