December 13, 2007
Elaine Meinel Supkis
The US trade negotiators have always floundered when negotiating in Asia. But lately, the inability to negotiate has been painfully obvious. The US, instead of playing hard ball, is playing wiffle ball. This is because we need 'allies' in our wars in the Middle East and the only way to get this is to have weak trade negotiations in Asia and Europe. I want to concentrate on Japan, the king of hard-nosed negotiations coupled with even suicidal operations set up to kill foreign imports into Japan. All things are one big bundle here and we can't ignore trade while watching the banking system in the West collapse.
I am sorry about not perfecting this article, a blizzard is coming and I have to go out and take my snow plow to the shop to be repaired and am running out of time. I will fix things latter. Thanks.
The ideology of the neo cons is obvious wherever we look. One would think this guy [who happens to be Jewish, by the way] is sincerely happy that our trade is going well because it has been increasing steadily since 1972. The mantra for every news announcement is the same: free trade is increasing jobs in the US and these jobs are high paying. Mr. Schwab has to pretend that we are getting richer and richer on this trade. Of course, there is no mention of corporations based in the US gaining profits. Only workers and ranchers [hahaha] are mentioned! It is as if we are seeing a massive wave of wealth wash over the backwaters of America, making us all the richer.
This is, of course, all lies. Nor should the increase in high-paying industrial jobs be mentioned in relation with global trade when 99% of this is Boeing selling jets. And 90% of the jets sales are sops thrown to the US to keep us in the free trade deals that are destroying our industrial base and wrecking our finances. The jet sales to most countries are actually government-funded or government-controlled situations whereby a government which has a yawning trade surplus with the US such as China and Japan, buy some jets in periodic spurts. But both are also increasingly demanding the US relocate at least part of the manufacturing process in their home bases and of course, the US is doing exactly that.
Mr Schwab boasts that our trade deficit has dropped by 8%. Whoopee. And exports rose by 12%. Double whoopee. If we had a trade deficit that was 1% of our GNP, we could see some hope. But it is not! It is over 6% of our GNP and this is impossibly deep in the danger zone. Indeed, according to the IMF, if a country falls more than 4% of its GNP into the red in trade, they are in danger of default and should be punished. The sole exception being the US. All the nations involved in the IMF conspire with each other to enable the US to run huge trade deficits. The minute the US tries to fix this by increasing our trade, the world trade system breaks apart and we go into a banking crisis as well as political turmoil.
The US refuses to talk about this because our leadership is no longer interested in the facts pertaining to protecting our shores but rather, are out to get themselves and their friends, rich. And I am pointing out the nature of the present negotiator because the US has allowed dual citizenship and the concept of serving not one but two nations at once, as being a good thing. It is, I guess, somewhat OK for citizens of the US to swear fealty to a foreign power [actually, it is not OK] but they can't then also be our international representatives! In Mr. Schwab's case, he lies and evasions that are designed to put us to sleep and assure us all is well when nothing is well at all, means we must look at who he is really serving.
Is he interested in saving America? If so, why isn't he yelling about the gigantic trade deficit? And why is he refusing to talk about all the industrial jobs lost? And why isn't he hammering Japan over trade and banking issues that are killing us rapidly? Why isn't he noticing that Asian powers as well as our European allies are taking over our industrial base here at home while running trade surpluses? Why isn't Mr. Schwab on fire over all the issues I hammer on here at Culture of Life News? It is pretty obvious, what is going on, after all! It doesn't take a genius and I bet Mr. Schwab is very, very smart.
Indeed, as our entire system collapses, we must look at the entire nature of our government. Why has our government been so inept, so weak when it comes to trade negotiations? Our present ruler, Bush, is part of a clan of traitors who go about the planet, making business deals with foreign powers that benefit themselves and not the US. Our vice dictator, Cheney, has closer connections with international arms dealers and has moved his own company's organizational headquarters to Dubai in order to evade taxes and government regulation by Congress. The entire government is now run by traitors and far from having something like the House For UnAmerican Activities hearings, we hear nothing about this. It astonished me back in 2000, how the media refused to talk about the Bush family and their troubling alliances with many foreign governments which seek to either destroy or control the US for their own ends. We can see today that this process has not only fatally weakened the US but will probably cause our destruction in the future.
The flow of inept trade deals has not slowed down, it is accelerating. Ever since the last WTO riots, the strengthening of global police states and the spending on funds to suppress dissent has grown and we no longer see any resistance to globalization. There is a flurry of news this week concerning new trade negotiations.
Japan hopes the U.S. Congress will approve a free trade deal with South Korea that it believes could be a "building block" toward a larger U.S.-East Asian free trade zone, a Japanese official said on Thursday.
"The KORUS FTA (Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement) is one of the models that will facilitate trade liberalization in East Asia and will become one of the building blocks for the FTAAP (Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific)," said Kenji Goto, minister for economy, trade, industry and energy at Japan’s embassy in Washington.
But many senior Democrats oppose the pact because they say its auto provisions too heavily favor South Korea, a major auto exporter, at the expense of U.S. car manufacturers.
Why can't the US negotiate trade? This question keeps coming up. Why are we slaughtering our auto making system here in America? I would suggest that the desire to let Asia dominate world and US auto markets is a naked ploy at destroying our unions. They figure, there is no other method available so they made this deal with the devil. Stupidly, this deal has a price. If our clever traitors imagine that after the unions are utterly ruined and helpless, the US capitalists can then restart our industries? Or is the plan to simply move our factories to China and import the cars made there?
Of course it is! So US negotiators don't care if our Asian deals stink as far as US jobs are concerned. The entire point of this is to make things very nasty for Americans! Why do Americans tolerate this? Well, our media seems bent on enabling this process and we can't nail Britteny Spears to the hood of a car and have her babble about free trade. On top of this, Japan, Korea and China are in a three-way battle for market share. When they negotiate with each other, they do it full force. They make hostile moves behind the scenes and wrangle over the smallest details. China, due to its growing power, has forced other Asian nations into serious negotiations over a host of issues. The old Japanese model of simply digging in their heels and yielding nothing is failing them vis a vis China because China moves rapidly to make deals with other Asian nations that are very angry about Japan locking them out.
I noted here the astonishing news that Sanyo, of South Korea, was completely chased out of Japan, a historic mistake by the Japanese since this moved South Korea closer to China. I noted here that China just signed a new trade pact with South Korea and so Japan is now jumping up and down and yelling for more deal with South Korea and you can bet, the business about how Japan managed to kill off all Sanyo's business in Japan will be discussed.
One reason why China's rise in trade and power has been so rapid is due to Japan's dishonesty when it comes to any trade negotiations. Japan, unlike the US, has trade negotiators who are working for Japan, not any foreign powers. The same goes for China. But the Japanese negotiators have been spoiled by the easy deals they have imposed on US trade by either digging in their heels nonstop or by letting in US trade and then strangling it by reducing the purchasing power of the Japanese consumers or other tricks. This hostility to any foreign penetration is producing enemies everywhere but in the US where it has now been totally ignored. Overjoyed by this, Japan has ruthlessly exploited our distractions and is hammering us in trade issues that matter while letting us import, say, apples. Well, sort of. They still fight off agricultural goods with a passion and we are still negotiating beef sales.
South Korea, like Japan, tries to lock out US trade as much as possible. There are various methods they use and here is this week's example:
With cards everywhere, the challenge to vendors is to stand out to attract consumers. Gasoline stations, bookstores, airlines, shopping malls, telephone companies, bakeries, amusement parks, KFC outlets - even hospitals - give discounts if a customer presents the right type of card.
The incentives are so many and so diverse that, Park said, "Here a credit card is not just a tool of payment, it's also a way of saving money."
Hyundai Card, a joint venture between the South Korean automotive giant Hyundai Motor and General Electric of the United States, plans to expand into the United States, China and India. It hopes that some of the business models developed for the picky South Korean retail market - a graveyard for some of the most competitive global brands, like Wal-Mart, Nokia, Nestlé and Google - will help.
Funny, how all our systems suddenly fail when they try to move into Asia! The hostility which our incursions are greeted is no surprise and our negotiators should have figured this out long ago. Using this knowledge which is painfully obvious at this point, we must set up a counter system: tariffs and barriers. The use of these tools which we threw away during the Cold War in order to cement the power of our empire, have been turned against us. Knowing they can defy us in a wide variety of ways, all our trade partners have set up systems that exclude US trade while enabling their own exports. The only tool we have left is to commit financial suicide. When we go into a bad recession our trade statistics improve. The world knows this which is why they are moving heaving and earth to keep the dollar strong as possible and to keep us spending.
This is no way to run things for it has a fatal flaw: it will bankrupt the US. One reason why I am very suspicious of Mr. Schwab, for example, is because Israel not only gets huge loans and subsidies from the generous US tax payer, Israel runs a huge trade surplus with the US. If the US has a general policy to NOT run trade surpluses and to NOT allow allies to penetrate all our markets, we would have to hammer Israel for doing this. And Mr. Schwab won't do this no will any of the Jewish negotiators do this. So they can't articulate a philosophy or frame trade in such a way that it ceases this endless deficit trading and works towards balance of trade.
This continuing process of flaccid trade negotiations has to have some roots and I would suggest that having our leaders do business with alien powers and profiting personally from this coupled with a host of people who are very well trained in the art of nasty negotiations suddenly collapsing into jelly when it comes to foreign trade and we see something very fishy. For example, when Jews negotiate with Palestinians, they are every bit has hard nosed and difficult as the Japanese! They contest every inch, every olive tree, every tiny word, the slightest change will get them up in arms and they will defy the world rather than give one inch up.
But when Jewish negotiators for America are doing trade deals, they snooze at the wheel. They sign onto all sorts of goofy things without a murmur. I know they have no reason to do this on behalf of Asia. So I suspect their hearts aren't into this project since they are trying very hard to expand Israel's advantages with the US in the field of business, banking and trade. This is never mentioned in the media and if I talk about this, I will be accused of anti-semitism. But seriously, how else can we explain this? Time to look into the past:
Japan is not yet ready to commit to economic reforms and other "bold steps" needed to launch negotiations for a free trade agreement with the United States, a senior American official said Friday.
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler, in Tokyo for talks with Japanese officials, said Washington would need to be satisfied there was the political will for such a deal in Tokyo before starting such talks.
"During my meetings here, I didn't sense a readiness from my Japanese colleagues, and so we agreed that we'll just work on ways to deepen our economic relationship," she told reporters at the Japan Press Club.
"A key factor for us in considering an FTA is the readiness and willingness of any trading partner to come to the table with us and roll up their sleeves and say, 'We're ready to do a comprehensive deal,'" she added.
Geeze, so, last October, our negotiators realized Japan isn't ready for 'free trade'? HAHAHA. They never have been ready for free trade. They obviously will not do free trade and this means we should be threatening them with tariffs and barriers and hammering away at Fortress Japan. But does this lovely lady here, Ms. Cutler, pound the table and snarl? Does she storm out of the room and tell the Federal Reserve to start hoarding yen and drive up the value of the yen rapidly? HAHAHA. No! No. The Japanese have lots of political will but it is directed towards increasing exports, not imports. They have zero desire to open their markets. Of course, there are American corporations who want to keep the status quo with small changes. But our government has an obligation to fight any foreign incursions into our markets tooth and nail. Of course, the Japanese then cancel their Boeing contracts just like China threatens to do whenever we try to muscle them.
This should be ignored by our government. We can't let Boeing's sales hobble attempts at hard negotiations. The Japanese are so willing to stop us, they have simply destroyed their own people's ability to buy anything at all rather than let in imports. Car sales are falling in Japan. Exports of cars are soaring! How can anyone expand auto sales in Japan if the Japanese aren't even buying cars anymore? It is a shrinking market so foreigners don't even bother with it. Over and over again, when foreigners penetrate a Japanese market, the government retaliates. In the present case, they keep trying to raise the already high sales tax, higher. If we negotiate hard enough, they will raise the sales tax to 17% and I am not exaggerating, the LDP has actually discussed this just two months ago.
The US negotiators should cut through the fog of Japan's schemes and tell them outright, we are slapping on tariffs on their cars INCLUDING those made inside the US. Until they let us build factories in Japan and they change their system to equalize auto sales, we will close our own markets. But this will kill free trade. And as millions of protestors have noted, this would be a good thing. For us, it has been a total disaster. For the Japanese consumers and workers, the same. They are being rapidly crushed to death by Japan's crude attempts at preventing free trade while endorsing free trade.
The United States will formally charge Japan with failing to open its Government markets to American telecommunications and medical equipment products after last-minute trade talks today failed to break a negotiating log jam, a United States official said.
President Clinton's Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers, said that the United States and Japan had failed to reach agreement in the negotiations. She said that Trade Representative Mickey Kantor would probably have an announcement on Sunday.
The formal notification would set in motion a process that could result in trade sanctions against Japan if negotiations over the next two months do not resolve the impasse.
The dispute involves an American effort to pry open Japan's markets as a way of narrowing a huge $59 billion trade gap between the two nations.
The trade gap with Japan remains about the same today as it was back then. Mr. Kantor did pry open the door to Japan a couple of inches but the Japanese used this as a tool to open OUR doors. They came to the conclusion, they most locate enough factories here to keep the US from moving against them. So they sat down and figured out how many cars they can sell here via importation versus how many they build here and sell. A rough estimate of 50% was their goal and they jigger things to keep it at this level as much as possible. There is no political will to stop this since many states [mostly in the Republican south] are now more beholden to Japan than the US as Detroit rapidly dies. This goes back to the 'kill the unions' business. The US leadership wants no unions and letting the Japanese do this is good for that process.
And note the 'log jam' here! There was no log jam. There was systematic refusal to negotiate on the part of the Japanese. I have noted here how Japan and China negotiate. When nothing comes of the negotiations, both go home and retaliate instantly, sometimes, within hours of the failures. I will also note that Japan has been the one giving away ground to the Chinese in the last year. This is why they are caught in a trap of their own making. The more Japan weakens the US, the more they strengthen China! They are having a nervous break down over this and it is partly why their leaders are falling apart, emotionally, in public. Below is a study from 2005:
Telecommunications is a leading industry that occupies a significant part of the contemporary economy and impacts economic development considerably. Since the 1980s, three major trade disputes in telecommunications – the NTT procurement, MOSS/Motorola, and NTT interconnection charge disputes – have developed between the Japanese and US governments. In responding to US pressures, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) has generally been receptive to US demands and willing to contain negotiations to a bilateral format, unlike the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which has become resistant to US pressures and active in utilizing multilateral arrangements. This paper shows that explicit government involvement in the industry concerned, combined with strong US pursuit of negotiations, made it difficult for MPT to resist US pressure and resulted in its enactment of measures conciliatory toward the United States. These findings are then applied to brief analyses of other trade disputes to show the generalizability of the approach.
I have pulled out some articles at random to illustrate how this process works. Note that in 1995, the US was supposedly making progress in the area of electronics and telecommunication sales in Japan. In 2005, it was still falling apart. There were still resistance! MITI, far from changing, simply changed gears and threw more sand into them. Grinding gears every 5 years is how Japan stalls any penetrations of their markets! Knowing this, we should use their weakness vis a vis China to hammer them about all this. But instead, at all G7 meetings, we support Japan and attack China instead of triangulating. So Japan skips merrily along its chosen path and our own bleeding continues. And lord, the business of the weak yen! That isn't even mentioned, much less, negotiated! To the fury of China who correctly sees this as totally unfair.
The realities of Japanese-U.S. trade and investment relations are clouded by mistrust, misinformation, and myth. In what way is the Japanese economic system different, and is it to be emulated or challenged? The contributors, from both the United States and Japan, explore Japanese trade patterns, market structure and trade, financial markets, and industrial and trade policy. Offering analysis of the issues, Trade with Japan is a valuable resource for economists, policymakers, and the business community.
The Japanese, if forced to change, will then continue changing until they succeed at stopping foreign penetration. This process has been painfully obvious for the last 150 years! If they have to start a world war, they will. And pray, why would our relations with Japan be 'clouded'? This is rather, a fog and there is a fog machine in Tokyo. The Japanese learned, with Reagan, how to bribe Presidents of the US. Reagan held dishonest negotiations while President and then, within weeks of leaving the White House, ran off to Japan to collect his $2.5 million bribe under the fiction of giving speeches.
His Altzheimerian recitations were vapid and meaningless as well as short. He was there to collect his cash and then go home again. He didn't make many speeches here, if any, quite frankly. There was no investigation of this astonishing act of treason, by the way. Now, all our leaders and negotiators run off to make money making speeches or working for alien governments or organizations outside of the US. This is also why they won't stop offshore tax havens or the host of other international problems that are rapidly destroying our economic systems.
The Honorable Masami Tanabu
Minister of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries
Dear Mr. Minister:
This letter reflects our joint, serious assessment of where we stand concerning the entry of U.S. apples into Japan following the June 7-8 technical discussions in Washington.
Your technical team has now detailed the remaining technical requirements or entry of U.S. apples into your market. Our scientists understand the remaining requirements and will complete themexpeditiously. However, despite previous oral commitments from the Japanese side, the schedule for completion of the remaining technical work as proposed by the Japanese team will make entry into Japan of the 1993 and 1994 U. S. crop years impossible. This situation is unacceptable.
The U.S. Government and industry have been working on technical issues for over a decade to gain access to the Japanese apple market. This issue has been marked by a series of changing requirements on the Japanese side and by a Japanese lack of flexibility in technical consultations. The U.S. side, for its part, has bent over backwards to accommodate Japanese concerns. For example, at the June talks the Japanese side discussed technical issues that had only been recently raised and that were, in the view of our scientists, of questionable scientific value. Nonetheless, in the interest of moving the issue forward, our scientists agreed to accept the Japanese requirements.
The steps needed now are clear. First, to avoid further misunderstandings, we must have a written list, approved at senior political levels, of all remaining Japanese requirements. We have attached the list agreed upon orally by the Japanese and U.S. technical teams at the June discussions. Unless we hear immediately from you to the contrary, we will assume that you have confirmed that the enclosed document should be treated as the complete list of remaining Japanese requirements.
An aerial view of trucks blocking a highway toll booth during a transport strike on the outskirts of Rome Dec. 12, 2007. Italian truckers defied a government demand to end a three-day-old strike on Wednesday, keeping in place road blockades that have dried up fuel supplies, closed factories and stopped food reaching the shops. The strike, in protest against high fuel costs and poor working conditions, meant supermarket shelves that are usually crammed with fresh fruit and vegetables were running bare, and most filling stations were closed.
Read this letter exchange! My god! And it is about apples? We had to negotiate for YEARS in order to bring apples into Japan? Eh? There were no 'misunderstandings'---the Japanese were locking us out and they didn't care if we wanted in. And they had no intention of making this process easy or helpful. They threw everything in our path to stop us. Instead of simply telling them, we were going to bundle all our concerns and have it out, once and for all or we would toss them into China's lap, no, we patiently 'negotiated' which is what they wanted: time to set up new barriers, devise new systems to stop us. Below is from a government report about trade with Asia:
This report notices that our relative power in Asia gets worse and worse as we trade more and more. This should shock our negotiators into action, right? But far from it. The push for more free trade that is reaming us out, that is destroying us, continues relentlessly. Why would anyone from America who is a citizen of this country want to keep on doing what is bad for us? After 15 years of negotiations, our import share in Asia fell from 18% to 10%! One would think this would ring alarm bells. But all it does is trigger the snooze alarm. After 15 years of 'negotiations' we have LOST market shares in Japan, China and Korea!
This failure is historic an important. How can we negotiate so poorly? I want to go back to the issue of the Middle East and Israel's desires there. Israel wants a war with Iran very badly but can't do it themselves. They need the US to be their proxy. The US has bent our entire negotiating system to support this project. Many attempts to spook the world again into attacking a nation without nuclear arms has been ferocious. The recent revelations that the war hysteria was baseless has not stopped this process. The US, despite oil prices killing our economy, has persisted in harassing Iran and restricting trade with Iran which causes oil prices to rise.
This is suicidal but hasn't caused the slightest pause in Washington DC. The negotiations with the Israelis has, as expected, collapsed. This is due to them refusing to give an inch. The need to corner Iran rises so the US has made very bad deals with Japan over support concerning these wars. Japan buys oil from Iran and uses this as a lever to get the US to NOT talk about the weak yen or Japanese penetrations of our markets and them closing Japan to the US. We are sacrificing our domestic markets and running big deficits in order to have Japan 'on our side' in the Middle East! The people negotiating with Japan are willing to let the Japanese win these negotiations if it means, Japan will support our initiatives in the Middle East and this means supporing Israel while destroying anyone who threatens Israel even slightly.
Look at this chart here! We can see how our trade with Europe has turned into great deficits but our trade with Asia is a total disaster. The US can't allow this yet we seem a veritable Gulliver tied by a thousand threads. Only we tied ourselves up, I would suggest. We want allies for our global games that don't benefit America at all. What are we gaining with our expensive empire? Debts! Loads of IOUs raining down on our heads. We don't see agitation about this only because people are getting a free ride...WHICH IS ENDING.
Note that we do NOT negotiate with the Prime Minister or President of Japan, we negotiate with the government drones who protect their political bosses. In the US, it is the opposite.
Clinton Administration complains that Japan is not honoring 1995 automobile trade agreement and requests intensified efforts by Japan to open its markets; sales in Japan by Big Three auto companies dropped 20 percent during first nine months of 1997
December 5, 1997
Ford Sales Fell 4.3% in April as Big 3 Lost Share to Foreign Makers
By ROBYN MEREDITH
Ford Motor Co says its sales dropped 4.3 percent in April, as Big Three American auto makers lost ground to Japanese auto makers that benefited from favorable exchange rates; Big Three sold 73.3 percent of cars and trucks purchased in US in April, down 2.1 percentage points from April 1996; Japanese auto makers picked up 1.2 percentage points of market share, while German auto makers gained another seven-tenths of a percentage point
May 6, 1997
Note that the negotiations with Japan to open auto sales up ended up with US failure. Instead of happy days with rising sales, they COLLAPSED by 20%! In less than 5 years. And so it goes: free trade continues as the US tries to use recessions as our only tool for improving trade. The chart above shows this clearly. Every recession, we 'improve' but then Asia redoubles their efforts and things get worse and worse, each cycle. Mr. Schwab should know this information. I am assuming, since I can see it, he can too. He is too smart to be ignorant.
This is why I am assuming he and all the others are following a secret agenda they dare not articulate in public.