Saturday, October 13, 2007

Trade = Good

I don't like President Bush.

And I REALLY don't like agreeing with him.

But when I think he's right, I think he's right. And when it comes to free trade, the President is right. Protectionism will cost us jobs. I think one of the fundamental problems with Free Trade agreements is that most people don't really understand what they are about. NAFTA did not result in job loss to India. NAFTA resulted in the removing of tariffs among Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Removing tariffs opens up new countries for our industry to sell in. More sales equals more jobs. True, there have been some losses of jobs, particularly in the low end, and this is what alarms so many. But the losses were not are pronounced as feared (usually, they aren't), and the economy has actually grown significantly in the years since President Clinton first signed NAFTA. Opening plants in Mexico and Canada have shown those nations that we value them, also increasing sales in those countries.

Killing free trade agreements without understanding the complex nature of such agreements is dangerous. It hinders the ability to sell our products elsewhere. The purpose of tariffs is to eliminate foreign competition, but it also eliminates us from competing in foreign markets. This is counterproductive to the goals of the GATT and the WTO, and damaging to our economy and jobs - if there's a smaller market, there's a smaller demand, and when there's a smaller demand, that results in a smaller workforce and lower salaries, which is what Congress is trying to keep from having.

The President is right.

Please don't make me say that again.

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