April 13, 2018
I hope this isn’t as bad as it looks.
Trump ran on an economic nationalist platform. That means no stupid free trade bullshit like NAFTA and the TPP. It means tariffs on our competitors to encourage local businesses.
So Trump talking about going back and entering the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal so hated that even Obama didn’t immediately sign off on it (presumably for fear of damaging his legacy), is surprising – at least at first glace.
It’s probably just a negotiation fakeout tactic to throw this out there. But he could also be reframing it in a way that it actually benefits us.
President Donald Trump mollified some of his most ardent trade critics on Thursday, opening up the door to re-engaging in a massive trade deal he campaigned against and reassuring them that a NAFTA renegotiation is on track.
After alarming free-trade Republicans with threats to levy tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports, Trump has reached a temporary truce with them. He told a group of farm-state senators, governors and House members that he directed economic adviser Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to examine whether re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact makes sense, a strong signal that he’s heard their concerns.
Okay, I guess that doesn’t really mean anything – he can just then say “oh, it didn’t make any sense, sorry.”
“He got it really loudly and clearly today from a lot of us,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of Republican leadership, after the meeting at the White House on Thursday. “If you want to send a message to China, the best way to do that is to start doing business with their competitors. So he was very open to it.”
Well, there may be a little something to that.
One big, but little understood roadblock to becoming independent from China is that the chinks are sitting on the world’s biggest supply of rare-earth metals. At this point, they basically have a monopoly on this precious resource. Without rare-earth metals, it’s impossible to manufacture electronics and other high-tech devices.
Without China’s rare-earth metals, you can kiss your Teslas goodbye.
A few years back, China had a dispute with Japan, and they ended up stopping all shipments of these resources, dealing a major blow to Japan’s electronics industry. We definitely don’t want the same thing to happen to America.
However, the game changed completely just a few days ago.
Researchers have found hundreds of years’ worth of critical rare-earth metals beneath Japanese waters — enough to supply to the world on a “semi-infinite basis,” according to a study published on Tuesday.
The materials sit in a roughly 965-square-mile Pacific Ocean seabed near Minamitorishima Island, which is located 1,150 miles southeast of Tokyo, according to the study published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports.
Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles, mobile phones and batteries, and the world has relied on China for almost all of its rare-earth material.
The seabed contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth oxides, according to the study. That’s equivalent to 780 years’ worth of yttrium supply, 620 years of europium, 420 years of terbium and 730 years of dysprosium, it added.
This is big, big news.
So – maybe just forget about China.
Keeping free trade with Japan – and Australia (and Canada) – would be fine. Really, any free trade with economically developed countries isn’t a problem.
The main problem with TPP is the inclusion of a bunch of third-world countries along with the US, Canada, Australia and Japan. Why would we need a free trade deal with Mexico or Vietnam?
We can’t possibly compete with their cheap labor, so it’s just a globalist plot to transfer wealth from the first world to the third.
Overall, trade is one place Trump’s been following through with his promises. So I’m not too worried.