Abolish the WTO?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

I’ve my criticisms of the WTO however this is a remarkably dishonest essay:

The coronavirus emergency is not only a public health crisis. With 30 million Americans unemployed, it is also an economic crisis. And it has exposed a hard truth about the modern global economy: it weakens American workers and has empowered China’s rise. That must change.

China’s leadership has forced massive savings out of its people and then invested those savings in building up the Chinese economy. Is the USA willing to do that? Is the USA willing to inflict big tax increases on the American people, and then use the money to invest in the USA economy? The USA has granted huge tax cuts to the rich so that the rich can more easily move money out of the USA. This has lead to a lack of investment in the USA. Also, the USA government has cut funding for scientific research since 1970. The simple fact is that China has pursued economic growth whereas the USA has pursued policies that allowed the wealthy to act as parasites, pulling wealth out of the economy, and either holding it in short-term liquid form (thus we see negative interest rates on short term bonds) or sending it overseas. Why blame the WTO for the mistakes that the USA has made?

The USA can have as much economic growth as it wants, it simply has to want it. It has to make the investments, meaning it has to either take on the debt to pay for those investments or it needs to raise taxes to pay for those investments. With interest rates being at historic lows, the USA could certainly take on the debt. The low interest rates are a signal from the financial markets that the financial markets are basically begging the government to take the money and do something with it. The USAs investments in science peaked in 1970 and have declined since then, as a percentage of the Federal budget. Why not put more money back into scientific research? For instance, the USA could spend 1,000% more on cancer research, which would make it likely that the USA would be the country that invents the cure for cancer. That would be a huge industry and bring great wealth to the USA, and it would also save tens of millions of people every single year. And since cancer is a global menace, finding the cure would help re-establish the USAs global position. So why not do it? Why is the priority giving tax breaks to the rich? We can not blame our choices on the WTO.

About this:

…Take the World Trade Organization. Its mandate was to promote free trade, but the organization instead allowed some nations to maintain trade barriers and protectionist workarounds, like China, while preventing others from defending themselves, like the United States. Foreign agriculture won concession after concession, while American farmers struggled to get fair access to markets. Meanwhile, the W.T.O. required American workers to compete against Chinese forced labor but did next to nothing to stop Chinese theft of American intellectual property and products.

So we want to see China abolish forced labor? Perhaps we should pass a law that says that no USA corporation can invest in China for as long as China allows forced labor? Perhaps we can ask our European allies to join us in this investment boycott? After all, we all want to see an end to forced labor in China, yes? But this has nothing to do with the WTO. We can lead the crusade against forced labor without asking permission from the WTO. And to the extent that more protections for workers are necessary, we should push for a change of rules at the WTO. I’m sure we can all agree that it needs to be easier for workers to form a labor union so they can fight for their rights. And the WTO can be an important tool that will allow us to push these changes on countries such as China. Source