Category Archives: free trade

Our New Trade Policy

As far as I can tell, it is the following:

Borrow billions from China and other rising powers

Decree “Buy American” when it comes to government contractor purchases, to take market share away from Chinese companies

Subsidizing failing American companies (GM, Chrysler, etc) that compete against more efficient Chinese companies.

When decrees and subsidies don’t work, tax goods from China.

In other words, a complete disaster.

More protectionism from the government

In yet another move seemingly designed to harm free trade, alienate us from our trading partners, and hurt the global economy, the government front corporation of Sallie Mae is firing foreigners are making those jobs “American”:

Sallie Mae to shift 2,000 jobs to U.S. from overseas | Reuters
NEW YORK Reuters – Student loan company Sallie Mae plans to move its overseas operations back to the United States, creating 2,000 domestic jobs, in what analysts called an attempt to curry favor with the Obama administration.

SLM Corp, as the company is legally known, said on Monday it plans to add staff over the next 18 months in call centers, information technology and operations support across the United States. A spokeswoman said the company will pull jobs from India, Mexico and the Philippines.

Stabbing our trading partners in the back harms the ability of countries to work together, because every other country will naturally assume that America would rather have a bigger slice of a smaller pie tomorrow, than help grow the global economy for everyone.

If the world’s economy goes from a recession into a depression, Obama’s “Buy American” policies will be to blame.

Barack Obama, Please Flip-Flop on Colombia

In March, the Colombian Communist Rebels (FARC) were “at their lowest point in 44 years.”

It’s just gotten worse for them — and better for everyone else — sinc ethem

The Communists are in collapse.

The Communists’ high-profile hostages have been rescued.

Colombia, which is winning its war against Communist narco-terrorists, has the most successful President in the history of Latin America.

However, the real exist strategy is jobs.

Considering the little regard that Obama has for his own positions:

Just consider his evolution in a single month: Obama opposed welfare reform, and now he supports it. Obama supported the D.C. handgun ban, and now he believes it was unconstitutional. Obama said he would accept public financing, and now he won’t. Obama opposed immunity for telecommunications companies involved in terrorist surveillance, and now he supports it. Obama opposed the death penalty in all cases, and now believes it is justified in certain extreme instances. Obama supported immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and now he’ll listen to the commanders on the ground if they tell him to phase out the troops slowly.

Will Barack Obama now contradict himself, as support the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia?

It is important that the FTA with Colombia is signed. It is important that it is signed sooner, rather than later.

If Obama flip-flops now, he can help to embarras the Congressional Democrats who oppose the FTA, oppose the Colombian government, and therefore oppose winning the war against the Communists.

Barack Obama: flip-flop on the Colombian Trade Agreement now!

The Audacity of Political Calculation, Part III

And also, free trade.

From CNN Fortune:

“Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA “devastating” and “a big mistake,” despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Props to Eddie of Hidden Unities, who first warned me that I shouldn’t listen to Obama’s words, but rather expect him to do what he needed to do to win.

I get less worried about Barack “Bush III” Obama by the minute!

Obama Flip-Flops Toward Truth

Much of the rhetoric of the Democratic primary campaign raised the question:Is Obama really a leftist? Or is he defeating Hillary Clinton by deceiving the Democratic electorate?

Fortunately for us, it appears that Obama is deceitful. This is a good thing. The best case of Obama is that his pledge not to import any toys from China is just as empty as Bill Clinton’s early promise not to deal with the Butchers of Beijing.

John McCain 2008 – John McCain for President
As Ben Smith reported yesterday, the Obama campaign recently brought Jason Furman on as a senior economic advisor. Smith notes that Furman wrote a lengthy defense of Wal-Mart in 2005, titled “Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story.” In it Furman denies that Wal-Mart is suppressing wages, or exploiting their employees. The fact “that more than 1.3 million Americans work at Wal-Mart demonstrates that its compensation is at least as good as the alternatives,” he says. And he adds that “the available data is consistent with the premise that Wal-Mart pays wages that are comparable to the retail sector.”

His new boss takes a different view. In 2006, Obama told Fortune that “Wal-Mart is making enormous profits, and yet it has chosen to go with low wages and diminished benefits.” And in 2007, Obama told union members that he won’t even shop at Wal-Mart because of their exploitation of American workers. Has Obama moderated his views on Wal-Mart or will Furman and he just agree to disagree?

Perhaps even more problematic for Obama, Furman, like John McCain, is also a vocal advocate for cutting the corporate tax rate. And yet just today Senator Obama attacked McCain’s proposal, saying it amounted to “$300 billion more in tax breaks and loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans.” This despite the fact that McCain’s approach not only has bipartisan support, but Senator Obama’s own economic policy director is part of the bipartisan consensus.

Presuming Obama has been lying, however, there still is the question of why someone should support a crypto-free-marketers when one can vote for McCain and get a real one. Tom, who has been trying to answer that question, is obviously happy. The New York Times has more.

Still, I’m glad to see stick the knife in the back of his union supporters. Obama’s path to the White House may be dishonorable and double-talking, but I’d take that over protectionist any day.

Canada – Colombia Free Trade Agreement Signed!

Congratulations to Canada and Colombia for signing a free trade agreement. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress have prevented our country from having free trade agreements with Colombia and Korea, and previously (and unsuccessfully) fought the DR-CAFTA trade agreement with central America, and NAFTA with Mexico.

Power Line: Canada, Colombia Conclude Free Trade Agreement
The Democrats have blocked consideration of the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, a key ally in Latin America. This is perverse, since nearly all of Colombia’s goods already enter the U.S. tariff-free, while the agreement would open Colombia’s market to American companies. Perverse, but consistent with Barack Obama’s policy of coddling our enemies while shafting our friends.

Now, Canada has announced that it has completed a trade agreement with Colombia. The agreement will be a boon to Canada’s economy

I suspect that John McCain, who supports free trade, is also happy at this news.

I suspect that Barack Obama, who is a well known critic of free trade, will be silent.

Democratic Congress against Colombia

Colombia is close to winning the war against Marxist rebels.

Let’s see if the Democrats in Congress can put a stop to it.

The silence from the Democratic presidential candidates is understandable, but still disappointing. From Hillary Clinton the silence sounds like hypocrisy: her husband did so much to advance free trade during his years in the White House. From Barack Obama it seems like a continuation of a pattern: fitting the rhetoric against middle-classness that has agreed with his actions for the past two decades.