YES, FREE TRADE HAS ITS DEADLINES

May 17, 2010

President Obama's failure to go to bat for three pending free-trade agreements, in deference to Big Labor, is becoming a problem, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).   

According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study released Friday:

  • Free trade pacts have created 5.4 million American jobs, and additional agreements could help create more.
  • Some 17.7 million American jobs depend on the 14 countries with which the United States has existing pacts.
  • All this trade adds $1 trillion to the economy.

Yet the U.S. has been miserably absent from new pacts as the world moves on, signing only 14, its last one in 2007 with Peru.  By contrast, Chile has 57 free trade agreements under its belt and has gone from a Third- to First World country as a result.  Mexico has 52 pacts and has risen too.  More than 100 broader trade-opening measures are on the table around the world, and the United States is involved with just one of them.

As for the shunned pact countries -- Colombia, Panama and South Korea -- they are getting tired of this and taking their business elsewhere.  These pacts represent lost markets for U.S. companies and evaporating job opportunities for Americans.  It's a train pulling out of the station, and it shows there are limits to how long pacts can languish before other nations move on.  If this was President Obama's aim all along, it doesn't serve U.S. interests and will be a negative mark on his legacy.  He can't win by holding back free trade, nor can we, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Yes, Free Trade Has Its Deadlines," Investor's Business Daily, May 17, 2010.

For text:

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=534206

 

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