Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WSJ: More bad news for free trade

Free trade sure could use a little good PR. This page one story in the Wall Street Journal underlines my fear that the election season will drive another nail into the free trade casket. Deborah Solomon and Greg Hitt document the growing ambivalence over trade in a state, Iowa, considered a "big winner from global trade."
...over the last couple of years, workers and voters in this blue-collar manufacturing outpost -- and throughout Iowa -- have grown decidedly downbeat about globalization. Trade has become such a hot subject that Democratic presidential candidates seeking support in Iowa's influential Jan. 3 caucuses are turning into trade skeptics, and the issue is splitting traditionally free-trade Republicans.
It's impossible to factor out how much of this trade skepticism can be attributed to Iowa's unique place in the US electoral calendar. But anti-trade sentiment is undeniably gaining steam nationwide despite reports that the falling dollar is stimulating exports. Peter Goodman, writing in the International Herald Tribune this week:
As the United States heads into what many economists predict will be a substantial economic slowdown, the success of U.S. companies in building sales in countries around the world may cushion the blow. It could help prevent the economy from slipping into a recession.
So which presidential candidate is prepared to make the argument that what the US needs is more trade, not less?

1 comment:

dan said...

US economy is a white elephant. The EU still has a long way to go.