Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Obama's Pay For Play On Trans-Pacific Partnership

by JASmius

I am pro-free trade.  Every reader of this site should be aware of that by now.  If you weren't before, my debate with the Director last summer over the Trans-Pacific Partnership "deal" should have made that abundantly clear.  We both acknowledged all the statist side-crap that Barack Obama threw into the TPP, just like Bill Clinton did twenty years earlier on NAFTA; he had a lot more of a problem with the Trade Promotion Authority bill that preceded it than I did.  But the side-crap was a hill he wouldn't climb, and it wasn't enough to turn me against TPP.  Because history teaches clearly that the freer trade is, all other things being equal, the more prosperous and peaceful America and the world will be.

So would foreknowledge of this corrupt White House bait & switch double-cross have tipped me the other way?  Like the owl said in the Tootsie pop commercial, "The world will never know".

But it definitely reeks of Obama SOP:

New Balance is renewing its opposition to the far-reaching Pacific Rim trade deal, saying the Obama administration reneged on a promise to give the sneaker maker a fair shot at military business if it stopped bad-mouthing the agreement.

After several years of resistance to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact aimed at making it easier to conduct trade among the United States and eleven other countries, the Boston company had gone quiet last year. New Balance officials say one big reason is that they were told the [Commissaria]t of Defense would give them serious consideration for a contract to outfit recruits with athletic shoes.

But no order has been placed, and New Balance officials say the [Obam]agon is intentionally delaying any purchase.

Of course,they are.  The White House got what they wanted from Boston-based New Balance - their acquiescing silence - and now they are, as Darth Vader put it to Lando Calrissian in Empire Strikes Back, "changing the terms of the agreement".  And since the Regime has and always had the leverage in that agreement, there's nothing that New Balance can do about it.  They got taken.  Screwed.  Bilked.  Swindled.

And it's their own fault.

New Balance's opposition to TPP is pure economic self-interest: They want U.S. tariffs (i.e. import taxes) against Vietnamese shoe imports left in place in order to "protect New England factory jobs" and, oh by the way, make New England consumers pay more for athletic shoes than they would otherwise have to if the tariffs were removed.  As you may have already deduced, I do not agree with New Balance's trade stance, but I can respect an honest assertion of selfishness.

At least until they sold their principles, such as they are, down the river in exchange for what amounts to a bribe, and one that they are utterly without excuse for not having recognized would never be honored after they dropped their opposition to TPP.

They evidently weren't listening closely to the Regime's "offer".  What did DOD promise New Balance?  That the Obamagon would "give them serious consideration" for a shoe contract.  That's not a transactional guarantee of the contract itself.  In essence, as I read it, it amounted to "We'll think about it."  So, really, the White House didn't promise New Balance anything substantive.  Just that they were in the running.  Nothing more.  And the Boston shoe manufacturer, windfall profits dreams dancing in their heads like sugar plumbs, took the bait.  And now they're moaning and complaining for having gotten played.

Oh, and did I mention that New Balance's owner is a GOP donor, and that they manufacture most of their shoes....overseas?  Say hello to "the Stupid Party" in microcosm.

In The Notebooks Of Lazarus Long, the late Robert Heinlein wrote an adage that definitely applies to this situation: "If I offer to sell somebody a cow, I will not guarantee that it has all four legs; the buyer needs to kick them for himself".  New Balance was offered a cow by Barack Obama, and drunk on the thought of all that lucracative milk, they didn't kick the legs.  They got into a bed with a known liar whose word is famously worthless, and all they got to show for it is his stink indelibly clinging to them.

And set themselves up for chortling Regime statements like this one:

It is unfortunate that, despite a strong outcome in TPP that advances the interest of U.S. footwear workers, New Balance now appears to be changing its position on TPP in response to the [Obam]agon’s separate procurement process.

In a word, "Suckers!"

Maybe next time, New Balance will consider caveating their emptor.

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