Jerry Brown on Free Trade
Brown repeatedly attacked Clinton's character and ethics, took after Hillary Rodham Clinton for her work with a prominent Arkansas law firm while her husband was governor--"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," Bill Clinton said in a finger-wagging debate exchange--and carried his fight to the party's national convention long after it was clear Clinton would be the nominee.
Brown never explicitly endorsed Clinton's candidacy and remained a thorn once Clinton became president, opposing the Northern American Free Trade Agreement, welfare reform and other Clinton administration initiatives. Still, Clinton backed Brown's 2010 campaign for governor, even ignoring a swipe about Monica Lewinsky, for which Brown quickly apologized.
In the last few years, there's been a mounting chorus call for the elimination of barriers to global trade. This is the GATT, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, which opposes any barrier to the movement of goods across borders. What this is calling for is energy consumption, extraction, and more and more possession of stuff--chemical, plastic, whatever--with almost no real recognition of the issues of overconsumption.
Everything seems to be moving toward more container ships, more things in them, more port expansion, more railroad cars, more trucks, more subdivisions, more garages.
Development is a race, and the rules of the race are made by influential people as part of a system that dramatically expands the gap between the rich and the poor everywhere in the world. This logic of development is rarely--if ever--challenged by "The New York Times", the White House, the G-7 summit, at major party conventions, in the mass media, or even in the schools.
"Very soon these trucks are going to be driven by cheaper workers from south of the border and you're going to be out of a job."
He understood that he was going to be hurt, eventually, by NAFTA. It hasn't happened yet, but it's pretty hard to stop the logic of that, isn't it? Why should a transport company pay somebody $12 or $13 dollars an hour, when, by just going below the border a few miles, the business can save an enormous amount of money?
GUEST: Yes, absolutely. Another of the really interesting things that has been happening around the world is a revival of community currencies.
BROWN: I wonder whether the state or the city could actually pay a part of their salaries in local money. For example, in many US cities a large percentage of city employees live in the suburbs. If one were to say, "We're going to pay you, in part, in currency that is only accepted within the city limits, in the community that has generated and continues to generate your livelihood."
The criteria has become competition. We have opened our borders for this competition. There's billions of people out there, and the dirty little secret is that a huge number of Americans are redundant and no longer needed in the social organization that is upheld by those who have their hands on the levers of management and control. I believe that's what is going on now in Washington. They're doing the only thing they know how to do, and that's try to make economic sense out of something that only can be understood in theological or human terms.
Press release on Letter from 31 Governors to House Republican leaders:
We urge you to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) before its charter expires this year. In its role as the official export credit agency, Ex-Im is a vital export finance tool for exporters in our states, at no cost to American taxpayers.
Ex-Im allows our companies and workers to compete on a level playing field against our competitors. Without Ex-Im financing, US firms would have lost many sales campaigns to their overseas competitors.
Reauthorizing Ex-Im is the right thing to do for our economy, companies and workers. 41 GOP lawmakers and 865 business organizations have called for the charter's immediate renewal. And, House Democrats have already introduced legislation to reauthorize the bank. Speaker Boehner, it's time to act; quit jeopardizing the nation's economy and American jobs.
Argument in opposition from FreedomWorks:
As governors of states whose economies and workforces depend on exports, we strongly urge Congress to support legislation that provides for the long-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) before its charter expires on June 30, 2015. The Ex-Im Bank is a crucial tool that both small and large businesses use to compete fairly in the world market, increase their exports, stimulate job creation, and contribute to the growth of our states' economies.
As the official export credit agency of the United States, the Ex-Im Bank assumes the credit and country risks that private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to accept, and without it, U.S. firms would lose many sales to overseas competitors. The Ex-Im Bank allows our companies and workers to compete on a level playing field against international competitors who receive extensive support from their own export credit agencies.
In 2014, the Ex-Im Bank supplied more than $20 billion in financing to support approximately $27 billion in exports. In that same fiscal year, the Ex-Im Bank supported more than 160,000 American jobs. And the overwhelming majority of the Ex-Im Bank's transactions--nearly 90 percent--assisted small businesses.
The Ex-Im Bank is financially self-sustaining, and operates at no cost to hard-working American taxpayers. In fact, in fiscal year 2014 alone, the Ex-Im Bank returned approximately $675 million in deficit-reducing receipts to the U.S. Treasury.
Last year, Congress reauthorized the Ex-Im Bank [for one year]. It is essential that both chambers act again, this time to pass a long-term, multi-year reauthorization.