Wednesday, March 29, 2017

This is How Trump's Trade Adviser Wants to Negotiate Trade Deals

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro recently delivered to Congress a list of model trade agreement elements.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), a Finance Committee member and the chairman of the Agriculture Committee last week entered the list into the record during the confirmation hearing for Robert Lighthizer, President Trump's nominee for U.S. Trade Representative. In doing so he said Navarro “read to us the administration's marching orders for trade. They had four goals and 13 policy objectives. Since that meeting, the list has now grown to 24.”

Here's the list (via World Trade Online). I have highlighted the elements that are obviously free trade restrictive.

1. Rules of Origin Percentages & Loopholes
2.Trade Deficit Reduction
3. Dumping, Diversionary Dumping, and Evasion of AD/CVD Duties
4. Currency Manipulation
5. Strict Environmental and Labor Standards
6. Intellectual Property Protection
7. Restrictions on State-owned and State-financed Enterprises.
8. Investor State Dispute Resolution
9. Chapter 19
10. Non-Tariff Barriers
11. Government Procurement
12. Joint Cooperation on Issues Related to the WTO
13. Enforcement, Monitoring, and Compliance
14. Corruption
15. Country of Origin Labeling
16. Evasion of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties
17. Forced technology transfer
18. Geographical indications to restrict trade
19. Quotas
20. Phytosanitary standards
21. Processed foods
22. Stumpage
23. Tax rebates on exports
24. Technology transfers

The highlighted elements should play no role in trade agreements. There really shouldn't be any government trade negotiations but the highlighted areas are the most intrusive. And, for starters, should be taken off the list.



  1. --- "Strict Environmental and Labor Standards" ---

    So much for being the "pro-job" administration. Just because you saddle other countries with regulation does not mean the sneaker manufacturers are going to resettle in Tennessee or New Jersey.

    --- "Enforcement, Monitoring, and Compliance" ---

    So much for being the "pro-smaller government" administration.

    --- "Trade Deficit Reduction" ---

    So much for being the "pro-growth" administration. Only during recessions and corrections do you see trade deficits going down. You can see that the Trumpo administration is preparing the smokescreen for when the economy goes into correction by touting the "trade deficit-reduction efforts" in what will be the equivalent of the North Korean government's promotion of the nutritional benefits of eating grass.

  2. Another Three Card Monte trick developing from Trump. All of these points of negotiation are in TPP. It's reasonable to assume the substance of the new bilateral agreements will only change at the periphery.

    There is still the benefit of not nudging nations toward a global corporatist state, however libertarians should oppose globalist and nationalist managed trade deals.

  3. "Intellectual Property Protection" should have made your highlight list too, Robert. That's highly restrictive.