What about free trade for the rest of us?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by JoeG4, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #1
    You can't buy a car wherever you want, video games and movies are always region locked, and textbooks and medicine cost a fortune here compared to the rest of the world.

    What the bloody hell? I keep hearing about the awesomeness of free trade here - particularly on a conservative leaning political board. Why doesn't anyone talk about how you have no choices when it comes to those products? Why is it ok for Ford to make cars in Mexico, but so much harder to go buy the same car in Mexico and import it yourself?

    It's kinda sad, really. Also: Why are Mac boards so heavily populated by conservatives? lol. Apple contributes quite heavily to 'liberal' candidates...
     
  2. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

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    #2
    Because taxes are everything and corporations rule the market, and since so many corporations are American they want every last penny they can get for themselves.

    Also, I don't think you'll find that many conservatives here in the PRSI- no more than the usual few. While they are smaller in number, they tend to be much louder and outwardly opinionated.
     
  3. JoeG4 thread starter macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    I think public things are way cheaper in the long run - true, they have plenty of "extra employees" and (the conservative's favorite word) bureaucracy, but their favorite large companies also have all of that AND an extremely greedy, short sighted, careless board of directors.

    Anyway.. back to the topic.. where do we get free trade?
     
  4. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    They may not be in PRSI, but they are on this forum. Go check out the thread in the main section about Apple giving 1 million shares to its executives as a bonus...some of that stuff makes Glenn Beck look like Che Guevara.
     
  5. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    I know what you mean, I thought region free was one of the plus points of Blu-ray... guess that didn't work out. Trading barriers like import duties don't help. It could be so much better.

    I guess the 100 post requirement for PRSI means a lot of them get distracted by shiny things and never become eligible to post here! :D
     
  6. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    What is free trade? How do you prevent someone from running a heavily subsidized business in another country and then under the guise of free trade, they shut down the same businesses in your country?

    Job protection is the basic premise behind trade restrictions.

    If Mexico as a nation decided it wanted the US auto market, they could - for example - sell cars for $1000 each for the next ten years, and put every US auto maker out of business, and put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

    Would that be free trade?
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    No. That would be illegal dumping at below cost.
     
  8. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Illegal under what law? US law doesn't apply to Mexico.

    You want free trade or you want some world body to regulate trade?
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules.
     
  10. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    As well as the WTO rules anywhere those cars were sold in significant numbers would require a company to have a presence there. Then competition law kicks in. I know the EU has laws about predatory pricing. I expect many other jurisdictions do as well, it's a common law to have.
     
  11. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    You honestly think the WTO=Fair Trade?

    You realize that they create rules and then grant exclusions and exemptions in the name of fairness, arbitrated by the WTO Secretariat and not the membership.

    Developing countries are most often exempted from following some or all of the rules. This is fair only with a small "f." These exclusions are most often called implementation delays, however they are habitually extended to the point where they are permanent.

    Trade is still regulated, just by a body with a different agenda.

    So how do you define Fair Trade? What makes it fair?
     
  12. iStudentUK, Nov 9, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

    iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #12
    We are talking about free trade, not fair trade. Quite different.

    As is said above, predatory pricing is prohibited in many jurisdictions. I know a bit about it in the EU, and a quick google search says the US has laws on the subject too. It doesn't matter if it's a Mexican company (per your example) the law that applies is where it's trading.

    Free trade doesn't mean no laws! It's about allowing free movement of goods with minimal restrictions and duties on imports. See-

    [​IMG]
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    :D

    And they hear that PRSI is populated by people who would probably hand them their head back on a silver platter.

    It is definitely not for the faint of heart.

    And Free Trade is really Free Corporate Trade, not Free Personal Trade.

    Fair Trade is more a political movement, by choice of individual "subscription".
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    I could be wrong, but I thought that many national laws (like DMCA in the US) that protect copyrights and essentially limit the sorts of grey market sales you are describing, were essentially put in place in order to satisfy WTO requirements? Moreover, I thought many countries that hadn't had these kind of restrictions (particularly Asian countries in WTO) essentially got their arms twisted by WTO to put these in place?

    When it comes to things like buying/selling cars, free trade isn't exactly the limiting factor as far as the consumer is concerned. The problem is that many countries (and in big countries like the US, some states or provinces) have their own independent requirements for "safe" products that are marketable. This means that just allowing anyone to bring in any outside product could have unforeseen consequences. For cars this may be crash safety or incompatibility with gas pumps or what have you. It could also mean unmanaged non-native species invasion for plant and animal goods, putting a cell phone in the hands of a user that isn't able to place 911/emergency calls properly, etc.

    In those kinds of cases, is the thing to do de-regulation so that trade is "free," or creation of universal regulations so that the playing field is "level" and the issue goes away (e.g., the move in the US to go back to 50-states automotive standards instead of having separate requirements driven by California or other population-dense states)?
     
  15. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    Well I'm coming at things from an EU perspective (as I live there and have studied EU law). Here the competition rules are reasonably strict, and the EU Competition Commission seems to be more aggressive than their US counterparts.

    I'd say something like safety requirements could be harmonised between places like the EU, North America, Japan, Australia/NZ etc (indeed in the EU there is a presumption that once a product can be sold in one EU state it can be sold in all the others). Broadly speaking people don't all seem to be killed by unsafe merchandise in those countries, so we all have decent standards! Whether we could all agree on the specifics is more difficult.

    I guess the more difficult issues are infrastructure and culture. Electrical sockets, imperial v metric etc. That's a massive barrier to overcome.
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Yes, I think that EU has fairly strict anti-competition laws, and if anything, yours became laxer to comply with WTO, whereas much of the rest of us tightened requirements (for example, India's patent law used to allow for patenting only a chemical manufacturing process, and not a chemical formula, and so any medication could be produced in generic if another manufacturer could find a different way to produce it -- arguably, in some ways, the Indian law was fairer than the international law, since someone might patent a chemical that the body itself creates, and that patent is arguably unfair because it would create a chokehold on a substance that might not have a synthetic analog or force rivals to create analogs with unknown chemical properties purely to get around the commercial issue).

    Yes, I think that something can grow organically out of commonization movements, like the US going back to a 50-states car policy (and potentially later to a US-CAN policy, etc) or the EU pushing for a standard plug connector on cell phones. Already, phones are so standardized that Apple only has two real models of the iPhone.
     
  17. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

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  18. Michaelgtrusa, Nov 10, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #18
    China dumps right!!! Tech we license to them.
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Well maybe.

    Both China and India have spent about 17 of the last 20 centuries as top dogs, so largely their success is returning to form.

    With regards to currency value China has had higher inflation than the US and it has been strengthening so their currency has been getting stronger. Maybe its still undervalued, but its not going to be that significant.

    The Chinese have been spending a whole bunch of money bringing themselves up, they have world-class infrastructure and in some cities world leading education too. They have mostly done well for being competent.

    They also value education and have savings - both of which strengthen their individual positions as well.
     
  20. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    "Free trade" can be a somewhat good thing, but, has significant problems as well. When two countries engage in free trade, but, one of the countries has a significantly unfree labor market, it can distort the labor market in the other, more free country. In fact, that seems to have been one of the major drivers for the wave of outsourcing during the last 20 years. Free trade is not a panacea.
     
  21. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    haha i have no idea how you came to that conclusion
     

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