The Politics of Trade

Free trade is good for consumers.  It gives more access to goods, increases competition making companies more efficient.  However, politicians let emotions and politics get in the way of free trade time and time again.

Obama has been out on the stump talking up his free trade policies.  However, he and the Democrats haven’t passed or signed one free trade treaty.  They are letting unions handle the back room negotiations.

Case and point is the much KORUS agreement with South Korea.  It was talked about with much fanfare.  It hasn’t made it to the President’s desk for a signature.  Why?

“however, some issues regarding labor and worker retraining have stalled some of that pressure.”

This means the unions haven’t gotten what they want in the deal. Obama bows to his union masters-they are worth a 4% swing in voting for him.

Government is so efficient and speedy. The KORUS treaty was first proposed in June of 2007. Democrats held it up in Congress. Now, Democrats are holding it hostage in the Senate.

Free trade means jobs. From the article,

“cited Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes’ estimates that KORUS would add 29,000 U.S. jobs, 3,600 specific to the pork industry, and $10 per head to live hog prices.”

But, the politicos in Washington don’t really care about jobs. Just some special interest jobs.