New Film - Battle in Seattle - 1999 WTO Protests

Look what's coming out, a star packed movie on the Seattle 1999 WTO protests...just in time for the 2008 election!

Here is the film, Battle in Seattle website which has timeline, interviews, history and request the film be shown in your area.

This is great!

I cannot think of any particular economic area more than trade, where pretty much the entire nation agrees. America and Americans are getting screwed. Blue, Read, Pink and Green, most people want major trade policy reforms. Trade policy has been orphaned by both campaigns (doing anything in workers interests or America's interests about trade that is) as if just describing how the middle class is disappearing and working America is in dire straights is actually enough to get them to vote for (flip a coin now) fill in the blank.

Here's the trailer:

China to Surpass U.S. by Next Year in Manufacturing

Speaking of China, look at what CBS Market Watch is reporting:

China is forecast to surpass the United States as the world's leading manufacturer in nominal dollar terms next year, earlier than expected, as the U.S. economy slows down and China's continues to grow at unprecedented rates, according to consulting firm Global Insight.

The China Trade Toll - EPI

One of the favorite research institutions is the labor backed Economic Policy Institute.

They have just released a study that is so damning, it really deserves a full bore blog post. For now, some snippets:

The growth of U.S. trade with China since China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001 has had a devastating effect on U.S. workers and the domestic economy. Between 2001 and 2007 2.3 million jobs were lost or displaced, including 366,000 in 2007 alone. New demographic research shows that, even when re-employed in non-traded industries, the 2.3 million workers displaced by the increase in China trade deficits in this period have lost an average $8,146 per worker/year. In 2007, these losses totaled $19.4 billion

and it goes into details, but here is something I think should raise all eyebrows!

WTO Rules Against China on Auto Parts

WTO Rules Again China:

China violates global trade rules by requiring automakers operating there to buy components from local suppliers or face penalties, the World Trade Organization ruled on Friday.
Skip to next paragraph

The decision, issued in Geneva on a complaint brought by the European Union, the United States and Canada, is the first time China has lost a case since it joined the global trade arbiter in 2001

Note this is the first time China has lost.

Now read the last line in the article:

In April 2005, China began a system of levying tariffs on auto parts based on the amount of imports in the complete vehicle. Automakers must register with Chinese authorities and provide detailed information on the quantity and value of foreign parts used in their vehicles.

WTO - Calls for US, EU to Eliminate Farm Subsidies


Developing countries and food exporters from rich and poor nations called on Sunday for the United States and European Union to open up their farm markets and eliminate trade-distorting subsidies

and love this one:

The various alliances among the WTO's 152 members, from the Cairns group of food exporters to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries met on Sunday to plot their strategy

Guinea Pig

Economist Tonelson on Obama Trade Positions

This is really worth reading for Tonelson focuses heavily on trade, US manufacturing.

Trade and the White House Race Part II: Does Obama Really Care?

Maybe it’s the latest sign of the apocalypse or simply another indication of the continually jaw-dropping nature of the 2008 presidential race. But the biggest reason to question Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama’s commitment to be a major change agent – as this campaign’s signature buzz-phrase would have it – for U.S. trade policy is his failure to pander wholeheartedly.