Treatment of Nations Implementing Measures Not Consistent with the WTO

Statement yesterday, as reported by Washington Examiner:

“[That country] really needs to make up its mind” … “Do they want to be in the community of nations, do they want to be part of the WTO and just behave like everybody else, or don’t they?”

“And if they don’t, then we, the community of nations, are going to have to think about what are we going to do about that?”… “Are we going to let them stay in the WTO?”

If you thought this was a reference to the administration’s unprecedented (and arbitary) implementation of Section 232 (national security based trade barriers), with regard to Turkish steel, you’d be wrong. Here’s the article. That’s CEA Chair Kevin Hassett on alleged Chinese violations of intellectual property protections.

Alternative phrasing:

“Nice Bretton Woods institution you got there. Shame if anything should happen to it…”

Here is Chad Bown’s discussion of the provocative nature of using Section 232. Here is commentary on Chinese violations of intellectual property rights, and how tariffs are an ineffective way of addressing valid concerns.

16 thoughts on “Treatment of Nations Implementing Measures Not Consistent with the WTO

    1. 2slugbaits

      This is almost a word-for-word recital of the same argument I’ve made here many times. The ONLY reason for IP protection is to provide a temporary incentive for new research by providing a temporary monopoly profit. And we shouldn’t be interfering with voluntary deals that companies make with China. If the company doesn’t like the terms of the deal, just walk away. And they could always just sell the copyright or patent rights just as US companies buy and sell copyright and patent rights between other US and foreign countries. But PeakTrader is not a free trader at all. Deep down he’s a mercantilist who likes to flatter himself with a little self-deception.

      1. baffling

        amen brother. this coercion argument where china “steals” technology for market access is garbage. the tech companies do not have to do the deal if it is not in their best interest. but they do the deal. why? because they feel they can make more money in the chinese market than they could outside of the market. and if they did the deal because they feel coerced? they are probably very poor businesspeople to begin with. this issue of long term patent and copyright protection should be more adequately addressed by our own media. i am all for some time period to protect your initial investment and provide for a profit, but there needs to be a limited time of protection. if you are truly innovative, get back in the lab and work on the next breakthrough. this also helps to eliminate those patent trolls who collect all kinds of IP and sit on it until they can force a payout from somebody. put a short expiration date on those protections and more innovation and cheaper prices will result.

      2. pgl

        “This is almost a word-for-word recital of the same argument I’ve made here many times.”

        I thought you would enjoy his post. Cochrane can be a good economist when he wants to be.

      3. Bruce Hall


        I agree with your position that IP (copyrights/patents) does provide a barrier to competition. I also agree that companies that make deals with unscrupulous partners do so because their greed outweighs their fears. So, let’s dispense with such protections and let the “market” decide the winners and losers. If you have a good idea and I appropriate it and can use it more effectively than you, that’s your tough luck. If I take your research without payment or credit, that’s okay as long as I use it better than you. If you want to protect your ideas or products and don’t want to risk me stealing them, you should lock them in a secure physical or data warehouse. I’m a free trader and agree that I should be able to freely trade what you’ve developed. Besides, it’s much more efficient to have just one source develop the idea or product and many others to use it without the time, trouble, and cost of dealing with IP. Free trade should be free!

  1. pgl

    Kevin DOW 36000 Hassett can be a good economist when he wants to be. Back in 1999 when he wrote that infamous book with James Glassman – he was not being an economist. From the day Trump hired him – he ceased to be an economist again. But that was part of the job description!

  2. Moses Herzog

    The timing of the Rusal aluminum thing is what is in my thoughts lately. It’s a Russian aluminum firm. The NYT article said they were turned down 19 times, and then right around the same time Trump has his 2 hour unrecorded/non-transcripted meeting with Putin, Rusal gets approved for the exclusion from the Trump tariffs. This is very strange and nearly no one is discussing it. Elizabeth Warren is saying (and I tend to believe her) if her senate office hadn’t have pressed the commerce/treasury dept on the issue, they would have let Rusal and Trump get away with this sh*t.

    This again strongly implies favors/payola and a very perverted relationship between Trump and Putin.

    1. baffling

      the trump and ross pay to play routine is simply rife with conflict of interest and crony capitalism. speaking of crony capitalism, that is one of peaklosers great complaints, and yet not a peep from him as the trump administration runs the greatest pay to play programs in history.

    2. pgl

      U.S. Treasury Grants Russia’s Rusal More Time For Bid To Waive Sanctions

      The U.S. Treasury Department says that it has extended the deadline for investors to divest holdings in the sanctioned Russian companies En+, GAZ Group, and Rusal from August 5 to October 23.
      The Treasury in April imposed sanctions against Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and eight companies in which he has large holdings, including aluminum giant Rusal, in response to what it called Russia’s “malign activities.”

      Deripaska has held a controlling interest in En+, which in turn controls Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer outside of China. Automaker GAZ is also part of his business empire.
      The sanctions against Rusal initially disrupted the global supply chain for aluminum and sent prices soaring, raising fears that the company would be unable to finance its operations and stay in business.
      The scare prompted Rusal to accept the Treasury’s offer of an exemption from the sanctions if it severs its ties with Deripaska, who has ties to the Kremlin.

  3. Not Trampis

    I could well be wrong but isn’t it China that has taken the USA to the WTO on their trade restrictions? I have constantly said Trump is no conservative as he has never believed in a rules based trading system. hence no conservative would support him.

    I concur on John Cochrane’s article as well

    1. Moses Herzog

      It’s important to keep in mind Hassett is a man with very little in the way of ethics. Those quotes by Hassett are rhetoric—at the end of the day they don’t mean a whole hell of a lot to anyone that doesn’t worship at the feet of FOX news. Menzie is mainly pointing out the amount of chutzpah this WH admin has, and their lack of respect for international institutions. trump is the man with his finger on the start/stop button on the mp3 player, as he simultaneously insists everyone else is cheating at a game of musical chairs.

  4. Moses Herzog

    Watching a repeat of a PBS Drama called “Remember Me” while reading a stats book. The first time I watched it I thought it was quite well done and scary. Now it’s more “spook” scary than horror scary. Now if you’re not somewhat superstitious or your mind is not apt to be open to “suggestion” (as in you’re are hypnotized semi-easily) you might be bored with it. But if your mind takes suggestion well and you believe even just slightly in ghosts, you might find yourself enraptured and legit scared at certain scenes in it—give it a try maybe.

  5. Moses Herzog

    I should add, the main female in “Remember Me”—the blonde— is very hot and has a certain way about her I find VERY attractive, and I’m much less apt to go for blondes usually. I forgot her name, it’ll be in the end credits I’m sure. I think it’s her eyes, she has very soft eyes.

  6. Moses Herzog

    I guess she’s a redhead in this thing. Weird….. I would have sworn she was a blonde in this. My mind’s not working to well lately.

  7. Moses Herzog

    Wondering if Menzie is wearing his blue Tony Evers t-shirt tonight, as he takes a swig of beer for every time anchors say the cliché _____ (???) on the TV election coverage tonight??

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