February 24, 2003


In with the new...Europe (Larry Kudlow, February 24, 2003, Townhall)
Do not let the fog of war obscure the international trade figures just published by the U.S. Commerce Department. The statistics may be drier than sand, but they reveal a fascinating tale of wartime politics and economics. [...]

Let's look at trade balances by region. First, Western Europe -- or more accurately, Old Europe, to use Donald Rumsfeld's all-too-accurate phrase. U.S. exports to this fading old hag are down 15.6 percent. Pacifist Germany? Minus 11.9 percent. Egocentric and anti-U.S. France? Minus 13.6 percent. Are these guys playing with a thin deck or what? Their economics are just as wussy as their foreign politics.

How about our real friends in the Mediterranean sector of Old Europe? Well, U.S. exports to Jose Aznar's Spain are up 27.6 percent. Silvio Berlusconi's Italy? Up 16.1 percent. Their economies are as strong as their dislike for terrorism.

How about New Europe? U.S. exports to these freedom-loving and Saddam-hating nations in the central and eastern precincts are up 25.5 percent over the past 12 months. A tremendous performance. [...]

Trade figures may not tell the whole economic story, but something good is surely going on in the former Soviet colonies. Just as they value their newfound democracies and political freedoms, they also seem to appreciate their newly established free-market economies and their liberation from communist state controls.

This raises a logical question. Why not a transatlantic free-trade agreement with the willing members of old and new Europe?

The Cold War is over, time to move on. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2003 10:15 PM

Finally. Bring on TAFTA.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at February 25, 2003 4:31 AM

Agree - let'g get a bunch of free trade agreements with countries that are helping us - Turkey, India, the Eastern Europeans, etc. And for countries that aren't (perhaps Chile, Mexico - we'll see) no rush on them.

Posted by: AWW at February 25, 2003 9:11 AM