Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quote of the day

President Barack Obama:
"Make no mistake, this administration is committed to pursuing expanded trade and new trade agreements...But no trading system will work if we fail to enforce our trade agreements, those that have already been signed.

So when, as happened this weekend, we invoke provisions of existing agreements, we do so not to be provocative or to promote self-defeating protectionism, we do so because enforcing trade agreements is part and parcel of maintaining an open and free trading system."
So, we need to use trade protectionism in order to save free trade? This might be more plausible if Obama were using the move as a sop to protectionist interests in exchange for broader free trade support, such as help passing the bilateral deals with South Korea and Colombia currently languishing in Congress. There is, however, no sign of any desire by the White House to push either of these deals.

In addition, I'm mindful this is the same administration which argues that the solution to burgeoning health care expenditures is spending more money.

Update: Andy Roth also points out that Obama believes we have to take money out of the private sector and then put it back in to provide stimulus.

Update: Also see this post on "trade misdirection".

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