Second Thoughts on Free Trade
Sep 14, 2018
Many countries are now having second thoughts on the principle of free trade, especially when it comes to China’s trade practices.
China is smart enough to buy companies and raw materials, as these purchases are the most advantageous to them. The West, meanwhile, buys trinkets and toys made in China while outsourcing most of its manufacturing jobs to countries where labor is cheap.
If this were to continue, eventually, the West would find that the people have no money to buy goods—not even the cheaper goods that are made in China.
But the tide seems to be turning, as other western countries have begun putting limits on what China can buy with their excess cash brought about by the huge trade imbalances.
It’s not just the U.S.: Around the world, doors are shutting on Chinese investment
In recent months, Germany, France, Britain, the European Union, Australia, Japan and Canada have all joined an unprecedented global backlash against Chinese capital, citing national security concerns. Dealmakers now wonder whether this dynamic will run its course or should be taken as a new normal.
The problem began as early as 1984, but the floodgates were opened ten years later in 1994 when the GATT treaty was passed. This precursor to the World Trade Organization passed the US House of Representatives on November 29, 1994, after which the Speaker of the House, Tom Foley, resigned. As many of you know, this fulfilled the pattern of Daniel 4:29-31, the prophetic sign that we had been looking for since one year earlier when we concluded our Jubilee Prayer Campaign in 1993.
Because of the nature of this sign, I understood at the time that this “free trade” policy was how God was going to bankrupt Mystery Babylon. Billions of dollars would flow from West to East each month until the West was drained of money. Politicians argued that it would be good for business, of course, but now it is clear that they were wrong. Instead of gaining Chinese customers for their products, it was the other way around.
That is one big reason why I have considered China to be a manifestation of King Cyrus who overthrew Babylon—at least from an economic point of view. Our prayer campaign, which ended November 29, 1993, emerged twelve months later as the GATT treaty. So I understood that the passage of the GATT treaty was actually an answer to our prayer for God to overthrow Mystery Babylon.
After 24 years of “free trade,” Mystery Babylon is now virtually bankrupt and on the brink of collapse. While I do not know all the things happening behind the scenes, we are being shown some hints in articles such as the above from Politico.
So how should we view this? We see on two levels: man’s view and God’s view. From man’s view, “free trade” has given us cheap prices at the expense of the American workers. People tend to look for bargains rather than to pay a little more for the same things made by American workers. Walmart has become China, Inc., contrary to Sam Walton’s original vision of buying American whenever possible.
On the other hand, we try to see the world through God’s eyes. We must view the world through both sets of eyes, of course, but if we want to know what God is doing in the earth, we must see through His eyes. This is what gives us Hope. Those who see the world only through man’s eyes are subject to anxiety and fear, and fear caused by ignorance often drives them to oppose the divine plan.
To me, it is comforting to know that the situation has not gotten “out of hand.” God has not sent any panic memos to the angels. Everything is going according to plan. Events and prophetic signs of things hidden to most people occur regularly on the appointed times that He has established. Understanding Time gives us confidence in the sovereignty of God and the orderliness of history.
So look up and rejoice. Our redemption is drawing near.
Dr. Stephen Jones