February 05, 2004

LET FREEDOM RING

Hereís good news -- the protectionist message is dying, even among Democrat supporters:

If a protectionist political message were ever to find fertile ground this year, it should be in Michigan where about 24 percent of the work force is unionized Ė far above the national average. But while anxiety over jobs and anger at runaway corporations remain high, polls here show that the candidates who have been most outspoken in denouncing NAFTA are lagging, while Kerry continues to surge.

Kerry voted for the free trade deal with Mexico and isnít exactly an enemy of globalisation. Good. Remember, too, that George W. Bush picked up massive donations from Steelville despite removing tariffs. Protectionism is endangered.

UPDATE. In other free-trade news, American business is standing up for Australia:

The powerful US business lobby flexed its political muscle today as it urged President George W Bush not to let special interest groups scupper a landmark US-Australia trade deal.

"We should aim for a comprehensive agreement with Australia and resist demands for special treatment for certain industries or products," said Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce.

"Let's not lose sight of the significant benefits of the agreement by listening to the narrow demands of special interest groups," he urged.

The proposed deal appears to be in danger of foundering over agriculture - particularly sugar production - with Washington refusing to open its heavily protected and politically sensitive sugar market to Australian competition.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 5, 2004 04:23 PM
Comments

Overseas protectionists work cheaper.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 5, 2004 at 05:15 PM

Remember, too, that George W. Bush picked up massive donations from Steelville despite removing tariffs. Protectionism is endangered.

Now there's an amusing attempt at rewriting history!

The steel tarriffs, which Bush imposed in the first place, were withdrawn after the WTO had ruled that they were illegal, opening the way for the EU to retaliate (which they proposed to do by targeting industries located in states that are vital to Bush's re-election chances).

And in the meantime, he imposed new tarrifs on Chinese textiles.

Posted by: Mork at February 5, 2004 at 06:10 PM

"George W. Bush picked up massive donations from Steelville despite removing tariffs."

Eventually! You forgot the word eventually!

Anyway the acceptance of free-trades benefits has been on the increase for a number of years in Democratic circles. And you know who you can thank most? This guy and this guy. God love 'em both.

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at February 5, 2004 at 06:36 PM

Heh heh... only God could love Krugman.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 5, 2004 at 06:49 PM

Lets see,

They knew tariffs are being cut and still gave money.
Kerry is favourable to free trade.

And yet geese still find a reason to honk.

Posted by: Gary at February 5, 2004 at 08:10 PM

Lets see,

They knew tariffs are being cut and still gave money.
Kerry is favourable to free trade.

And still the geese find a reason to honk.

Posted by: Gary at February 5, 2004 at 08:11 PM

Ah Clinton. Was it free trade in cigars?

No wonder he wanted to drop sanctions on cubistan!

Posted by: Rob Read at February 5, 2004 at 09:25 PM

Kerry voted for the free trade deal with Mexico...

True enough... but don't forget that he also voted for the Iraq war resolution...

Posted by: snellenr at February 6, 2004 at 12:25 AM

There is also the Democratic Senator from Wisconsin Russ Feingold who is running around spouting coded nonsense like "level playing field! AWK! AWK!" in overt protectionism of the local dairy industry against Australian imports.

Posted by: Fred Boness at February 6, 2004 at 06:18 AM

You can't have a level playing-field. Even an equipotential playing field has coriolis forces ruining your shots. What he wants is a non-rotating flat earth. If it's flat it had better be non-rotating, in fact.

In the real world (as the saying says), currency values take up the slack from coriolis forces.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 6, 2004 at 08:05 AM

For the physicists out there. If the earth was flat and 1m thick what would local gravitational force be? For example, if you dug a hole through to the other side and jumped in, would you sail off into space?

Posted by: Greg at February 6, 2004 at 01:49 PM

Trade protectionism = affirmative action quotas.

I think trade policy should be set by the people doing the trading, not by governments. I'll make exceptions for the WMD trade and for those cases when the buyer and/or seller is a government.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at February 6, 2004 at 02:55 PM

Greg,
Can't happen. Why its a rough sphere is cause of gravity.

Assume that gravity would allow your almost 2D planet - well then assume whatever you want. I vote that you get stuck flat to the surface so hard you couldn't lift your arms to dig the hole.

Posted by: Arik, PHD at February 6, 2004 at 02:57 PM