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Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

RCEP is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

However, it has very little to do with increasing trade, but rather to guarantee the rights of MNCs when they invest in a foreign country.

Whenever our government talk about FTAs, it likes to point out that tariffs of goods will be slashed and therefore will be cheaper and trade will increase. But the fact of the matter is that tariffs are already very low or non-existent. The further reduction of tariffs in most FTAs does little to enhance trade as the goods that are targeted are insignificant.

For example, Taiwan is not part of the RCEP, but its trade will not be adversely affected as almost 70% of it with RCEP countries has zero tariff.

Rather, tariff reduction is used as an excuse to get the population to accept FTAs. The main purpose of an FTA is to guarantee the rights of investors.

For example, a company investing millions of dollars in a foreign country will want to make sure that the government is not going to nationalize its operation, favour local companies unfairly or introduce a new law that will reduce its profits.

More pertinently, big businesses are so powerful these days, they are working with governments to increase profits via FTAs. For example, they cannot make any money from intellectual property if governments do not help them enforce patents. That is where FTAs come in. In return for investing in foreign countries and a bit of arm-twisting from the country that these big businesses come from, big pharmaceutical companies, computer software companies, movie production houses, and other companies that profit from intellectual properties are getting governments to commit to enforcing patents and copyrights, oftentimes for longer periods to prolong their profit streams.

Another major objective of FTAs is to remove tariffs and customs so that raw materials and semi-finished parts can flow smoothly from one country to another, what is commonly referred to as regional supply chain. For example, the Taiwanese contractor Foxconn, assembles IPhones in China, but the raw materials and semi-finished parts come from many other countries, including Singapore. The governments of these countries like to say that trade has increased substantially but the truth is that these are not trade but just the movement of parts across borders, with little profits and taxes.

Not to be forgotten is the cross border movement of workers. FTAs generally have this clause as it help companies to access workers as well as drive down wages. For example, the RCEP is calling for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Professionals in richer countries will have to compete with their counterparts from poorer countries who are willing to accept lower salaries, to the delight of employers.

By signing another FTA, we can expect more foreign companies setting base here since their rights are well protected. Those of us who are well qualified and internationally savvy will find good employment. Those who are average or mediocre may find their lunch stolen and reduced to doing peripheral jobs. But the cost of living and inequality will worsen. Workers will be more oppressed because the only force that can balance Big Business, the labour unions, are hamstrung. Democracy will go down the drain because our government has signed away our rights and Big Business can sue if it reneges. The good thing is that we still have free elections every 5 years and we won’t be minced if we speak up honestly.

 

Foong Swee Fong

 

 

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13 Responses to “Free Trade Agreement (FTA)”

  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Foong,
    You said “getting governments to commit to enforcing patents and copyrights”

    Nothing wrong with that. You want your product design and technology to be copied/stolen by(Cheat + Cheapskate) Singaporeans and Ah Tiong?

    You Foong, like all Oppie are mediocre Singaporeans with no International views and do not understand world’s affair.

    Dear readers, please watch an in depth analysis of world’s affair.

    谦秋论》赖岳谦 第一百三十四集|全球最大自贸区成型!台湾惨了
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkoYwT87ijY

    So you think your 3rd world manager is lousy because their degree is from degree mill ? Bring your 3rd world manger to court. Sue him till his pants drop lah.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Foong,
    Your statement said it all.

    Those of us who are well qualified and internationally savvy will find good employment. Those who are average or mediocre may find their lunch stolen and reduced to doing peripheral jobs.

    That is why our great PAP government is giving out money for Singaporeans to go upgrading/training and be well qualified and internationally savvy

    If after upgrading/training and Singaporeans still remains stupid or mediocre, that is their problem. Right ?

    These group of Singaporeans just want to sit on their fat ass, do nothing and enjoy/leech the credit and fruits of other people hard work.

    Confirm + chop these group of Singaporeans don’t want to take responsibility except leeching off from others.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • PAP.GUARANTEE.FLOP.EveryGE:

    Spore will just copy others’ ideas. That’s the culture.

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Foong,
    You said “getting governments to commit to enforcing patents and copyrights”

    Nothing wrong with that. You want your product design and technology to be copied/stolen by(Cheat + Cheapskate) Singaporeans and Ah Tiong?

    You Foong, like all Oppie are mediocre Singaporeans with no International views and do not understand world’s affair.

    Dear readers, please watch an in depth analysis of world’s affair.

    谦秋论》赖岳谦 第一百三十四集|全球最大自贸区成型!台湾惨了
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkoYwT87ijY

    So you think your 3rd world manager is lousy because their degree is from degree mill ? Bring your 3rd world manger to court. Sue him till his pants drop lah.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • PAP.GUARANTEE.FLOP.EveryGE:

    The upgrading reskillin are actually downgrade to menial jobs. Why spend money to learn how to sweep floors, clean toilet? Army already trained what through daily area cleaning.

    So locall schools so lousy, you send your kids to India schools.

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Foong,
    Your statement said it all.

    Those of us who are well qualified and internationally savvy will find good employment. Those who are average or mediocre may find their lunch stolen and reduced to doing peripheral jobs.


    That is why our great PAP government is giving out money for Singaporeans to go upgrading/training and be
    well qualified and internationally savvy


    If after
    upgrading/training and Singaporeans still remains stupid or mediocre, that is their problem. Right ?

    These group of Singaporeans just want to sit on their fat ass, do nothing and enjoy/leech the credit and fruits of other people hard work.

    Confirm + chop these group of Singaporeans don’t want to take responsibility except leeching off from others.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • PAP.GUARANTEE.FLOP.EveryGE:

    True Spoeans are free riders. Always looking for the cheapest, always want freebies. Don’t want to pay or pay well for products, services, labor. My previous exerience selling ad space confirms my belief. Because even the big corps want freebies. It’s truly disgusting. Or some how they are reluctant to pay cash. So do barter deal. They love money so much that I want to ask: other people don’t need to earn?

    Why Robinsons had to close? Because people are super cheapos. They go Robinsons and other physical stores try on the stuff, then order online.

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Foong,
    You said “getting governments to commit to enforcing patents and copyrights”

    Nothing wrong with that. You want your product design and technology to be copied/stolen by(Cheat + Cheapskate) Singaporeans and Ah Tiong?

    You Foong, like all Oppie are mediocre Singaporeans with no International views and do not understand world’s affair.

    Dear readers, please watch an in depth analysis of world’s affair.

    谦秋论》赖岳谦 第一百三十四集|全球最大自贸区成型!台湾惨了
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkoYwT87ijY

    So you think your 3rd world manager is lousy because their degree is from degree mill ? Bring your 3rd world manger to court. Sue him till his pants drop lah.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • xoxo:

    looks like Ah Long is openly trying to groom his clone to take over.
    I get this strange feeling H$K is on his way out even before he is in?

    Kee chiu will fumble n bungle and Sg n sgs will pay for his bungling.

    Tharman is not that old to step down like that.
    He is still energetic.
    Senior minister is wasting a rare sg talent and he is out not becoscof health reason or of age?

    He shud be Secretary-general of PAP.

    GD Star Rating
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  • SexSinCity:

    Election are useless(goes to show stubborn people can’t see nor understand and continue to perpetuate the false notion that the people’s voices shall set them free from the oppression of the rich and powerful few which will never or ever be the case or reality, anywhere in the world so long as your kind of WORLD government(democratic or autocratic) is in power)

    The problem of the world is your government. The other stumbling block comes from those who uphold the script and worshipped an IDOL.

    Rev 18:3 ISV For all the nations have drunk from the wine of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her. The WORLD’S BUSINESSES have become rich from her luxurious excesses.”

    Those who flock to the synagogues or churches and offer money to an idol blindly worshipped demons hence they can’t understand the above script.

    Nevertheless, the author is right about the consequences of….SEXUAL IMMORALITY

    GD Star Rating
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  • Nathan Chen:

    The FTA is just another international talk-shop that the PAP loves to join for the sake of joining.

    GD Star Rating
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  • A boost for the $Incorporated$:

    Free trade is simply a euphemism for the corporate capture of international trade.

    Another sin of the free trade propagandists is that they’re promoting narrow ideology that serves powerful interest groups – not open and pragmatic commercial culture.

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-03-15/why-free-trade-is-bad-for-you-or-most-of-you-at-any-rate/

    GD Star Rating
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  • Harder Truths:

    Free trade agreements are meant to generate revenue for companies and the government. It is usually done when a local product costs more that can be bought overseas.

    The argument is this benefits the consumer. The problem is the same consumer is also the worker who loses the job to foreign trade.

    Free trade agreements have actually made citizens of countries poorer while making their rich richer. Look at Russia; when they were sanctioned by the United States they grew their own food and other products and now have a booming economy by being forced to rely on their own resources.

    Free-trade is a trick, a scam to replace people and processes with those from other countries. Now that virtual employment is picking up, most $G workers with a virtual job will be eventually be replaced by employees working from other countries that are much cheaper.

    $G has had the most open economy in the world the last 40 years. Most $G citizens are broke and will end up with nothing thanks to free trade.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Self-sufficient Russia:

    Looks like Russia is an outstanding self-sufficient continental country. Are there FTAs with Russia?

    GD Star Rating
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  • PAP has GAME the NATION:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/24/pope-says-for-first-time-that-chinas-uighurs-are-persecuted?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

    Even the Pope wants universal income for everyone, with no ” STRINGS” attached.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times :Quote -”Malaysia… changes to KL-S’pore High Speed Rail project, S’pore remains committed to fulfilling obligations: MOT

    Yuen Sin
    PUBLISHEDNOV 26, 2020, 12:10 AM SGT
    FACEBOOKWHATSAPP
    SINGAPORE – Malaysia has proposed some changes to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) Project, and Singapore has been discussing them in good faith with Malaysia, a Ministry of Transport (MOT) spokesman said on Wednesday (Nov 25).

    “Singapore continues to believe that the HSR Project is beneficial for both countries, and remains fully committed to fulfilling our obligations under the HSR Bilateral Agreement. We will make our best efforts to conclude discussions with Malaysia by Dec 31, 2020,” said the spokesman, in response to queries from The Straits Times.

    The spokesman added that if, by Dec 31, Malaysia does not proceed with the project, “under our agreements with Malaysia, Malaysia will bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR Bilateral Agreement”.

    The ministry’s statement comes after Malaysian news website Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that Malaysia is considering changing the KL-Singapore HSR project so that the line would end in Johor Baru, rather than in Singapore.

    This would mean the project, first announced in 2010, would resume without Singapore’s participation.

    The project has been suspended twice at Malaysia’s request.

    The first extension in September 2018 was to end in May 2020, but this was extended for a second and final time, till Dec 31 this year..

    The source noted that the project was touted as a gamechanger on one of the world’s busiest air routes. He said ending the line in Johor Baru would create a redundancy, given there are future plans to connect the KL Sentral train station to JB Sentral station with trains travelling up to 160km per hour under Malaysian rail operator KTM’s electric train service project…..”Unquote .ĺ

    Response : Now the Malaysia side is trying to make Singapore side look stupid by playing around to build the HSR without crossing into Singapore and stop at Johor Bahru. See all these dirty politics tricks being played .Wait till in future when the HSR is built ,and when the HSR breaks down and the Malaysia side declare no money to maintain and ask Singapore Lee Hsien Loong to foot their maintenance HSR bill too ,will that be possible to happen ? When Singapore has a whole lot of MRT and LRT rails to maintain, where got extra money to helo Malaysia with their HSR rails maintenance too ? And when there are future plans to connect the KL Sentral train station to JB Sentral station with trains travelling up to 160km per hour under Malaysian rail operator KTM’s electric train service ,and hsr ticket price will be much higher than KL Sentral train ticket price ,so how many are willing to pay to take HSR trains ? Pui ! LHL ,better do your sum right before making more losses ?

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