What caused the decline in support for the Protectionist Party of Australia?

What caused the decline in support for the Protectionist Party of Australia?

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The Protectionist Party of Australia was one of the three main federal parties at the time of federation and produced the country's first two Prime Ministers, but it was not long before their share of the vote was in decline. In the elections in 1901, 1903 and 1906, the party won 31, 26 and 16 seats respectively (another 4 seats in 1906 were won by the Independent Protectionist Party). While their total number of votes received in 1903 was actually higher than in 1901, the rate of increase was substantially lower than the growth in number of eligible voters. From having 36.75% of the primary vote in 1901, they fell to just 16.44% in 1906 (combined total of 21.28% for protectionist parties).

What were the circumstances that led to such a rapid decline in the share of the vote for the Protectionist Party and protectionist parties in general in Australia? To what extent did the actions of the Protectionist Party while in government contribute to its loss of support?

The Australian Settlement was cemented in early Federal parliaments (Stokes in AJPS; Wikipedia). These measures in the early parliament cemented a system of tarifs and wages that satisfied the central impulse behind the protectionist party. Correspondingly, the two anti-Labor parties reformed themselves around anti-labor politics, rather than differentials amongst ruling class politics. Obviously this had to occur in a period of growing ALP parliamentary success. The period 1901 to 1920 saw a period of heightened class conflict in Australian society, and the ALP was the parliamentary beneficiary of this. cf: Connell & Irving (1980) Class structure in Australian History

Pauline Hanson's One Nation

Pauline Hanson's One Nation (PHON or ONP), also known as One Nation or One Nation Party, is an Australian right-wing [11] to far-right political party. [12] It was founded and is currently led by Senator Pauline Hanson. While One Nation has achieved only modest electoral success to date, it is the most successful populist party in Australia. The party had a brief but notable period of success in the late 1990s. Its leaders have been accused, charged, and later acquitted, of fraud, and the party has suffered from numerous defections, resignations and other internal scandals which prompted its initial decline and culminated in Hanson's resignation from the party. One Nation's policies and platform are widely criticized as being racist and xenophobic, although the party has denied this. [13] Nevertheless, One Nation has had a profound impact on debates on multiculturalism and immigration in Australia. [13] Following Hanson's return as leader and the 2016 federal election, the party has seen a revival in support.

One Nation was founded in 1997, by member of parliament Pauline Hanson and her advisors David Ettridge and David Oldfield after Hanson was disendorsed as a federal candidate for the Liberal Party of Australia. The disendorsement came before the 1996 federal election because of comments she made about Indigenous Australians. [14] Oldfield, a Councillor on Manly Council in suburban Sydney and at one time an employee of Liberal minister Tony Abbott, was the organisational architect of the party. [15] Hanson sat as an independent for one year before forming Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

Arguing that other political parties were out of touch with mainstream Australia, One Nation ran on a broadly populist and protectionist platform. It promised to drastically reduce immigration and to abolish "divisive and discriminatory policies . attached to Aboriginal and multicultural affairs." Condemning multiculturalism as a "threat to the very basis of the Australian culture, identity and shared values", One Nation rallied against Liberal government immigration and multicultural policies which, it argued, were leading to "the Asianisation of Australia." [16]

The party also denounced economic rationalism and globalisation, reflecting working-class dissatisfaction with the neo-liberal economic policies embraced by the major parties. Adopting strong protectionist policies, One Nation advocated the restoration of import tariffs, a revival of Australia's manufacturing industry, and an increase in support for small business and the rural sector. [17]

The Fourth Industrial Revolution — a game-changer for Australia and the world

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a term many may not yet be familiar with. But just like with previous technological breakthroughs, the implementation of 4IR technology, its effects, and many reforms associated with it will soon enough completely transform the world. Just like the discovery of electricity, motorised vehicles, and the internet radically changed the world in the 20th century, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is set to radically change humanity, as we move further into the 21st century.

To use some analogies, once mankind had widespread access to electricity and all the devices we could power with it, there was no turning back. Once we had cars, trucks, trains, and buses, there was no going back to horses or bullocks for transport. Once we had the internet, and all the convenience, access to information, and connectivity that it brought, the world was forever changed.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is also going to change the world. Very profoundly. Perhaps in ways many people cannot yet imagine.

So, what exactly is this Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Humankind is about to make rapid technological progress in a wide range of different fields. From the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to nanotechnology, to 5G technology, to self-driving vehicles (that may perhaps one day become airborne), to gene therapy, to Virtual Reality, to new stages of the internet (delivered at ever-higher speeds), to advances in food technology, health, product development, entertainment, weaponry, group psychology, and perhaps in many other areas, what’s ahead is likely to completely transform humanity.

One of the key factors driving 4IR has been the growth (and success) of the human population. But with global resources being finite, and concerns about pollution, and enormous amounts of rubbish and waste being produced under the current laissez-faire economic model, the impetus for change has become increasingly apparent.

The development of 4IR technologies will undoubtedly lead to substantial changes to our current way of life. The current model of mass production (and mass consumption), free trade and open borders is simply unsustainable and will almost certainly change. The rise of emerging “populism” and patriotic movements worldwide is also acting as a major facilitator of change. So too, is an ageing population, where the average lifespan (at least in the First World) has been increasing, and further medical and technological advancements will likely increase it further. So too, has the rise of the “tradwives” movement, where more and more women are beginning to see the value in themselves spending more time in the home looking after their families, rather than effectively competing with men in the workforce.

Some commentators believe that humankind may have culturally and scientifically “stagnated”. The actual number of new innovations in both popular culture and science have lessened now that we are in the 21st century. In fields like music, entertainment, dance, and fashion, there is often replication of old ideas, often repackaged. There is a view that Artificial Intelligence will be what takes humanity forward in many fields in the future.

It is inevitable that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will increasingly replace a lot of labour that is now performed by humans. This will prompt many changes and likely change societal and governmental attitudes toward work, leisure, education, spirituality, and in the West, lead to a restoration of more traditional gender roles. In the future, many people will work for less hours, and perhaps many will not work at all. Instead of relying on wages for income, many people will rely on other sources. The demand for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) will undoubtedly increase.

The demand for immigrant labour will also lessen greatly. For example, if humanity can produce self-driving vehicles more cheaply, there won’t be the same demand for all of those Indian taxi drivers!

The demand for women to spend as much time in the workforce as they do currently, will likely lessen in the future. If governments make it attractive for women to produce and rear more children (as with what Hungary and Poland are doing currently), then other Western nations may also be able to lift their badly depleted white European birthrates.

Amongst other changes, it’s likely that customers may receive a lot more services at home, rather than contributing to increased traffic congestion in cities by visiting shops or customer stores. In the future, a lot more products, resources and services will likely be available online, as improving technology will make this happen. More people are likely to spend more time working from home also, as opposed to visiting workplaces.

Expect the field of education to also undergo a major overhaul. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) constantly replacing the demand for human labour in the future, mankind will simply not need to train so many humans for the workforce. With less people required to work in factories, we may expect that the one-size-fits-all factory-style industrial school system that has been in place in the West for over a hundred years, will begin to evolve so that it caters much more to the individual requirements of children. As more services become available online, expect homeschooling to play a much greater role in the future.

No doubt the global coronavirus scare will be used as an opportunity to bring about a range of economic, educational, social and technological reforms related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Economic models based on an erroneous belief in “exponential economic growth” are not likely to hold sway in the future. Instead, economic models will likely be based on sustainability, and more on prioritising people, societies, and the environment, not merely on growing the GDP. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will help humanity to improve product quality, and to become much more efficient with resources. We’re effectively about to make a seismic shift from the Age of Industrial Capitalism into what may become known as “The Space Age”.

New models and new ideas will hopefully lessen humanity’s outdated belief in the capitalism vs. socialism false dichotomy. The very recent trend toward deglobalisation will likely increase. It may well be that many nations may adopt protectionist economic policies again, as this may help to preserve cultural integrity, be more environmentally friendly, save resources, help to lessen pollution, lessen reliance on other nations and global trade, and help to keep jobs and industries “local”.

There is a view that with greater leisure time and less emphasis on materialism and material things, that the modern highly consumerist West may undergo something of a spiritual revival. Some of the new technology may change us in other ways as well. For example, the development of highly sophisticated sex robots may substantially reduce the demand for prostitution and pornography (whilst no-one is necessarily advocating this, it is a possible future development).

Laboratory-produced meat (already being increasingly produced and consumed in the USA) may eventually change human attitudes towards animals, and help to alleviate some of the concerns many people may have about animal cruelty, factory farming, and wastage and pollution issues. Many other foodstuffs may also be increasingly mass-produced in laboratories.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution promises a very different and challenging road ahead, whereby mankind crosses the threshold into a new era. The World Economic Forum (described by some as an elite “shadow” government organisation) has produced a video explaining some of the benefits of the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

No doubt the coming changes will raise many new concerns, many new ethical dilemmas, and cause many worries about the new technologies and how they might be used. How nations and communities govern themselves may evolve in new ways, especially with AI being introduced. The coming technological changes will give mankind greater power over nature, and over each other. With great power comes great responsibility, and as Lord Acton once famously (and very insightfully) noted “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

We’ve already seen with the global response to the COVID19 coronavirus how tempting it can be for those in power to overstep the mark, and to impose all kinds of unnecessary authoritarian controls on the common people.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will give humanity much greater power to be creative, but also to be destructive. History has shown us that new technology can be enormously liberating for humanity, but in the wrong hands, it can be enslaving of us. The key factor may not be the amazing new technology in itself, but rather, WHO is controlling it, and HOW it is being utilised.

It’s been said that historical political struggles have always been in one way or another, a battle between “freedom versus slavery”. The future will undoubtedly present many new challenges in this regard. Societies like Australia, once very high-trust, have now become increasingly low-trust societies, and those in power will undoubtedly be tempted to impose greater police, legal, and surveillance controls.

This is why it’s imperative that the common people learn to tenaciously fight to defend and expand on fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech and religion, freedom of association and assembly, privacy rights, the right to self-defence, and the right to refuse medical treatment. Basically, if we don’t fight for our freedoms, we will probably lose them. Liberating humanity from debt-slavery (usury) may remain one of the greatest challenges.

Some will speculate that mankind is not psychologically ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its changes. If this is the case, we’d better get ready, because the changes are undoubtedly on the way, and we will need to adapt to them.

Great Depression

In the second half of the 1920s the Australian economy suffered from falling wheat and wool prices, and competition from other commodity-producing countries. Australia was also borrowing vast sums of money, which dried up as the economy slowed.

Then the Wall Street crash of 1929 led to a worldwide economic depression. The Australian economy collapsed and unemployment reached a peak of 32 per cent in 1932.

It took Australia almost a decade to recover from the Great Depression.

Contemporary children’s rhyme:

We’re on the susso now,
We can’t afford a cow,
We live in a tent,
We pay no rent,
We’re on the susso now.

Prosperity from the land

Australia experienced high inflation from 1919 to 1920 and then a severe recession until 1923. With the economy based on agricultural production, Australians identified prosperity with the land. Returned soldiers were resettled on rural blocks and more than 200,000 government-sponsored British immigrants arrived, many moving to country towns.

However, in the mid-1920s, just as Australia&rsquos rural economy began to recover, so too did European countries affected by the war. The United States, Canada and Argentina began producing agricultural surpluses for market. This created a global oversupply of Australia&rsquos major exports: wheat and sheep.

Heavy borrowing

All through the 1920s federal, and especially state, governments maintained a heavy level of borrowing from overseas institutions, particularly when taxation revenues started to fall. Much of this money was directed towards public infrastructure works.

Australia was the largest borrower from the City of London during the decade, but when commodity prices fell from 1927 onwards, loan funds from London dried up.

Gold Standard

In April 1925 Winston Churchill, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, returned Great Britain to the Gold Standard, whereby the pound sterling could be converted to gold at the rate it had been pegged at in 1913. However, the price of gold was over-estimated and British exports became more expensive on the world market.

The Australian pound was valued in relation to the pound sterling and so Australian exports were also affected by this change. Wool prices dropped steadily from the mid-1920s and wheat fell precipitously from 1930. The value of Australia&rsquos wheat and wool exports halved in 1929 and 1930.

Bruce government falls

The 1927 federal budget left Australia with a £5.5 million deficit and Prime Minister Stanley Bruce sought to reduce spending and wages.

In 1928 federal Treasurer Earle Page handed down his sixth and most stringent budget with new taxes and deeper spending cuts to check the growing deficit.

The government also attempted to pass the Maritime Industries Bill, which would have abolished the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. Strikes and labour unrest increased dramatically across Australia throughout 1928 and 1929.

The issue led to a vote of no confidence in parliament. The government lost, forcing Bruce to call and election.

Scullin government

The Labor Party portrayed Bruce as wanting to destroy Australia&rsquos labour system and in the election of 12 October 1929 Labor won its then largest-ever majority in the federal parliament. James Scullin became the new prime minister and Bruce lost his own seat of Flinders, the first sitting Australian prime minister to do so.

However, on 24 October 1929, one week after Labor took power, the US stock market crashed. Amid global economic instability, this was the catalyst that sent countries around the world into depression.

The Scullin government tried a range of responses to the crisis: tariff barriers were raised levels of migration reduced and customs excise, the main source of federal government revenue, increased.

None had any effect and in August 1930 Scullin invited the director of the Bank of England, Sir Otto Niemeyer, to visit Australia to advise on economic policy. At a meeting of federal and state governments in Melbourne, Niemeyer recommended an approach based on conservative, balanced budgets and insisted that loan interest, much of it to British banks, be paid.

Niemeyer&rsquos plan required another round of serious cutbacks to government infrastructure projects, wages, social welfare and defence spending. The state premiers and Scullin agreed to the plan.

Federal treasurer Ted Theodore, however, espoused a policy of increased government spending to stimulate growth as proposed by the British economist John Maynard Keynes. The Labor premier of New South Wales Jack Lang advocated an end to interest payments on British loans.

The plans of both Theodore and Lang were rejected by the government and a schism developed in the Labor Party.

White Australia policy

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White Australia policy, formally Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, in Australian history, fundamental legislation of the new Commonwealth of Australia that effectively stopped all non-European immigration into the country and that contributed to the development of a racially insulated white society. It reflected a long-standing and unifying sentiment of the various Australian colonies and remained a fundamental government policy into the mid-20th century.

The Australian colonies had passed restrictive legislation as early as the 1860s. This was directed specifically at Chinese immigrants, but later a popular cry was raised against the increasingly numerous Japanese—especially after Japan’s victory over China in the 1894–95 Sino-Japanese War—and against South Asians and Kanakas (South Pacific islanders) as well. Fear of military invasion by Japan, the threat to the standard of living that was thought to be presented by the cheap but efficient Asian labourers, and white racism were the principal factors behind the White Australia movement.

The desire for a coordinated immigration bar against nonwhites was a spur in the 1890s toward Australian federation. Thus, the act was among the first pieces of commonwealth legislation enacted. In 1901 the Immigration Restriction Act effectively ended all non-European immigration by providing for entrance examinations in European languages. The essential clause of the act, rather than naming particular races or groups for exclusion, provided for a dictation test in a European language to be administered to prospective immigrants. A South Asian with a knowledge of English could be given a test in French, German, or, if need be, Lithuanian. The act practically excluded all “coloured” people. Supplementary legislation in 1901 provided for the deportation by 1906 of the country’s Kanakas.

Popular support for White Australia, always strong, was bolstered at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–20 when the Australian delegation led the fight to defeat a Japanese-sponsored racial-equality amendment to the League of Nations Covenant. Although the act has never been repealed, the policy became less stringent from about 1950 on, first under Liberal governments and also (more markedly) under Labor from 1972 to 1975. Between 1947 and 1981 the number of persons in Australia of non-European descent more than doubled. By the early 21st century about two-fifths of Australian immigrants were Asian.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do import tariffs cause trade wars?

Answer: When one country imposes tariffs on imports, the countries affected can often retaliate by imposing import tariffs of their own. This can set in motion a sequence of tit for tat retaliatory tariffs that is known as a trade war. Most economists believe that trade wars are easier to start than to stop, and that everybody generally loses in the long term.

© 2017 Paul Goodman

International Liberty

The good news is that President Trump wants to boost economic growth, which is a laudable goal after the economy’s sub-par performance during the Obama years.

The bad news is that he may sabotage his good reforms of tax policy and regulation with protectionism.

In a column earlier this month for the Wall Street Journal, Robert Zoellick warns about the likely consequences.

The Trump administration has stacked up a pile of trade cases that will come tumbling down early in 2018. More important than any specific case is the signal of a strategy of economic defeatism. …Mr. Trump’s tactic will likely trigger retaliation from other countries. …“safeguards” to block imports of solar panels and washing machines…doesn’t even require a claim of unfairness. …these amount to an overture to the big show: likely withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement or both. …The president…relies on the support of economic isolationists who find it easier to blame others than to make America more competitive. Killing Nafta would fit the bill.

Charles Hughes addresses the same topic for Economics 21 and specifically explains that the net effect of trade barriers on solar panels will be to destroy jobs.

President Trump approved new tariffs on solar imports… Manufacturing of solar panels is only one component of the solar industry, which employs between 260,000 and 374,000 workers. Out of this group, only 38,000 work in manufacturing. Even this oversells the number of people whose work would be insulated from competition from imports, as Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that only 2,000 of these solar manufacturing workers make the products covered by the tariffs. Significantly more people work in installation. Their jobs would be at risk from higher solar panel prices that would reduce demand for installations, with one estimate that the tariffs would cost 23,000 U.S. jobs in the first year.

These numbers are not a surprise. There have been many studies looking at the impact of protectionism and lost jobs are the usual result, both because trade barriers create inefficiencies, reduce consumer buying power, and increase input prices.

As is so often the case, it’s a question of the seen versus the unseen.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s President Reagan talking about trade shortly before he left office (h/t: Cafe Hayek).

By the way, some people try to justify Trump’s protectionism by citing some protectionist policies during the Reagan years.

As explained by Colin Grabow and Scott Lincicome in National Review, that is historical revisionism.

Trumpist efforts to save U.S. jobs through higher tariffs, bilateral trade deals, and lower trade deficits can find no “conservative” justification in Reagan-era trade actions. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The Reagan administration did indeed pursue unilateral import restrictions and foreign-trade “enforcement” actions, but history shows that — unlike protectionist policies proposed by Trump — such moves were intended to liberalize trade… Reagan also often sought to educate his fellow Americans on the U.S. trade balance, even extemporaneously (and correctly) explaining at a 1985 press conference that trade deficits often correlate with job growth and economic vitality. …Reagan negotiated and concluded the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement — the basis for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). …Reagan administration negotiators also helped launch the Uruguay Round under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which would in 1994 strike the single biggest blow for free trade in the last 70 years by establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Amen. I may have to revise my assessment of Reaganomics and give the Gipper an even better grade.

So what would it mean if Trump’s protectionist push led to similar statist policies by other nations?

A World Bank study gives us an idea of the potential implications.

This paper quantifies the wide-ranging costs of potential increases in worldwide barriers to trade…a coordinated global withdrawal…from all existing bilateral/regional trade agreements, as well as from unilateral preferential schemes coupled with an increase in the cost of traded services, is estimated to result in annual worldwide real income losses of 0.3 percent or US$211 billion relative to the baseline after three years. …Highlighting the importance of preferences, the impact on global trade is estimated to be more pronounced, with an annual decline of 2.1 percent or more than US$606 billion relative to the baseline if these barriers stay in place for three years. Second, a worldwide increase in tariffs up to legally allowed bound rates coupled with an increase in the cost of traded services would translate into annual global real income losses of 0.8 percent or more than US$634 billion relative to the baseline after three years. The distortion to the global trading system would be significant and result in an annual decline of global trade of 9 percent or more than US$2.6 trillion relative to the baseline in 2020.

I wonder if those numbers underestimate the threat given how tit-for-tax protectionism caused much greater levels of damage during the 1930s.

Anyhow, let’s conclude with a very effective (and concise) video from Matt Ridley on the principle of comparative advantage. It’s about trade between two people, but the same principle applies to trade between nations. Simply stated, trade allows for specialization, which enables higher productivity (and therefore higher wages and living standards).

ECON1269 International Trade Sample Assignment

On March 11, 2014, in Seoul, Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Canada and Korean President Park Keun-hye signed a negotiation on a new free trade agreement between Canada and Korea. Canada agreed to eliminate tariffs on 98.4% of import items within 10 years and Korea also agreed to eliminate tariffs on 98.4% of import items (Kim, 2014).

1.1 Seafood sector

The Korea-Canada Free Trade Agreement has created market access opportunities for seafood industry of Canada by eliminating Korean high tariffs on all seafood.

The major contents of the seafood field of the Korea-Canada FTA are as follows. All Korean tariffs on seafood products will be eliminated under the Korea-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Products that benefit from immediate tariff elimination include frozen lobster and fresh, chilled and smoked salmon of Pacific and Atlantic. Before the Free Trade Agreement, there was a maximum of 20% tariffs. Almost 70% of seafood tariffs will be eliminated within 5 years after coming into effect of Korea-Canada FTA and all remaining tariffs on seafood will be eliminated within 12 years. This agreement will eliminate 16.5% tariff rate from 47% average tariff rate of Korea (Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, 2014).

1.2 The effects of trade policies in South Korea on the 3 types of economic agents: Consumers, Producers and Government.

1.2.1 Government side

Korea and Canada will have better relationship through FTA. This is expected to further expand trade and investment. According to a study by the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, when a Korea-Canada FTA eliminates all tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers between the two countries, it is estimated that the level of trade between the two countries will increase 1.8 times for the medium to long term. Furthermore, as a result of analysis of economic growth and consumer welfare effects using the Computable General Equilibrium model used for the analysis of Korea-US FTA and Korea-EU FTA, Korean real GDP is estimated to increases about 0.032%, and consumer welfare is estimated to reach about $ 358 million (Oh et al., 2013). Therefore, positive effects are expected for the macroeconomy, because of the securing of global competitiveness due to trade complementary relation between the two countries.

By pushing ahead with free trade agreement negotiations with Canada, one of Group of Eight, it is possible to publicize Korean strong will, which are reform and openness, internally and externally, and to promote to the World that Korean efforts to build advanced countries (Kim, 2014). Therefore, it is expected to accelerate attraction of foreign capital by boost of oInternational Creditworthiness.

Finally, a few years after this policy was implemented, it was announced that the policy's impact on Korea was positive. According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Korea, after the FTA took effect, Canada's investment in Korea from 2015 to 2017 was increased by 46.6% from 2012 to 2014, the last three years before its entry into force. In 2017, the trade volume between Korea and Canada also increased 10.6% over the previous year. Korean the amount of export fell 3.4 percent, but exports volumes rose 5.2 percent and Imports also rose 27.9% (Korea Policy Briefings, 2018).

1.2.2 Producers side

Tariffs elimination on seafood sector will demolish the entry barriers of the Korean seafood market and encourage Canadian seafood industries to enter the market more easily and quickly. This will result high competition in domestic and foreign producers. Companies with low competitiveness will not survive in the competitive market. This will frustrate the domestic seafood industry.

 The effects of imports on surplus

Figure 1 Customer& Producer surplus change after imports

  • Producer surplus before import= B+C
  • Producer surplus after import=C
  • Total surplus=A+B+C+D

Producer surplus is one of a measurement of producer welfare. Producer surplus is the difference between the actual amount the producer receives when the transaction is made and the amount the producer is willing to supply the goods. As amount of seafood imports increase, surplus of domestic producers will decrease due to price of seafood decreass. Therefore, increase seafood import affects the Korean producer&rsquos welfare negatively. Moreover, decline in production of seafood industry in South Korea due to the increase in imports of Canadian marine products is about 1 billion won annually, and 15 years cumulative is about 14.9 billion won, which is only 0.01% compared to the total production of marine products in South Korea. However, even if the decline in production is 0.01% of the total production of marine products, the decline has a negative impact on producers (Kim, 2014).

After the CKFTA in 2014, Canada became Korea's 13th largest supplier of seafood sector in

In 2015, Canada exported $60.5 million USD, an increase of 31.4% over 2014 (Chen, 2016). According to the chart above, Canada had a significant growth in market share, which is indicator of competitiveness, in the field of frozen seafood. Typically, frozen lobsters were 5.65% in 2014, but increased significantly to 17.69% in 2015. As Canada 's market share increases, it can mean a increase competitiveness of Canadian seafood industry and a decrease competitiveness of Korean domestic seafood industry.

However, there is not only negative side. The increase in import competition also brings active and ardent benefits by allowing domestic producers to be more efficient in order to compete foreign producers in low price market. Furthermore, lower prices can also have a positive impact on monetary policy. Since competition reduces the risk of inflation, central banks can pursue free monetary policy at low interest rates. These low rates help the investment and production sectors (Krist, 2019).

1.2.3 Consumer side

Declining prices and promiting competition by increase import expand consumer 's choice in terms of quality and quantity. As typical example, for lobster marine products, the supply is much higher than demand due to increasing imports of lobster increase as import tariffs disappear, so it causes supply surplus. As a result, prices will continue to fall until it reach equilibrium.As prices drop, purchasing power is increasing, so consumers can buy better or more products at the same price. Falling prices have substitution effects and income effects. The substitution effect is that customers want to buy more products because the products are cheaper than others. The income effect is that after a price drop, the consumer can buy the same product as before and there is still money to buy more. Demand increases as prices fall for two reasons (Greenlaw, Shapiro and Taylor, 2017.) Therefore, as demand increases in the future, prices will also increase followed demand.

 Demand-Supply graph for surplus caused by import

Figure 2 Surplus of seafood industry caused by imports

 The effects of imports on surplus

Figure 3 Customer& Producer surplus change after imports

  • Customer surplus before import= A
  • Customer surplus after import= A+B+D
  • Total surplus=A+B+C+D

The increase in imports due to the elimination of tariffs is cause increase in supply, so consumption surplus increases because the price drops as the import supply increases, as shown in the graph above. Consumer surplus is the difference between the maximum price a consumer is willing to pay and the actual price paid (Greenlaw, Shapiro and Taylor, 2017). If the actual market price is lower than the price that the consumer is currently thinking of and willing to pay, customer will get benefit from the purchased product. Moreover, consumers who generate huge benefits from product purchases are likely to purchase again in the future. Thus, consumers get better by increase seafood import. Therefore, increase seafood import affects Korean customer&rsquos welfare positively.

To sum up, the Government of the Republic of Korea will reduce the revenue of the government by removing tariffs on the seafood sector. However, as it explained earlier, this CKFTA is beneficial to the Korean government by gaining the other benefits that have a good impact on the country in the long term. Therefore, KCFTA is beneficial to government. However, producers in the Korean seafood sector gain disadvantage benefits, which are bigger than they gain benefits from KCFTA. Therefore, KCFTA is a disadvantage to producers. Finally, consumers in the Korean seafood sector can purchase a variety of products at a lower price, and as described above, the consumer surplus has increased, which has had a positive effect on the consumer welfare. The exact amount of surplus is not estimated, but theoretically, the total surplus is higher than before the import tariff is applied, which can be seen to have contributed to the economic efficiency of the Republic of Korea.

Trade liberalization was realized in 2012 by easing sanctions on Myanmar (Naing, 2014). Therefore, many foreign capital and products are being imported into Myanmar. In Myanmar, it is not easy to come up with reliable and recent statistics, but some estimate that between 2005 and 2011, food imports are estimated to have increased by 40% annually (Rushdy, 2017). Myanmar is too dependent on imported products, which can create a huse risk. If the import is too much higher than the exports, it can generate deficit on trade and decrease the value of the currency. Therefore, some Myanmarese support protectionist policies in order to protect and grow domestic company. However, now Myanmar's situation is that Myanmar is exporting its main products, such as natural gas, wood products, pulses and beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems, at low prices and importing manufacturing and investment goods (Naing, 2014) . As shown from the list of export product, most of the products are not manufactured. This means Myanmar has low manufacturing capacity. This also means Myanmar has lack of technology and education. Therefore, Myanmar should not implement protectionist policies to learn Myanmar's lack part through successful forign company.

As one representative example, Myanmar's milk industry has many problems. These are high cost of milk and dairy products produced domestically, low skill level, low livestock industry training, low research and expansion capability, low quality, and lack of product (Lee et al., 2014). Furthermore, according to the Myanmar dairy sector, it also reports that milk and dairy product industry does not have ability to control tick-borne and other diseases, and the number of bacteria in milk is surprisingly high. Thus, this situation makes Myanmarese continues to increase dependence on imports products (Lee et al., 2014). Therefore, the milk and dairy product industry in Myanmar has a big challenge to solve many these problems and to develop the quality of fresh milk and dairy products. To solve this problem, however, this industry need to learn skills, technology, education, training and product awareness.

Free trade is one of best ways to give oppourtunity to domestic industry to learn. Numerous foreign investors will enter to Myanmar through free trade, which helps to add capital to expand the domestic industry and promote domestic business (Froning, 2000). It also has the advantage of expertise and technology transfer. Global companies have higher professionalism in developing local resources more than domestic companies. Moreover, Myanmar can take advantage of the technology trasfer and job training to local labour from foreign companies. Domestic companies will develope more and more by learnning from foreign companies which is successful cases. Furthermore, by this experience, domestic industry will grow fast and this will soon lead to economic growth.

In addition, current trend of Myanmar is to increase the use of milk and dairy products by the growing middle class. Myanmar's middle class is expected to double over the next eight years from 2014, so dairy consumption is expected to increase at a similar rate (Lee et al., 2014). If the domestic industry attract domestic imported dairy customers to turn to domestic companies' customers by improving productivity, technology, and product quality through foreign companies, domestic companies' growth and competitiveness will be extraordinarily increased. Therefore, Myanmar should not implement protectionism policies. It wiser to find ways to develop domestic industries through free trade to enhance their competitiveness.

In the 1980s, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia launched Proton which is the only national automotive company in ASEAN. Furthermore, in 1982, the National Car Project was homologated and the Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia signed a contract with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation from Japan (Kuchiki and Tsuji, 2010). National Car Project is an industrial policie or selective government intervention policie to foster national industries. The government continued to protect and help to grow the Proton by providing numerous subsidies (Tong, Terpstra and Lim, 2012). Proton advancement under national protection was great.

Automobiles of Proton were exported to more than 50 countries in 1996. (Abidin, 2017). In 1996, Proton City was established with initial investment of RM2.5 billion, which is 60,820,000 USD, and own the RM1.8 billion Proton autombile assemply plant (Wikipedia, 2019). Moreover, the Malaysian government also set up investment barriers for foreign companies to protect national company, Proton, but they may have inhibitted foreign investors and interruptted foreign company directly(Kuchiki and Tsuji, 2010). Additionally, in 1998, Malaysia government imposed imported tariff at least 140% up to 300% on completely built up (CBU) vehicles to protect Proton (United States Trade Representative, n.d.). It also has been got a tax benefit for that citizens was induced to naturally buy Proton cars.

However, Proton, which seemed to be a winner, entered a decline after entering the 2000s. The economies of scale to achieve under infant industry protection have not been achieved in long term. In 2002, Proton canceled its contract with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, which resulted reduction productive capacity and technology. This has had a major negative impact on

Proton. Proton, which was called National Car of Malaysia, had the highest sales in the

Malaysian market at about 90%, but in 2005 it declined to 24%. (Kuchiki and Tsuji, 2010).

Passenger car sales of Proton fell 30 percent from 166,118 cars in 2005 to 115,538 cars in 2006 (Abidin, 2017). Furthermore, its sales in 2016 were 72,290 cars, while Perodua, the same national automotive company, sold 207,110 units. Perodua's market share was 40%, when Proton took only 14% in 2016(Abidin, 2017).

Today, car import tariffs are 0% to 30% (MALAYSIA: DUTIES & TAXES ON MOTOR VEHICLES, 2018). This is certainly a lower tariff than when the government was fully supported Proton in the past. This indicates that protection and subsidies from government have begun to disintegrate. Unfortunately, Proton has significantly lower ability to compete with other automotive companies without government protection. Theoretically, the government's excessive infant industry protection policy provides a trap of comfort that makes infant industry reluctant to leave from protection. This company has grown externally but without government protection, it can not do anything like a child. Therefore, Infant Industry protection policy on Proton in Malaysia has failed. It has grown in the short run, but it is starting to collaps in the long run. This is a prime example of the fact that if external competition is totally excluded, laziness and numbness are promoted and this will cause the industry to suffer from threaten of surviving.

Abidin, I. (2017). The way forward for Proton. [online] New Straits Times. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].

Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. (2014). [ebook] Public Works and Government Services Canada, pp.7-20. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Chen, M. (2016). Sector Trend Analysis Fish and Seafood Trends In South Korea. [ebook] Ottawa: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, p.2. Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019]

Froning, D. (2000). The Benefits of Free Trade: A Guide For Policymakers. [online] The Heritage Foundation. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].

Kim, Y. (2014). Expected Effects and Prospects of Korea-Canada FTA. [online] Korea Policy Briefings. Available at: [Accessed 3 Jan. 2019].

Kim, Y. (2014). Meaning and Influence of Korea-Canadian FTA. [ebook] Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City: Korea Economic Research Institute.

%EC%99%80_%EC%98%81%ED%96%A5.pdf [Accessed 6 Jan. 2019].

Korea Policy Briefings (2018). Canadian investment in Korea increased by 47% in three years after the FTA took effect. [online] Korea Policy Briefings, Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City: Ministry of Trade and Industry. Available at: 12 [Accessed 3 Jan. 2019].

Kuchiki, A. and Tsuji, M. (2010). From agglomeration to innovation. Basingstoke [England]: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.25-26.

Krist, W. (2019). Chapter 3: Trade Agreements and Economic Theory. [online] Wilson Center. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2019].

Lee, J., Jong, M., Thant, A., Oo, T., Lynn, P. and Ren, X. (2014). The Myanmar dairy sector. [online] Wageningen: Wageningen UR Livestock Research, pp.13-31. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2019].

MALAYSIA: DUTIES & TAXES ON MOTOR VEHICLES. (2018). [ebook] Petaling Jaya:

Malaysian Automotive Association. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].

Naing, D. (2014). Trade Policy Reform in Myanmar. [ebook] Bangkok: United Nations ESCAP, pp.1-6. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Rushdy, K. (2017). How Protectionism Can Save Myanmar. [online] HuffPost. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Oh, S., Kim, Y., Kim, H. and Lee, J. (2013). The current status and economic meaning of

Korea-Canada FTA. [ebook] Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City: Korean Institute for International Economic Policy. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan.

Greenlaw, S., Shapiro, D. and Taylor, T. (2017). PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS 2E. [ebook] Montreal: Pressbook, pp.71-73, 133-146. Available at: [Accessed 9 Jan. 2019].

Tong, JT, Terpstra, R & Lim, N-CE 2012, 'Proton: Its rise, fall, and future prospects' Asian Case Research Journal, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 347 - 348. DOI: 10.1142/S0218927512500150.

United States Trade Representative (n.d.). MALAYSIA. MALAYSIA. [online] Washington:

United States Trade Representative, pp.298-299. Available at: /asset_upload_file764_6582.pdf [Accessed 6 Jan. 2019].

International Liberty

The good news is that Donald Trump is not imitating all of Herbert Hoover’s statist policies.

The bad news, as I explain in this interview, is that his protectionist mistakes could trigger a repeat of Hoover’s beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism that wreaked havoc in the global economy during the 1930s.

George Santayana is famous for warning that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Well, this is why I’m so agitated about what Trump is doing. It’s true that the economy will not be wiped out by the trade taxes he’s imposing today. But what happens when other nations retaliate, and then Trump doubles down with additional taxes on global commerce?

That’s a potential recipe for a big reduction in worldwide liberty. Which is exactly what happened in the 1930s, as illustrated by this chart from an academic study.

At the risk of understatement, that would not be good for American prosperity. And blue-collar workers would be among the victims since protectionism always destroys more jobs than it saves.

So what can be done about this?

The Washington Post reports on some bipartisan legislation that would curtail Trump’s authority to unilaterally destabilize world trade.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would give Congress new authority to check the president’s trade moves… Corker’s bill would require congressional approval when the president enacts tariffs under the auspices of national security, as Trump did last week in imposing levies on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The legislation, which Corker released with a total of nine Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, is the most forceful congressional response to date to Trump’s protectionist trade agenda. …The bill’s prospects are unclear. Corker acknowledged that some Republicans are unwilling to cross the president, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has ruled out bringing up the measure as a stand-alone bill. But Corker’s bill appeared to be gaining traction on and off Capitol Hill on Wednesday. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its support, as did Koch Industries. …Corker’s legislation would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security. The legislation would qualify for expedited consideration for a 60-day period. …The co-sponsors are Republican Sens. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), along with Democrats Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mark R. Warner (Va.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii) and Chris Van Hollen (Md.).

I’m sympathetic to such legislation, not only to thwart Trump’s protectionism, but also because I don’t think any White House should have so much unilateral power. In other words, I’m philosophically consistent. I didn’t think it was right for Obama to have the authority to arbitrarily change provisions of Obamacare and I don’t think it is right for Trump to have the authority to arbitrarily change provisions of trade law.

But let’s stick to the trade issue. Lower taxes on global commerce are one of the great achievements of post-World War II era. Policy makers around the world have lowered barriers and allowed the free market more breathing room.

That’s been a very successful policy.

By the way, politicians from developing nations deserve special credit. They’ve been especially aggressive in lifting the burden of trade taxes. Here’s a chart prepared by the Confederation of British Industry.

I started today’s column by warning that Trump shouldn’t emulate Hoover. I’ll end the column by pointing out that Reagan is a better role model.

And if that doesn’t work, maybe we can educate the President on why it’s good to have a capital surplus, which is the flip side of having a trade deficit.

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41 Responses

[…] last time the United States made a big push for protectionism was in the 1930s. At the risk of understatement, that was not an era of […]

[…] but it’s not looking good. He not only has a bad record on big issues such as spending and trade, but he also is prone to cronyist policies in other […]

[…] In other words, lower tax rates and less red tape have more than offset the pain of protectionism. […]

[…] It would be much better, as I discuss in this interview with Yahoo Finance, if Trump instead declared a ceasefire in the trade wars he’s started. […]

[…] say they’re imposing taxes on other countries, but people (consumers, workers, investors) are the victims. In the latter case, politicians say they’re imposing taxes on corporations, but people […]

[…] I’m tempted to also warn that Trump’s risky protectionism may lead to a victory for Crazy Bernie or some other Democrat in 2020. But Trump does have some […]

[…] Donald Trump is an incoherent mix of good policies and bad policies. […]

[…] some people complain that this is akin to disarmament in a hostile world. I reject that analogy. If my neighbor shoots himself in the foot, I’ve never thought I should “level the playing […]

[…] But the “unseen” costs are always far greater. […]

[…] Theory teaches us that government intervention is a recipe for economic harm. And we certainly have painful history showing the adverse consequences of […]

[…] some people complain this is akin to disarmament in a hostile world. I reject that analogy. If my neighbor shoots himself in the foot, I’ve never thought I should “level the […]

[…] what’s been happening thanks to the WTO (and GATT, the predecessor pact). Here’s a chart prepared by the Confederation of British Industry, which shows how trade barriers have been continuously dropping. And dropping most rapidly in other […]

[…] Trump’s view of global trade is so bizarre, risky, uninformed, misguided, and self-destructive that I periodically try to maintain my sanity by […]

[…] Since the video mentioned Santa sneaking in the country and evading tariffs, here’s a cartoon strip featuring a protectionist Scrooge. […]

[…] last time the United States made a big push for protectionism was in the 1930s. At the risk of understatement, that was not an era of […]

[…] big missteps are protectionism and fiscal profligacy, but he also does small things that are […]

[…] Great Depression was a very painful example of what happens when protectionists are in […]

[…] I’m embarrassed to admit that I forget to mention protectionism as another are where Trump is pushing in the wrong direction. […]

[…] Trump imposes protectionist trade barriers, he doesn’t realize that the harm imposed on other nations is matched by damage to the U.S. […]

[…] The bottom line is that Trump’s protectionism is bad policy. And risky policy. […]

[…] all worlds is for trade liberalization to happen simultaneously in all countries, and negotiations have produced considerable progress since the end of World War II, so I’m somewhat agnostic about the best […]

[…] if Trump goes really crazy with his protectionism (and he has lots of bad policies under consideration – dealing with NAFTA, auto trade, China, steel and aluminum, etc), then […]

[…] Remember the big debate about whether Trump was a closet free trader or a crude protectionist? […]

[…] a debate in Washington about what President Trump really thinks about trade. Is he a crude protectionist or closet free […]

[…] Simply stated, I like what Trump is doing on taxes and regulation, but I’m not a fan of what he’s doing on spending and trade. […]

[…] from the report showing the policies that help and the policies that hurt. Needless to say, it would be good if the White House understood that protectionism is one of the factors that undermine […]

[…] very irked by what Trump is doing on trade, government spending, and cronyism, but I give credit where credit is due. I suspect none of the […]

[…] what he’s doing on trade, he needs to boost his other grades as much as […]

[…] By starting a trade war, President Trump is playing with matches in a gunpowder factory. Other nations are retaliating, creating the risk of escalating tit-for-tat protectionism. […]

[…] be great news for the global economy. And it would be much better than a potentially dangerous tit-for-tat trade war, which seems to be where we’re heading […]

[…] Sadly, Trump seems oblivious to these concerns. So, just like 80 years ago, we’re heading down the tit-for-tat path. […]

[…] When Trump unilaterally imposes higher taxes on trade, other nations almost always respond with tit-for-tat protectionism. And when these other nations target American products, that necessarily reduces […]

[…] ago, I shared a segment from a TV interview about trade and warned that retaliatory tariffs were a painful consequence of Trump’s […]

[…] also a political case against protectionism because governments almost always respond to protectionism with […]

[…] A tit-for-tat global trade war that would repeat the mistakes of the 1930s. […]

[…] tit-for-tat global trade war that would repeat the mistakes of the […]

[…] and Trump partisans won’t like this column, but the sad reality is that both Obamacare and Trump’s protectionism have a lot in […]

[…] the second line is the most relevant since other nations will respond with their own destructive trade […]

[…] the election. And I didn’t change my tune once he got to the White House. I’ve written several columns bemoaning his protectionist approach, including a piece just two days ago where I criticized the […]

[…] protectionism is deeply troubling. It threatens American prosperity and could lead to tit-for-tat protectionism that caused so much damage to the global economy in the […]

I’m quite ambivalent about the tariffs.

On principle, of course, I am against free market distorting tariffs.

I’m also half amused by smug intellectual European politicians (who supposedly understand trade much better than our own simpleton president) applying revengeful counter-tariffs, as if that were something that moderates the damage. It is like an intellectual writer, who supposedly knows much better, who stops buying fish from the fisherman because the simpleton refuses to buy his sophisticated books. You may get some satisfaction, as idiotic duelers may have once said, but you are essentially adding damage to damage. There’s something weird when you do that as a smug intellectual who supposedly knows better.

But let’s return to why I’m ambivalent about the Trump tariffs….

I’m ambivalent about the tariffs because, from a tactical point of view I am more afraid of world harmonization into an ecumenical global government, global laws, and global culture.

Global trade tensions, as well as the other tensions they will precipitate, will significantly help us move away or at least stall the process of transition towards global governance by OECD, IMF, climate change and environmental commissars, G7s, G8s, G20s, unified laws and universal culture — all twenty first century vehicles of a new kind of totalitarianism. BTW, I think that many nations sense this new oppression and that’s why there’s upheaval amongst many electorates but they grossly misinterpret the causes and most often take actions in the wrong direction, making the situation worse, by supporting even bigger statists like Marine Le Pen.

In other words, I think globalization of competition is good, however global harmonization and homogenization of government, regulation, and laws, is bad — way bad.

Consequently, I think that the globalization of commerce, capital and people movement, is a great thing. Because it encourages competition and a multipronged approach to human advancement. Globalization of laws, regulations and culture is bad because it imposes a one size fits all dirigiste authoritarian straightjacket — be it labeled “progressive” or not.

So, in summary, I think that a few bad tariffs may not be that bad if they help prevent something worse.

Having said that I’m aware of the dangers and pitfalls of placing strategy before morals (morals to me are long term utility, as I’ve opined in the past).

Hence my ambivalence about the tariffs and the international animosity they

So, to the question : “Can’t we all just get along” — and be ruled by an ecumenical French style government ? I say no — thank heavens we cannot all just get along!

So, in my fantasy, I see Trump doing this as part of this greater plan against the globalization of government, laws, taxes and culture, and see Trump as a genius (ok, I said, it is just a fantasy, but I sometimes enjoy thinking it’s true).

Now, most voters, deep inside, are opposed to free trade for different reasons, which is accelerating the decline and eventual demise of currently advanced democracies.

Deep down in their primal instincts most voters fear competition, and thus even more so fear the globalization of competition because of their inner insecurities. This insecurity is partially justified. After all who feels the most competent person in the world, even in their own fields of expertise? What they don’t understand is that true free market competition creates such an abundance of jobs that there are plenty of positions– even for the less competent. In other words, even if you are not that competent you can still find a great job. Those more competent are extremely unlikely to “steal” your job, because those more competent have already been hired or are just busy doing even more important and impactful things — and still there are yet more openings than people to fill them even at those higher levels. In other words a truly dynamic free market creates way more jobs than there are people available to fill them in — and nearly everyone, whether competent or not, is much better off. Exponentially better off as high growth compounds into mythical riches and capabilities with time — a rather short time — an an ever shorter time now that humanity is irreversibly moving faster than ever. Human advancement is reaching escape velocity…

PS. The US is playing down its relationship with Europe and that is a good thing. Or at least it is an inevitable thing since Europe (with a structural growth rate way below world average) is in irreversible arithmetically deterministic decline, and so Europe’s economy will keep representing an ever smaller percentage of total world economic activity. That is realpolitik on behalf of the American president. The problem is that due to accumulation of progressive policies on this side of the Atlantic, the US is facing the same fate as its old continent brethren :decline — albeit with some delay and at a slower rate. But the end result will be the same unless the country changes course — doubtful. Countries under the stress of decline typically double down on coercive collectivism as resentment imposes the forceful recruitment of individual to serve the cause of perceived communal goals.

Watch the video: Δείτε τι Παθαίνουν όσοι δεν Κοινωνούν συχνά (May 2022).


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