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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Free Trade = Good Politics?

Wall Street Journal:

These are the times that try a free-trader's soul. It is an election year, and the trade deficit is way up. The U.S. imported $55.8 billion more in goods and services than it exported in June. Loss of jobs has become the economic issue, and the outsourcing of jobs abroad the metaphor for it. Amidst all of that, Robert Zoellick is doing something intriguing, almost shocking: He is pushing free trade as hard as ever. More interesting, his boss, President Bush, who is busy running for re-election, is backing him all the way. ... So in theory, at least, free trade is a win-win for the U.S. -- provided, the other side lives up to its deal. Which the administration, of course, pledges it will ensure. That is at least a coherent economic message at a time when the Bush team is straining for one, and has the added benefit of being one the president firmly believes. Expect to hear more of it next week at the Republican national convention, and beyond.
One of my disappointments with Bush was his backing of the steel tarrifs. I hope that Bush does make free trade a key part of the convention next week and argues for it forcefully.

2 Comments:

Blogger Aric said...

I agree with the need for free trade. As much as I have been personally affected by the exportation of jobs to other countries, free trade and globalization are the way of the future. Tariffs are a temporary pallative at best, and an economic nightmare at worst. The longer time goes on, the less effective and more destructive they will be.

-- Aric

8/25/2004 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Aric said...

I agree with the need for free trade. As much as I have been personally affected by the exportation of jobs to other countries, free trade and globalization are the way of the future. Tariffs are a temporary pallative at best, and an economic nightmare at worst. The longer time goes on, the less effective and more destructive they will be.

-- Aric

8/25/2004 06:02:00 PM  

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