December 23, 2007

Trade policy and Obama

The New York Times editorial board has a very strong column on trade policy today.It's a pretty fair discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of free trade.But, the interesting part of the column is the discussion of the political players in all of this. I'm someone who is fairly concerned of what a Democratic White House would bring in terms of trade policy, which is why I found this to be so refreshing:

Barack Obama has offered the most resistance to the easy path of blaming imports from foreign countries for the woes of the American middle class. “Global trade is not going away, technology is not going away, the Internet is not going away,” he said in New Hampshire. “And that means enormous opportunities, but also means more dislocations.”
When you contrast this with what other players in the Democratic primary have said, it's a revelation:
But Mrs. Clinton proposes a “timeout” on future trade agreements, including the World Trade Organization’s global trade negotiations, and a reconsideration of existing deals — including Nafta, a cornerstone of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Mr. Edwards also talks of “redoing” Nafta. All the Democratic candidates agree that trade agreements should be amended to attach provisions about minimum labor standards.
Of course, it's not like the Republicans are any better. Hell, the GOP's most compelling candidate, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, wants to take us back to the Gold Standard.