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Texas Has Most to Win or Lose with NAFTA Renegotiation

Guest Column: Texas has 380,000 jobs tied to trade with Mexico

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Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

In his 1992 independent run for president, Dallas businessman Ross Perot warned of a “giant sucking sound” from South of the border, taking jobs from Americans as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Today, we hear arguments from both the left and right about why we would be better off without NAFTA.  These range from what some call the “theft” of American jobs to concerns over the rising income inequality between the rich and the poor. Still, President Trump has made many involved in trade nervous with his threats to withdraw NAFTA if he does not like the outcome of negotiations to update the agreement.

But whether you are a banker in Dallas or a farmer in Lubbock, make no mistake—withdrawing from NAFTA would be devastating for Texas.

Not only is Mexico the Lone Star State’s largest trading partner, but more than 380,000 jobs in Texas directly depend on trade with Mexico.

These jobs are in industries ranging from manufacturing to agriculture to electronics. Many are found in the more than 125,000 small and medium-sized Texas businesses that shipped products and provided services to Mexico and Canada last year.

Thanks to NAFTA, Texas’s export economy skyrocketed. We currently run a trade surplus with both Mexico and Canada, and more than 75 percent of U.S.-Mexico land trade crosses the border somewhere in Texas. Last year, Texas alone sent more than $125 billion in goods alone to our North American trading partners.

Unfortunately, these benefits get lost during the renegotiation process in favor of political posturing and calls for the U.S. to walk away from NAFTA. The president has spoken about negotiating two separate bilateral treaties, but it is not clear that either Mexico or Canada would be interested, and with elections in both the U.S. and Mexico in 2018, it is unlikely any such deal could be struck in the next twelve to eighteen months.

If the U.S. walks away from NAFTA, it gets more expensive to buy and sell goods and everyone is worse off. For example, if  the agreement is terminated, then under current WTO tariff rates, rates for goods coming into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico would increase to an average 3.5 percent, while the rates for U.S. exports to Canada would rise to an average 4.2 percent and for goods going to Mexico, they would increase an average 7.5 percent.

What happens when tariffs hit multinational assembly lines, some of which cross the border a half a dozen times?  Do businesses maintain the status quo and pay the tariff at each stage of the process?  Do businesses move the entire production to the United States and pay Canada and Mexico’s higher tariffs for a final product?  Or do they relocate to a country with cheaper labor—perhaps outside North America altogether—and pay the United States’ lower import rate?

Thousands of executives across the state are asking themselves these questions as a NAFTA withdrawal becomes increasingly possible.

The politics of fear that has stemmed from free trade is currently being given preferential treatment over jobs and economic growth. To combat this, the Texas–Mexico Trade Coalition and its members are raising awareness about the positive, demonstrable benefits of NAFTA, making sure elected officials and policy makers know that the Texas without NAFTA is a less prosperous, less competitive place to do business.

Justin Yancy is President of the Texas Business Leadership Council. Opinions expressed by Texas Monthly guest columnists are their own.

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  • JSul

    Facts get lost in the rhetoric spouted by our Orange Faced King of Mendacity.
    Trump is making America isolated from the world.
    Meanwhile, Mexico and Canada will continue to seek and sign deals with other nations…..and China continues on its path of dominance by making trade deals with many countries, increasing their influence globally.

    Truly a sad day that 70k voters across several swing states gave idiot Trump an electoral college win, while being smoked by over 3 million votes in the popular count.

  • SeeItMyWay

    For every guest columnist like the one here, who is being paid to promote his association’s opinion, there are small business exporters like myself who know that NAFTA and other trade deals are unfair and biased in favor of large, multinational corporations working toward a globalized economic structure.

    I have posted the specifics of my personal unfair tariff experiences here several times.

    Is anyone suggesting that NAFTA totally be dumped? That is never going happen. What Trump and others want to see is tariff deals made more equitable. This includes me.

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    • Jed

      “Is anyone suggesting that NAFTA totally be dumped? ”

      you mean besides president* trump?

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-says-us-could-dump-nafta-make-trade-deal-with-canada-but-not-mexico-2017-10-11

      “President Donald Trump, speaking alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, opened the door to separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and repeated his warnings that the U.S. could withdraw from the pact.”

      • SeeItMyWay

        As if you knew something about negotiating or the business world.

        • Jed

          you made an assertion. i disproved it.

          i don’t need any special knowledge to do that, only the ability to read and quote.

          once again, you show you’re not up to reality. but keep being a jerk. you have that nailed.

          • WUSRPH

            I had hoped he would at least read the NAFTA briefing designed for children before he started up again……It might have helped him understand things just a bit…

        • SpiritofPearl

          You don’t have to dig a hole to know how to dig a hole . . .

          • SeeItMyWay

            Is that like, “You don’t have to drive a car to know how to drive a car.”

            “You don’t have to know how inequitable some of our trade tariff deals are by personally losing business because of them; you can just go read what someone in the NYT’s or WaPo writes about them and know what JJ has to say is complete bullshit.” That where you are coming from? I can live with it…and it shows me more about what a disfunctional “intellectual” acts like.

  • WUSRPH

    An excellent article on where Trump’s trade policy is taking us….It should be noted that within hours of his “America First” speech the Asian nations announced a trade deal WITHOUT THE US. All he has accomplished is to make China more important.

    http://tinyurl.com/ya9awvbx

    • SeeItMyWay

      You are a champion of repeating what someone says and stating it as fact…if it promotes your position. This wapo piece is a hatchet job and nothing more. No facts anywhere, other than the fact Asian nations have formed an agreement amongst themselves. So what? If you had actually been involved with import/export once upon a time, instead of just reading about it, you might have a better understanding of what the gripes are.

      • SpiritofPearl

        When Trump pulled out of the TPP because he thinks he can annihilate Obama’s legacy, he essentially ceded Asia to China. That was stupid and we will all pay the price down the road.

        • SeeItMyWay

          Pearl, you read too much propaganda and, obviously, believe too much of it.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Ad hominem attacks again . . .

            Turn off your TV and talk radio and READ!

          • SeeItMyWay

            You think you are the only one who reads? I just don’t believe everything I read like you seem to. I prefer to rely on personal experiences.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You and Trump. How’s that working out for you?

            Do you read? I read rather than watching or listening to someone else who decides what I should know. I also read multiple LEGITIMATE sources across the political spectrum, then make my own decisions about what I believe. My personal experiences are not a valid lens through which to view the world as they are unique to me.

          • SeeItMyWay

            I love it when words like “legitimate” are used to describe one’s own reading choices as opposed to the opposition’s “illegitimate” choices. Furthermore, you don’t name your “legitimate” reads. I just get to take your word for it.

            I thought you were some sort of self proclaimed intellectual. I think you are reallly just an angry, biased, ideological liberal.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You don’t read at all.

          • SeeItMyWay

            If I read everything you do, would I think like you do?

          • WUSRPH

            I notice you did not suggest he THINK.

          • SpiritofPearl
      • BCinBCS

        JJ, you’re letting perfect be the enemy of good. Perfect is frequently not possible.

        • SeeItMyWay

          The correct word is “fair”, not “perfect”.

          • BCinBCS

            In every national trade deal, someone wins and someone loses. It is not possible for everyone to win. Those that do lose can claim that the deal is not “fair” but that is the nature of the deal.

          • WUSRPH

            A prime example is the American automobile industry which, admittedly, lost jobs to Mexico because of NAFTA (as it had earlier to Canada) but was able to save thousands and thousands of jobs in the US because by making parts in Mexico and assembling them here, it was able to stay price competitive with the foreign manufacturers. The only alternative was some kind of unworkable “autarky” that would have substantially increased the rate of inflation in the US.

          • WUSRPH

            What he wants is an “autarky” which would be devastating to the economy…..but you have to remember that under his prior identify one of his most creative solutions to the problem was that we guarantee the current salary and benefits to any middle-aged or older worker who might be being displaced by automation (or, in the rare event, jobs moving to a foreign country) until retirement age……..whether they are needed or not……It sounded a little bit like the “wage insurance” idea President Obama was talking about toward the end of his term but he hates Obama too much for that to be the case……or at least for him to admit it.

  • WUSRPH

    To add a little “perspective” (that word so hated by JJ):

    It should be noted that the 380,000 jobs talked about in his post are ONLY THOSE DIRECTLY AFFECTED by NAFTA and trade with Mexico. As most economists will tell you, each of these jobs in turn has a impact on several more jobs (in some cases four or more) in the stores from which they purchase goods, in the rents they pay, the fuel they buy and so on and so on…..As such, in reality we are probably talking about somewhere near ONE MILLION or more jobs in TEXAS that would be effected should “Big Hands” cancel NAFTA just to show us he can.

    And that does not even begin to take into account the millions of more jobs across the country that will be impacted…

    • SeeItMyWay

      All of this is anecdotal garbage. Some guy with a trade association wrote it; it takes your position, so you repeat it as fact, and then decide to add your own exaggerations to the tale. It grows old.

      • Jessica

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      • BCinBCS

        Is it your position, JJ, that loss of jobs directly attributed to the repeal of NAFTA would not affect ancillary jobs?

        • SeeItMyWay

          Never said that. Also do not believe that NAFTA will ever be repealed, nor should it be. It needs to be made more equitable. Whoever negotiated for the U.S. was a loon.

  • WUSRPH

    Since most NAFTA critics, including Trump, seem to know little about it…..relying on a few unconnected and unanalyzed anecdotes and “alternative facts”, I thought I’d give them a chance to learn something. Below are links to various articles and studies on the impact of NAFTA….from such groups as the US Chamber of Commerce to the Wharton School of Business which (probably to its regret) includes Donald Trump as a graduate. For those with very limited knowledge of economics (and less willingness to learn) I have even included one specifically designed for children.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/09/15/unpacking-trumps-alternative-facts-on-nafta/

    https://www.statista.com/topics/3464/north-american-free-trade-agreement/

    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/naftas-impact-u-s-economy-facts/

    http://www.american-historama.org/1990-present-modern-era/nafta.htm

    I, of course, fully expect that these studies and articles will be condemned without reading them for representing only the by paid for views of those with a vested interest…..but that is what happens when you are dealing with closed minds.

    • BCinBCS

      I, of course, fully expect that these studies and articles will be condemned without reading them for representing only the by paid for views of those with a vested interest….

      What else would you expect from that bastion of liberalism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?
      /s

      • WUSRPH

        I was at least hoping JJ would read the one that is appropriate for his level of understanding of economics…They tried to make it very simple.

  • WUSRPH

    One interesting point about Trump’s total lack of knowledge is that when he withdrew us from the TPP he claimed that it did not protect our workers enough….BUT when his negotiators submitted information to Congress they specifically included the workers protections provisions from the TPP as what they wanted from Mexico and Canada. Of course, you can’t expect The Donald to know what was in it….

    • SpiritofPearl

      He thinks the Japanese should build their factories in the U.S. . . .

      • Judith

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
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  • WUSRPH

    I started to make a remark that would have put me in the same class of person as JJ…..but I won’t allow myself to stoop that low.

    • WUSRPH

      Actually, based on the list of people JJ hates or has condemned as liars, cheats, thieves and bought as well as numerous other personal attacks on various people and posters and on their character and behavior , I am happy to be added to the list. I, however, will not hate him. That would elevate him to a level to which he is not qualified. All I can do for him is feel pity for such an obviously unhappy and disagreeable person.

      • WUSRPH

        I hear that JJ has had another convenient memory lapse…and is now “adjusting” his position on Straus running for office this year back by “Big Business'” millions. He was somehow able to erase all this postings as JJ so that he could “remember” things the way he wanted to without being challenged, but he forgot to do that for his new identity. Here is just the lasted of his several posts on the subject;

        “It is all about money, Professor Pedant…waking up the angry, calling them in, getting them involved, and getting them to local precinct meetings. How do you think Dunn’s group got started?

        It is fairly obvious to me that big business money in Texas no longer supports business as usual. Straus made a couple of subtle public comments on this right before he announced he would not run again. You think Straus is a quitter? I don’t.

        I think he has been one of the most measured thinkers we have ever had in Texas politics. I don’t think that he is leaving office without a gameplan, backed by big move’ers and shake’ers in big business, capable of contributing much more than what Dunn and the Wilke’s have funneled into their radical PAC’s.

        I am making a prognostication here. You can emphatically state that I am wrong. We shall see.

        • WUSRPH

          And here are two others including an SPECFIC prediction that Straus would run for governor or lt. governor. JJ needs to talk to his doctor about his memory problems:

          “I find it hard to believe that Straus is simply a quitter. I prefer to think he
          has been huddling with other heavyweights to plan and coordinate an “equal and opposite reaction” to the force of the pendulum smacking many of us in the face the last several years. This thought offers me hope…and, as I have stated before, moderate Texas Dem’s would be ignorant not to get onboard with this group. Their party is all but dead in Texas.”

          “Hell, for once, I agree. You radical loons don’t have the majoriy’s ear. The majority of Texas Repub’s have been tuned out. The crazies have gotten a stronghold while the rest closed their eyes and ears to it all…but then you got too big for your britches and pissed off Big Business…other than Big Insurance, who dropped a million or so thru the TLR into Abbott’s and Patrick’s accounts. Straus is coming after you; he is not quitting. He will run for Gov, or I hope, Lt Gov, with Big Businesses’ $ and a propaganda campaign to offset the blather ET puts out. Big Businesses’s money up against the Wilkes’ and Dunn’s. That’s a fair fight. Asleep at the Wheel moderate Repub’s, along with Moderate Dem’s ought to prove to be quite a match”.

  • Jed

    dude. the quote i cited was from president trump., in direct contravention to your own point. everything else you say is just noise.

    • SeeItMyWay

      You are just an angry ex-“educator”.

      Trump is a childish loon, but the campaign platform that I voted for is still alive and moving forward…if at a snails pace.

      Not all illegals will be deported; trade will not end; and, and…

  • Jed

    um, yeah?

    if i get rid of my pants and replace them with something else (even other pants), i am getting rid of my pants.

    wow.

    • SeeItMyWay

      You were a college educator? Really?

      How about “replacing” instead of “dumping”, “getting rid of”, “doing away with” or “abolishing”?

      If trade totally ceased and no goods were imported or exported into and out of Mexico and Canada, then your exaggerated rhetoric would hold water.

  • WUSRPH

    I was at a meeting tonight and turned on my phone and went to this blog to find that when I use the phone it expose me to both JJ and the Troll’s blabbering……I was sorry to see that he is continuing to personally attack anyone who dares to disagree with him. I see that he is also proclaiming that he knows better than anyone else based on his personal experience as a businessman.

    Let me ask one somewhat nasty question:

    Would you prefer to accept the opinion of a series of professors from the highly esteemed Wharton School of Business on the impact and good and bad points of NAFTA

    OR

    The unsubstantiated anecdotes and opinions of a businessman for whom–by his own admissions in posts on this blog—the highpoints of his distinguished business career were running a “titty bar” in Houston and sitting there while his business of peddling sandwiches and peanuts to airlines collapsed around him because he too dense to comprehend see the changing nature of the airline business?

    • SeeItMyWay

      You do know that our posts are not required reading, don’t you? The fact is, you just can’t help yourself. Sticking your head in the sand does no good anyway…I will still be commenting on your posts. Never have figured out why anyone thinks they are hurting a poster by blocking them.

      • BCinBCS

        JJ, I have only blocked JBB and all of those ads touting getting rich with Google. Not having my blood pressure spike every time I read one of The Trolls lies, misstatements, obfuscations and misunderstandings is a wonderful relief. To be able to block someone is a necessity.

        • SpiritofPearl

          I have a low tolerance for irrationality.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Most ideologues do. Everything they disagree with is labeled as such. Positions are backed up, not by fact, but often by skewed pieces written by someone with the same biases.

  • SpiritofPearl

    I’ve learned more from him about Texas than I have from you.

    Turn off Hannity. Do your homework.

    http://www.inc.com/empact/bill-gates-warren-buffett-and-oprah-all-use-the-5-hour-rule.html

    • SeeItMyWay

      Pearl, I haven’t watched anything on FOX for several months now. I hardly watch TV at all. Find another attack mode. I simply disagree with most of what you have to say. Live with it.

  • SeeItMyWay

    It certainly makes one more qualified to speak on the subject than you three.

  • WUSRPH

    Jeff Sessions apparently uses a different version of the judicial oath:
    His apparently is: “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but only when you remind me of what I did not tell you last time. So help me God”

  • WUSRPH

    Did you see where Trump told the Filipino president that he will return an otherwise unidentified Filipino refuge to the US to the Philippine government because he knows it “follows the rule of law”……and this to a man who brags about murdering people in the street.

    Some of us remember what happened when a Filipino leader who was on the outs with that countries then barbarian president went home. Will this make Trump an accessory to murder if something similar happens this
    time?

  • WUSRPH

    Another “domestic abuse” mass murderer…..but it is all okay….VP Pence is “praying” for them again……I wonder if he will ever get off his knees and figure out that GOD gave him a mind (sic) and the ability to do something about these tragedies than just pray.

  • WUSRPH

    You might remember the several times JJ has expressed his latest political fantasy about how “Bib Business” was going to swoop down and save us all from the evil Empower Texans, etc….,by pouring millions into a governor’s race by Joe Straus…..I, however, questioned his all-knowing self by suggesting that if business wanted to have any influence it would concentrate on carefully selected races….which he condemned as totally wrong, along with his usual insults.. Now the filing deadline isn’t till Dec. 11th so there is still a chance his firm prediction will come true….(and Trump may also tell the truth about something, too). BUT:

    From the Quorum Report:

    :

    November 14, 2017 5:21 PM

    TAB sets sights on rebuilding pro-business Legislature, one primary race at a time

    “There has been an attitude as long as the Republican Party had a majority, that we could all show up in the general election. We didn’t have to be so involved in the primaries…But our board realizes those days are gone”

    A lawmaker report card is only one of a number of steps the Texas Association of Business is ready to take to make sure the 86th legislature is not another anti-business session.

    Business leaders say they too often saw lawmakers working at cross purposes with them on key business issues: a pitched battle over the so-called bathroom bill; another round of sanctuary cities legislation; and an attempt to reverse course on incentive programs under Chapter 313.

    TAB, like many non-profit associations, keeps something of a firewall between its PAC and its membership, but the board’s new mandate is clear: Get active in the Republican primaries. So CEO Jeff Moseley is doubling down on the fundamentals.

    The rest of the story, subscribers only

    By Kimberly Reeves

    • SeeItMyWay

      All I said was that Texas business was going to fight back and I thought that Straus was involved with prodding them…that I thought these business guys had plans for Straus down the road. You told me I was crazy. You are a horrible prognosticator.

  • BCinBCS

    What could [V.P. Pence] do? What could he have done?

    Well JJ, he could have even more thoughts and prayers:

    .
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a82483c4282b90eb75de06a6f07558a9df2003d82b6f72bb9e933927d259c3b7.jpg

    • SpiritofPearl

      Hoosiers know him as “Mike Dense.” Trump saved him from ignominy.

    • SeeItMyWay

      That’s your answer??? Since your supreme leader has his head stuck in the sand, why don’t you supply an answer?

      The Repub’s made the mistake of screaming “repeal Obamacare” but did so without a viable replacement plan; now you Dem’s are doing the same with gun control. What do you propose?

      • BCinBCS

        Unlike the Republicans with Obamacare repeal, Democrats have several proposals that they have tried to pass. They include:
        1) Ending the gun show loop-hole were anyone, terrorist, abuser, mentally ill, etc. can purchase a weapon without a background check;
        2) Requiring the reporting of individuals with mental illness and domestic abuse to the national database;
        3) Outlawing bump stocks;
        4) Limiting the capacity of magazines;
        5) Eliminating the rule prohibiting it and restoring the funding so the CDC and other government agencies can study and recommend solutions to gun violence.

        JJ, there’s five simple, specific recommendations off of the top of my head.
        BTW, who is my “supreme leader”?

  • WUSRPH

    If Roy Moore wins there is little doubt that the GOP will seat him….they are too desperate to care about what he may have done…a few may not rush to embrace him and one or wo may not shake his hand….but at least you
    would hope they would prohibit young girl pages from running errands to his office.

  • WUSRPH

    Trump had a lot of nasty things to say about “Big Pharma” (drug companies) when he was running….but since then he has appointed a bunch of them…..including now to head HHS, the agency most involved with them…..In theory, it could be like FDR when he nominated Joe Kennedy to head the SEC (put a crook to control crooks)…..or, more likely, it is just Trump showing his true colors.

    BYW, did you see where the Senate tax bill now makes the corporate tax cuts PERMANENT….but those for the consumer are only TEMPORARY…..talk about showing your true colors.

  • SpiritofPearl

    This is what happens when incompetents are in charge:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2017/11/15/trump-asia/

    • SeeItMyWay

      Another opinion piece written by a guy Trump had a squabble with. You project doom and gloom based on what this guy has to say. I don’t.

      Did you know that China’s hot economy started cooling off last year, and continues to get cooler this year? They need us more than we need them. So does Japan, Korea, Australia and others.

      I’m not sure how this will turn out, but I am glad to see someone at least telling it like it is.

      You think everyone is going to like it? You expect the former Aussie PM to speak highly of Trump when he is pounding on Australia, along with the others, as having had an unfair trade advantage for decades? Not me. He’s pissed.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Did you read the article? Betcha not.

        • SeeItMyWay

          Yes, I did. As soon as you posted it. Why would you make that statement? Just because I didn’t buy it hook, line and sinker? Because I mentioned several reasons why the PM might feel inclined to bad mouth Trump and his positions on unfair trade? Why do you believe him?

          • SpiritofPearl

            You didn’t mention ANY reasons. “Unfair trade”? Unfair to whom?

          • SeeItMyWay

            Trump hammered their current PM, and when Trump says unfair trade, and points a finger, it is at the Aussie’s, too. No one in Asia, likes him much, unless it is Abe in Japan. With the Fatboy in N. Korea acting up, Abe is going to say “yes, sir” and “no,sir” to Trump.

          • SpiritofPearl

            The author of the article, Kevin Rudd is the FORMER PM. Trump “hammered” Malcolm Turnbull, the current PM on the phone shortly after he was inaugurated.

            Trump can’t have his way, then performs like a brat in retaliation. Let’s not call this “negotiation.” It’s simply performance art for the bubbas. He does sword dances with our enemies while insulting our friends.

            Learn about the conditions in China that motivate their policies. Trump is being played by much shrewder, much more calculating actors than he will ever be.

          • SeeItMyWay

            I get it, Pearl. You hate Trump. So does the NYT’s, WaPo and the majority of major media. You are all going to chirp the same tune.

            What were his goals? Did he expect to come home with some major announcements? Some unexpected deals? I don’t think so.

            I think he reiterated that the U.S. expects trade deals to be fair and not lopsided. He held the line. What difference does it make if the Asians entered into their own little trade package? Whoopie!

            I like his standing firm. You don’t like him, period. I get that. Do you think that posting links to biased reporting is going to have me thinking like you?

          • SpiritofPearl

            “Biased”? Where do YOU get your information? You’ve always been very closety about that. I’m guessing Rish, Hannity, and InfoWars.

            Trump is selling out our country to the highest bidder to line his own pockets. You have been had.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Got proof? Nope…just an opinion. It differs from mine.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You still refuse to name your sources. Or do you have any sources?

          • WUSRPH

            We all long ago learned that facts and figures mean nothing to JJ…..he only believes what his putrid imagination produces. But it anyone else is interested in reality, they might find these sites of interest:

            https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top1611yr.html

            http://www.businessinsider.com/us-trade-surpluses-2017-2

            https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/index.html

          • SeeItMyWay

            Jeeez, the old Professor does a great job of making my point for me. Anyone actually open the links he listed. The trade imbalances are staggering starting with China and running down a list of all the major industrialized nations in the world. Only when we get to Hong Kong, which only accounts for 2.4% of our worldwide exports, do we get to a country where we have a trade surplus.

            Interesting stuff, Professor. Thanks for posting.

          • WUSRPH

            One of the oldest rules of education is that when you are dealing with a person who knows nothing about the subject you start out at the beginning and work them slowly up the level of complexity as they are able (or willing) to comprehend it. You don’t start teaching someone how to read by giving them a copy of Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. You start with the alphabet and gradually show them how the letters fit together into words and the words into sentences and finally into complete thoughts. Part of that also involves the intellectual age and mental maturity of the pupil. Sometimes a person who is not yet intellectually prepared to understand somethings stumbles across some piece of information that they are still incapable of fully understanding or, in some cases, of doing more than reciti8ng them with no concept of what they mean. When you fail to do that it is sort of like handing a loaded gun to a child without any training in gun safety or their ability to comprehend the danger.
            Earlier today I posted a series of sites that will take you to the raw numbers of the balance of trade between the US and its trading partners. They were intended to be of sue to people who had the intellectual ability to understand them and to, among other things, understand that there are many things behind the “raw numbers” that need to be taken into account such as the nature of the trade (raw goods, finished products, the value added after the goods or services have been exchanged, the jobs created by the export or import, etc.. But I am afraid that, in doing so, I did not give enough thought to the possibility that someone with no demonstrated ability to understand them—JJ for example—would stumble upon them and, as is his practice, misuse and misunderstand the information he received.
            Although it is probably better that he has access to facts, rather than his made-up claims about Australia, for example, I am afraid we will know see him making many more misleading and unanalyzed charges with this information.
            In education they handle this kind of a situation by not making information available on a staggered basis with the pupil learning more as they grow older and more mature….but, unfortunately in this case, that is not possible on a blog like this that is open to anyone. So, when you see him doing this take into account the fact that he is just spouting numbers he does not understand.

          • WUSRPH

            I know that is a waste of time to expect a concerted mind to explore new information to try to learn something about the impact of trade—import and export—on the US economy when it is so much easier to regurgitate a number off a table even when you do not understand what lies behind that number….BUT I have this naïve hope (more of a wish) that there might be as much of a half-of-one percent of a chance. So here are some informative sites:

            https://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/employment/index.asp

            https://www.uschamber.com/international/international-policy/benefits-international-trade

            http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/27/news/economy/nafta-14-million-american-jobs/index.html

            http://businessroundtable.org/sites/default/files/reports/TradeAndJobs2014Update.PDF

          • BCinBCS

            Ouch!

          • SeeItMyWay

            To find a U.S. trade surplus, you have to scroll down all the way to HongKong, followed by the Netherlands. I repeat, HongKong accounts for only 2.4% of our export trade. When it comes to major importers/exporters, we have a trade deficit with all of them. That’s what the links you posted state. Not sure you even read them before you posted; I am sure you are still reading my posts though, and that really pleases me and makes me chuckle.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Sources for what? An opinion on Trump’s Asian trip? Let me ask you this…if you post a link to a WaPo piece by a former Aussie PM, do I have to post an offsetting link by another mainstream media guru in order to disagree with you…and the PM? Is it possible to watch, read and listen to a broad spectrum of sources and then formulate an opinion of my own?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Citations are verification that your opinion is not just a reflection of you blowing steam out your . . . um . . . nose.

            Frankly, I don’t give a horse’s patootie what your opinion is. What do you KNOW?

          • SeeItMyWay

            I could ask the same of you. What do you know…except what you read in the form of another’s opinion? Got any practical knowledge?

          • SpiritofPearl

            I post articles all the time. You never. I call your response ad hominem and defensive.

          • SeeItMyWay

            You post links to other’s opinions. I share my own most of the time…but to say I never post links is wrong.

          • SpiritofPearl

            So straight reportage you call “opinions”? And why should anyone be interested in your opinions?

            Here’s what you do. I’m not buying it:

            1) Diverting the argument to unrelated issues.
            2) Insulting someone’s character.
            3) Assuming the conclusion of an argument, kind of a circular reasoning, begging the question.
            4) Making jumps in logic.
            5] Identifying a false cause and effect.
            6) Asserting that everyone agrees (bandwagoning).
            7) Creating a false dilemma in which a situation is oversimplified.
            8) Selectively using facts.
            9) Making false or misleading comparisons.
            10) Generalizing quickly or sloppily.

          • SeeItMyWay

            That is a perfect summation of what I believe you do. And no one has proven better at insulting someone than those who were booted once upon a time, and it wasn’t me.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You never saw some of the nauseating little comments he left for me where no one was likely to see it, so I went for the jugular. I’d pay a lot of money to see the look on his face when he realized he was banned . . .

          • SpiritofPearl

            You still won’t cite your sources. Are you ashamed? Very closety . . .

          • SeeItMyWay

            Now you are getting foolish. Sources for what? My opinions? Mine are my own. I don’t just repeat others. When I share personal experiences, like the attempt to export to the UK when I found out how unfair some of our trade tarriffs are, it is discounted by you and your liberal, Hillary loving crowd, and you choose instead to quote and post links written by some paid trade association hack, or a columnist who has never imported or exported squat.

          • WUSRPH

            I wouldn’t want to let facts interfere with one of JJ’s ranks….but it might be worth nothing that Australia is one of those countries that he and Trump should be praising since we run an annual trade surplus with it and have for years…..It is the country that should be screaming about “fair” trade, not the U.S. But we don’t want to let little things like reality get in his way.

            https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c6021.html

          • SeeItMyWay

            I’m sorry. I guess I’m one of the weirdo’s who take in info from lots of sources, assimilates it and reaches a personal position based on what I’ve garnered. You will not find me posting a link very often because they are mostly opinion pieces offered up as reporting. There are no Walter Cronkite’s out there anymore, Pearl. You push links to positions you agree with and expect others to swallow them whole as you do. I’m not lining up to do that. Plenty of others here are.

          • SpiritofPearl

            From where do you “take in information from all sources”? What are those sources?

          • SeeItMyWay

            Texas Tribune, Texas Observer, Quorum Report (annual subscription), WaPo thru DMN subscription, FTW Star Telegram. Most info gathered from Quorum Report pieces, TT and WaPo, along with the current news app on my iPhone. On the tube, I watch a lot of ondemand documentaries, old movies and some sports and DIY channels. I read about one book a week, but most fiction.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Here’s one for you from Quorum Report:
            http://www.quorumreport.com/Quorum_Report_Daily_Buzz_2017/texas_business_leaders_tell_congress_nafta_should__buzziid27351.html

            Cornyn is telling Trump not to flush NAFTA…just update and modernize it.
            That works for me. Make it fair.

            We have a horrible trade imbalance. I should also point out that when I was exporting to some countries, the buyer would ask that I invoice them for an amount greater than the actual sales price. Many countries do not allow their citizens to move money out of their country unless some type of goods, services or capital equipment is shipped into the country to offset it. These guys wanted to buy houses, condos, etc in the states. If you wanted their business you did as they asked. Once money was wired into your bank account, you were expected to transfer the overcharged amount to an account set up by them at a U.S. bank in their name.

            South Africa has a raisin called a Sultana that is the sweetest I’ve ever tasted. It also has thin, tender skin. The U.S. has an agreement with the South Africans that allows them to ship Ag products into the U.S. duty free, but you cannot find a Sultana here because the U.S. raisin producers have a stout lobby and have pushed U.S. Customs to arbitrarily stop and hold imported raisins for testing for banned insecticides which the SA’s do not even use. Customs often holds the shipment for months. Not only does this tie up the buyer’s and/or seller’s money, the raisin quality also deteriorates; thus you find none of the better tasting imports here.

            You learn about either of these very real type scenarios in any of the books, or mainstream media pieces you read?

            I shared the attempt to export cookies to the UK with all of you here, and my attempts to get answers regarding to unfair tariffs. I have offered up these other two examples of a screwed up import/export system.

            You can believe me, or not; I could care less. It seems you prefer to turn to pieces written by paid shills, or a sophmoric piece written by a biased reporter who garnered his/her info from a big corp, association head or the government.

            I chose to go with what I have personally experienced.

          • BCinBCS

            I’m reluctant to get into this squabble but I cannot fathom your position, JJ. Please cite anything that Comrade Trump has done that benefits the U.S. You are the one who has swallowed Traitor Trump and his incompetence hook, line and sinker.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Well, if you are referring to passed legislation, the answer is “not much”…but, his election did stop the bleeding and important issues are being addressed. I consider it very positive that Hillary is not our President. That’s enough for me.

          • BCinBCS

            Your tribalism is so intense that you are okay with total incompetence. There is a lot that I don’t like about HRC but she is imminently qualified for the presidency versus the traitor who now occupies it.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Wikipedia…”At times, the term traitor has been used as a political epithet, regardless of any verifiable treasonable action. In a civil war or insurrection, the winners may deem the losers to be traitors. Likewise the term traitor is used in heated political discussion – typically as a slur against political dissidents, or against officials in power who are perceived as failing to act in the best interest of their constituents. In certain cases, as with the Dolchstoßlegende (Stab-in-the-back myth), the accusation of treason towards a large group of people can be a unifying political message. Treason is considered to be different and on many occasions a separate charge from “treasonable felony” in many parts of the world.

            Think you could have found a better word.

          • BCinBCS

            Think you could have found a better word.

            No, Wikipedia summed up what I meant very nicely.

  • WUSRPH

    I’ve started a special fund drive to cover JJ’s expenses for a new pair of pants and treatment of the burns he must have suffered with his post below responding to my post of what big business was going to do in the election. Anybody want to make a contribution?

    • SeeItMyWay

      Old Professor Pedant makes my point for me. Why would I want to delete any posts? The TX business community is turning away from the radical TP’ers. They are backing challengers in local elections. I think they will be backing Straus for Gov or Lt Gov.

      The Professor’s first comment on my prognostication was that Texas business would never take a chance on hacking off Abbott and Patrick. Well, they obviously are.

      I’m beginning to feel sorry for the guy.

    • WUSRPH

      I hear that JJ is now denying what the wrote:

      “Straus is coming after you; he is not quitting. He will run for Gov, or I hope, Lt Gov, with Big Businesses’ $ and a propaganda campaign to offset the blather ET puts out. Big Businesses’s money up against the Wilkes’ and Dunn’s. That’s a fair fight. Asleep at the Wheel moderate Repub’s, along with Moderate Dem’s ought to prove to be quite a match”.

      I guess his memory problem has now grown into one that makes it impossible for him to read what he wrote…..or maybe he is demonstrating the limited extent of his integrity. He’s call anyone else who refused to admit the truth a liar and question their integrity. But I won’t do that. I just think he needs to see a doctor about his increasing lack of mental skills.

      • WUSRPH

        Now..I want to be fair to JJ….As I pointed out last night the filing deadline is not until Dec. 11 so there is still a chance (sic) that he will still turn out to be the greatest political predictor in Texas history, even if he has to pass Straus’ filing fee to do it. Then of course all his memory and reading problems will have been miraculously healed.

        And you wonder why I blocked him.

        • WUSRPH

          I gather he is still trying to weasel his way away from his “prediction”…but you know actually I kind of hope JJ’s fantasy comes true.

          Think of it, JJ takes a idea planted in his mind by the title of the thread, and without any facts, figures, data, understanding of what is involved in a campaign or any form of contact with any of the parties involved and with a total lack of logic or reason runs it thru his putrid imagination and creates a FANTASY that comes true!

          It would be as great of an accomplishment (especially for him) as the 1000 monkeys typing away on 1000 typewriters producing a copy of Hamlet.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Yep…he’s gone round the bend. Obsessed, delusional, and still peeking. He’s never blocked anyone. He can’t help himself. This blog is his best friend…his platform…his stage. Sad. Really sad.

  • WUSRPH

    Of course, JJ isn’t the only big Trump backer with “convenient memory lapses”. We heard about Sessions’

    yesterday. Today we get the son-in-law:

    “Senate Judiciary panel: Kushner had contacts about WikiLeaks, Russian overtures he did not disclose.”
    I haven’t seen so many people suffering from sudden memory loss since Nixon’s top aides testified before the Watergate Committee……Maybe the three of them should try using the line Nixon’s aides did:

    “To the best of my recollection at this time.”

    It didn’t work for them either.

    • SpiritofPearl

      They all seem to have senile dementia. Don’t public servants have to be in possession of all their marbles? Not in Trumplandia where the fish dies at the head.

  • WUSRPH

    Please stop keeping me up to date on what JJ is saying…..I have no interest….especially since everything he says is so predictable and usually a clear example of his approach to all problems: Simple and Simplistic…..and usually wrong.

  • SpiritofPearl

    You are confused. Which four people have been “dumped”? I have info you don’t have.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Maybe so.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Robert Morrow, Booksie, and I are were banned. Blue Dogs wasn’t banned. He self-deported.