Some politicians haven’t yet abandoned free trade, even in the face of widespread demagoging on the issue. As Scott Lincicome notes, five Republican Members of Congress joined together in a March 22 letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to request that the Administration submit three pending trade agreements to Congress for a vote. The letter points out that the Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea have been languishing for several years since they were signed. The letter offers a strong defense of trade and doesn’t just focus on the benefits of exports:
“Trade agreements bolster American exports, create jobs, and keep the United States competitive in an increasingly global market. In fact, according to the U.S. Trade Representative, ‘U.S. manufacturing exports support nearly six million jobs including one in six manufacturing jobs.’ Furthermore, trade agreements forge alliances in politically important regions, and encourage competition and innovation, which yield higher quality goods at lower prices for consumers. President Obama put it best in his recent State of the Union Address: ‘If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores.'”
The letter was signed by Representatives Tom Price (GA), Charles W. Dent (PA), Wally Herger (CA), Mark Steven Kirk (IL), and Kevin Brady (TX). Now, if only some Dems would join in to make these same arguments.