US trade rep demands end to other nations' healthcare, privacy rules, food labelling



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Is it just me, or is America a bit of a bully?


Politely, to the USA (the corporate entity, not the people)… No. This isn’t your playground, and you are not the boss of me. Maybe a time-out is in order until you can play nice with the other children.


This must be a plot to make people vote far left. Because at this rate this is what I’ll be doing the next few elections.


In truth though;
Yes it is, yes they are, no it isn’t.


In the same way that water is wet, yes. More or less, for most of the past century.


What does this have to do with free trade? This is simply a mercantilist state seeking to exploit other countries. Very confusing headline.


Pardon me, but we are an oligarchy. We haven’t been a mercantilist state for a while now. Instead of creating a more powerful state by exporting more goods than we import, we are creating more powerful oligarchs by buying off politicians all over the world.

But you are right. The real problem is the confusing headline. Fix that and the world would make sense again.


This is like some third world country arguing that the U.S. has an unfair trade advantage because so few of our workers are dying of dysentery.


I’m confused. Please tell me that you mean that the US Trade rep sounds like that.


I mean that this trade representative seems to think that a “fair” system would mean other countries should have to drag down their standards to meet the current state of the U.S…

If access to health care gives workers in other countries an unfair advantage over the U.S., then why doesn’t the U.S. have an “unfair advantage” over countries which have it even worse?


Ah, you had me worried for a moment.


As you might recall from history, oligarchies and mercantilism are not at all incompatible - in fact, they often go hand in hand, with the oligarches using mercantilism to make themselves richer. The article discusses a government trade official’s comments, a position whose very existence is dedicated to opposing free trade - if we had free trade, we wouldn’t need a trade representative! How can one blame “free trade” for what a government is doing in opposition to free trade? There’s no logic to that.


This has everything to do with “free” trade, if free trade is defined as removing any and all requirements that might however modestly impinge on an importer’s right to maximize profit above all other societal concerns. “Free” trade is about the freedom of corporations to sell their products anywhere they wish without any restrictions or limitations designed by free people. So it means freedom for corporations and shackles for people.


It’s not just the US playing this bullshit game.

The EU wants to ban cheesemakers from using names like Feta, Muenster, or Parmesan. The double-whammy for Wisconsin: they want to ban bratwurst and bologna too.


Malaysia’s biases on such things mean that they won’t be making this argument, but Malaysia’s limitations on pork imports are about as fair-tradey as the US’s limitations on cannabis imports.

And the US’s tariffs on sugar and government support for corn, corn-syrup, and corn-ethanol products mean that the US government is in no position to whine about Mexico’s different rules on them.


… and? I think it’s justified. Parmesan is a special type of cheese made in the region of Parma, Italy. I don’t want to accidentally buy some mass-produced US crap-cheese called Parmesan instead of the real thing. Same goes for Black Forest ham etc. Call it “Original Uncle Joes parmesan-style hard cheese” or whatever. It’s about customer protection.


Agreed, in that European customers associate names with where the product was created, not with the style of the cheese or the sausage. Wines are even more complex, being named both for the region of origin as well as for the grape sort used, with certain names reserved for combinations of both like Chianti or Champagne.

All it really is, is a difference of expectations between North American and European consumers. Europeans would like their stricter requirements, the ones they use for international trade within the EU, to be adapted to trade with the USA instead of the American naming system entering their markets.

I think we ought to be able to say “look, if you’re just selling nationally, this agreement doesn’t apply. If you want to export, follow these rules to make everything run smoother.” My hopes are not all that high, though.

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