Global trade lower than Canadian opinion of Fox News

In projections released on Monday March 23rd, the WTO predicts that the volume of global trade, which grew by 6% in 2007 and 2% last year, will fall by a dramatic 9% this year…

Among the 45 countries for which the World Bank has January trade data, the average fall in exports from a year ago was a staggering 32%, and 37 countries saw exports decline by more than a quarter. The drops cut a wide swathe across the world, with exports plummeting in rich and poor countries alike. Exports from Argentina in January were 36% lower than a year before. The corresponding drop for Canada was 35%. Chile’s exports fell by 41%, Japan’s fell by 35%…

The immediate reasons are clear enough. The worst recession in living memory means a dramatic collapse in demand for goods everywhere. An estimated shortfall of $100 billion in trade finance, which is behind roughly 90% of world trade, is also making matters worse. Yet the synchronisation and speed with which exports from countries across the world have plummeted is striking…

Tariffs have risen in several developing countries, including India, Russia and Ecuador. European ones and America have resorted increasingly to subsidies for failing industries, with implicit pressure on firms to create jobs “at home”, possibly at the cost of shutting down more efficient facilities abroad…

Some also argue that the globalisation of the supply chain has made traditional protectionism, in the form of wholesale tariff increases, more difficult to pull off than in a world where most goods were made with domestic, rather than imported, inputs. This is because taxing imports can end up hurting a country’s own producers who rely on imported inputs.

And just for added fun (and to show the importance of open borders for both trade and workers), a study on the beneficial impact of foreign students in general, and H1-B1 visa applicants in particular, on patent and business creation in host countries (in this case, the US). H1-B1 visa applicants are not mentioned in the abstract, but are covered in the study itself, and it is rather conclusively shown that they benefit the US mightily.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/120174577/HTMLSTART

ABSTRACT: The impact of international students in the United States on innovative activity is estimated using a model of idea generation. Results indicate that the presence of foreign graduate students has a significant and positive impact on both future patent applications and future patents awarded to university and non-university institutions. Our central estimates suggest that a 10% increase in the number of foreign graduate students would raise patent applications by 4.5%, university patent grants by 6.8% and non-university patent grants by 5.0%. Thus, reductions in foreign graduate students from visa restrictions could significantly reduce US innovative activity. Increases in skilled immigration also have a positive, but smaller, impact on patenting.

Trade finance matters. It’d be nice to see governments around the world stepping up to fill the gap.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico said on Wednesday it was imposing higher tariffs totaling $2.4 billion on a wide list of U.S. imports ranging from strawberries to Christmas trees after Washington banned Mexican trucks from U.S. roads.

The official government gazette said the new tariffs, which will range from 10 percent to 45 percent, will be effective on Thursday.

Mexico said the U.S. ban on its trucks violates the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and in retaliation published a list of dozens of products subject to tariffs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE52H1BQ20090318?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

A program that existed under NAFTA allowing Mexican trucks to enter the US was closed down, prompting major retaliation and likely a significant hit to trade with a major partner just when we need it least. Great job on pandering to those with no understanding of trade and the massive benefits it brings, Obama! And thanks also, you racist protectionist scumbags in Congress!

There are pretty good reasons to not allow Mexican trucks over to the US. Language and environmental regualations being a huge gap between the two.

Also, while American (and Canadian!) lines are allowed into Mexico, there are some compelling reasons why they don’t go there.

What are those reasons?

There is zero economic rationale, and very little in the way of safety concern either. Most of the Against argument relies on the stereotype that Mexicans are drunks, crappy drivers, and have shitty trucks and maintenance – despite the lack of any evidence, and the requirement that both trucks and drivers be certified here in America. It’s horseshit.

Language is a big one; you have to speak and read English in most of the US to get by. Even though a lot of what trucking is nowadays is automated, you’ve got to actually talk to, say, a cop when they pull you over. Probably in English. Also, getting a Commercial Drivers License in Mexico is…let’s just say it’s not what it is here or in Canada.

The exhaust emission regulations are not nearly as strengent in Mexico as in the US (particually in California, and probably in Texas in the next few years). Most rigs that operate in Mexico can’t run here legally.

It’s not, but let’s see you provide some evidence.

Mexico, the United States’ No. 3 trade partner, is angry the U.S. Congress scrapped a pilot program this month that allowed Mexican trucks to haul goods deep into the United States.

How dare they!

H1-B1 visa applicants are not mentioned in the abstract, but are covered in the study itself, and it is rather conclusively shown that they benefit the US mightily.

Yeah, if you ignore the impact on US wages it’s a win for everyone.

Yeah, how dare they lower income slightly for a protected minority while generating vast quantities of new jobs and products for the majority. Kick out those damn dirty apes!

What are the laws (or what were they until the change) re Mexican trucks that were allowed to operate north of the border?

Also, re: the language thing - I’m not so sold. That could be addressed by a basic English skills type requirement on the drivers (perhaps it was - I don’t know). Even without that, Mexican truck drivers are hardly likely to be the only ones with no or low English skills on U.S. highways. I’m not convinced that language skills are all that important for this role.

I could be more convinced if there was a good study showing significantly worse safety per vehicle mile than comparable American big-rig trucks.

Word. Barring H-1B visas is so frigging dumb. You always want to take the best and brightest in your country! Accumulate as much human capital as you can.

Now we have bunch of xenophobic jackassery in both parties screwing up.

And of course we have a trade war with Mexico b/c the majority in Congress rammed through large bills with a whole bunch of crappy, hidden riders. But the teamsters union is happy so who cares that consumers pay more and manufacturers will make less.

There isn’t one. The safety record of Mexican drivers has been almost perfect, and the WTO ruled a while back that America cannot reject them en masse – America can and does certify them, as I mentioned above. What with 80% of the US-Mexico trade going by truck, there’s plenty of reason to assume that the drivers have some pretty big incentives to not fuck up.

This is horse shit pandering to the Teamsters, period.

Read up. I don’t have a translated document ready for the Mexican side of the border. You can have a whack at google to find it.

Also, re: the language thing - I’m not so sold. That could be addressed by a basic English skills type requirement on the drivers (perhaps it was - I don’t know). Even without that, Mexican truck drivers are hardly likely to be the only ones with no or low English skills on U.S. highways. I’m not convinced that language skills are all that important for this role.

Believe it or not, it’s hard to learn a new language, even in reletively specific fields, in enough fluency to be able to converse coherently with law enforcement. You could also ask why more highway police don’t know good Spanish.

I could be more convinced if there was a good study showing significantly worse safety per vehicle mile than comparable American big-rig trucks.

I’m not arguing safety.

Part of the requirement to allow Mexican trucks in the US is that the driver must be able to understand and respond to questions from the instructors. There is an English language requirement established by the US. Dept of Transportation.

So your objection is not a valid one.

http://www.dot.gov/affairs/cbtsip/index.htm

Are you arguing drivers, or trucks?

I’m not arguing. I’m telling you that these are Mexican drivers certified by America, and Mexican trucks certified by America operating legally in a defined zone per treaty requirements being banned from operation after the WTO had already ruled in their favor once before.

You seem to think, like pretty much everyone ignorant of reality, that there are a bunch of wildcat liquor’d up Mexicans driving “jury rigged” trucks up into America. That’s not the case.

This is an illegal impairment of trade, and more evidence of the ridiculous protectionist inclinations of governments (especially America, but I’ll get to linking stuff about other governments, meaning France, later) who are so certain, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the best way to encourage economic revival is to make it more difficult to engage in profitable economic activity.

Meanwhile, all the attention is on fucking banker pay.

edit: Hell, look at this request from the Secretary of the DOT (from wahoo’s link, sorry, I’d be doing better research but I’m hopped up on painkillers due to a fucked knee) to keep the program going: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/dot3408.htm

Secretary Peters said a broad coalition of more than 69 U.S. companies and agricultural and business organizations support the project because of the benefits it provides to U.S. exporters who every year ship billions worth of products and produce into Mexico. Should Congress choose to end the project, Mexico has the right under the rules of NAFTA to impose fees and tariffs on U.S. goods that would surely result in lost business and lost jobs, she said.

So what are you arguing then?

Be specific, please, because I’m a little confused by what you’ve posted so far.

I don’t really agree that lowering wages is a relatively minor cost considering the advantages. Most of the productivity benefits is going to end up in the hands of the employer and you’re going to end up relying on supply side economics, which I personally don’t buy. At best, it’s a productivity boost for the employer and wash for employees. That may mean a net positive for total wealth, but would end up being relative net loss for workers. Obviously that’s discounting what happens when you purposefully maintain low value markets that are more or less separate as far as consumption is concerned (China) making goods for high value markets (US). But that’s just playing out the above scenario on a larger scale (with higher value markets indirectly playing the role of the employer).

Generally, I’m all for free trade, but the mish-mash of laws, regulations, and capitalist market manipulation that defines globalism now really isn’t healthy. Selective free-trade (which isn’t really free) isn’t always a boon nor should automatically be thought as beneficial just because it’s unregulated. Until we get to a point where differences in labor costs are marginal between all territories and consumers aren’t bound by regional agreements made only for the benefit of conglomerates, will we have benign version of globalism.

So tell me, do you guys have H1-Bs in your industry holding down your wages?

Then its simple - NAFTA should be repealed.

[quote=“Jason McCullough,post:19,topic:51366”]

Yes. And I’ve interviewed several H-1Bs for jobs as well.

This whole idea that the US should purposely limit highly educated emigrants is foolish! These are high-skilled individuals that boost productivity and economic growth. Furthermore, their impact on wages is fairly small according to most empirical research, with Borjas finding the largest effects.

Human capital is pivotal to economic growth and I find it astounding that opponents of H-1b believe that the US has enough human capital already. Their logic is simply that there should be a shortfall in college educated workers to boost wages for workers.

Incidentally, one theory of inequality is that the demand for college educated workers has exceed the supply of college grads leading to the higher education wage differential that occurred in the 1980’s.

I can understand why folks are against low-skill immigrants. I don’t like that viewpt, but I can understand it. What I can’t understand it is the idea that the US should not hire MBAs, should exclude engineers or other highly-skilled folks.

Is there any basis for rejecting such highly skilled folks other than “other college grad folks are scared their wages might go down!” Given the rapid rise of math and scientific students from abroad (mainly asia), it seems short-sighted that the US would not let the people into this country to boost our productivity and growth.