We need to offer solidarity to fellow workers around the world and refuse to be suckered into the nationalist anti-free trade campaigns.
“Demand the cancellation of third world debt.”
Recently, President Trump imposed a tariff on China. Almost a month ago, Uncle Sam moved on the giant communications outfit Huawei, to cut off its suppliers and ban it from conducting U.S. business. Washington wanted to pressure Chinese hierarchy to agree to a more palatable deal to protect its flailing worldwide imperialist interests and domains.
This act was the latest move by Washington to press the Chinese rulers to agree to a new trade deal more responsive to the U.S. capitalist rulers’ interests.
In early May trade talks between the two powers broke down. Trump increased tariffs from 10% to 25% on a significant amount of China imports. He threatened to apply the same on $300 billion more on China imports. Beijing, in turn, retaliated several days later.
“Trump increased tariffs from 10% to 25% on a significant amount of China imports.”
Now Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on Mexico to pressure Mexico into a border deal to stem Central American immigrants coming over the Mexican border to the U.S.
Do tariffs create jobs, as Trump suggests? For the most part, the answer is a resounding no. It makes no difference whether it is free trade or increased tariffs. They both cozy up to some section of the profit-makers in the U.S. and overseas at the expense of others. It is a hide and seeks wild game.
Trump took credit for lowering black unemployment. The Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that black unemployment reached record lows in January at 6.9%. For whites, it was 3.7%. Currently, it is hovering still near 7.7%. Blacks need not jump for joy.
“Tariffs are a hide and seeks wild game.”
The gap between black and white unemployment lingered at the same difference for over 25 years said the Harvard Business Review. The journal article said that bias and discrimination caused the gap.
White families have 13 times the wealth of blacks. The Institute for Economic Policy says that it would take 228 years for black families to obtain the same amount. More blacks live below the poverty line, according to the Pew Research Center.
Blacks receive less pay than whites. More experienced blacks with higher education still get paid less than whites. Overall, blacks are the last to be hired in upward business cycles and the first to be fired off during downturns.
It is clear that Trump won the presidency because the white working class thought Trump, the rich white man, had the answer to restoring and increasing jobs, especially in rust belt states through rising tariffs. White worker backwardness fueled by false privilege and ruling class-injected racism contributed. Blacks voted for the other imperialist party.
“It would take 228 years for black families to reach wealth parity with whites.”
We can’t let the bosses pit worker against worker us no matter what our color. We need to offer solidarity to fellow workers around the world and refuse to be suckered into the nationalist anti-free trade campaigns.
Trump’s job representing the largest imperialist in the world is to stabilize flagging U.S. imperialism amid the ongoing world capitalism decline, and at the same time bolster U.S. dominance and gain more profits for the ruling class. His job is the same as Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.
Trump, earlier in his presidency, signed a decree increasing duties on steel 25 percent and aluminum 10 percent. It exempts Canada and Mexico. Steel union bosses and rank and file steelworkers took part in the signing ceremony. As a candidate, Trump called Obama’s proposed Trans-Pacific Pact “a rape of our country” – taking jobs away from Americans.
“Trump’s job is the same as Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.”
He softened “across the board tariff increases” on more items because some members of his party, as well as Democrats and big business media, criticized his original proposal. Some favored free trade, and others thought it facilitated trade wars. All geared their critique to hurting workers.
Do so-called free trade or fewer tariffs create more jobs? Obama said of his proposed TPP, “it knocks out 18,000 tariffs.” “…. That’s good for American businesses and American workers.” NAFTA is an example.
It matters not. Trump and Obama’s aims are the same. Both sought to stabilize and increase the U.S. hold on world imperialism. It is about the drive for profits in the U.S. service to capitalism. Obama’s TPP was meant to limit China’s trade penetration in the Pacific. Trump’s strategy was to hammer China, a new world rival, for dumping steel on the U.S.
Besides, workers are sent to kill and die fighting for U.S. imperialism’s turfs, whether tariffs or free trade. Why go through this phony game you ask? The world’s continuing deepening economic crisis make imperialists play cards differently.
The U.S. holds such a dominant position worldwide using the term free trade remains a joke. Washington is in the area to dictate forcibly or through political coercion, as is planned for Mexico and the so-called border crisis.
“Over half of the least developed 47 nations come from the African continent.”
Semi-colonial countries continue to come in for a hard time facing imperialism. According to the UN, over half of the least developed 47 nations come from the African continent. Interest rates and perpetual trading inequalities keep them in perpetual debt. The U.S. and other European rulers have plundered the semi-colonial world.
How did they do it? The imperialists purchase raw materials and other products from neo-colonialist countries at minimum scale prices and sell the finished products to them at higher prices. Low productivity and low surplus labor power undergird unfair trading. Throw in uneven development and the world capitalist economic crisis.
Demand the cancellation of third world debt. Demand that all semi-colonial countries be allowed to maintain protective tariffs without penalty from imperialist nations for starters.
Above all, remember that the free trade/more tariffs debate does not trump imperialism.
Dr. Morgan is a black internationalist activist scholar. Contact him at [email protected].
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