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.
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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.