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Trade Deficit

China's Currency Devaluation and the Federal Reserve Board

Dean Baker | Posted 08.18.2015 | 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 08.17.2015 | 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 08.17.2015 | 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 06.20.2015 | 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 06.14.2015 | 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 05.11.2015 | 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 05.21.2015 | 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 04.05.2015 | 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.

What You Need to Know When Obama Talks Trade

Dave Johnson | Posted 03.17.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

President Obama is likely to use the State of the Union to push for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the rigged "fast track" trade promotion authority. Here are some facts to counter the expected public relations campaign.

Our Trade Policy Is Insane

Rep. Alan Grayson | Posted 03.15.2015 | Politics
Rep. Alan Grayson

We're in a deep, deep hole. And there's a simple rule about holes: When you're in a hole, stop digging. Stop digging!

Five Tests Walmart Must Pass to Show Its 'Made in America' Street Cred

Scott Paul | Posted 10.13.2014 | Business
Scott Paul

Let's look at the company's big, shiny $250 billion commitment to American-made products. Sound like a big number? It is. But just like the endless aisles at your local Supercenter, everything is big with Walmart.

The Democrats' Agenda Should Be to Fix the Trade Deficit

Dave Johnson | Posted 08.26.2014 | Business
Dave Johnson

The trade deficit is a direct measure of jobs leaving the country. The trade deficit is American dollars going to other countries so people there can spend them. The trade deficit is our standard of living leaking away. And the trade deficit is a major factor driving what remains of the budget deficit.

Stop Exporting Jobs With the Stroke of a Pen!

John Komlos | Posted 08.23.2014 | Business
John Komlos

By establishing a market for import certificates, firms would have powerful incentives to bring the trade deficit into balance. All foreigners sending goods to this country would have to buy the certificates in appropriate amounts from our exporters. Overall, trade would become balanced quickly.

Why Do Coal-mining Jobs Matter So Much More Than Jobs Lost to Trade?

Dean Baker | Posted 08.09.2014 | Business
Dean Baker

When Obama announced plans to curtail the use of coal over the next 15 years, news outlets rushed to do pieces on the prospective loss of jobs in coal-mining areas. While it is good to see the media paying attention to this job loss and its implications for families and communities, this concern is a striking departure from normal practice.

Balancing Trade -- Remember the 'Buffett Plan'

Dave Johnson | Posted 07.01.2014 | Business
Dave Johnson

As Buffett warns, these huge trade deficits cannot be sustained. They are draining our economy. There has to be a reckoning. We have not faced that reckoning yet, but it is inescapable. It has to happen. We have to tackle this as a country, with a national plan.

A Good Trade Deal Is Well Worth the Wait

Scott Paul | Posted 06.24.2014 | Politics
Scott Paul

Obama might be a little disappointed to be leaving negotiations in Japan without a finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. But lost in this rush to secure a pact is what the TPP should actually accomplish: A more balanced U.S. trade account that ultimately benefits the American middle class.

President Obama, the Do-Gooder

Dean Baker | Posted 05.03.2014 | Business
Dean Baker

President Obama has said that he intends to use his presidential power to do what he can to improve the economy and lay the groundwork for future change. While there are limits as to what Obama can based on executive authority alone, there are many areas where he can have an impact. He already identified one area in his State of the Union Address, when he announced that new federal contracts would require that workers be paid a higher minimum wage. This sort of action can be carried much further. Of course, negotiations mean that we are prepared to give up something. That seems like a small price to pay for the millions of jobs that could be created.

We'll Need More Than a Couple of Innovation Hubs to Create One Million New Manufacturing Jobs

Scott Paul | Posted 04.27.2014 | Business
Scott Paul

On paper, these hubs are a good idea. Heck, in practice they're a good idea. Each one is insurance that America has the brains to stay competitive in the next generation of advanced industry. But let's be clear: On their own, they're not enough.

No Fast Track to TPP: Fix NAFTA First

Dave Johnson | Posted 04.16.2014 | Business
Dave Johnson

Trade done right can lift people on all sides of all borders. It can and does increase prosperity. But the way the giant corporations have captured and rigged the current negotiating process is hurting our country -- and the rest of the world.