Saturday, January 18, 2014

In 1792 the USA funded 95 percent of the nation budget with tariffs. The amount collected was $4,400,000 The tariff rate in 1792 was 15.1%.

222 years have gone by and the tariffs collected by the USA hasn't even kept up with the cost of doing business.

In 2010 the USA collected $25,298,000,000 in tariffs. It funded 1.2 percent of the USA Budget. The tariff rate was 1.3%.

The tariff schedule for the USA is called "Harmonized Tariff Schedule."

The U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule classifies a good based on its name, use, and/or the material used in its construction and assigns it a ten-digit number. There are over 17,000 unique ten-digit HTS classification code numbers.
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule is based on the international Harmonized Commodity Coding and Classification System established by the World Customs Organization (WCO). Virtually all countries base their tariff schedules on the WCO's Harmonized System.
Currently, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (click here) is off line for repair and is expected to be back online on January 19, 2014.
Consumers don't really pay tariffs directly, Wall Street does. If a citizen is returning from overseas they pass through customs. They are assessed for taxes with any incoming commodity. The USA is giving away it's domestic market to facilitate other nations wealth. 
Think about it.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership cannot go forward without a Public Comment period.

There are many citizen groups that would be impacted by this trade agreement and they won't have a say in it's implementation.

The Border Trade Alliance is an excellent example of such a group.(click here)

Membership (click here)
BTA is North America’s premier authority on issues affecting the U.S. northern and southern borders, representing a large grassroots network of over 4.2 million public and private sector representatives, including business leaders, chambers of commerce and industry, academic institutions, economic development corporations, industrial parks, transport companies, customs brokers, defense companies, manufacturers and state and local government agencies.

I am worried about the current and proposed "Parternships" such as the NFTA. They are set up to treat the countries involved in them as if one nation. I think these partnerships are defended because the EU is a consolidation of many nations into a single authority. The difference between NFTA and the EU is land mass and population. The EU consolidated their assets to come together with a common currency because they are small countries and their citizens move frequently over their borders for visits to family, friends and to vacation. The EU structure creates a similar alliance of borders as the USA's federal association between states.
Michael Browning - Valley International Airport, Harlingen
Kevin Campbell - 
S.R. Campbell Properties, Harlingen
Bill Card III - Card Investment Group, Inc., Harlingen
Ruben Cardenas - State Farm Insurance, Weslaco
Anabell Cardona - Valley Grande Institute, Weslaco
Serigo Contrera - AT&T, San Antonio
Ralph Cowen - Port of Brownsville, Brownsville
Jose De Alba - Texas Gas Service, Harlingen
Jim Denison - 
Adams & Graham, Harlingen
Joe Forshage - Formost Paving, Weslaco
David Garza - Gulf Aviation, Inc., Harlingen
Daniel Gurwitz - Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez, LLP, McAllen
William Hull - Sunbelt Express Services, Inc., Harlingen
Brenda Ivory - Harlingen Medical Center, Harlingen
Tom Keeler - 
KGBT Action 4 News, Harlingen
Dr. Cesar Maldonado - Texas State Technical College, Harlingen
Armando Martinez, Jr. - Lone Star National Bank, McAllen
Fred McCaleb - McCaleb Funeral Home, Weslaco
Alex Meade - Mission Economic Development Corporation, Mission
Jose Munoz - Guzman & Munoz Engineering & Surveying, Mercedes
Lorenzo Olivarez, Jr. - 
South Texas Health System, Edinburg
Trey Pebley - McAllen Construction, McAllen
Michael Perez - Port of Harlingen Authority, Harlingen
Lee Reed - 
International Bank of Commerce, Brownsville
Julio Reyes - AEP Texas, Austin
Daniel Rios - S&B Infrastructure, Ltd., McAllen
Forrest Runnels - EIA Properties, Edinburg
Pete Sepulveda - Cameron County RMA, Brownsville
Ed Serna - Time Warner Cable, Austin
Kent Shepard - Shepard Insurance Agency, McAllen
Tom Torkelson - IDEA Public Schools, Weslaco
Manny Vela - Valley Baptist Health System, Harlingen
Rigo Villarreal - City of McAllen- Bridge Department, McAllen
John Wood - JWA Realty, Brownsville
Who are these people? First and foremost, they are American citizens. But, they also play a part in an economy and local government. 

They all belong to the Rio Grande Valley Partnership (click here). They are the Board of Directors (click here). This partnership represents an entire local economy. The Board of Directors have their pulse on the status and stability of their local economies.

How involved are these organizations such as the first one I mentioned, "The Border Trade Alliance?"
January 17, 2014
The Border Trade Alliance (BTA), (click here) a grassroots, non-profit forum dealing with North American trade and economic development, has applauded the adoption by Congress of an omnibus budget agreement that includes language allowing border communities to dramatically improve the infrastructure and staffing levels at their ports of entry. The bill also funds an additional 2,000 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers....

This particular alliance seeks to monitor the borders of the USA through stable communities with stable economies. Why is that important? The best eyes and ears to this country are the people and cities and towns have a stake in sovereign borders and their security.

These people are important and they are being ignored by the federal government determined to Fast Track a partnership throughout the Pacific that can cause severe problems with the USA economy. The companies with in the borders of the USA, such as Ford, GMC and Chrysler, need to partner with these smaller organizations to demand review of the TPP. 

Additionally, I am concerned the partnerships the USA is engaged in assaults the WTO (World Trade Organization). I believe they circumvent the authority of the WTO. The USA is seeking trade partnerships with nearly every country in the world. If the partnerships are honored, the USA doesn't need the WTO I believe the WTO is being dissolved with the formation of these partnerships.

I am not alone and in good moral company.

"Holy See (The Pope) Criticizes TPP and TAFTT/TTIP in WTO Speech (click here)

...While a minority is experiencing exponential growth in wealth, the gap is widening to separate the vast majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies that defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and of financial speculation. Consequently, there is an outright rejection of the right of States, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. An even worse development is that such policies are sometimes locked in through trade rules negotiated at the WTO or in bilateral or regional FTAs (Free Trade Agreements)....

Some who oppose these partnerships state it should not be Free Trade Agreement, but, Fair Trade Agreements.

There are many in the USA and places like the Vatican opposed to these trade agreements. They undermine the Middle Class and create Poverty. I believe these trade partnerships should be litigated to remove their oppressive effect on all countries, except, "The Sovereign Wall Street Plutocracy." There are a lot reasons why elected officials need to pay attention to the people on this issue.