More good reads in the WSJ today. Mary Anastasia O’Grady in her column in the Wall Street Journal provides a sharp contrast between the two presidential candidates in their approach to international trade.
As O’Grady notes, Senator Obama views trade — not as an economic artivity — but as a tool to pursue other social goals, such as labor and environmental standards.
Mr. Obama says he would change the way the U.S. negotiates trade agreements. Instead of focusing mainly on removing barriers to the movement of goods and services, he would use the agreements “to spread good labor and environmental standards” to the rest of the world. He voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (Cafta) in 2006 and says he will oppose others that do not have strong-enough labor and environmental provisions.
On cutting agricultural support, O’Grady also points out that Obama co-signed a letter to President Bush asking him not to “cut farm subsidies as part of Doha.” That, as many know, was a major contentious issue that helped doom progress on the Doha Round agenda.
Here and here are some articles and op-eds that CEI has published about the value of more open trade. Fred Smith just this week debated a senior advisor to the Obama campaign, where trade was a major issue. Here’s where you can listen to an audio recording: “SAIS Hosted Debate on Economic Policy Agenda for New U.S. President on October 27.”