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Romney wrongly wants more trade agreements. No concern for trade deficit

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For all the “tough on China” talk, Romney wants more trade agreements and criticizes President Obama – in an odd way – for not “signing” any.

From the Associated Press (and per a CNN article) fact checkers, analyzing a Monday Romney speech.

ROMNEY: “The president has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years.”

THE FACTS: Obama hasn’t opened new trade negotiations, but he’s completed some big ones, overcoming opposition from fellow Democrats to do so. After taking office, he revived a free-trade deal with Colombia that had been negotiated by his Republican predecessor but left to languish without congressional approval and sought similar progress with South Korean and Panamanian free-trade pacts. The president delayed submitting the three deals to Congress while he tried to placate Democrats who opposed some of the terms, but finally submitted them in 2011, and Congress approved them.

I’ll let the fact checkers statement above stand for itself.

My point is that we need a strategy for trade that benefits the U.S., i.e. we need a strategy to eliminate the trade deficit.  Trade agreements simply don’t eliminate or reduce the trade deficit, but make it worse.  That is the math… not an ideological belief.

Candidate Obama was willing to question whether trade agreements were smart.  President Obama went in the wrong direction, sadly, pushing through the Peru, Colombia and Panama trade agreements negotiated by Bush II.  He now is pushing for the Trans Pacific Partnership, another mistake because we don’t have a trade strategy.

The GOP primary candidates, and Romney, criticized the President for not signing a sufficient number of trade agreements.

Romney is continuing that criticism.  Too bad we can’t get some common sense – or at least some math skills –  at the national level.

3 Responses to “Romney wrongly wants more trade agreements. No concern for trade deficit”

  1. Burl Finkelstein says:

    not another election with no clear choice for all Americans to win

  2. Sorscher says:

    South Korea, but yeah, I get the point. Well said.

    And what does it say about a candidate who makes a special emphasis about not signing “one new free trade agreement in the past four years,” when we had concluded three?

    What were those three agreements, chopped liver?

    Each represented a significant philosophical shortcoming of our trade policy.

    • China Watcher says:

      They were negotiated by the Bush administration and “improved” by the Obama administration. The entire process underscores the wrongheadedness of our approach to trade negotiations. It’s a bipartisan failure and a national disgrace.

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