Why do Americans continuously send politicians to Washington that support free trade when we are one of the few countries that actually truly believe in it. Everyone else says they do to make us feel better about the fact that we have the world’s dumbest trade policies so they can keep taking advantage of us. The fact of the matter is that the 2008 economic crisis was because of our moronic trade policies (the Chinese and others invested their obscene profits made from exporting goods to the US in US backed government securities which had the effect of artificially lowering mortgage rates in America thereby creating the housing bubble).
Is it fair to trade with China when we all know they artificially lower their currency to make their goods cheaper here? Well, one might argue that we get the Chinese to finance our obscene budget deficit that runs over a trillion plus every year. Fair enough, but does anybody really believe that we are getting good value for that extra trillion we borrow to finance our own governments horribly inefficient operations? Also if the Chinese pretty much get open access to our market then why don’t we get open access to their market? If an US auto manufacturer wants to export cars to China they have 3 choices. First, they can export the cars from the US and pay a steep tariff that will double the price of the vehicle. Second, they can export the cars in parts that would then be assembled in China ( they call them knock down kits). Or finally, if they want to build the cars in China they are forced to partner with a Chinese competitor who then has the chance to get a free education on how to build cars to Western standards. Does any of this sound like it is Free Trade? Not to me it doesn’t and it begs the question as to why Americans put up with it? I know this for sure we can’t continue these destructive policies for long because America is on its way to becoming a second world nation because of these policies.