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Topic: Free Trade

John Kerry Urges Passage of the South Korea FTA

Posted on May. 11, 10 | 11:42 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
This is good news from an otherwise unreliable Senator.  From Reuter's Doug Palmer:

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry on Monday urged President Barack Obama to quickly press for a vote in Congress on a long-delayed free trade agreement with South Korea.

“The United States should work with South Korea to resolve legitimate concerns and quickly approve the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement,” the senior Democrat said in a statement touting the job-creating benefits of the pact.

Senator Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, joined Kerry in urging Obama to send the agreement to Congress for a vote “as soon as possible.”

[...]The senators’ plea for Obama to move quickly to resolve auto, beef and other trade concerns that have blocked the South Korean agreement came one week before South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon is due in Washington.
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Jeff Flake Delivers Speech on America's Insane Trade Policy

Posted on Apr. 21, 10 | 04:27 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade

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Clinton on Possible Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan

Posted on Feb. 25, 10 | 10:34 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
This made me gasp and sigh at the same time.  From CongressDaily ($):

Secretary of State Clinton on Wednesday brushed off the idea that the United States should negotiate a free trade agreement with Pakistan to help provide it with the economic muscle to battle the Taliban.

Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Pakistan should first attempt to put its economic house in order by forcing its wealthiest citizens to pay their fair share of taxes. "Pakistan has one of the lowest tax rates in the world," she said.
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Dumbest Sentence I've Read Today

Posted on Feb. 15, 10 | 09:51 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
This comes from a letter to the editor of a New Jersey newspaper:

"Under the safety of protectionism, American industry will have the peace to innovate."

It's exactly the opposite.  Under this supposed "peace," American industry will become complacent.  The whole idea behind free markets is that competition drives down prices and spurs innovation.  Protectionism is never the solution if the goal is more prosperity and more freedom.
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More Protectionism from Obama

Posted on Dec. 31, 09 | 09:42 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. International Trade Commission sided with U.S. steelmakers in a case over Chinese imports, voting that U.S. industry has been damaged by a flood of subsidized steel from China. The ruling, which will likely result in duties on future imports of Chinese steel pipes, adds more tension to the U.S. China trade relationship.

The commission determined that Chinese imports of "oil country tubular goods," which are largely used in the energy sector, have injured U.S. manufacturers. The imports have surged in recent years to around $2.8 billion, prompting U.S. steelmakers and the United Steelworkers union to petition for relief.

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Meet the Leading Protectionist Senators

Posted on Dec. 02, 09 | 05:19 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
Senators Sherrod Brown and Byron Dorgan recently introduced the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act. 

The bill's name is basically code for "this is a protectionist measure that will restrict free trade."

If passed into law, it would allow the government to re-open existing free trade agreements, something Obama suggested doing while on the campaign trail last year, but then backed away from once he became president.  And it would prevent future trade agreements from getting enacted until the previous agreements are sufficiently re-negotiated.

If you want to know who the diehard protectionists are in the Senate, look no further than Brown, Dorgan, and the five other co-sponsors of this bill:

Robert Casey [PA]
Russ Feingold [WI]
Jeff Merkley [OR]
Bernie Sanders [VT]
Sheldon Whitehouse [RI]
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Obama the Protectionist

Posted on Nov. 25, 09 | 11:30 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
I've said this before, but I gotta keep saying it.  What Obama is doing on trade policy is sheer lunacy.  It's bad economics (in the worse sense) and it will spark a trade war that would devastate our economy.  From the AFP:

The United States has firmed up plans to impose up to 15 percent tariffs on imported Chinese steel pipes targeted for wideranging sanctions for alleged unfair subsidies.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday it made a "final determination" to impose tariffs of between 10.36 percent and 15.78 percent following a probe on imports from China of "oil country tubular goods."

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A Great Free Trade Experiment

Posted on Nov. 24, 09 | 10:19 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Free Trade
Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution writes:

Here is a fun, easy and effective experiment that instructors can use to illustrate the gains from trade.  The instructor puts chocolate bars ("fun-size") or other candy in bags, one bag for each student. (Alternatively, you can use the type of small items that you can find at a dollar store.  Filling the bags is where the most work comes in especially if you have a large class). Students open the bag and are then asked to write down how much they would be willing to pay for the bag's contents.  But before snacking, students are allowed to trade.  After a few minutes of trade, ask the students to write down their valuation again.  Voila!  Gains from trade.  With a few numbers pulled at random from the students you can do a back of the envelope calculation for the total increase in value.  The experiment doesn't take long and the students will appreciate the candy!
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