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  • President Obama’s Trade Failure

    There is a consensus, spanning the Democratic and Republican parties, our Asia-Pacific trade partners, and those interested around the world that President Obama is heading to Asia with one hand tied behind is back. The reason is his failure to develop and present a clear, coherent trade policy.

    Economics is king in the Asia-Pacific and trade with the US is the jewel in the king’s crown. Ignore most of what you hear about China as the engine of growth; China runs a huge trade surplus. That means, in the short term, it is taking GDP away from the world, not adding to it. Goods are flowing to China from the rest of the region but still chiefly in order to assemble and export to the US. The US is by far the most important country for the region.

    Unfortunately, we’re undermining that lofty perch, in more ways than one. First and most pressing is the long-term health of our own economy. A government that isn’t sure when it can stop borrowing $1 trillion every year sends a terrible signal about economic health. Deficit spending weakens the dollar, which makes East Asia uncomfortable about taking the dollars we pay for products streaming across the Pacific.

    The White House has a response, of course: it’s a crisis, it’s temporary. Whatever you think of that response, the knockout blow is it can’t be used for trade.

    Last year, our trade with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group was no less than $2 trillion, more than that with North America and the EU combined. This trade isn’t some afterthought to take up after the endless Congressional consideration of health care and climate change, it’s central to our economy and recovery.

    And the Administration has done nothing. The free trade agreement with our treaty ally Korea could serve as trade policy centerpiece but remains in limbo, with no timetable for when the President will send it to Congress. We are engaged in creeping protectionism against China, with no apparent plan or purpose.

    Most inexcusable: we still haven’t heard the comprehensive statement on trade from President Obama that has been rumored for months. It would bolster our Asia-Pacific friends and partners considerably just to hear a ringing and specific endorsement of open trade. Of all things, this President should at least give us a good speech.

    Barring that, East Asia will be forced to hedge its bets. Hedging in this case means more regional cooperation that excludes a vacillating America and more hope against hope that China can take America’s place. President Obama has been pushing the region in the wrong direction and now has to swim upstream.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to President Obama’s Trade Failure

    1. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      I there anything this President does, that is good for our economy?

      I think he is wants to destroy us?

      We have a anti-American President and administration.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      Obama's priorities have NOTHING to do with America or her people in ANY positive way. His actions are EVIDENT!!!



    3. Spiritof76 says:

      "That means, in the short term, it is taking GDP away from the world, not adding to it."

      The problem with this logic is that the total pie is a constant.

      The fact the US is losing jobs and had gotten in the habit of buying with borrowed money (from China) is the problem that the US policies had created.

      US has the resources to be energy independent. Over 30 years, it had steadily discarded energy production under the various pretexts- self-inflicted wounds. As a result, we are importing energy and losing the trade balance.

      I hope China says that they will no longer buy US debt and that they demand the US to provide tangible security for any future debts.

      Until we get rid of environmental wackos and other parasites, US economy will slide into a banana republic style economy.

    4. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      These are historic time for America.

      Obama knows exactly what he is doing, he wants to get rid of as many small businesses as he can and drive as much wealth out of the economy as he can.

      His policies are textbook Lenin, Marx,Stalin all the way down to his propoganda machine which now includes mass communication to our school children.

      His plan for redistribution of wealth which includes rhetoric that blames hard working Americans for the condition of the poor is racist at it's core.

      Hi back room model to intentionally create chaos and uncertainty is specifially designed to increase the stress and anxiety of our citizens.

      But, watch what is happening, Americans are waking up and we are voting them out, one by one.

      Silly boy, others have also underestimated Americans before.

    5. Tim Az says:

      After all that Mao-Bama and his Administration has accomplished in less than a year. Even the blind can see that these socialist's know the only way they can install their utopian dictatorship is to destroy all private wealth in America. Knowing this makes one wonder how a person can still ask why Mao-Bama doesn't do anything to rebuild Americas economy. Wake up and smell the necrotic flesh of a dying America.

    6. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      What could any person or persons possiblu know of Trade, who have always earned their income from "Handouts?"

    7. Brett, Albany, NY says:

      You have to understand the sheer size of influence and power Organized Labor holds over this President to make sense of this inane, absurd trade policy.

      Just one example: Obama grated the UnitedSteelWorkers Union tariff relief in response to their petition, and on their petition alone. It was the first time a domestic producer was not party to a request for tariff relief.

      So we have a President slapping a steep tariff on our most crucial trading partner for no other reason than to pacify the USW Union. Talk about turning back the clock: This trade war which very well may result from this(China has already retailiated in kind) is the same foolish, fear-motivated moves that worsened and prolonged the Great Depression.

      Obama is seriously risking the decades of credibility that consistently strong leadership in promoting Free Trade has given the U.S. The Chokehold Big Labor has over this Administration is astounding, and should be cause for serious concern around the world.

    8. Ross writes from Flo says:

      This seem to have exploded in a lot of American's faces like a striking snake; Obama's loyalty lying with trade and government unions with their socialist/communist agenda and protectionist policy, NOT the American people nor our free market economy that enriched and raised the world's standard of living for the almost a 100 years, making us the envy of the world.

      Forget the roses, stop and smell the stench coming from the White House and the Democrat party, before you discover that they've also robbed you of your cleaning equipment(the vote) and disinfectant(our God-given Constitutional rights).

    9. DE Teodoru says:

      How interesting that Bobbie Jay should be so certain that Obama's goal as President is "HIS PRIORITY IS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING AMERICA BUILT AND WILLING TO SHARE WITH THOSE AROUND THE WORLD, THAT CHOOSE TO TAKE PART!!!!!!!!!" Could you please enumerate what was left standing after the Republican "entrepreneurs" (French word for Takers-in-between) devoured and destroyed America to enrich themselves and moved all AMERICAN manufacturing to slave labor states so Americans can buy more junk on credit per Bush's "patriotic solution" to 9/11: to shop until you drop?

      If you are a real American who cares for your fellow Americans, Bobbie Jay, why don't you demand to know why the airlines violated the law and left the doors to the pilot's cabin open so four airliners could be taken over within 10 minutes each and turned into missiles?

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