Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Economist: "Is America Turning Protectionist?"

As you recall The Economist is a well-respected and widely read UK business publication, in China-bashing and trade: "America's Congress is taking a harsher line on trade, particularly with China. The Bush administration is also getting into the act, with the treasury secretary and even the newly nominated trade representative talking tough. Is America turning protectionist?...

These are not happy times for the dwindling band of free-traders in Washington, DC. Trade skeptics are on the move on two fronts: raising the barricades against the Chinese and refusing to lower them for the Central Americans...

The betting is that, with enough presidential involvement and vote-buying, Mr Bush may get CAFTA through in the next couple of months. Until he does, there will be little appetite in the White House to give the China-bashing in Congress the cold shoulder that it deserves."
As you know from prior posts, I am an un-abashed free-trader. The textile industry is turning on its opinion of CAFTA to "in favor" and as the article points out the Big Sugar lobby wants trade barriers to keep prices high at the detriment of US jobs and US consumers. Dealing with China through trade and economics is better than ineffectual diplomats and military threats. (Do a search within my blog for more articles on CAFTA, Big Sugar, and free trade.) I sincerely hope that America does not turn protectionist which will cost us jobs and higher taxes in the guise of high priced goods.

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