Did it play in Peoria?

President Bush in Peoria, IL today gave one of two speeches scheduled on the economy (the next will be in NYC tomorrow). He addressed issues such as taxes, trade, technology, energy, health care, education policy. Here’s part of what the President said about the importance of trade:

We’ve pursued trade agreements. The way it works is, you have bilateral trade agreements, in other words, with the United States and, say, Chile. And we have regional trade agreements and world trade agreements. One world trade agreement is called the Doha Round of the WTO — it’s basically attempting to make sure that everybody gets treated the same way, in the same fashion, so that the world markets are open.

Again, I repeat to you, I strongly believe that if we can compete with people on a level playing field, nobody can compete with us. And so the key is to make sure the rules are fair.

I’m always suspicious when politicians mention “fair” trade and “level playing field.” Translate as “fair” to one side (us) and not the other, and “bring the other side down to our level.”

He didn’t mention asking Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority though. Maybe he’ll do that in NYC tomorrow.