Thursday, July 8, 2010

Obama Does Good: Free Trade

I supported Ron Paul in the Republican primaries and voted for John McCain (however reluctantly) in 2008, so I'm no Obama supporter.

However, I am capable of acknowledging good decisions on the part of politicians I don't agree with.

Once upon a time, it was the Democratic Party that was the party of free trade, while it was the Republicans who were protectionist.  This is a good sign on Obama's part.  Hopefully if it passes, it will increase the volume of trade between the U.S. and the other three nations and improve the overall economy.

(The Hawley-Smoot Tariff made the Great Depression worse; hopefully turning to free trade and not protectionism will prevent a "double-dip" recession.)

One would hope South Korean restrictions on imported beef and automobiles from the United States would be dealt with as part of any free trade agreement.  After all, the point of free trade is that it's unrestricted.

Of course, it's time for my perennial bugbear, farm subsidies.  I don't think South Korean farmers are in any particular danger of being dumped on by subsidized U.S. agricultural imports, but farmers in less wealthy nations like Panama and Colombia might be.  Hopefully any agreement will include action on farm subsidies.

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