tv Trade CSPAN December 16, 2013 12:35am-2:11am EST
the sale of seals which begins on thanksgiving day this year. -- some of the christmas seals is a special favor for santa claus? >> i'd be delighted. >> yes indeed. >> my father santa claus gave it to me. >> oh, it has some of the dogs. . >> this week, edith roosevelt to grace coolidge. sundays "meet the press" paul ryan and patty murray is custom budget that was passed in
house on thursday. it is now being taken up in the senate. the two lawmakers are credited with drafting a legislation that would fund the federal government for the next two years. here's some of what they had to say about the deal. >> well, we didn't get everything that we wanted, but i will tell you what we did get, certainty for the next two years. we are at a point now where we're not could you tell everybody that we're going to tour the economy in a tailspin because we have to have something. it importantly, a budget agreement is about how we can manage this country's resources so we can have the things i do care passionately about, whether it is education or health care or transportation infrastructure. we were not managing our country in a way to get the things i cared about. >> on the right, my colleague in the house spoke to your colleague marco rubio. he called us and un-american deal. there are conservatives who say that you and others made a promise, across-the-board cuts.
going back on that now and there will be consequences they warn. >> my reaction to that is the budget control act which created the sequester said to replace the sequester one-for-one. we have exceeded that. this results in net deficit reduction. >> but not much. >> no. we're not saying this is a massive agreement, gets government working. it is $85 billion of savings from what we call mandatory spending. 63 billion dollars of sequester leave. you don't get everything you want in dividing government heard >> with senator rubio said it was un-american, is that because he's running for president? >> i'm not going into what his motivations are for that, i know what i think and i know what i think is the right thing to do. getting a budget agreement that reduces the deficit without raising taxes and prevents two
government shutdowns from occurring in 2014 in my opinion is the right thing to do. >> c-span, we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. we are c-span, created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. now, you can watch us in hd. next am a discussion about u.s. trade policy and the issue of the president being able to negotiate international trade agreements. this is hosted by the organization, economy in crisis. it is an hour and a half.
i would like to welcome you this morning to our program called do we need fast-track, the trade promotional authority. some of you may have seen a program last week on the same topic on c-span3. i watched it. fourd a panel of the former u.s. trade representatives, including andey kantor and sue schwab several others. although spry representatives seemed to have similar views on fast track. today, you're going to hear some different views from some distinguished representatives of the public interest community and the labor movement. our moderator today will introduce the speakers and i had
the pleasure this morning to introduce our moderator charlie but. charlie had a distinguished career both in government and private industry. aom 1971 to 1980 he served in diplomatic position in the state department and that he joined the office of u.s. trade representative kirk is a director of steel policy from 1980 to 1982. steele was a particularly hot issue in those days. some of you probably remember the voluntary restraint agreement. c then moved on to the post of deputy assistant u.s. tr for 1983, and then was promoted to the post of assistant u.s. trade representative kirk industry where he served from 82-85. finally, he finished out his career at ustr as assistant u.s. trade representative for multilateral trade negotiations from 1985-88. this was the. of the gatt uruguay round trade negotiations.
a masters degree from the university of pennsylvania and has taught as an adjunct professor in business for the school of business. it is a pleasure to turn of our program now to charlie. [applause] you, less, for that kind introduction. it is more respect than old trade negotiators usually get. am personally very grateful for that area do i'm grateful also to economy in crisis and the bar association for sponsoring this program and to all of you who raved the ice storm to get here so early on a monday morning. i think your presence here is testimony to the timeliness and importance of the larger debate that is shaping up or cross this town and in my experience all across our country. there is a lot of confusion among americans about what trade promotion authority really is,
whether it is necessary or desirable and the specific role that fast-track authority plays in the approval of trade agreements. stage for this discussion, i want to very briefly present the case being a fast-those who assert track authority is an essential feature of american trade and economic wallace e. to take one prominent example, -- to cite the five answer the question that they posed -- why does america need trade promotional authority e the reasons are familiar to anyone who follows trade debates. i won't go into any detail. number one, trade supports jobs and growth. number two, trade is vital to threebusiness, and number , trade agreements level the playing field. and they get to the part that really is the core of the current controversy. i will read these in their full.
only a few bullet points each. reason number four, we can do more to sees the benefits of trade. these are the points heard to extend these benefits, the u.s. has embarked on a bold new trade agenda that includes negotiations for the transpacific partnership with 11 other asian-pacific countries. the transatlantic trade and investment partnership teach it with the european union and the trade in services agreement with some 50 other countries. reason five, to do any of the above, they argue, america needs tpa. tore are four points here -- finalize his agreements, congress must approve tpa. the constitution gives the congress authority to regulate international trade, but it gives the president authority to negotiate with foreign governments. thisuilds on
constitutional partnership by requiring the executive branch to insult extensively with congress. during negotiations, while assuring u.s. trading partners that they will receive an up or down vote at the end of the day. the last argument, every president since franklin d roosevelt has had tpa. every president should have it. that is the baseline case answering clearly in the affirmative. it is my pleasure today to turn the microphone over to to distinguished speakers who have another take on the effectiveness and limitations of trade agreements and the appropriate roles for the congress and the executive branch and setting trade objectives, conducting trade negotiations and evaluating the results from those agreements. i would you ladies first. lori wallach is a familiar figure among trade experts in ofhington, a graduate
wellesley and harvard law purchaser's is a director of public citizen's global trade watch, whether or not they agree with her, those who care about trade and globalization recognize the depth of her knowledge and her ability to translate abstruse legal points into plain english. that is a challenge. lori has done us all a service by researching and writing a book called the rise and fall of fast-track authority published earlier this year. it is being studied and analyzed in many congressional and lobbying offices these days. is a member bart /cio industrial union council and serves as vice president of the board of the international metalworkers federation. in the past, he was a member of the treasury department advisory committee for the international monetary fund and
-- andly chain chairs currently chairs one of the advisory groups that are intended to provide the u.s. trade representative kirk and other agencies with advice on a broad range of trade negotiation and trade policy issues. we are truly fortunate to have two such distinguished panelists . we look forward to the presentations followed by what i am will be a lively discussion. with no further ado, tom, the floor is yours. >> thank you very much for the kind introduction and i do want to clarify one point. ofing served in the capacity a member of the treasury department's advisory on the international monetary fund, that was a bad imf. i'm honored to still serve, amugh it has been named -- i
a member of the good imf, the international metalworkers federation. ladies and tillman, it is an honor to be here this morning. the iam represents several hundred thousand active and retired members in north america. our members work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, defense and electronics, to name a few. iam members design, build and assemble and maintain the goods and services that keep the u.s. economy growing. they keep the u.s. safe and secure. our members produce goods and services that are exported all over the world. while we believe in global trade, and we have seen ourthand its benefits, members have also felt its harsh impact.
global economy that works for u.s. workers as well as workers throughout the world. sadly, we have a long way to go in order to make this a reality. u.s. aerospace workers whose jobs have moved to mexico or over 1000 bangladeshi whilel workers who died a earning roughly $.18 an hour, for enslaved children working on cocoa plantations in the ivory coast, or for the millions of people who work every day for wages that are far below poverty level, the global economy has failed them. hasnations trade policy contributed to this failure. it has led to trade agreements with countries like mexico, which continued to persecute mexican trade unionists such as napoleon gomez.
it has led to agreements with , where we have lost several thousand jobs so far and it has led to the trade agreement with colombia where despite labor action plan, trade union activists still fear for their lives. policy isal trade leading us once again into a future where u.s. workers have no future. circulatentinue to that negotiators are approaching agreement on a new trade deal. ,he transpacific partnership also known as tpp. the u.s., along with 11 other nations, including vietnam and brunei, will try to form a trade bloc that we believe will be based on nafta's failed policies. dream offinalized, the a global economy that works for the world's workers will become even more distant.
tpp is implemented, u.s. manufacturing may find itself on the endangered species list. soon, the full-court press will tpp. to pass proponents want to sidestep through the old framework of fast-track by limiting congressional authority to reveal or review the deal. they will claim how the agreement will benefit our nation and support the creation of thousands of jobs. they will also argue that if we don't join the pack, we will get left behind. resurrectundoubtedly the ridiculous claim that anyone who criticizes fast-track authority and the tpp is anti- trade. they could not be more wrong.
of fast-infully aware track authority in the past has been a precursor to trade agreements with mexico, colombia and south korea. they have wreaked havoc on colombianan and workers. fast-track authority is very much a part of our nations failed policy. it is a trade policy that is long overdue for a major overhaul. the iam firmly believes in a 21st-century trade policy that focuses on workers and their communities, not the bottom line profit she of u.s. corporations who have no loyalty to the workers that made them so profitable. the 21st-century trade policy that we believe in does not merely pay lip service to jobs when it is politically convenient.
will in fact lead to the creation and maintenance of good sectorsoss industries, and geographical locations. the 21st-century trade policy that we advocate will not tolerate backroom deals which depend on keeping critical .nformation from the public it will also not grant foreign investors greater rights than domestic companies. it will in no way interfere with national and local governments ability to protect our health, worker safety and social standards. it will make certain that no signatory country will manipulate its currency. and last but not least, our 21st-century trade policy will once and for all mandatorily require that countries who want to be a part of trade agreements and the u.s. recognize
effectively enforce fundamental human rights which include labor standards defined by the ilo's conventions before they are a trade to sign agreement with the united states. it cannot be business as usual when negotiating trade deals. we continue to urge congress to consider undertaking the following activities. first, learn from our past mistakes. let's face it, grandiose predictions that trade agreements will support hundreds of thousands of u.s. jobs have been lane wrong. haveed to learn what we been before deciding where we need to go. isn't it time that we at least studied the actual impact of having onements are all u.s. workers before we consider yet another trade deal?
we can start by fixing the method that our government uses to predict the numbers of jobs that will be impacted by trade agreements. at method has been wildly inaccurate. worker manufacturing whose job has moved to mexico or whose wages have been kept low under the threat that his or her job will move to mexico. they would be the first of the question the accuracy of the prediction that nafta would , because00,000 jobs chances are high that their job was one of the nearly 700,000 u.s. jobs that were lost to mexico by 2010. 20 years ago today, nafta was signed. wrong estimates don't just involve nafta. according to the government, the u.s.-south korea trade agreement would support 70,000 euros jobs.
in reality, according to the economic policy institute, in a year after the agreement took effect, the increasing trade deficit with south korea has cost the u.s. at least 40,000 jobs, most in manufacturing. any impact study must be straightforward, reliable and provide specific information on each trade agreements impact on u.s. jobs by industry, geography, wages and benefits. precise information cannot be gleaned by merely estimating job numbers from export valuations the way it is currently done. congress and the american people have every right to know how trade agreements have been and will be affecting their jobs. secondly, congress must assert its role in choosing our trade partners.
congress should define specific conditions that must be met for any potential trade agreement partner. these conditions should include a number of factors, including an examination of whether our country currently recognizes and enforces fundamental human rights, like the right to form a union and engage in collective bargaining, reflected by the ilo conventions and jurisprudence. basichould also include information on whether a country manipulates its currency, violates environmental standards, uses subsidies or demands transfers of production and technology to implement its own industrial policies. negotiation objectives laid out by congress must be mandatory and certified. current fast-track authority merely lists objectives without any requirement that each objective be met.
if negotiation objectives are like at long last a labor chapter that is based on ilo conventions and jurisprudence, then the deal should not be eligible for fast- track authority. must alsocountries certify that they have met all of the requirements divided under the trade agreement prior to passage. --re are simply no excuse there is no excuse that colombia could senator in agreement while human rights violations continue. each member of congress and relative committees should have a significant role in determining negotiation objectives. fourthly, negotiations must be built on transparency. do to the expedited nature of fast-track, it is important that private groups have an opportunity to provide their advice on proposed trade
agreements while most numbers of the public are not privy to the specific areas of trade negotiations, the ustr relies on the trade advisory committee system to obtain advice from individuals in the private sector. 1974 saw it tof achieve a mechanism for creating a strong and unified trade policy by providing opportunities for diverse trade impacted groups to engage in meaningful and effective consultations with government officials. unfortunately, the trade advisory committee system is failing miserably to achieve this goal. groups like labor have either been up -- underrepresented or not present at all in the committee system the most seriously deficient level of trade advisory system is the third tier level concerning
technical and detailed sectoral industrial matters. indeed, despite statutory language indicating otherwise, not one labor representative is a member of the 16 industrial technical advisory committees no. as i tax representative from a manufacturing union participates on the president's export council. the federal trade advisory committee system is instrumental in providing a mechanism for the private sector community to advise our trade negotiators on general and specific areas of trade. critical inularly view of how fast-track authority has been delegated to the administration. the exclusion of labor from
itacs should no longer be tolerated. if it does continue, it will be to the detriment of the development and implementation of our national trade policy they have immediate action that will result in good and decent jobs here at home. the stakes have never been high tore get it right. ress you are recollecting the old fame work of fast track is not needed and will make it easier to have the failed trade policies of the last century. with reports that t.t.p. is nearing completion and our
steadfast opposition to it, this may be our last opportunity to save u.s. manufacturing and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the next generation. thank you very much. [applause] >> i'm going to focus on the process of fast track to complement what was so eloquently outlined about the failure of the out comes of that particular procedure for creating u.s. trade agreements. a lot of the members of congress who are now in office, in fact, almost all of them weren't here
before 1974 which is when fast track was first established. so like my grandmother used to say hoover for vacuum cleaner fast track has become synonymous for trade authority. and in fact it's not the only form. it's anominally compared to 200 years of u.s. history. so the history of u.s. trade authority goes back to the boston trade party. when the colonists decided they weren't going to have anymore of those taxes, it was a trade fight. it was the king of england imposed tariffs to generate money for his foreign wars. when the founders wrote the constitution they made sure that congress, the body closest to the people had exclusive
authority over trade. they they wanted to make sure that the executive, the king, couldn't just unilaterally impose some trade policy that favored a friend or a foreign industry, so when the founders wrote the constitution in article 1-a, congress had exclusive authority over foreign commerce and setting tariffs. nixon in 1974, came in and with fast track up ended 200 years of congress' control of trade policy that the founders wisely created in the constitution. but also fast track opened a door to what is often called diplomatic legislative. as well as giving the executive branch a new and enormous role and control over trade agreements, fast track for the first time ever authorized u.s. negotiators to actually set rules in trade negotiations on issues that had nothing to do with trade. it was authority to negotiate binding rules on everything from food safety to how your
government, state and federal, can spend your tax dollars in procuring goods and services. for instance, threatening buy are america. patents, immigration, all issues is congress' jurisdiction. now, a thing that's worth note -- noting, fast track has only actually been in effect for five of the last 19 years, because after nafta and the world trade organization demonstrated the threat to our country, of job offshoring, floods of unsafe imports and a tax in our domestic laws of this diplomatic legislating, congress lost its appetite for fast track. so this anomaly created by nixon has been extremely unpopular in the last 20 years in congress. that makes it not that surprising that as a candidate, president obama announced replace fast track with a
process that includes criteria determining appreciate negotiating partners -- something president buffenbarger mentioned -- and they play a strong role in the international economic policy and any future agreements we pursue to amend existing agreements. oh, were it so. sadly, now that the president is actually seeking trade authority, he's not seeking the new 21st century trade authority we need to get trade agreements that work for most americans, but sadly he's going back trying to revive nixon's tired, inappropriate, dangerous, old fast track. the question now should be what form of trade authority is appropriate for the 21st century, not the boring battle over yes or no on fast track. that relic of the 1970's that should be sent to the smithsonian. the issues are questions fundamentally of government, checks and balances, separation
of powers, the roles of government in the era of globalization. these are issues that are not democratic or republican. so it's not a shocker that actually 151 house democrats would join 30 house republicans writing a letter -- yes, they were together. that's probably news. what isn't news is they were together saying that congress must maintain its constitutional authority over trade. now, in researching this book, "the rise and fall of fast track trade authority," which we were able to do thanks to a dangerous grant from the sloan foundation, we went into the bowels of the library of congress to the pre-electronic record and dug up all the records on trade authority since the founding of the country. and what we found were first of all five totally separate mechanisms styles of trade authority over the years and, number two, a constant set of themes. congress would experiment in
giving a little bit of authority to the executive branch, and then the executive branch would grab it, run away and congress would take back the authority. and every few decades since literally 1898, congress has created a new mechanism for trade authority to replace an old one as it got outdated until now. there were two huge ships of fast track to jump through many decades of history right to 1974. number one, it let negotiators making trade policy suddenly negotiate what are called nontariff issues. but we think of those as our domestic, environmental, food safety, financial, zoning, land use laws through trade negotiations and the product sector advisory system. that's the 600 private advisors that president buffenbarger
mentioned, almost all of them represent corporate interests. there are lonely 19 labor representatives sprinkled in here, two environmentalists, ne consumer group and no artridge or a pear tree. seriously, this is a totally unbalanced system with 600 corporate advisors telling our negotiators what we -- what they ought to be doing. how can they affect our domestic policy? because the binding rule in all of our current trade agreements is the following -- signatory countries shall ensure the confirmity of all domestic laws, regulations and administrative procedures. that is to say that all existing and future u.s. laws must be conformed to the terms in the trade agreements. and consider the agreement now that president obama is seeking fast track for the transpacific partnership. 29 chapters. the text just of the nontariff stuff is the size of a very arge phone book.
and only five of the chapters are about trade. 24 chapters of rewriting u.s. law through the back door of secretive closed door, 600 corporate advisor influenced trade negotiations. his form of diplomatic legislating and then international preemption has been used by democratic and republican presidents since nafta and w.t.o. is, for instance, folks, how we got an extension of medicine patents that increased medicine prices enormously when we had to shift from a 17-year monopoly from the big pharmaceutical companies to 20. did congress say no to that? repeatedly congress said no. they sided with us consumers. but then that was written into the world trade organizations
and we had to conform our laws. did congress agree to lock in 65,000 h-1-v visas? not in their own. that was in the w.t.o. too. so we had to conform our immigration law. or how about meat and poultry safety? think about all the meat that comes into the country meets u.s. standards? that was true before nafta and w.t.o. we had to rewrite those laws to conform to a rule that requires us to import things that are equivalent, determined by the other country. etc., etc., etc. now, what's up with fast track politically is directly related to the attack on congress' jurisdiction authority and the negative outcomes these trade agreements have had for the public. since nafta, fast track has become exceedingly
unpopular. so after nafta passed, president clinton was unable to ever get fast track trade authority again. an important fact the congressional history is that actually congress, on a bipartisan majority in the house of representatives, voted down clinton's attempt to get fast track in 1998. he tried in 1997. didn't happen. he tried in 1998, 171 democrats and 71 republicans said i'm sticking with the founders. i'm not giving away my constitutional authority. and that was the end of president clinton having fast track. he had it only two of his eight years. but funny thing. the man implemented 130 trade agreements, including some really big ones through normal procedures. trade agreements that are about trade didn't have a problem in congress. trade agreements that are about back door attacks on u.s. law and special incentives to offshore jobs, knows require the legislative losuron that is fast track, that is to say agreements that don't work for us require some way around congress. and that is yet one more reason why fast track is inappropriate and should be dust binned. the last delegation of fast track was obtained by george w.
bush after clinton didn't get fast track, it took bush two years and enormous amount of political capital to pass fast track by one vote in the house of representatives in 2002 in the middle of the night and watching people nod in pain after they stopped the congressional clock. we're talking manipulation, harassment, hell. two years of work and one vote passage of fast track. that delegation of fast track ended in 2007. president obama is now going to try, he says, to get fast track again. what exactly is fast track and how does it work? this is the story. once fast track, were it to be passed by congress, is in effect, congress delegates over
to the president the following five separate authorities that previously were in the authority of congress. one, to unilaterally pick our rade partners. so, for instance, that's how the heck we got colombia, a country e never should have been negotiating a trade agreement with as they are the number one site of unionist assassinations in the world. one country more than all the other countries together of killing of unionists, our trade partner. only because fast track allowed george w. bush unilaterally to pick that country. pick the country, set the terms. fast track has negotiating objectives. as we heard, they are not enforceable. the fast track that created nafta and w.t.o. had negotiating objective requiring mandatory labor standards. are there labor standards in nafta and w.t.o.? no. because the negotiators under fast track can do whatever they want and still, the agreement goes down the legislative losuron. they were able to sign the
agreement with the guarantee that when congress finally got its post hoc rubber stamp moment, the terms were the executive branch writes the legislation. this is the only bill the executive branch writes. this is not the annual budget show or the president's budget is wheelbarrowed in right to recycling. they writes this bill and it goes right into the hopper. it does not get committee markups. it does not get committee amendments. it goes right to the floor and then congress puts on the voting handcuffs. and when a vote comes up they must vote yes or no, no amendments, maximum 20 hours of debate. oh, and the final deal. the other key constitutional authority, article 1-5, congress writes its own rules, congress oses control when the vote happens. 90 days after the white house writes the bill, after signing the agreement, after picking the country all by themselves,
congress must vote, like it or not. it is privileged on the floor. that system is how we got into nafta and w.t.o. but a key fact about fast track, to quickly debunk some myths is, number one, it is not how we even normally do trade agreements since 1974. it has only been used 16 times in the history of our country. major votes like china pntr, free trade agreements like the agreement with jordan, were passed without it. number two, it has not been a key to expanding trade. in fact, since we started using fast track, the u.s. trade deficit has exploded. since nafta and w.t.o., we have lost over five million of our manufacturing jobs, 40,000 factories gone and real wages down across the economy. in fact, true audit, our export growth to countries we do not have fast track trade agreements with is actually 38% higher than those with which we do have the fast track agreements. myth number three, every president since roosevelt has had t.p.a. warning, trick acronym.
t.p.a. also is an acronym for trade promotion authority. the cynical renaming of fast track. but it's also the reciprocal trade authority act. and that is a mechanism president roosevelt had that only pertained to tariffs. yes, it is true from 1934, the reciprocal tariff act had tariff proclamation authority, t.p.a., totally different thing than the t.p.a. that equals fast track. truth, a handful of presidents since nixon has had fast track. and now for the politics. the question is, will this house of representatives give president obama this xtraordinary authority to push
through the transpacific partnership, an agreement congress has had no access to, no observer status for, that has been negotiated with the executive branch acting as if fast track were in place and the legislative handcuffs were on? and all indications are, not so fast. bipartisan opposition is growing. and if folks want to hear the history in more detail, read the history in more detail, please get a copy of my book at email@example.com. [applause] >> i think it would work best if i try to stand and take your questions but i think probably the panelists should stay seated o we don't have a lot of commotion. that way i can see the whole room. if you have a question or a brief comment, we would like you to raise your hand, i'll recognize you, we'll bring you
the mic. if you would identify yourself before speaking, that would be a terrific assistance to everybody. so who had' like to go first -- so who'd like to go first? >> i guess appropriate for you and for tom, these advisory committees are supposedly having nfluence over our trade policy -- aren't we just window dressing in so many words, that the executive branch does what it damn well pleases without regard to either congress or industry or labor or anybody else? >> you go first. >> i would agree with the premise of that question that it's window dressing. in previous administrations, it was rare to have meetings of the advisory committee to the ustr's office. t improved somewhat in the
authority tenure of citizen chwab. and when president obama took office with the really the encouragement and guidance of hilda solis, secretary of labor, she was very insistent that the trade rep have these meetings at a more frequent basis. so we did meet maybe twice a year, but at the meetings it was usually to plead with the administration to cease and desist on some of the directions that they were taking on trade policy. nd in fact we came away pretty
much as though the meeting never occurred. > let me add -- since i left the government in 1988, i have had no direct involvement with advisory committees. in fact, the terms of their involvement limits their ability -- they're supposed to represent sectors, but they are really handcuffed in terms of discussing issues with them because they're sworn to secrecy on so many points. i just argue from my own experience in the 1980's, it was a simpler time, but we use the advisory committees differently. we met a lot. my policy was to meet with everybody every time they were in washington whether they wanted it or not. then if they invited me to their
annual meetings, i'd go out there. we paid special attention to agriculture. there was great skepticism, and the antidote for that was enormous outreach. i don't see that happening right now and i think that's to the detriment not only of the politics of this issue but also the substance of it. i think the administration -- not just this one -- but previous ones too have made a big mistake and it doesn't have to be that way. >> the one thing to think about
he committee, because it's not necessarily that they're listened to, but the participants in them have special access to information that the public and the press does not. and that is to say they get security clearance and they're allowed to see -- well, depending which administration, the actual negotiating texts. there seems to be some of that going on regardless of what the official policy is. and that ability to actually see what's on the table, to shape the document that the u.s. is going to submit is all of our demands in negotiation is actually extremely impactful even in the end if they are not listened to because having that information knows you what's at hand, what's at stake, what to lobby for, etc. it's information that all of us will live with the results are denied as well as this congress. >> we'll do you and the person on your left next. >> ok. thank you very much. thank you. this is a great discussion. i'm an independent public policy consultant on trade issues. and i want to ask lori first to elaborate a little bit on the
comment that the clinton administration was able to implement -- i don't know if i wrote this down correctly. did you say 130 trade agreements without fast track authority? and i'm interested in how those are defined. and then for both of you, there's a lot of press lately about the w.t.o. having finally reached an agreement in bali, a package of fairly modest agreements -- although i haven't seen any text yet -- but i'm wondering what you think of that. is that the type of trade agreement that we will see implemented here without fast track authority since no one seems to be talking about fast track authority for bali? thank you. >> the source for the 123 trade agreements is charlene the nited states trade representative who served for major chunk of the clinton administration and she said that actually i think in a speech here at the national press club in describing why it wasn't an impediment for her to get trade expansion under way to not have ast track.
the -- now, there is a congressional record referenced 138 trade agreements by congressman becerra from the ways and means committee. i'm not sure where he got those. if you look at the floor debate in 2001 in the original bush fast track house vote, you can check out that. and he lists a bunch of the countries that he has in mind. just f.y.i. as far as the w.t.o. agreement, again, in a way that is not going to help congress get more enthusiastic about being -- about sharing its constitutional trade authority with this executive branch, the administration's original position so far is they're not bringing it to congress. they negotiated, they're not bringing it to a for. it's remarkably impure yuss. we'll see what happens. i'm sure will help congress' enthusiasm to give away that authority to be treated that way up front. that being said, there's been susm a bunch of hoopla about very exciting announcement that could come any day that senator baucus and congressman camp might agree on fast track. except senator bachus and congressman camp have agreed on -- senator baucus and congressman camp have agreed on fast track. there was quite enormous opposition. to me what's news about the fast track situation in the u.s. is why these two guys who are the chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction haven't introduced any trade authority legislation
despite their saying since easter of last year that they had a deal almost ready and it was going to go in at any moment. and so all these months have gone by which begs the question -- given what the house looks like on fast track, assuming the bill goes in tomorrow, there are four days left in the house. othing is going to get done. so next year when we're going to have crazy season kick in over the summer over the mid term elections, in six months is the republican house going to give the democratic president they just really love and respect fast track trade authority that took president bush two years, incredible blood, sweat and tears and lots of political deals to get accomplished by one vote? so to me what's fairly news worthy is the prospect there won't be any fast track. not just for the w.t.o. deal,
which won't bring congress to vote, but perhaps in general. >> i'll respond to the concern about the announced agreement or at least the pretense of it with the w.t.o. having been instrumental in leading a large delegation of 10,000 machinists to seattle when the w.t.o. met there, i am skeptical anything that includes in its description w.t.o., and having not seen anything yet in a society where ur government knows everything about us, we can't find but very little about it, i really can't comment with any accuracy on it. ut i am a skeptic, have become more so as the older i get with he issues of international
trade agreements. >> thanks very much. my name is brian dabs with international trade today. so some congressional leaders over recent months have, for nstance, senator levin, have touted fast track as potential mechanism to deliver greater congressional authority. in allied and trade objectives. mrs wallach, considering the
five policies that you just enumerated that simply advocates congressional authority to the executive branch, how do you think lawmakers such as mr. levin are reconciling that? if i might add one more thing, although there has been vocal opposition to fast track through the letters you referenced, there very well may be sufficient support. what do you think the reason for that support? do you think lawmakers are coerced or is there corporate subservients or what's going on? >> well, first of all, in the situation with congressman levin, congressman levin has given lots of speeches describing his position and concerns about trade authority. i obviously will let him speak for himself. again, in the news worthy department is that in fact after a year of negotiations that were called the big four negotiations between the ranking members and the chairs of the ways and means and finance committees is quite ews worthy that it is only chairman camp and chairman
baucus who may allegedly finally this time come up with fast track legislation which is to say it's not clear where the ranking member, senator hatch, a longtime fast track supporter, is in on this about to be announced deal. nor apparently is congressman levin. and from congressman levin's speeches, it sounds like he's on the right track which is he wants to have a new trade authority. it sounds like he's the big guy among the four that it's way overdue to try and replace fast track. we need a new mechanism for trade authority. and so what he's talking about isn't the old fast track. he's talking about what is the new trade promotion authority for the 21st century that can put a steering wheel and an emergency brake in congress. now whether he may propose as an
alternative is going to satisfy those needs and remedy those problems remains to be seen when he comes up with something. but what in his speeches he's talked about is exactly what president buffenbarger was talking about which is you wouldn't get the expedited procedure. you wouldn't get any of those abilities to have congress at the end game not have amendments unless upfront congress had a much greater role, including to certify that when it said objectives for negotiations were were actually met. so trying to make those objectives mandatory and get any favorable treatment on the back end, having congress tell the negotiators what to do and make sure they actually do it before they then give them that next step. and something along those lines is actually the last chapter in my fast track book is how you have to replace fast track with something appropriate by giving congress opportunities along the way to actually say, yes, you did it, or no, you didn't, back to the table with you, so they actually, congress, have control over the substance, not the executive branch. >> let me just add before we got to pat, let me add to lori's last point -- over here. from a negotiator's point of view, you're a lot better, you're a lot more effective if you're backed up by this kind of a mandate. we had that.
i was lucky enough in the 1980's to have lots of congressional support for what we were doing with respect to steel and for hat matter launching the uruguay round. that made it easier for us to negotiate. we knew when to say no. when the situation was muddled as it is now, when the directions are so unclear, when the process is so secretive, the negotiators are at great risk. that's the price we have to pay for the inattention of ppropriate mechanisms. pat malloy. >> thank you very much. great program. the question i have is related to the exchange rate issue. my understanding is that we don't normally address exchange rates in these free trade agreements and that when free rade agreement can be done, if
he other country, for example, devalue its currency, it would make our exports to that country much more difficult to get in there because they would be increased in price and then make exports from that country to the united states a lot cheaper. and both of these trends will feed the trade deficit. i think since fast track has gone into effect, we've run about $10 trillion worth of rade deficit since 1974. it's my further understanding that members of congress, a majority in both the house and the senate, have written to the administration asking them to ddress exchange rates in the t.p.p.
is that being done in the t.p.p. negotiation? is that being discussed in terms of whether to give the president trade promotion authority that these issues should be discussed and included in trade agreements? >> who wants to take that? >> we have certainly had among the ranks of the labor community those very same concerns and those discussions, whether it's being addressed in the rounds of t.p.p. negotiations, i can't answer not being at the table. but we find the same level of concern about this, and the history speaks volumes about the unwillingness or the refusal to make such conversations on exchange rates or currency manipulations a very serious part of the talks that go on in these negotiations. >> i want to reiterate, we have no idea whether they've dealt with the issue because the process is so secretive. but from my snooping around the negotiations, and i have a team on the ground right now in singapore at the t.p.p. minute steerial, it appears the -- tin streial, it appears they have not raised the issue. keep in mind what that means, 230 house republicans, which means a bunch of democrats and republicans agreed on something, 60 senators a veto override majority, got together and said, we're congress, we have constitutional authority over trade.
the one thing all of us actually agree on is you have to put currency manipulation disciplines in the t.p.p. because it includes a bunch of ountries that manipulate their currency. and the executive branch is considering the negotiations basically saying, hmm, did you hear something from congress? best we can tell, they have not even raised the issue. and those letters were put forward in june, and they're supposed to sign the agreement -- though they're not going to
s folks have seen. look at the huffington post this morning. leaks. showing on what's going on at t.p.p. but that's the level of dismissal of what has got congress upset about fast track. that goes back to the question of why would they think about it -- about giving it away. these trade agreements are like the corporate christmas tree. what is one vote that in one foul swoop can have the u.s. chronic offshoring manufacturing companies? the agribusiness mow nop lists, big pharma, big tobacco, mining and oil, all united with all their lobby dollars and all their lobbyists, it is a so-called trade agreement that isn't about trade that influences through the back door their agenda. and wall street too. financial deregulation in these agreements.
so there's enormous power against the people's will and the constitutional empowerment of congress to have fast track make it possible to ram, railroad through congress these backwards, so-called trade agreements. so it's not as if it's a done deal even with this huge opposition that's bubbled up that fast track won't happen. but i suspect that if the public is speaking to their members of congress and those members of congress, seeing how the past trade agreements are going to work, want to keep their jobs and not be the next pink slip casualty, the prospect of fast track getting to the house can really be diminished. on the currency issue, the one point i make goes to the korea agreement that president buffenbarger raised. so that agreement has been in effect for 18 months. a lot of members of congress said there had to be currency disciplines in that agreement. because korea has a history of currency manipulation. it's one of the country that our -- we said is a currency manipulator. executive branch said, nah, not going to do it. sorry, congress. what's happened? 18 months of that agreement, not just have we had a huge flood of more imports from korea, we've seen our exports drop 9%. we have a 40% bigger trade deficit with korea in 18 months of one more of these agreements. and currency is the biggest part of it. half the tariff cuts aren't even implemented. >> pat, let me add to that, too. you he know, about two years before the last phase of the
korean t.a. talks, according to the peterson institute numbers, the most undervalid currency in the world was the korean yuan. was significantly more undervalued than the chinese. as they were negotiating, this is what countries do, of course, as they were negotiating, they reduced that from about 50% undervaluation to about 5%. now they're under heavy pressure from their export industries who are very powerful in korea, of course, they're under pressure to increase again the undervaluation. the same dynamic that's happened in japan where when the yen hit 79 to the dollar, there was a great outcry from the export-oriented industries in japan. and the response to that by one means or another, the government has moved the yen rate to about 101 -- last time i checked last week.
that's obviously to benefit the export industry. as lori points out, it kills our exports. that dynamic is left unaddressed by any trade agreement. and i think lori is correct. as far as anybody knows -- i check on the hill on this all the time -- the treasury and the ustr have refused to even raise this issue of the t.p.p. which is supposed to set the basic rules for trade agreements for the rest of this century. so not to do it now is really to commit, not to do it for a long time. if there's ever an opportunity to address this issue, it's got to be in the t.p.p. next question. in the back. >> hi. alice with featured story news. i wonder if you could expand more on the recently leaked documents and what's important in there. and also, anything else you can tell us from what's happening this week in singapore? >> ok. you're the leaker.
>> i'm the analyst of the leaked texts. the leaker remains unknown. this is with reference to two documents that leaked yesterday and are now on wicky leaks on -- wikileaks and on the front page of the huffington post which is a memo from one of the 13 countries involved in the t.p.p. describing as they're going into this alleged end game deal negotiation of ministers, trade ministers what the circumstances are and then a chart remarksably that has all the positions of all the countries on all the utstanding issues. and i would say there are some key things that are worth noting about the leaks. number one is overarchingly how far the countries are from agreement, thankfully, given what the chart shows is at stake.
as far as things that would undermine all of our futures. and the second overarching thing i thought was interesting was the can you think who is the source of the memo writes about how they need to very carefully manage the outcomes of this big ministriial meeting in singapore less the entire world thinks the entire process is in trouble, given the t.p.p. has now missed its third deadline in three years, likely, according to this memo? there is no way to make a real deal so should we announce a deal and pretend there's a deal or should we admit there isn't a deal, how do we manage that? and then on the substance, i think the most telling issues were, one, sadly, the united states is pushing a really outrageous big pharmaceutical company agenda of patent extensions, data exclusivity, a tax on national health care,
medicine pricing boards that would really not only deny people in the other countries access to affordable medicines but also would undermine some of the improvements we've seen our country recently on trying to get medicine prices down. that's really egregious to be doing that through the back door. the good news is the u.s. has totally isolated, except for japan, it's japan and u.s. pushing this agenda to the other countries. the second thing that's telling is the u.s. and japan are in could he hoots trying to expand the investor state, investor privileges regime which lets foreign countries skirt domestic laws in courts and attack domestic laws demanding compensation from us taxpayers for any domestic law or policy that they think undermines their expected future profits. this is how eli lilly is suing the canadian government of medicine patents, how the big tobacco companies are suing australia for compensation, etc.
and under that regime, a lot of countries are concerned about existing rules. the u.s. is pushing. so it could cover any contract the u.s. government would have with a foreign corporation. national lands they lease out, mining projects, running tunnels, bridges, ports. it's crazy. wouldn't go to u.s. court. would go to a tribunal of three private attorneys meeting under u.n. and world bank rules who could then be empowered to ewrite our treasury. so the third thing that was really revealing is that japan, despite setting as a condition for getting in the talks, that they would negotiate on all subjects, is refusing to negotiate market access for five key agricultural products. and that's just an interesting development. the memo says something like someone needs to talk to the prime minister in japan and make sure he gets his instructions right because this is stalling everything. a fourth worrysome thick is the u.s. is pushing for financial regulation. every other country, drug japan, is on the other side. the -- including japan, is on
the other side. they said you can't use capital rules, which is a macro-- a flood of hot currency comes in, you want to stop it. or there is a rate in your currency and you want to freeze it. the international monetary fund says it's a good tool and the u.s. wants to basically forbid the use of that and think the fifth big issue is what's not in there. so the u.s. congress has been really clear there needs to be enforceable labor standards, enforceable environmental standards, discipline in state owned enterprises when they're perating in this country and none of that is agreed. in fact, the state owned enterprise chapter, the environment chapter and the peant on medicine chapter is apparently in a total shamble and the other countries are so far rejecting the u.s. demands on those key issues. >> tom, do you want to add
something? >> lori has covered all the bases. i don't have access to the leaks as lori does, so i'll defer to her. it's clearly evident in short simple terms that the members of the union that i'm privileged to erve understand our government is slowly but surely surrendering -- we're negotiating the terms of surrender to the rest of the world. we call them trade deals. we believe in trade. we understand the value of that, but to have it done in fair terms instead of free terms and now it's not even in free terms is a surrender agreement and that's the -- going to be the battle line that we'll be arching up against. >> i just wanted to make sure,
when the administration comes in to persuade congress to pass these agreements, mr. buffenbarger, did you say they deposit the growth in jobs based on exports but they don't look at the loss of jobs based on the imports that are going to result from these agreements? in other words, we may get 40,000 jobs because we're going to get better access to the other guy's market but we may lose 60,000 because the other guy gained better access to our market, and so the total would be a loss of 20,000, are you saying that they on the deposit the 40,000 gain and not the other? >> we have yet to see any deposit the loss of the jobs. we only hear -- aerospace is a ood example. i'll use a real-life example.
in selling boeing aircraft to china. china will say we want to buy 100 triple sevens, we'll say. and for that you're going to have to do, under the trade arrangements we have, some production here in china. and boeing will say, that's going to create -- to sell those 100 airplanes, yeah, we may move some of that production there then, but for the overall order of planes, we're going to be iring folks in seattle and portland, wichita, to build those planes. to make that order and get it in on time. and those -- that 100th airplane gets delivered. and china will say, we want to buy another 100. but it's going to require some
production shift to china. they never sent back the production that was traded, exchanged for the first 100 planes. we slowly but surely transfer the capabilities of building a complete airplane in china. they're launching a new airplane that looks like a 737. we are never told that -- it's never makes its way -- we know from experience, but it never makes its way from government sources to the public consumption that we have traded away jobs and traded -- and gave away technology. and once it's out, you can't recover it. and then they become your biggest competitor. and in the way they manipulate their own currencies, we can't compete against that. o when i used the term earlier
that we're ultimately giving up surrender documents to make it more feasible, to make it for palatable, to make it more legal to do, that's real life, that's what we see. so employment in key industries is in jeopardy. we have really impacted it and they get away under t.p.p. it gets even worse. i don't know what it's going to take for the american public to really wake up. maybe quit using the acronym of t.p.p. it sounds in the world i come from, representing a large number of auto mechanics, it sounds like s.t.p. or some additive to oil for car engines. we need to start using terms in the general discussion that tell people this is a serious thing and it's a job killer for you. >> yes, sir. >> well, just to follow up on that. boeing, of course, loved giving away the 777 technology to china
and the jobs. can we put it -- let's put a number on it. just for that big deal -- and it was a big deal -- how many jobs ot lost from the u.s. when boeing gave away the technology -- china's demand and gave away the technology on the aircraft? > they -- china -- on the 777, i used that as an example. it was really 737. and so when you produce tuesday lodge and wing -- fuselage and wing -- a fuselage is a seat and estroom -- small seats, by the way.
the wings are the critical technology and once that's gone, once they develop and master the skills, so the jobs that travel with it are traded out to a place like seattle and those jobs never come back. now we have created a new version of the 737, and boeing has understood when you let the wing technology leave you pay a terrible price. his has new wing technology. so far we're able to protect that somewhat. now with new -- other new aircraft coming online, we're oing to be in the fight of our lives to preserve that technology here in the united states. i might add, a lot of the technology and the design for ommercial aircraft found its way in defense r&d, and that's sponsored by the u.s.
taxpayer. and i've always had the question, when does the u.s. taxpayer then, when we commercialize a defense product, when does the taxpayer realize a return on the investment? and today i could tell you we ever had return on the investment. so that's why people should be concerned. we still have the capabilities in this country of great engineering, like no one else on earth, and -- but when we do ngineer it we are too quick to give it away for short-term corporate profit. >> let me add -- it's a different point but it may help flush out the last two comments, i think. the -- to the extent that we have an arctic lated national trade objective from the administration, it's in the form of the national export initiative, the president's intention to double exports within five years and i'd like to get a few figures on the table to put that in some perspective and i think it ties n the last two comments.
actually five -- going on now six times. so that exports last year were $2.2 trillion. imports were $2.7 trillion. our trade deficit amounted to over 20% of our exports. so i would say anybody who has any regard for history, logic or arithmetic, should look at those numbers and question the premise, which is clear from the -- for example, the chamber of commerce of what trade is. trade is exports, as they're talking about it. that's what the administration is talking about it. but history tells you can't get there from here. you can't actually improve our economic performance by doubling exports unless you pay attention to the rest of the picture. that's part of what tom has been trying to say. that's part of what lori has been trying to say. i think it's one of the things the administration and previous administrations honestly have really resisted. it's harder work but it serves the national interest. other comments? questions? yes, joann. >> yes. ondering what all of you might think about how trade has
changed not only our balance of trade but the way the composition of trade has changed and the whole landscape of trade agreements have changed because it's not just the united states that's been negotiating trade agreements but just about everybody else, and with the w.t.o. having lost effectiveness, at least until these last few days in trade negotiations, there have been so many regional, bilateral agreements negotiated and under way. how does that impact united states industry, labor, how should we address that? and then on the composition of trade, one frequently hears these days a much larger percentage of trade now is in components and not finished goods and that we need to be able to have access to global supply chains in order to have a competitive export sector. how does u.s. trade policy fit within that context?
thank you. >> well, first of all, one of the most transformational developments was the change between 200 years of trade agreements, which dealt with tariffs, cutting border taxes and limits on the amount of tuff, raising quotas, and then nafta and w.t.o. in the mid 1990's which became effectively vehicles to deliver an entire agenda of nontrade policies from extensions of patents, gap -- the general agreement of tariffs and trade didn't have, limits on food safety. it just had the good old trade business of cutting border taxes and saying you can sell more of it in each country. so one of the biggest transformations which came hand in glove with fast track was the ability to effectively for u.s. agreements to get hijacked into these trojan horse
mechanisms. and with that came the enormous controversy that's now built in the u.s. public and in our congress about trade agreements. i suspect if they were just about tariffs, we wouldn't be having a big debate about trade authority or about the trade agreements. it's all the other stuff. i mean, it's investment rules that promote offshoring. the investment rules in nafta and the other f.t.a.'s literally make it safer, less costly for ompanies to move offshore with their production. those are policy decisions that i think would be very hard to get to congress in a normal way. so i think that's one of the biggest changes. there's always been regional and bilateral agreements. in fact, if you look at the history of trade, most every agreement going back a long time was regional or bilateral. was the anomaly was the idea of a global agreement. what happened with the w.t.o. of he highly anticipated -- i
don't know if i would say -- the most recent w.t.o. ministerial with delegates chucking things at each other's heads and signing a final declaration. now, at the beginning of the w.t.o., there were several big multilateral agreements that were agreed. communications, financial services. so it's just wrong. t's been in the press but it's just wrong that this is the first thing that w.t.o. has ever done. in fact, this is a very modest and vaguely embarrassingly small thing that the w.t.o. has done. but it was celebrated because i guess it meant that they didn't have to pull the life support plug and roll away the patient. so in fact the w.t.o. didn't die in bali is a big success. i'm not clear the legitimacy is altogether restored. in fact, if you'd like to make a et over lunch or dinner, i'd
uspect we would be talking about the w.t.o. negotiations stuck again. and the football thing is on the composition of trade. basically what you're describing is supply chains is offshoring, outsourcing. so things that used to be made here where u.s. manufacturing workers would make everything from the parts that went from the ores to actually milling and then smeltering the ores to making the steelworkers making the steel to the machinists cutting it and putting it together to the auto workers then assembling it into automobiles, all of that was done here. and so what is often called intracorporate trade, i.e., multinational companies that had outsourced major parts of their production and then bringing it
back together for assembly sometimes here but often not for a lower wage, that is the five million u.s. manufacturing jobs, 40,000 facilities closed. that is a big part of the story why the u.s. now has real wages. they're at the same level of 1972. free trade macroeconomic theory shows that when you liberalize trade, benefits go to capital and away from labor because you basically have sent five million high-waged union benefits middle-class jobs away, you have a lot of displaced union manufacturing workers who are now competing in the economy for the service sector jobs. all this talk about income inequality the president has been recently touting, trade agreements are a major part of t. the u.s. department of labor says when a manufacturing worker is displaced from trade and is re-employed in the service sector on average they lose $8,000 in their income. they become part of that stretched bottom working class that's working two or three jobs and then the profit is going to the offshorers. that is what the supply chain is in reality in the global economy under these rules.
>> i -- i am not an economist by training or practice, but i do understand i think the world i live in. and really what we're talking about in trade is using a terminology or using the understanding of trade relations and trade deals is a means to deregulate the global rules of engagement that underpin a moral society in how countries treat and respect one another. and that's what we have witnessed since this thing has taken off in a big way. nafta was the first really big demonstration of that. and i'll cite, having served at
apprenticeship at general electric and just before jack welsh arrived on the scene, i paid attention to that company and i still do for many reasons, his comment many years to a group of managers in florida that the ideal factory -- not a u.s. factory -- but the ideal factory, manufactured factory would be built on a barge. it could be moored in the port of the company that paid the lowest -- country that paid the lowest wages. we were kind of amazed that he could utter that, but in practice that's been adopted by much of the corporate mind set. not just in the u.s. but in the
world. and under the guise of trade deals, trade agreements, it's really been used to keep workers in the world suppressed in terms of their wages or quality of life. and in the labor movement, that really sums up why we take such a harsh view in how these trade deals are made. that a certain international standard or norm be applied by the international labor organization that guarantees certain fundamental human rights, sadly to say, the united states never ratified that particular convention. most countries have, but it is making them practice it that has been a challenge. they will use these trade agreements that come up today as the tool or mechanism they need
to disregard and set them aside. this is very fundamental to what labor is about and how the relationship among nations should be governed. whether we make finished products or components, those are all details to a bigger respect for it is humans on this planet. this trade deal whether it is wto -- we gave up so many of what many americans believe our sovereign rights. they don't understand everything they give up and how it is now being used against them. in the trade deals such as nafta or what is proposed in tpp, it is the surrender of certain rights and certain moral principles that are at stake. we are surrendering those.
i don't like it. >> we have a question. , i am ame is tom crum former general motors employee. i started on an assembly line. the arguments today leaned towards putting the blame on industry and the greed of industry leaders. i would like to shift the thinking back to maybe the brilliance of strategists in government and how our government isn't winning that battle. your analogy of putting manufacturing operation on a ship and landing wherever the i workede less -- when in the think tank at general motors, yes, that was one of our inclusions. that is one way to play this game. we need to think about -- pat
mentioned this when he talked about exchange rates -- you can bynge wage rates overnight changing the exchange rate. it really is about exchange rates, not wage rates. china or gm gave up its second try to avoid bankruptcy and increase its manufacturing ,resence in the united states it signed a joint agreement with china. i spoke that day. i also left that year. i walked away from what i knew was going to evolve. it has. you can't blame industries for going to the ports where there is the best opportunity to survive and that is what general motors has done. that is why they make so many more cars in china than they do in the united states. i believe our government has to get a lot more intelligent, a lot more strategic about exchange rates, about trade law
and about this new local business. we are encumbered with, we have to get public excited about and voting for any issues. it isn't as simple as a dictator or a very narrow government. i don't know how we do it. i am very excited to hear the arguments today. both of you have done an excellent job of presenting where we are, why we are where we are. i like the tie to history. i don't know how to get more brilliant. i am sitting here listening for it area that is why i come to these meetings. i hope we can do something. thank you. , i don'tould respond disagree with what you have said but there is -- the private sector. there is business, there is industry. government should be
to -- when the private industry gets out of whack or falters, the role of government is to set things straight. when we have an opportunity to do that and to insist that the rules of engagement, whether it is in foreign trade or anything fair.e do, becomes there is a deference to a just system. we are obligated to pursue that path. in the trade deals of recent, we have deviated wildly from that path. gm, theexample with if we do a deal with china, we should strategically have in the back of our minds and idea for the next great thing that we will build here as we let that
technology out of our control. maybe in the manufacturing of airplanes, they should think a little more about that. we would be a little better off, i think. thank you for those comments. >> the only thing i would add is , the role that she and plays is not necessarily the poor company that has to do the only thing it can to survive. rather as an advocate for setting up the rules that actually promotes this low road strategy of manufacturing competition. it is a little circular to expect the government to do otherwise when the companies such as gm are very powerful, pushing for the agenda that really is the one that has proof of profit for many of them but very devastating for workers and the middle class.
what is an interesting question is how some other countries like germany or finland have actually ,ade policies as a country manufacturing policies that are aimed at the national interest. they are where unions, industry and workers have had quite a different perspective. even though germany's wages are higher than ours, there has been the sense of a national interest versus just the corporate bottom line. their unionization rate is much higher. have the trade deficits we have and they have a manufacturing sector. those are choices. there is politics to it, but i would say the politics is for everyone who wants to have a different trade policy to hold their member of congress accountable to make sure there never any fast track and to turn around our current trade agenda.
it is in our control, but we have a lot of very powerful operations thank you have it their way. -- trying to have it their way. >> before i asked the last question, if low wages and compensation were enough, we would be winning right now. other things, other public policies, massive subsidies, things like that which we have not responded well. we have a question which has reached us from the c-span audience. i have been asked to finish up with this question. -- is thearaphrase wto remediable? should we continue our commitment to participate in it and if not, what would replace it? i think those are the questions.