"What would a progressive trade agenda look like"

I have a couple blogs on my Google Reader that are heavy on wonk, this is one of them, Dani Rodrik's weblog. Who is Dani Rodrik?

I am the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. I was born and grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. My most recent book is One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth (forthcoming from the Princeton University Press).

I always feel about two feet over my head when I read this blog, but I thought I would pass along his ideas for a Progressive Trade Agenda. I've shortened them since you should probably go read the whole thing over on his site, including the comments, which are nearly as long in some cases as the original post.

1. A progressive trade agenda would embrace globalization...Rather than rejecting globalization, a progressive would talk about a broader conception of globalization....

2. It would get real with the domestic social agenda...

3. It would base its proposals on the understanding that globalization anxiety...is also about incompatibilities between domestic values and norms....

4. Its orientation would be multilateral, not unilateral or bilateral...

5. It has to be progressive not just for “us,” but also for the rest of the world—in particular for developing countries. That means two things. First, we need to respect others’ need for “policy space” as much as want ours to be respected...Second, we need to elevate the role of democracy and human rights in the trade regime...

6. It would begin to chip away at the artificial distinction between the mobility of goods and capital, on the one hand, and the mobility of labor.

Well, what do you think? My thoughts coming in the comments.


thanks Robert

Thanks for posting this. Like you, I feel that these are complex issues that should not be carelessly simplified.

I agree with this:

It has to be progressive not just for “us,” but also for the rest of the world

We should do what we can to get other nations, as well as our own, to promote the human rights of workers. While I do not believe that certain jobs are inherently "American," I do believe that American and European products are made with a greater respect toward environmental concerns and workers rights.

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At a glance, it's FMF lite.

I'll look a little deeper later, but whenever I see this:

we need to elevate the role of democracy

my Neocon alarm starts to jingle.

For years, we've been simultaneously flogging some countries for seemingly minor non-Democratic behavior while ignoring the outrages of others.

I have no problem using trade as a tool to improve the lives (and freedoms) of others, but when that tool is wielded by profit-driven corporations, all bets are off.

. It would begin to chip away at the artificial distinction between the mobility of goods and capital, on the one hand, and the mobility of labor.

Has anyody seen the HBO documentary (I forget the title) about global warming that's running now? There's a segment about the emmissions of vehicles that transport goods to and fro, and it showed how the produce we eat travels an average of 1,500 miles before it makes it to our table.

A progressive trade agenda would/should have goods traveling the shortest distance possible, not taking a tour around the world.

THe "world View" goal is admirable and even attainable, but,....

The past 7 years of The Bush Presidency has done almost as much damage to our own country as it has the rest of the world, with the exception of China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Abu Dabi, Dubai and Egypt, who have all profited in a big way under the reign of President Bush.

Reconstructing relationships and regaining strength and credability throughout the world should be our first priority. I want to save the world too, believe me, but we must be able to save our now fragile democracy first.

Two potential enemies, China and Saudia, hold a significant portion of our National Debt. Combined , the two hold around 4.5 TRILLION of our debt. (Hence, no outcry from the White House about dangerous goods from China), or the fact athat 50% of all foreign prisoners in Iraq are SAUDI.
We must recontruct our debt portfolio and transfer as much as possible.

At the end of Bill Clintons presidency, we were well postured to open many doors in the world and make many more alliences and friends. Bush ended that by squandering our good will and our reputation.

Right now our legs are broken......We should not expect to run a marathon anytime soon....But we will.....We will again.

The next 10 years will correct that hopefully and we all can move the agenda forward by caring and determining in our minds and hearts that 2000-2008 will never happen again in America.

Our very BEST days are before us.....There CAN be peace on earth.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I read these figures on an online report...

I will dig it up again and post it.

In that report the largest holders of our debt were Japan, saudi Arabia and China. there were others listed.

I specificlly remember that China was holding 1.6 Trillion. I will track it back down and write a blog about it.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I found part of where I got the figures

In FORBES April 4th 2006 the China US asset (not including realestate in the US) breakdown was:
295.4 Billion in US Treasury bills
853.7 Billion in Cash reserves (Small amount of that was not US Dollars)
201.0 Trade surplus for that quarter ..... That is where I got the the 1.6 Trillion in Holdings.
Not all of it is debt. You are right.

At that time the Chinese market held 1,350.1 Billions in leverage with the US.
That is 1.3 Trillion.

My information was a little old. I should review more often. Actually the figure is greater today in regards to the Treasury Bills and the Trade surplus has risen significantly since then.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Our debt to China is a huge problem,

but I'm actually more concerned about an issue that's being relatively ignored (in the U.S., anyway), that being their enormous appetite for raw materials.

So, here's the deal: let's say small country x gets a loan from the World Bank (or a private lender) for the construction of a refinery. Their business plan allocates a certain amount for the materials for said construction, with a specific target date when loan payments start becoming due. Unfortunately, China has aquired 75% of the entire world's concrete supplies, so country x has to wait their turn to pay three times as much for the concrete they need (if they can even get it). Hiccups in raw material supplies also cause huge labor problems, delays eat up valuable seasonal construction windows, etc. Pretty soon country x is so far behind on loan payments the refinery (if it is ever finished) can no longer break even.

Failed economic policies (can) eventually lead to internal strife and even civil war, but nobody blames the missing concrete.

I've got one word for you son...."cement"

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.