...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?