Secretary Wilbur Ross: “Free Trade is a Two-Way Street”…

“The Trump administration believes in free and fair trade and will use every available tool to counter the protectionism of those who pledge allegiance to free trade while violating its core principles. The U.S. is working to restore a level playing field, and under President Trump’s leadership, we will do so. This is a true free-trade agenda.”

[Free-Trade is a Two-Way Street – By Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2017]

The Trump administration last week celebrated the workers and businesses that make this country great. The purpose of “Made in America Week” was to recognize that, when given a fair chance to compete, Americans can make and sell some of the best, most innovative products in the world.

Unfortunately, many governments across the globe have pursued policies that put American workers and businesses at a disadvantage. For these governments, President Trump and his administration have a clear message: It is time to rebalance your trade policies so that they are fair, free and reciprocal.

Many nations express commitment to free markets while criticizing the U.S. for what they characterize as a protectionist stance. Yet these very nations engage in unfair trading practices, erect barriers to American exports, and maintain significant trade surpluses with us. They argue that our $752.5 billion trade deficit in goods last year was simply a natural and inevitable consequence of free trade. So, they contend, America should have no complaints.

Our major trading partners issue frequent statements regarding their own free-trade bona fides, but do they practice what they preach? Or are they protectionists dressed in free-market clothing?

In addition to tariffs, both China and Europe enforce formidable nontariff trade barriers against imports. Examples include onerous and opaque procedures for registering and gaining certification for imports; unscientific sanitary rules, especially with regard to agricultural goods; requirements that companies build local factories; and forced technology transfers. The list goes on.

Both China and Europe also bankroll their exports through grants, low-cost loans, energy subsidies, special value-added tax refunds, and below-market real-estate sales and leases, among other means. Comparable levels of government support do not exist in the U.S. If these countries really are free traders, why do they have such formidable tariff and nontariff barriers?

Until we make better deals with our trading partners, we will never know precisely how much of our deficit in goods is due to such trickery. But there can be no question that these barriers are responsible for a significant portion of our current trade imbalance.

The Trump administration believes in free and fair trade and will use every available tool to counter the protectionism of those who pledge allegiance to free trade while violating its core principles. The U.S. is working to restore a level playing field, and under President Trump’s leadership, we will do so.

This is a true free-trade agenda.

Read the full op-ed here. [<– Paywall]

This entry was posted in China, Economy, European Union, media bias, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Secretary Wilbur Ross: “Free Trade is a Two-Way Street”…

  1. booger71 says:

    This will make Libertarians like Nick Gillespie at Reason heads explode….Love it!

    Liked by 8 people

    • rsanchez1990 says:

      These people need to stop drinking the kool-aid and admit we don’t live in the ideal world they keep insisting will solve all our problems. We can’t have free trade as long as China implements policies to artificially push the price of their exports down to run all their competition out of business.

      Liked by 9 people

      • joshua says:

        If China has tons of skilled talented hard working labor…why aren’t we inviting them to come live here and get rid of all the unskilled uneducated cultural misfits that are “immigrating” from Mexico and South America…Asians ace our school work….Hispanics destroy our classes in school

        seems to me we are worried about being too good to Hispanics and not luring away the good guys

        why have ignorant lazy unskilled and violent Muslims and uneducated children factory parents come here from the south? Makes no sense.

        Liked by 3 people

        • wondering999 says:

          Well Asia is already here; take a tour of Pasadena CA. And yes it’s clean, pretty, and I wouldn’t mind living there too.

          A friend who moved out of NYC, to Scarsdale NY (because of her children the the Scarsdale public schools) said that all the Asian kids made the Scarsdale schools great

          I’m not a naive Asia-phile, nor do I look down my nose on Hispanics with whom I’ve had great experiences

          but… there’s a lot to like in some communities with strong Asian influence, particularly the atmosphere in the public schools (and ok, food too, although I WON’T eat any dog, ever)

          Like

        • rsanchez1990 says:

          Asians ace our school work because their families have been here for generations. Bring unskilled labor in from China (and that’s all we would get, the communist party has an iron grip on anyone who does have skills) and they’ll struggle just as much. There aren’t anymore railroads to be built…

          And speaking of the “good guys”, we do get upper classes coming to the US from China, but often it is to buy up property/companies in north America, either to protect it from the government back home or to expand the reach of China overseas. This can result in monstrous housing bubbles pricing out the locals and leaving vacant housing in their wake, and can result in even more trade secrets trickling out of the US and into China, so be careful what you wish for regarding the “good guys”.

          Like

        • JustSomeInputFromAz says:

          And WE need any of them here WHY?

          Job’s for Native Born Citizen’s.

          Liked by 2 people

        • carrierh says:

          Since I have visited China many times and also studied there, you might want to know they start “school” at age 3 and now you know why they are well educated and education after Mao was open to all or as my spouse says this is really the only good thing Mao did. They also like to practice their English with us because they know it is important. Many come here to get Ph.D’s while our open borders bring in riffraff, criminals, and little or no education, so am glad that we will no longer suffer with this stuff because even now the green card holders must have a skill to bring us along with speaking English and if they fail to become a legal citizen at the end of 5 yrs., they are going to have to leave our soil.

          Like

      • Wayne says:

        It should be balanced not just free but free / fair -and balanced / on a job you can’t divide the tonnage of all iron on a job in half and award half the tonnage into structural members and half the tonnage into handrails and getting ne’er bread and expect that each of the halfs sill derive the same benefits to whoever installs it . A column could weigh 20 tons but twenty tons of handrail could take three weeks to install while column may be one hour

        Like

      • carrierh says:

        And France also supports their companies here which I learned about in 1986 because I worked with an attorney who dealt with France and our laws. Yep, no way is that free market nor free trade. Thank you again, Trump for putting your/our foot down on the charade!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Marc says:

      Reason needs to go the way of the dodo. These open borders advocates aren’t about MAGA. They cater to elitist, special interests and want a bifurcated society where there is no middle class. Simply the top and the bottom whom serve those on top. They, of course, will be on the top while you, I, and the new “Americans” from south of the border will be their servants.

      Like

  2. ok4ayl says:

    I see a major POT HOLE in K Street….:)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. joshua says:

    The USA lead in mfg TV sets Radio sets telephone sets, transistors and electronic components,etc WORLD WIDE…..that huge manufacturing market was GIVEN away globally…stolen by low wages….and profit hungry corporations that were busy buying other companies via consolidation, and then cutting costs by offshoring resources. Started with Jim Ling in Dallas Texas with Ling Temco Vaught….called “redeployment of assets”….= sell off stuff and do it cheaper overseas.

    Liked by 5 people

    • booger71 says:

      I agree, but government policies had a large part in it too.

      Liked by 5 people

    • thedoc00 says:

      Its called staying in business. The objective is to stay in business by returning a profit to your investors and having a positive cash flow vs competitors as well as within the regulatory environment of the government. To do otherwise is actually a violation of SEC fiduciary regulations.

      Like

      • JustSomeInputFromAz says:

        “within the regulatory environment of the government”

        And that was the PROBLEM. That is what moved a significant portion of the Semiconductor manufacturing sector offshore.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pam says:

    I love this guy. Just like T-Rex, he frustrates the MSM. He is light years ahead of them. They don’t get him and they never will.

    Liked by 15 people

  5. TPW says:

    Flake the Fake was on Fox this AM…..stating that this is where he disagrees with Trump on trade ….that he believes in Free trade but Trump was a protectionist blah blah….and how TPP was a great trade agreement …….I really believe this guy is ignorant and lazy ….lazy in the fact that he listens to his lobbyist without fully taking the time to understand Trumps views on trade or to even read the TPP agreement……Think Trump was exactly right ……we are being led by the STUPID people. Flake is ahead of the pack along with McCain when it comes to arrogance. They really could care less to spend the time to make sure our people are put first.

    Liked by 13 people

  6. fedback says:

    Have seen foreign leaders use the ‘free and fair trade’ term introduced by President Trump when they interact with the U.S.
    Macron used it in Paris and several others.
    They get the message

    Liked by 7 people

    • wheatietoo says:

      Yeah, they’re getting the message…but we shouldn’t think for a minute that their idea of what is “fair” will actually be fair to us.

      Liked by 7 people

  7. Sentient says:

    4% of cars sold in Japan are made by non-Japanese companies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fedback says:

      Seems like protectionism or Japanese car buyers are very patriotic

      Liked by 1 person

      • wondering999 says:

        I’d agree except…. my Toyota is STILL working without a single hiccup, heading for 300,000 miles and reliably getting me home without breaking down in neighborhoods that scare me. I’m not Japanese but I don’t want any other cars. It’s an anxiety thing. I don’t like to worry any more than I have to

        Liked by 2 people

        • JustSomeInputFromAz says:

          Well you must be good at oil changing….

          Liked by 1 person

          • wondering999 says:

            LOL it’s holding up well with the oil too. Just love that old thing. Could use a paint job in places; but OTOH the exterior imperfections are how I find it in the parking lot (along with trying to park in the same place every time…) older car for older person

            Liked by 1 person

        • G. Combs says:

          My Dodge truck has more than a 1/2 million miles on it. It is 25 years old and is still running strong. Actually we have three. 1987 1/2 ton, my 1982 3/4 ton, and hubby’s 1983 1 ton dually. We routinely haul trailers with all three.

          It is the newer cars that keep breaking down. We finally gave up buying newer cars ten years ago.

          Liked by 1 person

          • wondering999 says:

            You may be onto something there. I truly hate car aggravations and would happily have the same vehicle for a lifetime…. older may be better

            Liked by 1 person

        • carrierh says:

          I love Toyota cars and my first, Solara Rally is still running fantastically well and has more metal in it than the latest vehicles made here. The Solara was made in Kentucky so a real American made car. Bought in 2001, still the same gas mileage, quiet and pickup like crazy as rally cars do, and a great huge trunk and has unit for CDs, radio and cassettes, and a cigarette lighter, as well as a cable connection for cellphones and recharging them.

          Like

    • emet" says:

      The Japanese Customs authorities are highly obstructionist. They see it as their patriotic duty. Nothing brightens their day like a shipment of US asperagas spears wilting in the tarmac

      Liked by 4 people

  8. fleporeblog says:

    Folks we are already at a 2.6% GDP after the second quarter. Keep in mind that was truly our President’s first quarter under his full leadership. Barry was around for 20 days in the first quarter. No surprise that GDP was a miserable 1.2% in the 1st quarter.

    Last night I wrote about what our President has done through Secretary Zeinke, Perry and Pruitt to set our country up to be Energy Independent and soon to be Energy Dominant!

    This also sets up the bilateral deals our Wilburine and Lighthizer are about to renegotiate. We have Energy to sell in the form of Coal (up 61%) and LNG. South Korea has recently agreed to purchase $15 billion dollars of LNG. Poland received their first shipment of LNG in June. Croatia is building a floating LNG pipeline on their island of Turik to be able to provide American LNG throughout the othe Three Seas Countries. Ukraine is about to go all in on our coal.

    Our Energy push has led us to a point that it will become sound economics to manufacture in the US again. We are on the cusp of that happening! When we turn that corner, MAGA will become so much easier. 3% to 4% GDP becomes possible even without Healthcare or Tax Reform ever occurring. Foxconn just invested $10 billion dollars in Wisconsin with the hope of purchasing three additional factories across the US.

    Walmart is ready to pull the trigger on US Manufacturing! They would need 1.5 million workers.

    https://www.peoplespunditdaily.com/news/economy/2017/07/26/walmart-unveils-roadmap-create-1-5-million-new-us-manufacturing-jobs/

    From the article linked above:

    Walmart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) on Wednesday unveiled a “policy roadmap” to create 1.5 million new jobs and “renew” the U.S. manufacturing sector. The 10-point plan (viewable below) aims to “recapture” an estimated $300 billion in imported consumer goods and spur growth in domestic manufacturing.

    “As we’ve worked over the last four years alongside our suppliers toward our goal to source an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs, we’ve learned a great deal about the challenges our suppliers face in domestic manufacturing,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Vice President for U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing. “The good news is we’ve also learned how to overcome the challenges and, because of our experience, Walmart is uniquely positioned to help facilitate broad engagement in accelerating the expansion of U.S. manufacturing.”

    The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported last month its closely-watched manufacturing index (PMI) came in at 57.9 in June, beating the 55.1 consensus forecast. It was the strongest reading in almost 3 years, since August 2014.

    Under the Trump Administration, Walmart believes there is an opportunity to cut into the $650 billion of consumer goods that are currently imported, including furniture, cookware, and sporting goods.

    “Every $100 billion of retailer spend that is on-shored has the potential to create over 500,000 direct manufacturing jobs, which could potentially result in an additional 1.5 million indirect jobs,” the “Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing” states. “With the right policies and industry tactics, the U.S. can strengthen our manufacturing industry and drastically reduce long-term unemployment by both driving job creation and upskilling a workforce capable of excelling in newly created manufacturing positions.”

    Liked by 13 people

    • fleporeblog says:

      Liked by 8 people

      • fleporeblog says:

        Look what state is benefiting from the Ukraine deal! Hint: From the TRUMP BELT.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-07-31/ukraine-coal-exports-part-of-trump-bid-to-counter-russian-energy

        From the article linked above:

        A Pennsylvania company will send 700,000 tons of coal to Ukraine in a deal the administration of President Donald Trump heralded as an important tool to undercut the power Russia has over its European neighbors.

        At a ceremony in Kiev Monday, Pennsylvania-based Xcoal Energy & Resources LLC announced an agreement with Ukraine power generator Centrenergo PJSC to supply the 700,000 tons for this winter season. Ukraine’s initial purchase for 210,000 tons will be at a price of $113 a ton, Oleh Kozemko, acting chief executive officer of Centrenergo, told reporters during a press conference in Kiev.

        “Russia makes its money through selling of oil, and we’ve got underneath us more oil than anybody, and nobody knew it until five years ago,” he told reporters earlier this month. “And I want to use it.”
        The contract represents the first time U.S. origin thermal coal has been supplied to a customer in Ukraine, Latrobe, Pennsylvania-based Xcoal said in a statement. The deal will create and sustain hundreds of jobs for Pennsylvania coal miners, it said.

        “The U.S. coal will replace Russian origin coal at existing thermal power plants, i.e. energy security and diversification,” Ernie Thrasher, Xcoal’s chief executive officer said by email.

        Liked by 13 people

    • nhgardengram says:

      Again, keep reminding us of all the GOOD stuff that has happened already from this hardworking President. In today’s world, we get too much immediate gratification; so if something doesn’t happen immediately, we get worried and impatient. Things ARE happening, and roadblocks are temporary and not stopping President Trump from going full steam ahead with everything else. Patience everyone, he’ll get us there! Remember he really likes to win, and this win is for us!
      I love the meaningful comments and analysis that is done on this website. I keep telling everyone I know that they should get their news HERE!!!

      Liked by 5 people

  9. JRD says:

    I’ve liked and admired Wilbur Ross for over 30 years and, now I do even more.
    Bless him and continue to guide him Lord!

    Liked by 9 people

  10. Mike Watson says:

    How about promoting and teaching the benefits of free trade by having a national policy of internal free markets so that any thing made or distributed in the United States can be sold in any other state free from sales taxes and regulation of any kind.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really like your thinking Mike.

      Like

    • Abandoned says:

      I don’t know how to tell you this.
      Australia has a need for 4wds, with much remote, testing country. It’s not a huge market, (only 24 million people but with the 13th largest GDP), but US made right hand drive vehicles like Jeep just don’t cut it. They break.
      The market is totally dominated by Toyota Hi Lux and Landcruisers. Even the modern versions of these are regarded as getting soft, old series 80 and 100 Cruisers, are commonly rebuilt for a cost of $40,000 to get the bush performance lacking in modern vehicles.

      Like

      • G. Combs says:

        That is why I like my old trucks. They are bigger, heavier and therefore more stable for hauling livestock that moves around.

        Like

  11. emet" says:

    The “made in USA mark” is weakly protected. Merchanise fraudulently marked this way can be refused entry or remarked at the importers’ expense, but it cannot be seized. Ditto for shipments transiting the US, eg China to Paraguay via LAX. As US-made goods become more desirable, and more common, this will be a greater problem.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. “…are they protectionists dressed in free-market clothing?”

    “The Trump administration believes in free and fair trade and will use every available tool to counter the protectionism of those who pledge allegiance to free trade while violating its core principles.”

    Do you see what’s going on in those two statements? He’s throwing the taboo PC-culture “protectionist” label right back on the very people lobbing it at us, eloquently stating how unfair practices of other countries are in fact “protectionist”. For any intellectually honest observer who believes “protectionism” is bad, must now refute Wilburine’s solid logic and analysis, or argue against the practices most countries use when trading with the US. Truly spectacular messaging! #MoreWinning 😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 6 people

    • IllinoisWorrior, “protectionist dressed in free market clothing” is what jumped of the screen at me too. Your right on with how it’s now being thrown back to the rightful owners of protectionism.

      Wish all this great news was headlines instead of the gossip. Though I’m guilty of chasing a rabbit hole or two myself. It’s a shameful waste of valuable time on my part.

      Liked by 3 people

    • wheatietoo says:

      Yes and dontcha love it?

      I also loved this part:

      “…when given a fair chance to compete, Americans can make and sell some of the best, most innovative products in the world. …”

      And this:

      “…The U.S. is working to restore a level playing field…”

      ‘Fair chance’ and ‘level playing field’ are also used by the Left in their rhetoric.
      Even though their idea of those things usually means putting their thumb on the scales, in what is deemed ‘fair’ or ‘level’.

      Liked by 5 people

  13. frank field says:

    Jeff Flake was touting his book today all the while mocking our President’s comportment and policies… including trade. Sickening.

    MAGA Mr. Ross!

    Like

  14. Mike diamond says:

    right on Wilbur! We stand with you!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. MK Wood says:

    Not sure if this is the entire op-ed. It is at commerce.gov so it is not a “steal” of it. -))

    https://www.commerce.gov/news/opinion-editorials/2017/08/free-trade-two-way-street

    Like

  16. wheatietoo says:

    I loved this whole statement from our Wilburine.
    In my head, I could imagine Wilbur Ross’s voice saying the whole thing…because it sounds like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. MVW says:

    Trump and team are also working on the other side of the problem, that side is that the Gruberment has been hobbling with red tape and overtaxing our companies. Both trade barriers and US Guberment caused production costs combined has murdered out jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emet" says:

      They tried a “harbor maintenance fee” on exports some years ago. SC struck it down as an unconstitutional export tax

      Like

  18. Abandoned says:

    If you want to ROTFL research the history of Japanese non tariff barriers to imported rice.

    There are no US vehicles in Japan. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsi, Honda, Mazda all need the US market.
    If I smell leverage, Wilbur will be all over it.

    Like

  19. blognificentbee says:

    My favorite cabinet members are Mulvaney & Ross…because they are so bad*ss smart! Well, and Mnuchin too. Ugh, and there’s my all-time fave staffer, Stephen Miller who always sports a trendy suit and a great speech for POTUS in his pocket at all times. And then before before PDJT times, there’s – Gorka! Love that Gorka’s mind (& accent). And don’t get me started on the ladies – Melania, Ivanka…and did you see that cute navy dress SHS had on today? Where, was I…is this a Wilbur Ross thread?😬

    Ok, anyway, I was reading an article about where the cabinet members have settled in DC and saw this article that mentions Wilburine (Town&Country article)…his wife makes sure he is dressed to the nines. Look at those shoes! It takes a real man to sport these loafers – I love it! Go Wilbur!

    The only reason I posted the picture to twitter was it is the easiest way to share it here. As I think about hitting POST, I wonder if I will be scolded for posting fashion fun here. OK, either enjoy the great loafers or move on! 😉 Oh yeah, and free trade rocks!

    Sundance, where is the fashion blog portion of CTH???😆

    Like

  20. Stevew says:

    Harley Davidson motorcycle costs $150,000 in China

    Like

  21. G. Combs says:

    Actual GDP:
    (Never forget that salaries of government employees is part of the GDP so growth of government masks some of the shrinkage in wealth building.)

    Also note that GDP was between 6% to 8% in the 1980s before the Leveraged Buyout feeding frenzy transfered the wealth built-up in US companies to the Banksters and the Elite. If a company that had no debt is suddenly saddled with crippling debt thanks to a Leveraged Buyout, or worse is broken up and the physical equipment sold overseas, it is hard to have an increasing GDP.

    President Trump is working under a YUGE handicap. Even more so than many people realize. Not only has our manufacturing has been gutted, he essentially has to rebuild this country from scratch with a badly educated work force thanks to John Dewey’s intentional Dumbing Down of our education system and incentives NOT to work thanks to LBJ’s Great Society.

    Like

  22. 6x47 says:

    The leak may be nothing more than a pretext to create a news item and allow Rhodes and his defenders to publicly “respond” to allegations and thus spin the narrative. It would be odd otherwise for the Obama officials to begin sounding off.

    Like

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