“MAKE America Great Again!” was an effective campaign slogan amidst an economic tempest that hasn't really subsided. Will it work though after the fact? Election is over and the copy already served its purpose. Done. Globalization, the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. Seems cool especially at a time when “share the wealth” or “harmony in diversity” were working its way into the gamut and grace of the West's romance with political correctness. Then World Trade Organization (WTO) was born, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade. That was 1995, six years after Tiananmen Square Revolt where the Chinese working class got impatient with the (economic) mobility of Deng Xiaoping's Open Door Policy.
There are 164 WTO member-countries. Seemed cool to start the globalization blueprint to work. But they didn't know (or maybe the bigger powers knew?) that China's once-sleeping dragon is no dumbass. As the organization finetunes, China applied for membership and with Washington's clout all over the mahogany table, Beijing got in. That was 2001, Bill Clinton's term. The PR went this way: “The admission of China to the WTO was preceded by a lengthy process of negotiations and required significant changes to the Chinese economy. It signified China's deeper integration into the world economy.” The US of course supported an open system. Let `em in! “Huanying! Huanying!” An enormous multilateral achievement! Uh huh. The Clinton administration reasoned that China was one of the fastest growing markets for U.S. goods and services. The 1 Percent concurred. U.S. imports from China almost doubled within five years from $51.5 billion in 1996 to $102 billion in 2001.
Quite naturally, China negotiated back. What about us? Are we just going to buy your Nikes and Twizzlers? The huge Chinese humanity needed jobs—that is why there was a revolt in Tiananmen anyways. Sure! So WTO imposed conditions, actually harsher than those handed to other developing countries. China's service sector had to be liberalized and foreign investment allowed; restrictions on retail, wholesale and distribution had to end. Banking, financial services, insurance and telecommunications were also opened up to foreign investment. Cool!
Then Beijing went to work. Tax was lowered, workforce was cheap (yet still within the realm of the traditional Chinese lifestyle). Etc etcetera. How could America's 1 percent turn its back on that investment/partnership jackpot? So as environmentalists lobbied to padlock plants and factories in the heartland, these giant corporations made a massive exodus to the Great Wall of Better Profit. Simultaneously, the National People's Congress and State Council spread out subsidies to entrepreneurs and “little moguls” in the provinces so they could match up with those gargantuan job orders from America (and other WTO countries). Old and young, including children, were making stuff and things for Walmart, AC Moore, Target et al. Boom! Like a dragon's fire—the flamethrow was unstoppable to date. America's once vaunted trade surplus went south and trade deficit sucked. Exports gone, imports galore! Jobs? Oh well.
Globalization, yes. Probably good in some degree for smaller countries—yet really bad for America. All in all, it is a win-win for the 1 Percent. A regulated free market. Regulated for the 1 Percent profit monster. How do we bring back the jobs, Mr Trump? Convince China and its American/Western partners to ship factories back to the US? Well, partly. China has been buying huge corporations here before these companies—well, all go to China or Mexico or somewhere else, right? And the factories? As China's environmental index plummets due to those factories, they moved some out or created new factories and businesses in smaller countries where it's “friendly.” Easy environmental laws, lower wages, obedient workforce, sweet tax rates. These workers of the world can compete with Chinese workers anyhow. Equation: $8 dollars an hour in Wyoming is equivalent to two weeks in Nicaragua or Morocco. Explains why my own (Philippines-based) siblings' business partners are young Chinese. And do you know that New York City's tourism income relies heavily on Chinese spending? These people can spend!
Meantime, I'd like to watch or observe how Trump's economic czars work things out. Remember, Russia also got in WTO in 2012. The D cut taxes on the rich or huge corporations to entice them to re-invest or expand here and so they could generate jobs. Right? Of course. But these MIBs will still have to do the math. Low tax rates against such a hard to refuse conditions somewhere? Take note as well, South American giants Brazil and Argentina owe China lotsa moolah. Many people need jobs out there. So that's what it is. The picture doesn't change though irrelevant Obama is still here or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders won instead. That fact stays.
Make America great again? Maybe that line is in itself flawed. It's self-righteous and egoistic. Why not say let's make America be part of a “globalized” community and let's us all treat each other as equals? No great or greatest. Just equal humans with feet planted on reality ground and hands waving on the same air.