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Posts Tagged ‘NAFTA’

Conservatives and the Free Trade Straw Man | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 18, 2021

Today, we get something quite different, a set of beliefs based upon the notion that because something was “American,” it was exceptional by nature. The limits of time and space only applied to other people, not Americans, and that included laws of economics. In fact, there were not real “laws” of economics, according to these conservative historicists, just epochs of history that came and went and set their own rules.

https://mises.org/wire/conservatives-and-free-trade-straw-man

William L. Anderson

When Ronald Reagan officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States in November 1979, he called for the establishment of a large free trade zone encompassing the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Not surprisingly, the so-called free trade agreement better known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resembled the usual “managed trade” that falls much more into the category of what Randall Holcombe calls “political capitalism.” Politics has a way of doing that.

For all of the logic of theories of free trade and for all of the prosperity that has come about as international trade has expanded in the past few decades, freedom of exchange over international borders will always have its enemies. On the progressive Left, we have seen the political candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom are hardcore protectionists.

Conservatives, however, have opposed free trade for decades and seem to be impervious to any arguments to the contrary, no matter how logical free trade policies might be. In a recent edition of the American Conservative, Clyde Prestowitz praises President Joe Biden’s proposal to heavily subsidize the US semiconductor industry. He writes:

President Biden has proposed that the U.S. government invest billions of dollars in the pivotal U.S. semiconductor industry as part of an effort to assure continued global leadership. It is a break with 70 years of U.S. free-trade doctrine, as well as a huge step back to America’s future.

While one can write volumes on the meaning of “invest” in that statement, nonetheless there is much more to understanding just how fallacious this latest conservative argument for “managed trade” really is. President Bill Clinton used that term regularly as a euphemism for more spending, and politicians recklessly have used the terminology ever since.

However, what exactly would be Biden’s “investments”? Will the federal government be financing new capital expenditures for US companies and, if so, what are the terms of financing and how will the capital be directed? Government “investments” by definition are political expenditures and require political outcomes, none of which will meet actual needs in the US economy.

Like so many conservatives that call for some forms of autarky, Prestowitz conjures up an American past that in his thinking was made possible only by protective tariffs. He writes:

This is a return to the trail first blazed by Alexander Hamilton in 1791. Hamilton proposed mimicking Britain’s budding industrial revolution by copying its technology, imposing tariffs on imports of manufactures and providing financial incentives for the development of domestic manufacturing.

Hamilton was initially opposed by Thomas Jefferson, who dreamed of an America of yeoman farmers trading produce and raw materials like timber for imported manufactures. The outcome of the debate was determined by the War of 1812, which the U.S. nearly lost for want of manufacturing capability. In its wake, Jefferson yielded to Hamilton, noting that manufactures were “as necessary to our independence as to our comfort.”

See the rest here

Author:

Contact William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

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TGIF: Double-Rigging of the Auto Market | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2021

Finally, we might welcome tax credits because they provide a chance to keep more of our money, but this principle is a snare and a delusion.  The power to tax (that is, steal) is bad enough without it also being a politician’s tool to manipulate market outcomes. That only adds injury to injury.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-rigging-auto-market/

by Sheldon Richman

U.S. government interference with our lives often resembles a Russian matryoshka doll: regulation is nested in more regulation. Take the provision of Biden’s pending Build Back Better bill that would create a big tax credit for people who buy U.S.-built electric vehicles (EV).

Not only would the government distort the domestic auto market by rigging it in favor of electric vehicles over conventional ones, but it also would rig the EV market, Trump-style, in favor of U.S.-made products. This implies that “foreign” EVs are so attractive to American buyers that the domestic offerings need help from the state to compete. That’s an argument against the provision right there. If the vehicles that American companies and workers turn out aren’t what American buyers would want to buy without subsidies, the manufacturers shouldn’t be protected from that important information.

Why not? Because markets exist for consumers and not for producers. Makers of trade policy have no political incentive to operate on that principle because manufacturers of a given product can easily organize for government protection of their livelihoods and reward the politicians who do their bidding. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for consumers, who have too many other things to worry about. Any kind of trade restrictions hurt them because prices will be higher and product variety will be constrained, especially if a trade war breaks out through tit-for-tat retaliation.

Trade wars end up hurting producers as well, of course. Even without a trade war, when Americans buy less from foreigners, foreigners, having less money, will buy less from Americans and other foreigners. The bad effects ripple globally.

Understandably, electric-vehicle makers in Canada and Mexico are especially upset. Who could blame them? The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, “Canada and Mexico worry the provision would lead to dramatic reductions in EVs purchased in their respective countries and violates the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the trade pact the three countries passed last year to replace NAFTA.”

So much for the alleged free-trade zone of North America.

But things are not quite so simple as the provision’s backers make out, demonstrating that Donald Trump had no monopoly on willful ignorance about the reality of trade. The inhabitants of the United States, Canada, and Mexico do more than trade finished consumer goods with each other. For many years North America has been a single highly integrated market for producers’ goods.

According to the Union-Tribune, Canada’s consul general for Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona, Zaib Shaikh, points out that, in the newspaper’s words, “Determining the country of origin of a given vehicle is complicated because the auto industry of the three North American countries has become so highly integrated.”

In other words, It’s not clear what an American, Canadian, or Mexican EV is exactly. “’When you think about vehicles assembled in Canada, they’re actually 50 percent U.S.-made,’ Shaikh said, ‘because the supply chain works so that things are crossed over six or seven times across the border’ before a vehicle is finally assembled.”

It’s hardly the first time that the authors and backers of legislation were ignorant about the thing they sought to regulate.

As already noted, tilting the market toward American manufacturers, even if that were possible today, is not the only objectionable feature of the provision. The provision also aims at tilting the market toward EVs and against vehicles with internal combustion engines. EV purchasers would gain $12,500 in tax credits by 2027. This is in pursuit of the Biden administration’s goal of cutting carbon-dioxide emissions 50-54 percent from the 2005 level by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050.

Those targets are important for many people on the fallacious grounds that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that is ruinously warming the climate when in fact it is plant food that is greening the earth and bringing other palpable benefits to mankind. (Thanks to technology, the real pollutants in gasoline are already controlled in today’s clean cars.)

To the extent that human-generated CO2 emissions through the use of fossil fuels have contributed to mild global warming since the Industrial Revolution began, they have helped to improve the lives of human beings everywhere by making the natural world more hospitable. During this time, population, life expectancy, and per-capita wealth have grown, while extreme poverty, infant mortality, and deaths from weather extremes have plummeted. Cold kills more people than heat, and the longer growing seasons made possible by warming help feed the world’s nearly 8 billion people at a lower cost.

For the foreseeable future, nothing will be able to compete with fossil fuels in providing reliable, inexpensive, and abundant energy — something billions of people in the developing world desperately need if they are to achieve the living standards that we in the West take for granted.

So rigging the market in favor of electric vehicles is a dumb idea.

Finally, we might welcome tax credits because they provide a chance to keep more of our money, but this principle is a snare and a delusion.  The power to tax (that is, steal) is bad enough without it also being a politician’s tool to manipulate market outcomes. That only adds injury to injury.

About Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest books are Coming to Palestine and What Social Animals Owe to Each Other.

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Doug Casey on the Dangers of Global Regulation – Casey Research

Posted by M. C. on July 13, 2020

Doug Casey: It’s really quite simple. To repeat,
governments shouldn’t decide anything. There shouldn’t be an American
trade policy, a French trade policy, an Australian trade policy, or any
other trade policy. These things shouldn’t exist. People in whatever
country should simply produce, buy, and sell. Whether that’s from their
own country or from other countries. Forget about “national policy” with
its ridiculous distinctions and labels.

https://www.caseyresearch.com/daily-dispatch/doug-casey-on-the-dangers-of-global-regulation/

Rachel’s note: Regular readers know Doug Casey believes you can always bet on the government to do the wrong thing. Whether it’s the dangerous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or overregulation abroad, government intervention often creates more problems than it solves.

And today, Doug discusses the dangers surrounding globalism… and explains why we actually live in a fascist system…

Daily Dispatch: Doug, we’d like to get your take on the question of “Globalist vs. Globalism.” Not so long ago, the right was in favor of embracing a global economy, in order to access cheaper labor and other benefits of outsourcing. Whereas the left was against that whole idea, as they wanted to be more protectionist in their local economy.

But now, to the average man at least, that seems to have flipped. Now the right seems to be more protectionist, and the left wants to be more global. Is that an overly simplistic take on things? What’s your view?

Doug Casey: Well, to start with, these are just labels that don’t really mean anything – other than deciding what variety of statism you want.

The truth is that individuals and companies should be able to trade with each other with absolutely no restrictions, interference, or comment of any type from governments. No quotas, no duties, no incentives… nothing.

Governments bring absolutely nothing to the party. It’s a sham, a myth, and a delusion that government acts in the interest of the country it controls. Government (and the people who control it) act in their own interests and those of their cronies. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, and runs counter to what we were taught in grade school civics, or what sanctimonious Deep Staters like to repeat. But it’s the case with late-stage U.S. “capitalism.”

“Globalists,” “Globalism,” there’s barely any difference. It’s just busybodies deciding what products the real producers may or may not create, and what entrepreneurs can or can’t do. Saying one is good and the other is bad is the wrong way to look at it. It politicizes the question.

Daily Dispatch: Okay. What about all the noise about NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement], and the trade deals the U.K. wants to do now that it has left the European Union?

Doug Casey: It’s really quite simple. To repeat, governments shouldn’t decide anything. There shouldn’t be an American trade policy, a French trade policy, an Australian trade policy, or any other trade policy. These things shouldn’t exist. People in whatever country should simply produce, buy, and sell. Whether that’s from their own country or from other countries. Forget about “national policy” with its ridiculous distinctions and labels.

Daily Dispatch: While you mention it, one of the things that has been quite amusing about Brexit are the “Remainers” (those who wanted to stay in the EU), who seem to think that if the U.K. doesn’t have a trade deal with the European Union, then suddenly all trade will stop.

They don’t seem to understand that you don’t need to have a deal between countries in order to trade. Businesses and individuals can just buy things. I can buy something from you. You can buy something from me. As long as we’re a willing buyer and seller, that’s all you need to trade.

Doug Casey: That’s absolutely correct, whether we’re talking about the European Union or NAFTA trade deals between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It’s unnecessary and unproductive trying to regulate trade with documents the size of an old New York telephone book.

Few people are aware that there are 50,000 employees of the European Union in and around Brussels – not counting lawyers, lobbyists, and hangers-on. Not one of these people serves a useful purpose. But they get fat salaries, expense accounts, and bribes. As Tacitus said 2,000 years ago, “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the society.”

The European Union started out as a free trade organization after World War II – its purpose was to facilitate trade. But it’s grown into a giant dysfunctional bureaucracy. If the EU simply eliminated trade barriers, duties, and regulations, you wouldn’t need any of these people. They’re basically “useless mouths.” But that’s just the opposite of what they do. The European Parliament constantly passes more laws, which reduce personal freedoms. And those laws have to be enforced, which constantly increases taxes.

I’m all for Brexit. The British hopefully will no longer be constrained by the ridiculous regulations that come out of Brussels telling them how to make beer, cheese, or whether shops are allowed to sell eggs by the dozen.

Switzerland isn’t an EU member, and it does just fine.

Daily Dispatch: Related to this issue is the idea that Western governments seem to be pursuing the idea of a global tax or global wealth taxes. You could say that the West is bullying developing nations in the area of “tax competitiveness,” in the same way they’re bullying them with trade in general.

For instance, the West doesn’t want developing countries to have, say, a coal industry. It wants the developing countries to be more considerate of environmental issues. That just doesn’t seem fair. These countries are trying to drag themselves out of poverty while the West is forcing on them rules that will keep them in poverty. Then, in order to satisfy their guilt, they say, “Well, let’s give them billions of dollars in aid instead.” Which we know just goes to the corrupt leaders anyway. Right?

Doug Casey: Yes, of course. There’s this ridiculous concept of harmonizing tax policies, which devastates poor countries. The only reason that you would want to invest in a poor backward country is because costs may be lower, and the government might leave you alone. They can only attract investment if low taxes and regulation make it worthwhile.

Meanwhile, the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development], and similar clubs the governments of advanced countries belong to, are trying to get backward countries to impose the same level of taxes and regulations that they do. Which will keep these countries as serfdoms and colonies. And it gets worse, because the foreign aid that they give to these countries just acts to cement them to the bottom of the economic ladder.

Foreign aid only further enriches the rich people in those countries, who are rich mostly because they’re politically well-connected. In fact, foreign aid is nothing but a “transfer of wealth” scam from poor people in rich countries, to rich people in poor countries.

The fact that the talking heads on television, magazine writers, and politicians all take this seriously, like it’s the way the world should work, is highly destructive. The average guy gives these authority figures completely undeserved credence. People ought to point out that the king has no clothes, and his minions are idiots.

Daily Dispatch: Kenya’s clothing industry is a good example of this. It was quite substantial up until the 1980s. There are several reasons for its decline, but one of the major factors was the Western charities that convinced Westerners to donate clothing, which was then shipped to Africa and effectively dumped into the local economy.

Ever since then, whenever you see footage of third-world countries, you notice that the kids and adults are wearing European soccer shirts or NBA basketball shirts. You know they haven’t paid the $100 or $200 that these things cost. They’ve been donated from the West. It’s an example of how these kinds of practices can destroy local industries.

Doug Casey: That’s exactly right. Locally produced items, no matter what their price or quality, can’t compete with free goods. And it’s worse than that, actually, because the same thing happens with food. Western farmers lobby their governments to buy surplus cheese, wheat, sugar, and whatever else, and then give these things to third-world countries. They say it’s charity. But it actually destroys the local farmers in these countries.

And then when the aid stops or diminishes, there are no farmers left – they’ve all had to move to the city. Now the country has a real problem on its hands. Here’s the takeaway: All foreign aid to backward countries should be abolished. It’s counterproductive, at best. It impoverishes Western taxpayers and destroys the productive capacity of the recipients.

But look, this is all a question of government intervention. It’s not capitalism, in fact, technically, it’s fascism. People don’t understand that we don’t have capitalist systems anywhere today. Capitalism is a system where there is no taxation and no regulation – it’s a total free market.

Instead, today we have fascism – a term that was coined by Mussolini, who was philosophically a socialist who realized direct state ownership didn’t work as well as corporate ownership. Fascism has little to do with jackboots and parades – those are just convenient decorations. Fascism basically promotes a “partnership” between the state and corporations.

You have to remember that the U.S. government is an entity with a life of its own – as are General Motors, Google, General Electric, or whatever. They work together for their mutual benefit. The general welfare of the citizens is secondary.

Daily Dispatch: And yet people still blame capitalism.

Doug Casey: Yes, because the population in general, the media, and the politicians are too stupid to understand the real definition of capitalism. Everybody repeats the same myths to each other – they did it in the Soviet Union until it collapsed.

You see this all the time, where some mainstream fool will say that capitalism is broken and we need to fix it. But capitalism isn’t broken at all, because the current economies aren’t capitalist. If they were truly capitalist, then the system wouldn’t be broken.

The system they criticize is actually the same system they helped to perpetuate. It’s, as I say, a fascist system whereby governments and big corporations work together at the expense of the individual. Look how degraded the U.S. has become. Nearly half the country was quite ready to vote for Bernie Sanders, because he said he’d give them free stuff.

It’s perverse. The Greater Depression is going to be nasty indeed…

Daily Dispatch: Thanks for speaking with us today, Doug.

Doug Casey: You’re welcome.

Want more stories like this one?

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Degradation of Senate is reflected in lawless legislating – Erie Times E-Edition Article

Posted by M. C. on February 16, 2020

This demonstrated that Congress cannot repeal Obamacare but will not pay for it. Amendments were not allowed, debate was limited to 90 minutes, and the Senate voted on the bill less than three days after it was unveiled. “Senate leadership clearly didn’t want it to be understood or discussed,” Cassidy said.

Follow the link below to view the article.
Degradation of Senate is reflected in lawless legislating
http://erietimes.pa.newsmemory.com/?publink=1798b6edd

Shortly before the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, contemplated the president’s misbehavior, it demonstrated its own flair for disregarding rules and violating norms. Done with bipartisan bonhomie, the episode illuminates the decay of government.

Bill Clinton’s finest achievement as president, the North American Free Trade Agreement, passed in December 1993 with more Senate and House support from Republicans (34 and 132) than from Democrats (27 and 102). Many Democrats predicted devastation of U.S. manufacturing, and Donald Trump was characteristically Cassandra-like. Today manufacturing capacity is 66 percent larger than in 1994.

Undeterred by evidence, candidate Trump termed NAFTA a “disaster” and “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere.”

As president he is replacing it with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is remarkably similar to NAFTA, with two significant exceptions: It is the first U.S. trade agreement designed to decrease trade, and it is a larded with Democratic policy objectives.

As Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, notes, under NAFTA there were zero tariffs on 100 percent of manufactured goods and 97.5 percent of agricultural products that crossed the three nations’ borders. U.S.

exports to Mexico increased 500 percent. The USMCA’s constructive modernizations of NAFTA – the enormous digital economy did not exist in 1994 – are, Toomey says, “mostly taken from the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” which was negotiated by the Obama administration, and for that reason was anathema to Trump. His scrapping of the TPP was a gift to China.

The USMCA ends free trade in automobiles and auto parts with Mexico: By imposing impossible minimum-wage requirements on Mexican factories, the USMCA guarantees that cars and parts will be subject to tariffs – taxes paid by U.S.

consumers. The USMCA also compels Mexico to change its labor laws to promote unionization. And the provision that the USMCA expires in 16 years is, Toomey says, “designed to have a chilling effect on investment.”

He notes that members of Congress who have opposed every trade agreement before this one support it, as does the AFL-CIO, which generally opposes free trade agreements.

The USMCA’s substance is regrettable. The process that produced it was even more so because it was lawless.

Agreements that fully comply with the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) cannot be amended and can be passed by a simple majority. But the USMCA did not comply: The implementing legislation was not submitted to Congress 30 days before a committee or floor vote on it, a requirement necessary if Congress is to perform its constitutional duty to establish trade policy. Also, the TPA requires that the implementing legislation contain only provisions “strictly necessary or appropriate” for implementation. Otherwise, the TPA’s expedited process could be used to sneak extraneous matters into law without adequate scrutiny, or possible opposition through amendment, or a 60-vote threshold. But for the first time ever, implementing legislation contained appropriations, $843 million, including $50 million for salaries and expenses for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which was designated an “emergency.”

The Senate and its once formidable Finance Committee are, Toomey believes, being “marginalized” and made “irrelevant” as the executive wields authority delegated to it by Congress – but without Congress insisting on compliance with the terms of the delegation. The question, Toomey says, is: “Are we willing to enforce our own law that governs the proceedings of this body?”

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, felt similarly in December when Congress “passed a $1.4 trillion spending extravaganza, complete with half a trillion dollars in tax cuts and a bevy of favors for special interests – all without debate and without committee consideration, based on decisions made by the bill’s sponsors over a weekend.” The $300 billion “Cadillac tax,” a restraint on lavish employer-provided health plans, was repealed.

This demonstrated that Congress cannot repeal Obamacare but will not pay for it. Amendments were not allowed, debate was limited to 90 minutes, and the Senate voted on the bill less than three days after it was unveiled. “Senate leadership clearly didn’t want it to be understood or discussed,” Cassidy said.

In the 116th Congress, now in its second year, there have been, Toomey notes, votes on just 20 amendments – one was a “sense of the Senate” legal nullity, four were “noncontroversial or largely devoid of substance,” six “were killed using a procedural maneuver,” and none of the other nine “came close to passage.” The Finance Committee has held one substantive markup in 13 months.

The president’s institutional vandalism is partially explained, although not excused, by the breadth and depth of his ignorance concerning the manners and mores of a republic. The Senate’s self-degradation is even more depressing.

George Will

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Where is the “Free” part?

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2019

“Free trade”, “requires”, “prohibits”. Any agreement longer than this post is not “free”.

Everytime there is a requires or prohibits someone is making out and the rest of US are getting screwed.

From Voterama in Congress
Setting New Rules for North American Trade: Voting 385-41, the House on Dec. 19 passed a bill (HR 5430) giving congressional approval to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the framework for commerce among the three countries. The agreement requires Mexico to guarantee workers the right to join unions and engage in collective bargaining; authorizes fast-track probes of labor violations in Mexico and factory-specific penalties when transgressions are found; gives U.S. dairy and poultry farmers and to a lesser extent winemakers more access to Canadian markets; raises environmental standards but does not address climate change; reduces patent protections for certain pharmaceuticals; sets wage requirements that benefit U.S. and Canadian auto factories over Mexico’s; prohibits duties on digital products; and protects Internet companies against liability for their users’ content. A yes vote was to pass the bill. Kelly: Yes. Thompson: Yes.

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Thing you shouldn't do over the age of 30

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George H. Walker Bush: The Bush Family and the Mexican Drug Cartel – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Posted by M. C. on December 4, 2019

https://www.globalresearch.ca/jeb-bush-the-mexican-drug-cartel-and-free-trade/5448747

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Donald Trump has offered to intervene in Mexico, i.e. “to go after the Drug Cartels” following “the brutal killing of an American family in Mexico”. The Mexican president has turned down Trump’s generous offer.

In a recent interview, President Trump confirmed that his administration is now considering categorizing “drug cartels” as “terrorists”,  akin to Al Qaeda (with the exception that they are “Catholic terrorists”).

They would henceforth be designated by Washington as “foreign terrorist organizations”.

What is the intent? 

Create a justification for US-led “counterterrorism” (military) operations inside Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America?

Extend the “War on Terrorism” to Latin America?  “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). Go after the “Narco-terrorists”. 

The unspoken truth is:

1. Al Qaeda and its related terrorist organizations (including ISIS) in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia are creations of the CIA.

2. The CIA protects the multibillion dollar global drug trade as well as the Mexican drug cartels. Moreover, it is estimated that 300 billion dollars (annually) worth of drug money is routinely laundered in casinos across America including Las Vegas and Atlantic City… As well as in Macau. Guess who is the World’s richest casino owner.

4. Both American and Latin American politicians are known to have ties to the drug trade.

Flash back to the 1990s: George H. W. Bush, the dad of  Bush Junior had developed close personal ties with Carlos Salinas de Gortari (former president of Mexico) and his dad Raul Salinas Lozano who, according to the Dallas Morning News (February 27, 1997) was “a leading figure in narcotics dealings that also involved his son, Raul Salinas de Gortari…  And Raul was an intimo amigo of  Jeb Bush, (former Governor of Florida) and the brother of  George W, Bush.  

The Bush family has ties to the Bin Laden Family as well as ties to the Salinas de Gortiari family. Is it relevant?

The following text was published in May 2015 under the title  Jeb Bush, the Mexican Drug Cartel and “Free Trade”. The Bush Family and Organized Crime. It also documents the signing of the North american Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by a Mexican head state with links to the Drug Cartels.  

Michel Chossudovsky, December 1, 2019

***

Jeb Bush is a presidential candidate.  [was in 2015]

But Jeb is not only the brother of George W. and the son of George H. W. Bush.

Jeb Bush also had close personal ties to Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of Mexico’s former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. In the 1990s, Raul the “drug kingpin”, according to Switzerland’s  federal prosecutor Carla del Ponte, was one of the main figures of the Mexican Drug Cartel.

Jeb Bush  –before becoming Governor of the Sunshine State– was a close friend of Raul Salinas de Gortiari (image right):

“There has also been a great deal of speculation in Mexico about the exact nature of Raul Salinas’ close friendship with former President George Bush’s son, Jeb. It is well known here that for many years the two families spent vacations together — the Salinases at Jeb Bush’s home in Miami, the Bushes at Raul’s ranch, Las Mendocinas, under the volcano in Puebla.

There are many in Mexico who believe that the relationship became a back channel for delicate and crucial negotiations between the two governments, leading up to President Bush’s sponsorship of NAFTA.” (Prominent intellectual and former foreign Minister of Mexico Jorge G. Castañeda, The Los Angeles Times. and Houston Chronicle, 9 March 1995, emphasis added)

The personal relationship between the Bush and Salinas families was a matter of public record. Former President George H. W. Bush  had developed close personal ties with Carlos Salinas and his father, Raul Salinas Lozano. (left)

Raul Salinas Lozano was the family patriarch, father of Carlos and Raul Junior. According to the former private secretary to Raul Salinas Lozano (in as statement to US authorities):

“… Mr. Salinas Lozano was a leading figure in narcotics dealings that also involved his son, Raul Salinas de Gortari, his son-in-law, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, the No. 2 official in the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and other leading politicians, according to the documents. Mr. Ruiz Massieu was assassinated in 1994.” (Dallas Morning News, 26 February 1997, emphasis added).

Former president George H. W. Bush and Raul Salinas Lozano were “intimo amigos”…

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drug war

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: This Is Not Free Trade, Not Even Close

Posted by M. C. on October 2, 2018

I shudder to think about the crony deals and protectionism that is buried in this deal.

A real free trade agreement should be 1 page.

For every treaty page there will be a thousand pages of regulations and procedures. Think of when the government adds 5000 pages to the tax code in order to simplify it.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/10/this-is-not-free-trade-not-even-close.html

Below is the table of contents to Trump’s Trade Agreement (TRUMPSTA). In no way does this suggest a free trade agreement. I shudder to think about the crony deals and protectionism that is buried in this deal.

As Lawrence McQuillan put it:

At least #NAFTA had the pretense of free trade. The new agreement is managed government #protectionism & #cronycapitalism. @realDonaldTrump just made America poorer again & strengthened Federal govt! 

RW 

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Text
Table of Contents
A.        United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Text – Chapters
0.         Preamble
3.         Agriculture
4.         Rules of Origin, with Product Specific Rules
5.         Origin Procedures
6.         Textiles and Apparel
7.         Customs and Trade Facilitation
10.       Trade Remedies
12.       Sectoral Annexes
13.       Government Procurement

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Tariffs Are Not the Answer

Posted by M. C. on March 13, 2018

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/march/12/tariffs-are-not-the-answer/

President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians, instead of the preferences of consumers, to determine how resources are allocated. This reduces economic efficiency and living standards… Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump’s Futile Faith in His Market-Based Negotiating Skills

Posted by M. C. on May 1, 2017

http://www.garynorth.com/public/16533.cfm

That law was a monstrosity from day one. Surrendering American sovereignty to some international organization is always a bad idea. From a philosophical standpoint, getting a better deal out of NAFTA is a bad idea. It means surrendering to the idea of the transfer of any national sovereignty to an unelected agency of the New World Order. 
All you need to remember one line from this post- Surrendering American sovereignty to some international organization is always a bad idea.

Think UN.

Be seeing you

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