By on November 29, 2012

In Europe, EU commissioners received the green light to start negotiations for an EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA), despite the complaints of the auto industry, notably the one in Italy, and PSA in France, Reuters reports. Japan is the EU’s third-largest trading partner after the United States and China, and the architects of the FTA hope for 400,000 new jobs to be created in Europe as a result of the agreement.

Meanwhile in America, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, talks are in their third year and are going nowhere. The agreement would lift trade barriers between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and, as Reuters says, “almost any country with a Pacific shore.” The natives are getting restless though. They claim that the U.S. is making overreaching demands. 15 countries started negotiations about their own Asia-Pacific FTA, without the meddlesome U.S.  In the U.S. the American Automotive Policy Council has come to diametrically different conclusions than the EU. It says inclusion of Japan in the TPP “would put 90,000 U.S. auto jobs at risk.”  Ernest Bower, director of Southeast Asia studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, thinks time is running out for the TPP: “I think there’s a deal in 2013 or it’s dead, because I don’t think the Asian countries will wait around longer than that.”

The contentious issue of Japan’s membership in the TPP probably will be solved. On December 16,  Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party LDP is expected to be victorious.   It is critical of the TPP.

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13 Comments on “400,000 New Jobs Or 90,000 Unemployed? A Tale Of Two Free Trade Agreements...”

  • avatar

    I think all this free trade talk is wanting to get jobs to poorer Contries at the cost of less Jobs in both Canada and the USA, someone wants to make Money and not having to pay decent wages to our present workers, all of this from Right leaning Governments like the one we have here in Ottawa, many attacks on our Unions and our Workers, a race to the bottom!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s definitely a race to the bottom but I also think it’s not as simple as you make it sound.

      I think that the biggest problem is short term financial profit and loss thinking that dominates any corporation that is publicly owned. Somehow German companies manage to avoid this style of thinking and therefore tend to be much more viable long term. Something the rest of the world should think about.

      In the end, they just behave stupidly with no regard to long term viability.

      Also I’m not sure Free trade is what we should be chasing I think we should be chasing fair trade agreements.

      Otherwise countries that are willing to create conditions detrimental to the worker and the environment will always attract manufacturing more than countries that try to protect both. I think fair trade is smarter for everyone.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh no, it’s simple. Attempts to use laws to “protect” any party from fair competition are counter productive and result in much pain and poverty getting spread about in exchange for giving a few people economic advantage. Might as well just tax everyone and give the protected class the money because its equally fair while much more efficient.

      • 0 avatar

        Landcrusher pretty much nailed it.

        You can’t fight free trade. The more barriers put in place to try and block it, the more consumers will lose and the marketplace of the one with the barriers will be hurt.

        It might seem like a race to the bottom, but it’s really a race to equilibrium.

        Don’t like it? Work harder, work smarter. No policy can save you, only you can.

      • 0 avatar

        a race to equilibrium would imply even playing fields. If someone’s playing dirty, the other side doesn’t stand a chance.

      • 0 avatar

        Playing dirty is always the excuse, but if you are paying twice the average wage for labor in your area, the UAW will still say its dirty if its less than they get. Taking a loss in order to put others out of business is properly met with tariffs. Not a lot else.

      • 0 avatar

        Equilibrium is exactly the same thing as race to the bottom if you work in the rich country instead of the developing one.

        Working harder and smarter than three billion hungry Asians really means working in a field that’s protected by policy from having to compete with them. No policy will save you? Policy is the only thing that can save you.

    • 0 avatar

      There is no such thing as free trade, as countries can manipulate their currency (China) or subsidize factories (again China) in order to sell products at below manufacturing cost. This is why everything in Walmart says “Made in China” on it!

  • avatar

    the unpalatable truth are the rich will stop at no end to exploit the workers regardless of race & creeds etc.

    u look at why the banks failed 5 yrs ago so badly, is sole the responsible of the wall st gangs trying to screw every & each one of us.

    • 0 avatar

      You really think that your average every day wreckless borrower had NOTHING to do with the financial collapse? What about a suicidal government fiscal policy?

      Typical blame shifting.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 and add the corporate feifdoms (Wal-Mart, Papa Johns, etc) of the new Medieval economic age. What you don’t like working 39 hours a week that you have to call in for work two hours prior and not earn time and a half or health insurance? I mean, really, what did you expect being a temporary worker oh, sorry, I mean a ‘Provisional Consultant’, for seven years. Get back and earn your $9 an hour, peasant! I’ve got jobs to create. You’re lucky you’re not working in a Bangledeshi garment factory fire (the 33rd in five years for a new Wal-Mart record); at least we provide exits.

    • 0 avatar

      If you mean the rich AND powerful, and your Wall Street Gang includes the whole organized cabal of regulators, legislators, and lawyers that fixed the game so that things ostensibly illegal and immoral were technically not prosecutable while claiming it was all for the good of the poor and disenfranchised then you have it about right.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised this article didn’t generate a response to the massive “left wing communist reptilian New World Order agenda” conspiracy, which is usually what the internet delivers. I don’t speak for everyone, but I’d gladly pay more for goods if they were made by Americans. However, most other Americans, and the rest of the world, don’t want to do so. The result is that Apple has more money than some poorer countries, yet their employees are just barely above slave labor. Look at all that wealth trickling down to the lower classes, right Reagan?

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