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Clinton’s Surprising Debate Stumble on Trade


Clinton’s Surprising Debate Stumble on Trade

Peter Certo

In her first debate with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton delivered one of her more memorable one-liners when she quipped, “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. You know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.”

Debate rules be damned, Clinton’s supporters in the room cheered loudly, and the line quickly ricocheted across social media.


Protectionism is the progressivism of fools. Gandhi was a great statesman but a horrible economist. Just as the ignorant in the USA argue that American workers who earn $15 per hour should not have to compete with Chinese workers who make $2 per hour, Gandhi thought that Indian workers should not have to compete with American and European workers who have the benefit of modern machines. As a result India adopted protectionism. In 1947 the per capita income of India was similar to countries such a South Korea. By 1977 the per capita income and standard of living in South Korea was may times that of India. India has since largely abandoned protectionism and has benefited immensely from free trade. Just as David Ricardo proved would be the case when he developed the concept of comparative advantage.
Protectionism can save jobs. In the USA the best measurement of the cost per job saved to the rest of the country is about $1 million per job saved. Saving one job might provide $100,000 in gains to the worker and the employer who benefit from the protectionism, but cost the rest of the country $1,000,000. Since the million dollars is just one third of one cent per person in the USA, no one notices it.
To save a million jobs via protectionism would cost the country a S1 trillion which would be about the same impact as a very severe recession. To save 10 million jobs via protectionism would cost the country a S10 trillion. That would make the USA a poorer country than Mexico. That would mean it would be likely the people born in the USA would be going to Mexico to work as servants and dishwashers. The degree of impoverishment that would result from that much protectionism is usually only associated with severe natural disasters or wars..."


Confusing regulatory capture with protectionism ? 6 of TPP's 30 chapters address trade while the others enable regulatory capture utilizing corporate tribunals to sue governments to force them to destroy their laws.

TPP protectionism protects corporations from complying with the laws of sovereign states.


Why should Peter Certo let this escape as a "stumble"?

The situation is simple, and there is no stumble here. Clinton likes the trade deals, has supported them, and knows that she is publicly associated with them. An almost unprecedented percentage of the public is against them. She just passed them off with one phrase, as though the whole matter were a question of Donald Trump's opinion, and the debate marched on.

It is good Certo is bringing this up here, but no, this is not a slip: it's a dodge, with maybe a bit of moonwalking.


It's not a stumble if it doesn't hurt her politically. The debate is generally regarded as having been a clinton win.

Victory Needs no Explanation. Defeat Allows None.


Hillary prepared for the Presidency by directing the DNC to stack the deck against Bernie in order to rob the Primary Elections in NV, AZ, IL, NY, PR and CA so she could be the Democratic Party's candidate for POTUS.


I live in California, where we take a month to count votes and we (proudly) make it easy to register. I love Bernie, but I knew he'd lose big. Nearly every woman I knew over 40 in my life was voting for Hillary, including my independent but Republican leaning aunt. Her supporters generally were not as visible as Bernie's, but they were real. It was disappointing when he lost, but I was prepared for it based on my own anecdotal experience.


TPP is corporate protectionism at the expense of workers globally, pure and simple. Your longish essay skirts painful realities for billions of working people all around the globe. I would go so far as to suggest these undemocratic trade deals are a form of economic genocide. Clinton's demur "That's your opinion," is so telling that I wished I'd looked closer to see if she blushed at her betrayal of the world's workers. If she didn't blush scarlet, she should have. I blush for America myself if this is our great hope for POTUS 2017-2021. I want to believe Hillary can represent working people but her retort was clearly a signal to her corporate donors that they are her real constituency, not the majority of Americans who are stuck with her because our only alternative is the DTs.


Straw-man argument. Most of those opposing the TPP, etc. are not doing so along protectionist lines.


That's right...It wasn"t a stumble...It was a tell. Her pseudo-aversion to TPP has been outted by HRC herself.
I just got finished reading in The latest Washington Spectator about DT's flagrant misrepresentations to golf club members in Florida. That is to say, Trump's mis-speaks double as backdoor exits from good faith membership agreements and these mis-speaks echo HRC's insincere promises to oppose TPP. It seems the only safe thing to say for Fall 2016 presidential campaigning is that much is fabricated from whole cloth. Neither party respects the election process or their constituencies enough to at least steer clear of blatant lies or the temptation to signal to their REAL constituents, i.e. high dollar donors, that they know who really butters their bread and therefore have no incentive to lie to.