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Old 03-01-2002, 05:58 AM   #1
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American tariffs

America is sometimes so damn hypocritical. Around the world it goes gallivanting and espousing the notions of free trade, complaining when Europe gives preferences to local banana growers in the Caribbean instead of big American corporations, and now they are going to go and provide massive protection to American steel.

Why should modern efficient nations like Australian steel have to suffer at the hands of American protection tariffs, and lose our contracts because the American government PAYS its steel industry to be MORE inefficient.

And this is what we get. We dropped our tariffs in almost all home strength industries at the insistence of the US under the guise of the GATT and other bilateral agreements. Australian advertisements are now American. American companies will soon be able to own much more of our media. A lot of our primary manufacturers are foreign owned. All of our traditional food products are American owned. We eat north American pork and south American oranges.

Im definitely not saying this is all bad - I think Australian industries are now the envy of the world in efficiency and competitiveness because of this. The Chinese premier came out and said that wheat was not a long-term sustainable product for China because Australia was far more efficient than it could ever be! I am in favour of free and open trade.

Yet it is time to recognise the hypocrisy shown by Europe and America to smaller nations. So Australia has one product that it can sell to America. Yes, its steel. And after we open nearly every industry to the world, what do we get from the chief proponents to do this? Closed doors. Thanks America, again we will probably support you at every turn, allow you to sell anything you like in our country, go off and fight your wars, and then as usual well probably be shafted.

Its not only us. Small poor African countries want to sell nuts and other products. But theyre not allowed. And then we have the gall to tell them to get their house in order.

Common George Bush. Show us what the level playing field is all about.
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Old 03-01-2002, 09:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomerang II:
Im definitely not saying this is all bad - I think Australian industries are now the envy of the world in efficiency and competitiveness because of this. The Chinese premier came out and said that wheat was not a long-term sustainable product for China because Australia was far more efficient than it could ever be! I am in favour of free and open trade.

Hahaha.. It's always nice when people come out and pat their own back, as if there is no one else to do so.. It harkens back to the days you see in the old 1970's Movies, where the guy in the small Adidas 3 striped Shorts, A Big Afro held in by a Head Band, is driving to school with a Nice shapely Blow Up Girl in the Front Seat.

Again.. This is a Joke.. In no way is it intended to be taken seriously, It seems that People have already again tried to shove their poles up my ass about a joke.. *SigH*... Lighten Up Kids... I was just commenting on a funny and self-serving Justification... as if she didn't think she'd get any support from anyone else.

Anyways, no decision on this issue has been made yet, Let us sit back and Watch what happens.

L.Unplugged

And Melon.. it's nice to see you initially dropped in on this thread to throw a Kidney punch at me. Good to Hear from You..
[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 03-01-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 03-01-2002).]
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Old 03-01-2002, 10:34 AM   #3
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And we'd all love to see another BHP closure wouldn't we?
Perhaps the ACTU and BHP will go on another propaganda campaign about how the closure will be 'for the greater good'. I wonder indeed Lemonite.

Do you think they will be as gullible this time round?

Apologies, yes this is smeared in sacrasm. Its just that the total potential losses fom it are quite sickening.
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Old 03-01-2002, 10:54 AM   #4
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I agree with you completely Zoomerang.

As someone who lives in the Caribbean and seeing how the U.S screwed us in regards to Europe giving us preferential treatment with the local banana industry.

There is no way that us small islands can compete with the large South American growers. Economies of scale etc.

They tell us it would be good for us. Truth is it has not been and won't be.

Then now we have this hypocrisy.

Simply put. The U.S doesn't really care about the global population. They do what's in their best interest. If globalization turns around and bites America in the arse while other nation flourish, who would bet that America wouldn't pull out and start preaching the evils of globalization.

There is nothing wrong with the U.S looking out for itself surely you say. But why can't we? The caribbean is responsible for an insignificant % of the Banana industry. Preferential treatment to the Caribbean won't won't affect anybody and some Caribbean islands economies are dependent on bananas.

My. $0.02.

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Old 03-01-2002, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonite:

Hahaha.. It's always nice when people come out and pat their own back, as if there is no one else to do so.. It harkens back to the days you see in the old 1970's Movies, where the guy in the small Adidas 3 striped Shorts, A Big Afro held in by a Head Band, is driving to school with a Nice shapely Blow Up Girl in the Front Seat.
Why oh why did i post here? ...i should have known FYM would give me cheap insults within 1 post...

I accept that no decision has been made as well, but from what i've heard its on its way...

Anyway, i am mainly interesteed in other peoples perspectives on global trade. For me personally i have done well out of it - having had the opportunity to live and work in other countries. Should we be breaking down barriers or protecting our traditional industries? Or both?

I figured if i labelled this topic American tariffs and gave an example it would get a response, if I'd labelled it global trade no one would have replied... funny how America can be an emotive issue.
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Old 03-01-2002, 12:59 PM   #6
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I think global trade is a good thing. I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about this issue at hand regarding steel and Australia, but something tells me that the problem here is the power of unions. If I'm not mistaken the steel manufacturing unions here in the U.S. have plenty of clout and they're not about to see tariffs lowered so they'd have to compete. Is that fair? Nope. I don't think so. So those are my $.02 for whatever it's worth.
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Old 03-01-2002, 01:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomerang II:
Why oh why did i post here? ...i should have known FYM would give me cheap insults within 1 post...
Ignore him. He's gonna get himself banned someday if he doesn't watch out.

It is an interesting topic, but I need to start picking my battles. This isn't one of them for me.

Melon

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Old 03-01-2002, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
I think global trade is a good thing. I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about this issue at hand regarding steel and Australia, but something tells me that the problem here is the power of unions. If I'm not mistaken the steel manufacturing unions here in the U.S. have plenty of clout and they're not about to see tariffs lowered so they'd have to compete. Is that fair? Nope. I don't think so. So those are my $.02 for whatever it's worth.
Dammit...why do I always have an opinion?

You have to understand it from the steelworkers' unions end. It is being destroyed, honestly, due to an influx of cheap steel from South America. A lot of very good paying jobs will be eliminated if we allow this to continue.

This is why I'm opposed to free trade in general. It is only a boon to big business, not the consumer. The prices are still just as high as ever for us consumers, but, for U.S. businesses, they can buy raw materials for cheaper prices or contract out the production to a third-world country. Nike shoes were being made at about a cost of a dollar or two and being sold for $120.

Countries should support their own domestic production first and, if extra is needed, buy abroad. Not every nation has resources, granted, so they should import once their domestic production is exhausted.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 03-01-2002).]
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Old 03-01-2002, 01:39 PM   #9
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Interesting melon. I have to disagree though. The steel industry may provide many well paid jobs, but should it? If all of a sudden Europe or the rest of the world said, hold on, we are gonna make our own aeroplanes and put a huge tariff on the importation of boeings, you'd find tens of thousands of workers out of a job in Seatle. Like in many other industries. Competition does lead to improved working standards and is ultimately cheaper for consumers. There are ways to protect "jolts", such as phased reductions in tarrifs, but not increases for protection of an well established industry! The airline industry is a case in point, but the key to this is regulation. Competition generally only fails when regulation is weak, or the market dictates there is too much competition. Anyway, after the industrial revolution a lot of people worked in coal mines and assembling machines and in steel mills. Isn't the world a better place when we have automated menial tasks, moved to a freer, safer service based economy and used innovation to come up with newer jobs?

Unlike a country such as Japan, ultimately America is almost a selfsustainable nation (except when it comes to oil I suppose). I used to read a lot of David Suzuki's arguements, such as the one that said if all of a sudden the world dissapeared and japan was left, what would happen? Of course mass starvation and panic, because japan can not adequately sustain herself or her people. But now i think that is a meaningless arguement. We are all on this planet together, we all should have a right to basic human rights and given the opportunity to travel or sell our wares around the world.

Europe and America could soon be escalating the trade war, which is something we all really don't want, but sorry i am rambling.

[This message has been edited by zoomerang II (edited 03-01-2002).]
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Old 03-01-2002, 01:48 PM   #10
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Actually I read, I think, Unions on the West Coast are with Australia. They say it's better, cheaper, faster coming from Australia to the West Coast, then from within the US to the West Coast. East Coast unions are telling them & Australia to shove it.

Nothing to do with this, but fuck George Bush is a dickhead. And I can't stand the way our PM does whatever Bushy wants. We have a signed agreement with the US now over the environment?


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Old 03-01-2002, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomerang II:

Why oh why did i post here? ...i should have known FYM would give me cheap insults within 1 post...
Don't let the immaturity of others discourage you from posting. You get cheap insults in FYM because they're jealous that you are well informed and make an effort to educate yourself on important issues. It's all very immature and embarrassing at the same time.

Now with regards to your topic, I completely agree with you. Although you have stated your case very well, I would like to make an additional point. Our elected officials in the U.S. government have been too heavily influenced by contributions, or "soft money", from large corporations. As a result, the U.S. has abandoned it's constitutional policies regarding a free market and free enterprise in favor of "big business" agendas.

These trade barriers have provided these corporations with the opportunity to produce and export mediocre products and services. We all know damn well that if these barriers were abolished, these corporations would be forced to compete on an equal playing field with the rest of the globe.

This is why it is so hypocritical. The foundation of capitalism is to ensure that quality products are continually produced and improved upon due to intense competition. Instead, many large corporations in the U.S. want to monopolies entire markets, ensuring effortless profits.

Hopefully, the campaign contribution reform bill will be passed soon. At which point, we will hopefully return to a purer form of free enterprise and free trade.



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Old 03-01-2002, 02:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Dammit...why do I always have an opinion?

You have to understand it from the steelworkers' unions end. It is being destroyed, honestly, due to an influx of cheap steel from South America. A lot of very good paying jobs will be eliminated if we allow this to continue.
ah melon, I knew you wouldn't be able to resist. And of course I understand your point. Competition sucks when you've been insulated by unions. But protectionism and isolationism don't seem to be very good economic policies, imo. If someone else can do it more efficiently, then why shouldn't they? (p.s. Maybe we shouldn't get into the discussion...I have a feeling that my economic paradigms are somewhat diametric to yours. )
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Old 03-01-2002, 06:23 PM   #13
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you know zoom when I read stuff liek this it reminds me of the crap the japanese would pull on american imports...I think it sucks that sometimes rich nations deny market access to smaller countries.
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Old 03-01-2002, 06:45 PM   #14
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Free Trade is the way to go. This is the 21st century people! The vast majority of Economist support free trade. Protectionism is dangerous as one can see from the Great Depression. What was only going to be a recession turned into a depression when the trade tarrifs started to rise all over the world. Competion is good for everyone and I'd like to see South American Steel start to make some good money because it could create a boost for economies down there that are stuck between the First World and the Third World. It one way of building a semi self sustaining modern economy, just like we did with Europe and Japan after World War II and South Korea after the Korean war. The value of US exports to are friends and Allies was 1.2 Trillion dollars in 2001. Thats larger than the economic output of most countries except those in the top 10.
Certainly distortions and pittfalls happen in the short run with free trade. But in the long run, all the economic evidence points to the fact that free trade among developed countries is better for everyone. Underdevloped countries need to be treated with more care though. Eventually though, they are able to stand with the rest just like the "Asian Tigers" of South Korea, Taiwan, Sinapore and Malaysia have done.
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Old 03-01-2002, 06:58 PM   #15
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My qualms with Free Trade is history. Look at the late 19th century. Monopolies, labor exploitation, etc. Basically, business will always do the bare minimum, unless government intercedes. I would be for free trade if everyone was at the same level playing field. As it stands, it is just going to plunge the American working class even lower. Unions, whether you like them or not, are the only source of good paying jobs for those who don't have college degrees. And don't say to these people: "Get an education." In case you haven't noticed, it is very expensive, and not everyone is cut out for college.

Plus, I don't like this trend of foreign dependence. So we do free trade, and we put all domestic producers out of business, because we can't compete with near slave labor in third-world countries. Then we rely wholly on foreign imports. Then, suddenly, the political climate changes, and everyone decides to embargo us. Then what do we do? Or, suddenly, these other countries decide to rapidly hike the price of their product. Then what do we do?

There has to be some limit or regulation, otherwise it is us Americans who will lose in the long run.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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