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American Jobs & Chinese Tyres - Where the Rubber Meets the Road

User ID: 184057
New Zealand
09/16/2009 08:21 PM
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American Jobs & Chinese Tyres - Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Globalism vs. Americanism
Posted: September 15, 2009
Pat Buchannan
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

Down at the Chinese outlet store in Albany known as Wal-Mart, Chinese tires have so successfully undercut U.S.-made tires that the Cooper Tire factory in that south Georgia town had to shut down.

Twenty-one hundred Georgians lost their jobs.

The tale of Cooper Tire and what it portends is told in last week's Washington Post by Peter Whoriskey.

How could tires made on the other side of the world, then shipped to Albany, be sold for less than tires made in Albany?

Here's how.

At Cooper Tire, the wages were $18 to $21 per hour. In China, they are a fraction of that. The Albany factory is subject to U.S. health-and-safety, wage-and-hour and civil rights laws from which Chinese plants are exempt. Environmental standards had to be met at Cooper Tire or the plant would have been closed. Chinese factories are notorious polluters.

Want to show love of country by how you spend your money? Don't miss Roger Simmermaker's "How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism"

China won the competition because the 14th Amendment's "equal protection of the laws" does not apply to the People's Republic. While free trade laws grant China free and equal access to the U.S. market, China can pay workers wages and force them to work hours that would violate U.S. law, and China can operate plants whose health, safety and environmental standards would have their U.S. competitors shut down as public nuisances.

Beijing also manipulates its currency to keep export prices low and grants a rebate on its value-added tax on exports to the U.S.A., while imposing a value-added tax on goods coming from the U.S.A.

Thus did China, from 2004 to 2008, triple her share of the U.S. tire market from 5 percent to 17 percent and take down Cooper Tire of Albany.

But not to worry. Cooper Tire has seen the light and is now opening and acquiring plants in China, and sending Albany workers over to train the Chinese who took their jobs.

Welcome to 21st century America, where globalism has replaced patriotism as the civil religion of our corporate elites. As Thomas Jefferson reminded us, "Merchants have no country."

What has this meant to the republic that was once the most self-sufficient and independent in all of history?

Since 2001, when George Bush took the oath, the United States has run $3.8 trillion in trade deficits in manufactured goods, more than twice the $1.68 trillion in trade deficits we ran for imported oil and gas.

Our trade deficit with China in manufactured goods alone, $1.58 trillion over those eight years, roughly equals the entire U.S. trade deficit for oil and gas.

U.S. politicians never cease to wail of the need for "energy independence." But why is our dependence on the oil of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Nigeria, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela a greater concern than our dependence on a non-democratic rival great power for computers and vital components of our weapons systems and high-tech industries?

As Executive Director Auggie Tantillo of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Committee compellingly argues:

"Running a trade deficit for natural resources that the United States lacks is something that cannot be helped, but running a massive deficit in manmade products that America easily could produce itself is a choice – a poor choice that is bankrupting the country and responsible for the loss of millions of jobs."

How many millions of jobs?

In the George W. Bush years, we lost 5.3 million manufacturing jobs, one-fourth to one-third of all we had in 2001.

And our dependence on China is growing.

Where Beijing was responsible for 60 percent of the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods in 2008, in the first six months of 2009, China accounted for 79 percent of our trade deficit in manufactured goods.

How can we end this dependency and begin building factories and creating jobs here, rather than deepening our dependency on a China that seeks to take our place in the sun? The same way Alexander Hamilton did, when we Americans produced almost nothing and were even more dependent on Great Britain than we are on China today.

Let us do unto our trading partners as they have done unto us.

As they rebate value-added taxes on exports to us, and impose a value-added tax on our exports to them, let us reciprocate. Impose a border tax equal to a VAT on all their goods entering the United States, and use the hundreds of billions to cut corporate taxes on all manufacturing done here in the United States.

Where they have tilted the playing field against us, let us tilt it back again. Transnational companies are as amoral as sharks. What is needed is simply to cut their profits from moving factories and jobs abroad and increase their profits for bringing them back to the USA.

It's not rocket science. Hamilton, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln all did it. Obama's tariffs on Chinese tires are a good start.

[link to www.wnd.com]
sugarbeet (OP)
User ID: 184057
New Zealand
09/16/2009 08:24 PM
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Re: American Jobs & Chinese Tyres - Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Tire Protectionism: We All Must Pay
by Gary D. Barnett

A story released by PRNewswire-USNewswire said that: "Final step in tire trade case confirmed today (September 2nd, 2009) by U.S. trade representative Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steel Workers (USW) expressed confidence President Obama will grant the U.S. tire industry meaningful relief from Chinese tire imports that have injured domestic production workers".

What does this mean? This means that if Obama grants (steals and gives away) this relief (taxpayer money) due to pressure from the mafia-style union (USW), then all of the rest of us will suffer from higher prices on these goods. This is always the case with bailouts, subsidies, and protectionist measures. According to the union thug Gerard, "This is the time and this is the case for the President to open the trade enforcement toolbox". Of course, most sane and intelligent people fully understand that if this "relief" is forthcoming, it is just a strong-arm tactic by the federal government to once again take from the productive in society, and by force, and redistribute to the very non-productive union. Or in other words, more legalized theft to buy votes!

Gerard went on to say that "We are confident the President shares our values (emphasis mine) of promoting a rising standard of living for the American worker. This trade case gives him the chance to put into practice his pledge to level the playing field and give all Americans a chance to share in the benefits of balanced trade". This is hogwash and an absolute lie! What he left out, of course, is that all American workers and everyone else not in the tire industry would be harmed by this very corrupt protectionist measure. Only the USW and those retired USW members that are receiving subsidized pensions and medical insurance would benefit from this trade restriction. The hundreds of millions of the rest of us would of course suffer. Will President Obama refuse to grant this largesse given that many might lose their precious subsidized health insurance just at a time when he is demanding that all have coverage? Could that be a bad PR move on his part? You bet it could, and the USW will take advantage of that fact.

"According to records in the USW case," a case that began last April, "a massive 215 percent surge in passenger and light truck tire imports by volume, and even greater 295 percent surge in value occurred during 2004–2008. The result has been a loss of more than 8,100 domestic tire jobs by the end of 2009 from closed plants." For some reason unknown to me, the fact that this government has plunged this country into a depression was not mentioned as a reason for any of these job losses. Since consumers are broke, and are looking for bargains, and total unemployment is skyrocketing, shouldn’t that have been mentioned?

Just this week, I went shopping for tires for my large diesel pick-up truck. I got prices from three different dealers, two in my home town and one outside of town. The price difference for the exact same four tires ranged from a low of $795.00 to a high of $1,120.00. This is almost a 30 percent difference in price. How can the price spread range that much for the identical tires? Maybe the dealer with the lowest price got his tires from China. These are Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (an American company) tires, and after a little research, I found out that Cooper not only has plants in China, but is currently expanding its operations there. I have no way of knowing if my tires came from China, or if I am just benefitting due to Cooper’s presence there, but who cares? As long as I get a better deal, I am one happy consumer; and all those who benefit from my saving money; the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, are better off as well.

As an aside, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, the second largest tire manufacturer in the U.S., is a USW union shop here in America. In their defense, Cooper has opposed levying tariffs on Chinese tires; this in direct opposition to its union workers. Along with Cooper, Toyo Tire & Rubber Company has also spoken out against Chinese tariffs. Toyo builds tires in Atlanta, Georgia, and if they could not import cheaper tires to help support their higher quality lines, they would be hurt. Both of these companies employ a lot of American workers, and if they are harmed, so will their workers be harmed. Goodyear, the largest U.S. tire manufacturer, who also has a plant in China, has not taken a position on this issue due to the fact that only 2 percent of tires sold in America by Goodyear come from China. What a contradiction! The USW and its members are attempting to harm the very companies that employ them. All these companies have Chinese plants because they can’t compete in the U.S. because of the high cost to do business due to union thugs and the government minions who support and protect them. By lobbying for tariffs, the USW is attempting to fatten its wallet at the expense of its own workers and the rest of America, but the members are too ignorant of reality to understand this ruse. The USW members by supporting these government tariffs are in essence attempting to harm the very company they work for, thereby putting their own jobs at risk. This is asinine and it is a stupid decision on their part.

The bottom line is this: All protectionist practices whether implemented by trade restrictions, tariffs, subsidies, or any other method, are designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many. The few in this case is the USW, and the many is all the rest of us. Sadly, slimy politicians gain favor with voters by implementing these policies; claiming that they care about the American worker and saving jobs, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. They are simply preying upon the economic ignorance of the public-schooled masses in this country, hoping to gain more votes during the next election in order to stay in power.

All I can say is thank God for Chinese tires! With my savings of $325.00 I can buy more food stores, more ammo, more heating fuel, or anything else I need to survive this depression. By doing this, I am supporting other American businesses that employ many more people than do the American tire companies, and therefore am supporting American workers. I’m willing to sacrifice the USW and its workers in order to help all of America, and I hope many will join in to do the same.

[link to www.lewrockwell.com]