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By Carol White:

Rishi Sharma, assistant professor at Colgate University with a specialty in International Trade Policy, will speak about Trade, Jobs, and Politics on Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 PM at Unitarian-Universalist Church, 10 Higby Road, Utica. Refreshments are served and Q and A are welcomed. Dr. Sharma received his PhD in Economics at the University of Michigan in 2016 and a B.A. in Economics & Mathematics at Boston University. He will add his perspectives on global trade, its real impact on jobs, and how politics obfuscates current realities. Most products we consume are ‘Made in the World.’

Peter and Diane Swords of Peace Action, Syracuse Post Standard former editorial page editor Fred Fiske, and Carol White, area United Nations Association president, will discuss Nuclear Security on Thursday, May 11, 7:00 PM at Unitarian-Universalist Church, 10 Higby Road, Utica. Fiske and White studied at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. Refreshments are served and Q and A are welcomed about planned U.S. nuclear triad modernization, North Korean nuclear ambitions, the Iran deal, and how plutonium and uranium for nuclear weapons is monitored.

Astonishingly, U.S. trade numbers consider our imports as made entirely by the last country that shipped them to us! But many countries design and manufacture a product. The iPhone may say ‘China’ but the U.S. made its software and many essential components and China’s non-critical components and assembly are a tiny fraction of the phone’s value. Most products imported from China contain U.S. products and benefit many U.S. enterprises. One year before NAFTA, the U.S. conducted $90 billion worth of trade with Mexico; in 2015, it was $500 billion. TPP would have strengthened environmental, labor, and intellectual property protections; workers could bargain collectively and slave labor would be illegal. U.S. exporters are 98% small-to-mid-sized and TPP would have helped them by simplifying procedures and helping expose corruption. Join the debate.

U.S. nuclear modernization will cost $3 trillion over thirty years according to Defense Department estimates; why is this considered necessary, and how might adversaries respond? Options for dealing with North Korea boil down to bomb/acquiesce/negotiate; we chose negotiation with Iran, limited to nuclear weapon development only. Further options for North Korea range from a second Korean Peace Treaty/Security Guarantee/Marshall Plan (‘carrots’), to threatening war, an ominous threat because North Korean conventional weapons could destroy South Korea. Like Syria, no options are good, unintended consequences are many; and extreme prudence is required. Bring your perspectives to these conundrums.

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