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  • Free Trade Fact of the Day

    Liberals usually like to condemn corporate welfare … unless that welfare comes in the form of protectionism. Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that a 2000 law, declared illegal by the WTO and repealed by Congress in 2005, is making a comeback thanks to the efforts of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV). The Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act allowed the U.S. corporations that make dumping complaints to take the punitive duties collected by the U.S. government for themselves, instead of allowing the fees to flow to the U.S. Treasury. Among the beneficiaries:

    As of 2007, some $1.9 billion had been handed out to thousands of supplicants, from bee keepers to steel manufacturers. The lion’s share has gone to big business. A GAO report found that between 2001 and 2004, more than half of Byrd money went to five companies, and 20% went to just one, an Ohio bearings maker named Timken. In the 2007 rankings of 1,982 payees, Idaho’s Micron semiconductor company won the jackpot, with $37,938,402.

    The losers in all this were the rest of us. That includes the American companies, as some told the GAO, which suffered or collapsed because they couldn’t compete with domestic rivals flush with Byrd cash. Also incalculable are losses to American exporters. When the WTO ruled the Byrd Amendment illegal, it authorized 11 of our trading partners, including those in the EU and Japan, to impose retaliatory tariffs on American products. Many duly slammed us. A revived Byrd would trigger more retaliation, and at a time when exports are the main source of U.S. growth.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Free Trade Fact of the Day

    1. Nathan, Montana says:

      We wouldn't even have to worry about how bad the tariffs are if we were FORCED to find more than our own markets for sale of our products.

      Why NAFTA and other "Free Trade" concepts are being advpcated is beyond much of America's understanding. It is presented as gold but is really a wolf in sheep's clothing.

      If you needed new spindle bearings in your car and your life depended on it–you would want a Timken product or the equivalent. You WOULD NOT WANT a cheap Chinese knock off to save a buck or your family.

      MADE IN THE USA means something to these people and if you were to ask them if they would rather sell their product for the fair price it deserves at market or work 100 times harder searching for ways to keep their price down–I would like to think they would chose the former.

      They, along with other American Industries, have had to subordinate their prices to compete with lesser quality coming off the boat by the container load or accross the border in a truck to stock the WalMart and Checker Auto Parts shelves.

      Take a look for yourselves–I am 30 years old and for those of you who have had to repair your automobile, step into O'Reilly or Checker and ask for a universal joint or wheel bearing for your car/truck. They will first hand you the Chinese knock off–you have to ask them to get you a Timken or Spicer product off the shelf.

      The competition is so fierce they have sought out far inferior quality to beat out their neighbor in price alone–then when you compare the original quality component with the crap, our USA goods look like the price is inflated.

      I don't know about you but the cargo my car or truck carries is far too valuable to save $15 on a U-joint or knock off brake pads.

      Be proud of what we have accomplished America! Foreigners may be producing some high end electronics and efficient automobiles but their engineers' education can be traced in large part back to our soil.

      They know it is better quality–WHY DON'T WE?

      Very sincerely submitted.

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