Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/09/2016 --BENNETT: Curtis Ellis is the executive director for the American Jobs Alliance, an anti-free trade activist group leading the charge against the TPP or Trans-Pacific partnership, sometimes known as "ObamaTrade." Curtis was previously a writer and producer for Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and reporter for Associated Press radio. On August 3rd 2016, Curtis wrote a report titled 'King Obama strikes again', where Curtis stated Obama said he would push the TPP in a lame duck session of Congress, and Obama also said Donald Trump is unfit to hold the office of President. Curtis, welcome to Financial Myth Busting.
ELLIS: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.
BENNETT: In your opinion Curtis, who is unfit to be president, Trump or Obama?
ELLIS: Well, in the larger sense, I believe that Mr. Obama has shown himself to be unfit to be president for the simple reason that he said on Tuesday, which he is going to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a lame duck session of Congress. Now as someone who said he is a professor of constitutional law, Mr. Obama should know that the Constitution was amended in 1933 with the 20th amendment, the so called Lame Duck Amendment, because it was the sense of Congress, and the various states that approved the amendment, that nothing but routine legislation should be considered in a lame duck session. Something as important as this sweeping 12 nation international regulatory pact that will affect everything, every bit of commerce that is carried on within this country, which will affect our laws including immigration, energy and everything else, is not routine legislation, and that should not be considered in a lame duck session of Congress.
BENNETT: Curtis, both Trump and Hillary have made major trade agreements an important issue in their campaigns. I think polls have shown that many Americans believe that free trade agreements have hurt the country, and both Trump and Hillary believe the TPP, which was negotiated by Obama, is the wrong way to go. Although Hillary was involved in putting the agreement together while she was in office, which is a little odd. Focusing on Mrs. Clinton, she hasn't offered any details of what her alternative trade program would look like. Do you have any idea what she has in mind?
ELLIS: Well if the past is any judge of the future, we do have an idea of what she has in mind. Actually, statements from her own campaign, and her own advisors and confidants give us a very good idea. She has said, as you stated very correctly, she helped negotiate this Trans-Pacific Partnership. She helped negotiate it. She called it the gold standard of agreements. But then when she came under pressure from Bernie Sanders in the primaries, and from Mr. Trump, and looked at all the polls and saw how widely unpopular it is, she reversed course. In a very carefully parsed statement she said "I am opposed to it in its current form."
Now, this is exactly the type of elocution that was used by her husband, Bill Clinton, when he was in office. When he was campaigning to be president he said he opposed NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. But once he won the election he said well, we're going to change it a little. He got some side letter agreements, which were really non-binding and toothless, and said okay, now it's fixed, and now I can support it. Add to that the fact that her closest confidant, Terry McAuliffe, who is now the governor of Virginia, when he was asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Hillary Clinton shifting positions on it, he said, and this was during the Democratic National Convention, he said, don't worry, once the election is over she'll come around, and she'll support it. We've got to build the global economy.
Then as recently as two days ago one of her top campaign advisers, Joel Benenson, was on TV, and was asked about President Obama's statement that he was going to push this Trans-Pacific Partnership in the lame duck Congress. Wolf Blitzer on CNN asked him if Hillary Clinton would lobby against it. He said no. He said this is Obama's choice, he can do what he wants. It's not our position to lobby against it in a lame duck session. So should she win the election we can expect this to be run through Congress, an attempt made by the president. Hillary Clinton will stand on the sidelines, publicly take no stand, but behind the scenes will be, probably, whipping for it. Donald Trump has stated very clearly he is against it, he will be against it should it pass. On his first day in office he will withdraw from it. If it doesn't pass, on his first day in office he's going to put it in the shredder.
BENNETT: Would you agree that trade isn't the main force destroying good jobs here in America? But it does seem to be serving as an easy political target for a really odd election.
ELLIS: This is an odd election.
BENNETT: Yes, it is.
ELLIS: I would agree with that. I would say trade so called trade, which is really labor arbitrage, is one of the factors that has had a very devastating effect on certain categories of jobs in America. Donald Trump will be giving a speech on Monday at the Detroit Economic Club, laying out a policy of tax reform, regulatory reform, trade reform, and energy reform in order to make America the best place on earth to do business, and to jump start our economy, and start producing better paying jobs. Not just minimum wage jobs. The Democrats can argue over whether the minimum wage should be $12, or $15, or $40, or whatever arbitrary number they want to pick. The fact of the matter is we need to be creating jobs that are far above minimum wage in order to put America back to work, in order to have happy days here again where we'll have broad based prosperity where people can raise a family, buy a home, send their kids to college, and so on.
BENNETT: Trump says that as president, if he gets elected, he's going to bring back outsourced jobs. To that point Obama says that most of these jobs aren't coming back, that most of these jobs, like textile jobs, or assembly line workers, just aren't desirable here in the United States anymore. I'm wondering, what do you make of that, that the jobs we're losing are jobs Americans really don't want anymore? At least according to Obama.
ELLIS: I don't believe that there are jobs Americans don't want to do.
BENNETT: I agree.
ELLIS: I don't think that's a good way to raise your children. I believe in the dignity of labor. I think all jobs are good jobs. The question is, do jobs pay enough to raise a family, and buy a house, support a middle class life. A lot of the jobs that were outsourced, such as textiles, and assembly, and light manufacturing, toys manufacturing, these were good paying jobs, and they relied on the feeder industries that go into these jobs; machinists, tool and dye makers, welding, so on. Those are skilled jobs that pay really well. To say Americans don't want to do them is very elitist. It's an elitist attitude if you're an Ivy League trained lawyer, you're going to say well everybody should be an Ivy League trained lawyer. Well that's not reality. There's different skills. The Lord gave different people different talents, and we have to have an economy that allows people of different talents and different skills to support themselves, and support their families.
BENNETT: Agreed. Donald Trump has taken to savaging Hillary, especially lately, for her intent on dramatically expanding immigration to the United States, which he says will depress wages, and drive up unemployment. But hasn't America always thrived from an increasing supply of human capital? If America has largely prospered, while simultaneously growing its population, why is expanding human capital no longer beneficial to your point of view?
ELLIS: We're in a zero growth economy, as we are, and have been for several years now, this is weakest recovery since 1949. To be bringing in one million people a year, record rates of immigration, the simple law of supply and demand tells you that this will have a depressing effect on wages. Even liberal economists agree with this. When you have a growing economy, of course, you can absorb more people into the workforce, and into society that will be assimilated culturally into the American way of life. But when you have a stagnant economy, bringing in more people when Americans themselves are not working? We have record low labor participation rates. We have upwards of 20 million people who are either unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work. That is not the time to be increasing levels of immigration.
Let me just say this, the way the immigration laws are being used now, we're not bringing in rocket scientists like we did after WWII. We brought in all the Nazi rocket scientists, and thanks to them we were able to go to the moon. We're bringing in low skilled or unskilled workers. We have to be discerning. There's nothing discriminatory about being discerning about who is allowed entry into our country, and granted citizenship, and work status.
BENNETT: In the last year we've seen the emergence of the term globalism, which I would define as minimizing the importance of national borders, and globalizing the movement of workers, services, and goods, like you were speaking of. How do you define globalism, and why do you think it's suddenly a term of such universal derision?
ELLIS: I would agree with your definition of globalism. It is about minimizing the role of nations, and the sovereignty of nation states, minimizing the role of borders. America was built on the idea of Americanism, of building a national economy. But now we have people like Terry McAuliffe who let the cat out of the bag, and said we have to build a global economy. Well, we have to build an American economy first that can work with the global economy. Globalism is this almost Utopian Jihad to merge all economies, and merge all nations into one set of rules, one universal set of principles, which is really a historic, and probably impossible. It's not a good way to attack the problem.
Localism, the positive nationalism, is not jingoistic. One can be pro-American, and not hate other people, and not hate other countries. Just as we feed our children first. My family, I will feed my family and my children before I hand my paycheck over to someone down the street so they can feed their children while my kids starve. Now this idea of global economy, and globalization, and the global supply chain. The global supply chain is just a fancy term for jobs that have been offshored. These are things that used to be made in this country, and now are made somewhere else. Globalization is nothing new, ask Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella, or Marco Polo. These are people centuries ago who were seeking out new trade routes, because even at that time the economy, on a global scale, was integrated. People were doing business around the earth. So what we are debating are the terms under which this trade, and these interactions between nations and peoples will occur. Who does it benefit?
BENNETT: Last month the British voted to leave the European Union, which many regard as a sinking ship. You have argued that this is part, again, of a larger global anti-trade tide, and it's a positive sign for all anti-globalists like Donald Trump. How do you think what's happening with Brexit is related to what's happening in American politics today?
ELLIS: Well, people want to keep control of their national destiny, their culture, and their economy closer to home. They don't want to outsource to some unaccountable foreign, maybe even unidentifiable, authority. That's what happened in Britain. They have a parliament that has ruled Great Britain for many centuries. But under the European Union there is now a bureaucracy in Brussels that was writing rules governing commerce, governing immigration, governing many aspects of life, that the Parliament was handcuffed to overrule.
So what we're seeing in this country, again, is our economy, and the laws and policies pursued by Washington, are they benefiting the people of America, or are they benefiting some abstract idea called the global economy? Which really when you get right down to it is a corporatist elite of large multinational interlocking corporations that operate on a global scale, don't see themselves as American, and if they can they would rather hire people at the lowest wage rate possible in Cambodia than in Cincinnati.
BENNETT: You've said that Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy. The International Business Times reported that it filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Hillary's emails related to her advocacy of the TPP during her time as secretary of state. But the State Department now says it's not going to release the emails until after the election. What do you think they're trying to hide?
ELLIS: I would suspect they're hiding her role in negotiating this, in lobbying for it, and pushing it, the agreement she now says she opposes in its current form.
BENNETT: Thank you Curtis Ellis.
ELLIS: Thank you.
For over a quarter century, Dawn Bennett has been successfully guiding clients through the complexities of wealth management. Her unique vision and insight into market trends makes Bennett a much sought after expert resource with regular appearances on Fox News Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and MSNBC as well as being featured in Business Week, Fortune, The NY Times, The NY Sun, Washington Business Journal in addition to her highly regarded weekly talk radio program - Financial Mythbusting. Through prudent and thoughtful advice, Dawn Bennett has strived to consistently provide the highest quality of guidance.
About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com.
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