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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Hooray for trade

One down, three to go on the free-trade front:

Three cheers for President Obama's decision, announced quietly on Monday, to repudiate a campaign promise and not press for new labor and environmental regulations in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The last thing the Western Hemisphere needs are more trade barriers that would snarl supply chains and damage commerce.

[. . .]

But three other trade issues to watch are the unilateral U.S. ban on Mexican long-haul trucks, which has sparked a trade war with that country, the U.S. failure to ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia, and the 54-cent per gallon U.S. import duty on Brazilian ethanol. Mr. Obama has promised to discuss each one. But the real test will be his willingness to spend political capital to defeat protectionists in Congress.

Protectionism helped deepen and prolong the depression, and it's the last thing we need in a severe recession.


Michael B-P
Fri, 04/24/2009 - 12:30pm

No argument on protectionism, if you are referring to an ideological principle blindly adhere to. But neither should Free Trade be similarly imposed, unless one also generally favors a grace to the bottom economically, politically, and environmentally.

Until there is recognition among the intelligentsia of the importance to the U.S. of a viable manufacturing sector, American trade policies will continue to favor global enterprises who may choose to disregard local considerations in order to maximize shareholder value, and this "severe recession" will be further impacted by even more jobs losses. Furthermore, what is the cogent argument on behalf of Mexican long-haul trucking interests at a time when there continues to be such poor supervision of the national borders and short- as well as long-haul American truckers are already suffering from poor business condtions along with the rest of the economy?

Michael B-P
Fri, 04/24/2009 - 12:30pm

Spell check: RACE not GRACE.