Robert Cassidy is a former Clinton administration assistant trade representative responsible for the entry of China into the WTO and the China PNTR trade agreement.
Today he Confessed.
As the principal negotiator for the landmark market access agreement that led to China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), I have reflected on whether the agreements we negotiated really lived up to our expectations. A sober reflection has led me to conclude that those trade agreements did not
And of a Dangerous Mind?
The beneficiaries of the agreement with China fall into two groups: multinational companies that moved to China and the financial institutions that financed those investments, trade flows, and deficits. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China accelerated at a time when such investment to other parts of Asia was declining and, in 2001, even matched FDI to the United States. Sourcing from China, whether from direct investment or through licensing arrangements, has allowed companies to cut costs and increase profits, as reflected in increased corporate profits and the surge in the U.S. stock market.
Conversely, it is doubtful that the U.S. economy or its workers are better off. U.S. manufacturing jobs declined by more than 2.5 million since China joined the WTO in 2001. While services jobs increased during this period, with the exception of telecommunications, non-tradable jobs accounted for the most significant portion of that increase. Wages have been stagnant and real disposable income for three-quarters of U.S. households has been stable or declining. Only the top quartile of families has seen significant increases in real disposable income
Now note the term non-tradable jobs. What that implies is the China PNTR as well as many other trade agreements are really glorified offshore outsourcing agreements. This was designed for the purposes of global labor arbitrage as well as free movement of capital, not in the United States national interest and certainly not in working America's interests.
I'm thrilled to see such a confession for we have here someone with inside knowledge of the actual agreement, who the players were and unfortunately just how much damage the Clinton administration did to the United States economically by letting these multinational corporations and special interest groups write and dictate US trade policy. Why look at the list of institutions, businesses and people listed on this 2000 press release promoting the China PNTR. Note you do not see labor involved.
Fast forward to 2007, from a Carnegie Endowment debate, Cassidy said:
The U.S.-China relationship has been one that is governed by – at least on the part of China – by two things: its drive to assume its rightful place in the global community -- the economic and political community -- alongside the United States.
He then lists a series of WTO violations that the United States must address or the United States is going to be giving up its leadership role in the global community.
One small problem, violation challenges in the WTO, that private governing body, are almost always losses for the United States.
How much more economic destruction does this country need before others stand up, come clean, confess their sins and try to make amends?