September 21, 2016

SMOOTISM:

Trumpeting Trade : WITH PROTECTIONISM SWEEPING THE NATION, LET'S RECALL WHY NAFTA HAS BEEN SO GOOD FOR TEXAS. (ERICA GRIEDER, October 2016, Texas Monthly)

On balance, then, Trump's sweeping indictment of globalization seems alarmist. And his determination to rail against trade at a rally in Texas was, under the circumstances, rather uncouth. For one, he was speaking in the state that has benefitted the most from NAFTA and would suffer the most from its repeal, a point some of his own supporters had impressed upon him earlier that same day. At a private fundraiser in San Antonio, Dennis Nixon, the CEO of the Laredo-based International Bank of Commerce (IBC), had told the candidate and a roomful of supporters, "Mr. Trump, we must support trade," according to the Texas Tribune.

At the time, behind the closed doors of the fundraiser, Trump indicated that he was listening to Nixon, even if he didn't necessarily agree. But there he was, just hours later in The Woodlands, at the first available opportunity, scoffing at the pro-trade perspective in public. He returned to his critique of trade several times throughout his remarks. At one point he noted that some conservatives had implored him to take a more nuanced view of free trade and bragged that he had resisted their entreaties: "Who cares?"

Well, anyone who values the health of the Texas economy should care about the effects of Trump's rhetoric. He's been roaming the nation for more than a year, and there are signs that his view on trade is resonating. In a poll taken a few weeks after Trump's appearance, the University of Texas found that 51 percent of Texas Republicans--that's right, Texas Republicans!--think that international trade deals have done the nation more harm than good. But it's a bipartisan issue, as the ongoing debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership proves. That treaty would lower barriers to trade between the United States and eleven other countries.

Posted by at September 21, 2016 7:20 PM

  

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