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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Retired » Retired Forums » 2016 Postmortem (Forum) » Bernie/Trump/Hillary On T... » Reply #5

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue May 31, 2016, 10:05 PM

5. The Free Trade Agreements are complex, full of nuance, and favor trans-national corporations.

Last edited Wed Jun 1, 2016, 11:48 PM - Edit history (2)

One problem is that the free trade models of theory do not translate well to working models.

Humans (and corporations) do not act like maximizing models in situ but component parts act to serve their own best interests.

I made several ignored posts earlier today about Colombia: Plan Colombia, Colombia Free Trade, the USA militarization of Colombia, Drummond Coal, and coal is the USA.

Think of coal from Colombia as one of a multitude of specific trade but as a natural resource market less complex and easier to isolate than most trade. There are more numbers in the following posts and links that lead to more links.

Drummond Coal is a privately held corporation in Alabama that was one of the largest domestic producers of coal. The CEO and primary owner of Drummond Coal is a Bushite and the richest man in Alabama. Now all the Drummond union coal mines in the USA are closed but one that is in the process of being closed. Drummond Coal purchased coal reserves in Colombia that came to market in 1995. The main Drummond mine is one of the largest coal mines in the world. Coal goes by rail to the Caribbean and is barged to Mobile and the ports in the northeastern USA. Drummond is the largest coal importer now into the USA, one of the largest coal exporters to northern Europe, and has begun coal exports from Colombia to China. The China and Pacific trade will increase once a railroad and port facilities are built on the Pacific. Drummond has sold 20% of the Colombia operation to a Chinese corporation.

Drummond had been tied to funding para-militaries and murders of trade unionist and native peoples to develop the Colombia operations. USA contractors have bombed FARC from Plan Colombia airbases in support of Drummond. The Netherlands at one point cut off imports of Drummond Coal because it was considered "Blood Coal" (think the Blood Diamonds of Africa). There are court cases against Drummond but none have been successful yet except for some environmental cases brought by Colombia.

Close to 50% of the free trade from Colombia is Drummond Coal. Drummond Colombia coal is a excellent quality, lower in pollutants than most domestic coal. The Colombia coal is also far cheaper than domestic coal. The cost of the coal is low. Labor is low. Transportation is extremely low from mine by rail to port, then ship to ports in USA or Europe, then rail to power plants. The Drummond coal is Colombia is still in the growth phase and gaining in efficiency and economy compared to domestic coal. The profit margin is far greater but all costs are much lower and the net is pocketed in large part by the privately held Drummond corporation.

Fracking and natural gas are being sold to the public as a transition fuel source as clean renewables (solar, wind) are developed. However, the cheap Drummond coal extends the life of existing coal burning power plants and creates an electricity market that favors power produced by the cheap coal over natural gas and the clean renewable electricity immediate future, especially in the southeaster USA served by the Drummond Mobile AL port facility.

I will copy the supporting posts from the other thread here.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
TomCADem May 2016 OP
hollysmom May 2016 #1
larkrake May 2016 #2
TomCADem May 2016 #3
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #17
Armstead Jun 2016 #21
Recursion May 2016 #4
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #16
LineReply The Free Trade Agreements are complex, full of nuance, and favor trans-national corporations.
PufPuf23 May 2016 #5
PufPuf23 May 2016 #7
EndElectoral May 2016 #8
PufPuf23 May 2016 #10
TomCADem May 2016 #11
PufPuf23 Jun 2016 #12
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #14
PufPuf23 Jun 2016 #18
TomCADem Jun 2016 #20
Armstead Jun 2016 #22
TomCADem Jun 2016 #23
Armstead Jun 2016 #24
PufPuf23 Jun 2016 #29
TomCADem Jun 2016 #30
PufPuf23 Jun 2016 #31
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #15
pampango Jun 2016 #28
PufPuf23 May 2016 #9
jillan May 2016 #6
CrowCityDem Jun 2016 #26
pampango Jun 2016 #27
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #13
pampango Jun 2016 #19
AgingAmerican Jun 2016 #25
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