Monday, April 05, 2004

A free trade campaign?

There were many times when I doubted this, but it looks like the President will support free trade in his reelection campaign, even if he'd probably prefer not to talk about it. From the last Kerry campaign ad:
Announcer: While jobs are leaving our country in record numbers, George Bush says sending jobs overseas "makes sense" for America

Announcer: His top economic advisors say "moving American jobs to low cost countries" is a plus for the U.S.
I don't see how Bush could possibly go left enough on trade to neutralize the issue without repudiating the majority (sadly not the entirety) of his trade policy for the past three years. Bush may have thought steel tariffs were good for him in the months before the midterm elections, but now he's singing a different tune:
The 57-year-old Bush holds up the creation of U.S. jobs by companies from abroad as an example of the benefits of free trade. In a speech in Cleveland on March 10, he said 10 percent of Honda's worldwide workforce lives in Ohio. Honda has two vehicle-assembly plants in two Ohio towns.

"About 16,000 Ohioans work for Honda, with good, high-paying jobs, and that's not counting the people who work at 165 different Ohio companies that supply Honda with parts and material," Bush said. "When politicians in Washington attack trade for political reasons, they don't mention these workers, or the 6.4 million other Americans who draw their paychecks from foreign companies."

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