I believe I have written here in the past about openness, sharing, and giving one’s case to opponents as soon as postings go up. Having done this through high school successfully, I learned that it creates a more learning-friendly environment, pokes holes in my case early, and means that I must revise the case many times throughout the year. Below is the 21st edition of Emily Roe and I’s free trade case, which we took to nationals trade year (my 2nd year of debate, 1st nationals). Here is what I want you to notice:

1. Pre-flow. This flow we would also give to opponents so they would present more clear and more organized arguments, resulting in a better round. We also used it to be able to have our case pre-flowed all the time.

2. Phrasing of points. We spent hours with Emily’s dad (a lawyer) working over each of the points so that if a judge or observer were to take a flow of our case in another room, they would still be persuaded. Before we had points like:

Background, Inh 1: there are regulations, harm 1: higher prices. More descriptive words that help us make this case prettier and more persuasive: “stifles competition” “prices soar” and “innovation blocked” are more powerfully phrased points.

Some object to how long the tags are and that’s very debateable…I’m still not sure what I think about it. Looking at them, though, I think I would get the central words hearing this for the first time. The tradeoff is the flow looks like a syllogism — almost a perfect paragraph of tags that usually have warra

 

 

 

 

 

Outline:

Current U.S. trade policy with Africa stifles healthy market competition, and violates basic principles of free trade, compelling my partner and I to stand firmly Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its trade policy within one or both of the following areas: The Middle East and Africa.

Observation II: Inherency, or, how trade policy with Africa stifles competition

First, African countries have to meet extensive requirements and mercantilist regulations

Second, even where a country meets all of the requirements, only certain products are covered.

Third, of products said to be duty-free in our trade policy, the AGOA, 60% are still being taxed.

Fourthly, the important products are highly taxed

We now turn to Observation III: The Harm or Significance of stifling competition through protectionist trade barriers

1. Prices soar

2. Market incentives for innovation and technology are blocked.

3. Current trade policy limits possible trade to the U.S.

4. Lowers standard of living in the U.S.

Observation IV: Plan

Mandate: The United States will remove all tariffs, duties, and quotas, expanding real duty free access to all African products, thus creating free trade with all countries in Africa

Advocate: 38 countries are immediately eligible for our free trade plan

Observation V: Advantages and Solvency through restored competition by free trade

1.More high quality goods, at lower prices (in the U.S.)

2.Market incentives are gained through expanded trade, which promotes prosperity (in the U.S.)

3.African trading partners will benefit

4.Standards of living are increased through freedom to trade (US and Africa)


Clair Wilcox once said:“Competition is conducive to the continuous improvements of industrial efficiency. It leads…producers to eliminate wastes and cut costs so that they may undersell others…It weeds out those whose costs remain high and thus operates to concentrate production in the hands of those whose costs are low.”

Current U.S. trade policy with Africa stifles healthy market competition, and violates basic principles of free trade, compelling my partner and I to stand firmly Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its trade policy within one or both of the following areas: The Middle East and Africa.

Now we look to Observation I: Definitions

A. Significant shall be defined as- “important in effect or meaning”

[Taken from WordNet 1.6, Princeton University, 1997.] Who also defines

B. Trade Policy as “A government’s policy controlling foreign trade: national trading policy”

C. Free Trade, according to The American Heritage Dictionary (2000), is “Trade between nations without protective customs tariffs.”

D. All other terms shall be operationally defined in the context of our case.

Observation II: Inherency, or, how trade policy with Africa stifles competition

On May 18th of 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, the AGOA, which purports to provide duty-free access to African products. While AGOA has had some success in Africa, mainly to oil exporters, it remains a stumbling block in the way of healthy markeSt competition to the U.S.

First, African countries have to meet extensive requirements and mercantilist regulations

Second, even where a country meets all of the requirements, only certain products are covered. The majority of duty-free (meaning tax or tariff free) trade to the United States market is just extended to oil and primary African exports are taxed.

Third, of products said to be duty-free in our trade policy, the AGOA, 60% are still being taxed.As the manager of the economics and human affairs project at the Center for International Development at Harvard University concludes in his article “How much opportunity in the African Growth and Opportunity Act?” published on May 20, 2002. Amar Hamoudi

“In the year 2001, about two thirds of imports from AGOA eligible countries were being taxed, notwithstanding these countries’ eligibility for duty-free access. In January 2002 this figure was about 60%”

Fourthly, important products are highly taxed

The U.S. slaps 116% dumping law on South Africa, From the Business Day (Johannesburg)November 28, 2002, written by John Fraser, Trade And Industry Editor

“THE US commerce department has imposed an antidumping duty of 116% on SA exports of ferrovanadium, an alloying agent which is added to steel to enhance its strength and resistance to wear.”

This product enhances steel, and keeps it at a cheaper price. But special interest groups have gained an ear and restrict this from the Americans.

We now turn to Observation III: The Harm or Significance of stifling competition through protectionist trade barriers

While the U.S. espouses free markets, it is actually one of the leaders in tariffs, taxes, dumping laws, and other forms of protection that mar our trade record. In the context of our trade policy with Africa, the harm of these protectionist measures is demonstrated in the following impacts.


1.Prices soar

By requiring countries to clear 12 hurdles just to provide a limited range of goods to American consumers, and by imposing higher taxes and duties on the rest, current trade policy drives up consumer prices.

In an article titled “The Moral Case for Free Trade,” by Dr. Jerry Zandstra, programs director for the Acton Institute. October 10, 2001

“The protectionist arguments strain moral credibility when the beneficiaries of such protection turn out to be a handful of producers, as is often the case. They might well benefit by keeping out competitors for another country, but this is certainly not protection for hard-working American families who are forced to pay higher prices.”


2.Market incentives for innovation and technology are blocked.

By limiting competition, incentives for new production methods, increased efficiency, and new products and technology are reduced. Far from protecting US businesses, protectionist measures keep them from maintaining their competitive edge in the world market.

3.Current trade policy limits possible trade to the U.S.

For example, a single provision of AGOA has drastically curtailed African export sales, and thus American buying options

“Much-Hyped AGOA Faulted Scheme Fails to Deliver for 20 CountriesThe Independent (Banjul, Africa) December 16, 2002

“World Bank estimates suggest that the absence of the rules of origin provision alone would for instance have magnified AGOA’s impact on the textile exports fivefold. The rules of origin restrictions are too onerous and should be modified.”

4. Lowers standard of living in the U.S.

“Free Trade versus Protectionism,” Dr. Richard M. Ebeling the Ludwig von Mises Professor of Economics at Hillsdale College andvice-president of academic affairs for The Future of Freedom Foundation, January, 1991.

When implemented, protectionist policies bring economic harm, as well as lower standards of living, for the people of every nation choosing to follow this path.”

The need for change is clear. The only question is what policy would promote a free flow of goods and services that will truly benefit America, while at the same time providing real growth and opportunity for Africa. The answer is simple: free trade.


Observation IV: Plan

Mandate: The United States will remove all tariffs, duties, and quotas, expanding real duty free access to all African products, thus creating free trade with all countries in Africa

Exceptions and clarifications:


Recipient countries must not be sanctioned by the United States for national security reasons


Must not violate international intellectual property rights


The rules of origin shall be abolished


GSP regulations shall have nothing to do with our plan


Any existing bans shall remain in place (this includes sanctions)


Sanctions are Not tariffs

38 countries are immediately eligible for our free trade plan

Congress and the President will enact our plan. The agencies that currently administer, fund and enforce United States trade policy will remain in place since they have the necessary resources to administer and enforce our plan. (DOC, USTR, Coast Guard, President, Congress, TRIPS military/intelligence agencies, FDA, USDA, etc…)

We reserve the right to further explain all points in this plan as necessary.

Observation V: Advantages and Solvency through restored competition by free trade

1. More high quality goods, at lower prices

James K. Glassman (columnist for the Washington Post and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington), Trade Policy Briefing Paper No. 1, May 1, 1998, “The Blessings of Free Trade,” http://www.freetrade.org/pubs/briefs/tpb-001.html

“Adam Smith wrote: “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production, and the interest of the producers ought to be attended to only in so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.” That is a great lesson for all policymakers to bear in mind. Ask, does this policy help consumers? Free trade allows consumers to buy a cornucopia of higher quality goods from other countries at lower prices than they would pay if they were restricted to buying homemade goods. Trade is obviously a huge benefit for consumers—that is, individual buyers.”

Clearly, then, consumers are beneficiaries of free trade

2. Market incentives are gained through expanded trade, which promotes prosperity

“Trade authority promotes America’s economy and security,” by Daniel T. Griswold, CATO Institute, November 29, 2001.

“Trade expansion promotes American prosperity. Economic growth in the past decade was the most robust during those years when trade—both imports and exports–were growing the most rapidly. Trade stimulates competition, innovation, and efficiency, making U.S. workers more productive and raising real family incomes. Imports keep prices down at the store, especially for low-income families . . .Promoting trade would help to stimulate the economy.”


3. African trading partners will benefit

James Phillips and Brett D. Schaefer, who holds a Master’s degree in International Development Economics from the School of International Service at The American University, writes in “Africa: fostering development and stability,” 2002, that

“Lowering…barriers will allow trade and exports to increase, and African countries can become more proficient in producing the goods for which they have a competitive advantage, acquire the technologies or capital goods they are lacking, and increase their foreign exchange reserves. By gaining access to the world’s wealthiest markets, they would be able to increase the level of employment, personal income, and capital available for investment.”

4. Standards of living are increased through freedom to trade

“The Case for Unilateral Free Trade and Open Immigration,” Jacob G. Hornberger (founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation), November, 1994.

“And the same principle applies internationally — when people are free to trade and travel — whether it is with people of another state, another city, or another nation — they are able to improve their standards of living.”

We urge you to adopt a sound trade policy with Africa. As President Bush stated on February 24, 2003:

“[E]conomic growth supported by free trade and free markets creates new jobs and higher incomes. It allows people to lift their lives out of poverty, spurs economic and legal reform, and the fight against corruption, and it reinforces the habits of liberty.”

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