There is no such thing in the real world. Free Trade exists only in the minds of those who wish to use it's 'name' to cover their special interests, not that of working Americas or Domestic Manufacturers.....Or they are just plain ignorant of the reality/brainwashed. Any appearance of 'Free' Trade is just that, an appearance. It's there only because the Trade "Cheaters" want it that way not because of free markets at work. If you study the history behind the academic concept of 'Free' Trade you quickly learn that what the world is dealing with is anything but and in China's case it is the worst kind--Mercantilistic Trade. This is where Governments not markets control/game the system of international trade. The problem with this is only Governments, not companies or industries, can overcome this. Only government to government interaction can deal with this degree of market manipulation. Here is where our REPEATED failure to negotiate strong agreements that are a win/win in NET trade terms, and/or our failure to hold other parties to these agrements accountable to the rules contained therein, has failed the American Worker, Domestic Manufacturing, and our future at risk.
The result of this has been that trade is managed and or manipulated to our disadvantage. The proof is everywhere. But nowhere more obvious than our MASSIVE trade deficit in goods and now services and in the USA's $10 trillion accumulated trade deficit!!! Currency manipulation by China is the main culprit, but not the only one. By currency manipulation people should not read interest rates but should read the pegging of a currency to the U.S. Dollar, instead of to market valuation forces, to gain trade advantage. Wake Up America!
One of the biggest tactics used by Global Trade Cheaters like China is Currency manipulation. Inspite of ignorant articles like the one today in the WSJ by Kin Strassel http://www.wsj.com/articles/kim-strassel-the-looming-trade-showdown-1423786165, Currency Manipulation needs to be addressed before any TPA or Trade Agreements are passed.
Fortunately, recent articles like the one below by Rep. Sandy Levin and the very recent move in both the House and Senate to attack currency manipulation are shedding the light of truth on the issue. This is great but we need concrete action to punish the Trade Cheaters and we need it now!
* * The Need to Address Currency Manipulation in TPP, and Why U.S. Monetary Policy Is Not at Risk | Rep. Sandy Levin..
* U.S. lawmakers put currency cheating high on trade agenda | Reuters
One possible solution, which would work, is to put a tax on all goods coming from the currency manipulators equal to the amount of the manipulation. This tax would not be permanent, but would decrease in amounts equal the decrease in the amount of the manipulation and go to zero when the manipulation went to zero and their currencies were free floating and market valued. (P.S. this has nothing to do with interest rates that central banks set and currencies adjust to through market forces. This has everything to do with Countries devaluing their currency and then pegging its value to the dollar so as to maintain that devalued advantage, read CHINA and others to keep pace with China's manipulation)
To those KOOL-AID drinking "Free Traders" who will say that's not fair to the US Consumer who will pay higher prices for goods from the manipulating countries, I say, " Every consumer must first be a Producer with a good paying job, to be a healthy(reasonably debt laden) consumer." Then results of our 'misguided' mantra of 'Free Trade' has been the NET destruction of millions more good paying jobs than we have created at the feet our failed Trade Policies. The proof is everywhere in the news on this score as well, one just needs to wade through the political propaganda. See my recent article/series on Forbes.com entitled "Jobs, The Real Unemployment Rate, Please, Anyone!" at
Let our Congress and President know that you have had enough of our failed trade policy. The one based on the existence of 'Free Trade". It's just not the way the world works!