April 4, 2007

WHO DID YOU THINK YOU WERE TELLING FOLKS TO VOTE FOR?

Time for Trade: Pacts with Latin America and South Korea ought to pass this Congress (Washington Post, April 4, 2007)

THE BUSH administration's conclusion of a free-trade agreement with South Korea means that Congress faces a series of critical decisions about trade policy, globalization and U.S. relations with key allies. The South Korea agreement joins similar deals with Colombia, Peru and Panama awaiting congressional action. Congress must also decide whether to extend past June the presidential negotiating authority that makes such agreements possible. The stakes are high: Free trade with South Korea could give a substantial boost to the American economy, while the Latin America deals could help consolidate democracy and capitalism in the region at a time when both are under challenge.

Trading up with South Korea: California's congressional delegation should recognize the value of a deal between the U.S. and South Korea. (LA Times, April 4, 2007)
The last time the U.S. negotiated a trade deal approaching this size, the most prominent members of the California delegation were divided. Sen. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2005, while Sen. Barbara Boxer, her fellow Democrat, opposed it. Also against the deal was Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat who is now speaker of the House. None of the three have yet said how they will vote on this deal, but their leadership could prove crucial.

The deal's benefits to California are clear. Its lowering of agricultural barriers would be a boon for citrus growers. Hollywood would be among the biggest winners because the deal opens South Korea to American TV programming, toughens copyright protections and relaxes ownership restrictions on Korean production companies. South Korea already accounts for $20.7 billion in two-way trade through the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the No. 3 nation by volume -- and under the deal, trade between the two countries is expected to jump by up to a third within a few years. Even the lowering of U.S. barriers to Korean cars, so displeasing to Detroit, is good for Southern California because the U.S. headquarters of Korean auto giant Kia is in Irvine.

If California's members of Congress want to show they represent the interests of their state, they should strongly back this trade deal.>

The last time the U.S. negotiated a trade deal approaching this size, the most prominent members of the California delegation were divided. Sen. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2005, while Sen. Barbara Boxer, her fellow Democrat, opposed it. Also against the deal was Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat who is now speaker of the House. None of the three have yet said how they will vote on this deal, but their leadership could prove crucial.

The deal's benefits to California are clear. Its lowering of agricultural barriers would be a boon for citrus growers. Hollywood would be among the biggest winners because the deal opens South Korea to American TV programming, toughens copyright protections and relaxes ownership restrictions on Korean production companies. South Korea already accounts for $20.7 billion in two-way trade through the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the No. 3 nation by volume -- and under the deal, trade between the two countries is expected to jump by up to a third within a few years. Even the lowering of U.S. barriers to Korean cars, so displeasing to Detroit, is good for Southern California because the U.S. headquarters of Korean auto giant Kia is in Irvine.

If California's members of Congress want to show they represent the interests of their state, they should strongly back this trade deal.


These poor editorial boards, they endorse a protectionist, isolationist partyy and then expect them to be free traders and put the economic good of all Americans above the special interests of trade unions?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2007 6:49 AM
Comments for this post are closed.