DEMOCRATS FAVOR TRADE SANCTIONS ON AMERICANS
October 1, 2009
Congressional failure to ratify the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement -- a deal that was signed almost three full years ago -- has so far cost American exporters $2 billion. That tally increases $1.9 million each and every day, according to Scott Lincicome, an author and international trade attorney.
- Since that time (November 22, 2006, when the trade agreement was signed), American exporters have paid approximately $1.9 million per day in Colombian tariffs that they wouldn't have paid if the Democrat-controlled Congress had just passed the FTA back then and thus allowed it to enter into force.
- That means that Congress' and (now) the President's partisan stalling has resulted in a pointless tax on American businesses of almost $2 billion ($1.9798 billion = 1042 days times $1.9 million) and counting.
Daniel Griswold, director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, explained Tuesday in the Washington Times how U.S. trade policy punishes poorer people abroad, and amounts to a regressive tax here at home:
- America's highest remaining trade barriers are aimed at products mostly grown and made by poor people abroad and disproportionately consumed by poor people at home.
- While industrial goods and luxury products typically enter under low or zero tariffs, the U.S. government imposes duties of 30 percent or more on food and lower-end clothing and shoes -- staple goods that loom large in the budgets of poor families.
The Obama administration and Congress could easily remove the sanctions that burden America's exporters and lower-income consumers. But until they're convinced that they can make up the revenues lost by crossing Big Labor, the Democratic Party playbook counsels more of the same disingenuous rhetoric of fraternity with the common man and more exaggerations about evil foreign labor practices, says the Cato Institute.
Source: Daniel Ikenson, "Democrats Favor Trade Sanctions on Americans," Cato Institute, September 30, 2009; Scott Lincicome, "U.S.-Colombia FTA: Optimistic Rhetoric vs. Depressing Reality," Lincicome.blogspot.com, September 29, 2009; and Daniel Griswold, "Obama's protectionist policies hurting low-income Americans," Washington Times, September 29, 2009.
For Cato text:
For Lincicome text:
For Griswold text:
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