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And The Most Complained-About Nation In The World Trade Organization Is…

Protectionist sentiment is running high in the US, with both presidential candidates citing the need to shield workers from the alleged harmful effects of foreign trade. So it is perhaps ironic that the nation that has the most complaints against it for violating trade agreements is…

USA USA USA…

Chart: Goldman Sachs

So USA has almost 4 times more complaints against it for violating agreements that Chynaa.. Protectionist That!

As Goldman’s Marina Grushin notes, public opinion seems to stand behind this view, as Pew surveys have found that roughly half of Americans believe trade destroys jobs and lowers wages, compared to only about 20% who think the opposite. Perhaps more surprising, a review of research on trade, jobs, and wage inequality over the last 25 years shows that economists are also increasingly emphasizing the costs that trade can impose on US workers.

Early days: Think tech, not trade

Economic theory predicts that, in aggregate, trade benefits all parties; by importing goods that a trading partner can produce more efficiently, countries increase their consumption and welfare. But economists have also long recognized that trade leads the prices of labor to converge across borders. For developed countries, that pressures less-skilled workers, who find themselves effectively competing with cheaper foreign labor, and who face challenges in transitioning to more competitive parts of the economy.

As trade flourished in the 1970s and 1980s, its effects on labor markets attracted increasing attention. Between 1970 and 1990, goods trade rose from 8% to 15% of US GDP, while the share of manufacturing workers in US employment declined from 25% to 16%. Wage inequality increased, with the “premium” for a college vs. a high school graduate growing from around 45% to 60%. Economists agreed that blue-collar workers were being squeezed; the question was how much of it was due to trade.

For most researchers, the answer at the time was very little. Skill-biased technological change (e.g., the automation of routine tasks) and related productivity gains were generally deemed more important. Robert Lawrence and Matthew Slaughter (1993), for example, concluded from shifts in traded goods prices that trade contributed little to rising wage inequality. Paul Krugman (1994, 1995) similarly assigned trade a “quantitatively minor” role, and estimated that trade with less developed countries accounted for only around 10% of the increase in US wage disparity over the prior 20 years. Effects on employment were also deemed modest. By the estimates of Jeffrey Sachs and Howard Shatz (1994), trade with developing economies between 1978 and 1990 reduced US demand for lower-skilled manufacturing jobs by just 6.2%.

Some researchers did find more substantial effects. Translating the US trade deficit into an effective increase in the supply of less-skilled labor, George Borjas, Richard Freeman, and Lawrence Katz (1992) showed that trade accounted for up to 25% of the widening US wage gap between 1980 and 1985. And Adrian Wood (1994), contending that most studies understated the labor displaced by imports, concluded that trade reduced unskilled manufacturing employment in developed economies by 21.5%, more than three times the Sachs/Shatz estimate. Still, these views were in the minority; among more than 30 studies on wage inequality reviewed by William Cline (1997), most found that the adverse impacts of trade were minimal to modest. In short, the research acknowledged some losses from foreign trade, but emphasized overall gains.

The new view: A bigger role for trade

Between 1990 and 2010, developing economies’ share of world trade roughly doubled, to 38%, driven in large part by EM Asia and China’s 2001 entry into the WTO. In the US, the college wage premium approached 80%, while the trade deficit widened well beyond prior extremes. These shifts prompted economists to revisit the conclusions of the 1990s with new data. Krugman wrote in 2008 that it was “no longer safe” to argue that trade’s impact on inequality in developed economies was insignificant.

Indeed, the work that followed often pointed to greater costs from trade. In an update of Krugman’s 1995 model, Josh Bivens (2013) estimated that trade with less developed countries accounted for one-third of the rise in US wage inequality between 1979 and 2011—and more than 90% of it after 1995. In another example, Michael Elsby, Bart Hobijn, and Aysegul Sahin (2013) found that import exposure could account for 85% of the 3.9pp decline in US workers’ share of national income over the prior 25 years.

Recent research has also highlighted the spillovers from pressure on US manufacturing. In one such study, Avraham Ebenstein and colleagues (2014) found that trade was pushing workers out of generally higher-paying manufacturing jobs and into lower-paying positions in other parts of the economy. Using census data on individual workers across industries, the authors estimated that people who switched occupations due to trade or offshoring saw their real wages fall 12-17% between 1984 and 2002.

China has played an important part in these developments, having increased its share of US imports to 21% in 2015 from only 6% in 1995. MIT’s David Autor and other researchers (2013, 2016) mapped the exposure of 700+ US labor markets to this surge based on initial industry composition, and concluded that workers in more-exposed regions faced lower lifetime earnings, particularly if they were already at the lower end of the pay scale. By Autor’s estimates, Chinese imports cost the US up to 2.4mn jobs between 1999 and 2011, of which nearly 1mn were in manufacturing. Others have found evidence of US jobs effectively “moving” abroad: Ebenstein et al (2012) noted that US job losses have corresponded with Chinese gains in the same sectors. That these shifts occurred even for routine tasks suggests, in their view, that US workers are being displaced by trade rather than technology.

When the facts change, I change my mind

The recent research has not invalidated earlier findings; indeed, the trade landscape has changed considerably since the “first wave” of analysis. More importantly, economists remain proponents of free trade (and, to be sure, some maintain that trade is not an important driver of wage inequality). However, the tone around trade appears to be shifting toward a greater acknowledgment of concentrated losses rather than an affirmation of overall gains. In the words of Harvard University’s Dani Rodrik, “The populist rhetoric on trade may be excessive, but few deny any longer that the underlying grievances are real.”

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Is a Joke? Quartz Bemoans ‘Coarseness’ Aimed at Clinton and Yellen

Via The Daily Bell

Janet Yellen’s terrible week signals more about the state of US politics than the US economy … Was Janet Yellen mansplained to by members of Congress who grilled the Federal Reserve chair this week in her semi-annual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee? -Quartz

In this short article, Quartz bemoans how “tough” the treatment was for both Janet Yellen and Hillary this past week.

Yellen appeared before Congress during her semi-annual testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. She came in for harsh questioning regarding Fed political bias and also her inability to reduce risks associated with too-big-too-fail banks.

As for Ms. Clinton, she was attacked by Trump during the first debate via “90 minutes of veiled microaggressions.”

… The interruptions, the remarks about her “temperament,” the questioning of her “stamina,” the criticism of her preparedness—another intelligent woman of great achievement was reprimanded by men of lesser knowledge ….

The article called the approaches of Congress and Trump “coarse” and “sophomoric.”

The only hope is that  the “next generation” of American voters will treat officials with the “civility they deserve” regardless of gender and party affiliations.

From our view, the Quartz article is misidentifying victims. The real victims are millions of people at home and abroad.

US citizens are out of work and surviving on food stamps and worse. The economy offers little hope and the “solutions” voiced by Yellen and Clinton and others only promise more of the same: increased economic dysfunction and expanding poverty.

Meanwhile, the US is continually injuring and slaughtering people abroad, including whole families celebrating weddings and women and children lying injured in hospitals that are destroyed around them.

Both Yellen and Clinton have been directly enmeshed in support of a federal government that has been pursuing economic destruction at home and serial warfare abroad. There is plenty of evidence on the ‘Net that the US and its allies helped found ISIS and even Al Qaeda.

The US’s recent wars have destroyed whole countries. In Iraq, depleted uranium caused doctors to warn women not to get pregnant.

Given the ruination of cultures and countries around the world,  it seems somewhat ironic that Quartz writers are concerned about “roughness” aimed at Yellen and Clinton via the political process.

Once we were informed that female participation in public life would change things for the better. But Yellen has been an active promoter of the Fed behemoth that has virtually bankrupted the entire US, and probably the world as well. Meanwhile, Clinton is far more warlike than her opponent, Donald Trump. She seems intent on going to war with Iran for instance, if she is elected. And she seems to be welcoming war with Russia, also.

Conclusion: When one examines the power these two women have exercised already, it becomes clear that their actions have been destructive. Quartz should be more concerned with this destructiveness than “coarseness” aimed in their direction.

See Also: Suburban Technology Should Die a Deserved Death


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USD Set For Modest Upside Especially AUD, NZD and JPY Into Final Months Of The Year – TD

The US dollar is looking for a new direction ahead of the tight US elections and as uncertainty about the timing of the next Fed move still prevails. Here is their view, courtesy of eFXnews: We think the USD is likely to trade on a better footing, at least against some G10 counterparts as we […]

The post USD Set For Modest Upside Especially AUD, NZD and JPY Into Final Months Of The Year – TD appeared first on Forex Crunch.

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New Gallup Poll Shows 57% Of Americans Want A Major 3rd Party

New Gallup Poll Shows 57% Of Americans Want A Major 3rd Party

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

There’s good news and bad news in the latest Gallup poll on Americans’ desire for a major 3rd Party.

The good news is that at 57%, this is the highest demand we’ve seen
during any recent Presidential election year. The bad news is that we’ve
seen levels this high before.
Additionally, this desire for a 3rd Party
doesn’t actually translate into massive third party support when it
comes time to actually voting.

Gallup reports:

PRINCETON, N.J. — A majority of Americans,
57%, continue to say that a third major U.S. political party is needed,
while 37% disagree, saying the two parties are doing an adequate job of
representing the American people.
These views are similar to
what Gallup has measured in each of the last three years. However, they
represent a departure from public opinion in 2008 and 2012 — the last
two presidential election years — when Americans were evenly divided on
the need for a third party.

 

These results are based on Gallup’s annual Governance poll. The poll was conducted Sept. 7-11, at a time when Americans’ views of the Republican and Democratic parties are near historical lows, and when Americans hold highly negative opinions of
both major-party presidential nominees. In 2008 and 2012, Americans’
favorable ratings of the parties were slightly more positive than today,
but their favorable ratings of the presidential candidates were far
better.

 

In those years, third-party presidential candidates
received less than 2% of the popular vote for president. This year,
third-party candidates are getting about 10% of the vote combined in
presidential preference polls. Should that level of support hold between
now and Election Day, it would be the strongest performance for
third-party candidates since the 1992 and 1996 campaigns, when Ross
Perot ran for president.

 

As might be expected, independents have consistently been most
likely among the major political groups to believe a third party is
needed. Currently, 73% of independents, 51% of Republicans and 43% of
Democrats favor the formation of a third party. Republicans’ preference
for a third party today ranks among the highest Gallup has found for a
partisan group, along with a 52% reading among Republicans in 2013 and
50% for Democrats in 2006.

 

Americans’ usual preference for a third major political
party had subsided in the last two presidential election years, but that
pattern did not repeat itself this year.
In 2008 and 2012,
Americans’ general contentment with the major-party nominees may have
led them to believe the parties were doing an adequate job of
representing their views, and thus there was little appetite for a third
party. This was the case in 2012, even as the well-funded “Americans
Elect” movement aimed at providing the infrastructure for a credible
third-party candidate could not field a viable candidate.

 

The political environment is different this year, with Hillary Clinton’s favorable ratings struggling
to break 40%, while Trump’s have been stuck even lower at around 33%.
Four years ago, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein combined for just over 1% of
the national popular vote as the Libertarian and Green Party
presidential nominees, respectively. This year, with those two
third-party candidates nominated again, their support in pre-election
polls among likely voters is nearly 10%.

 

With 57% of Americans favoring a third major political
party, but only about one in 10 voters currently saying they will vote
for a third-party candidate, Americans’ appetite for a third party may
not be as great as they say it is.
The gap between preference
for a third party and support for third-party candidates in this year’s
election may also reflect the structural challenges third parties face,
Americans’ unfamiliarity with the third-party candidates and possibly Americans’ reluctance to cast their vote for a candidate with little chance of winning.

Here’s the chart of the trend over time. Still no breakout.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-39-26-am

For related articles, see:

Jill Stein of the Green Party – Clinton Helped Create Trump

Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Polls Ahead of Hillary Clinton Amongst Independents

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