Barney’s Bubble Babbling
To hear Congressman Barney Frank tell it, he was a lone voices of fiscal reason when the surge of ill-considered mortgage debt fueled the now-popped housing bubble. Unfortunately for Frank, this is the age of the Internet. Bloggers have proved more than willing to collate inconvenient evidence. Thanks to Ed Morrissey on HotAir.com, then, we have two testimonies of Frank-ish speechifying. Here’s Frank in 2009: | Read More »
Is Obama Warming to Colombia Free Trade?
Congressional Quarterly has a short piece on team Obama’s sudden revisiting of three free trade agreements that have been languishing in Congress for quite some time, all three efforts that the Bush Administration began but was unable to settle. One is a trade agreement with South Korea, the second is a Panama trade agreement and the third the Colombia Free Trade pact. It is the | Read More »
Open Thread Tuesdays: Principles, Tea Parties, Bush Winner, Obama Loser?
I’ve got several topics for you guys to discuss. First up is the topic of principles. What would the founding fathers say about our current course and how we steered so far away from our principles? Do you see the irony in the fact that after six years of being raked across the coal George Bush is on the verge of winning Iraq a year | Read More »
These people: U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he still wants to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement, despite a warning from Canada that this would be a mistake, but he said he did not want to end up curbing trade. In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, shortly before his visit to Ottawa on Thursday, Obama also declined to characterize oil | Read More »
Hurts So Good
This account of the current G-7 meeting contains the following hopeful passage concerning the G-7’s intent regarding the issue of free trade: Amid signs some are attempting to shield domestic companies and workers from the fallout, the G-7 said it “remains committed to avoiding protectionist measures, which risks exacerbating the downturn.” Sounds lovely. It is then followed by this: A $787 billion package of tax | Read More »
The New, Old Protectionism
I try anew to fight the good fight against protectionism in my latest article over at The New Ledger. An excerpt includes my hope that: the Obama Administration will abandon “Buy American” provisions and other protectionist measures and instead, truly encourage the buying of American products by ensuring that free trade principles not only remain intact, but also thrive in the coming years. Only through | Read More »
What Obama Hath Wrought
Ugh. And yes, the wording of the title is deliberate; look at the story Mankiw links to and you will see that the protectionist measures being proposed by (surprise!) Canadian labor unions are modeled explicitly on the “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill. Heck, the labor unions in Canada even say that they have no problem with the Buy American provisions–I suppose that sentiment | Read More »
The Honeymoon Is Over
Much of the appeal of the Obama campaign for those who supported it revolved around the contention that if the erstwhile Senator from Illinois were elected President, we would instantly see a significant improvement in relations between America and the rest of the world. Those who believed this obviously did not take into account the possibility that the protectionism of the Obama Administration might tick | Read More »
Recipe For A Depression
While we are still struggling to get out of the most severe recession in nearly a quarter of a century, the Obama Administration is determined to make matters worse: The prospect of a trade war between the US and Europe is looming after “Buy American” provisions were added to President Barack Obama’s $820 billion (£573 billion) stimulus package. The EU trade commissioner vowed to fight | Read More »
Is More Regulation the Answer?
Regulation. We’re told that it would have saved us from this and that event associated with the current economic downturn. Well, probably not. First off, remember that we have had regulation during this period. Clinton upped regulatory oversight of businesses; so did Bush. Next, the mere fact that there are regulations doesn’t make them effective. Take Bernard Madoff. What Madoff engaged in was a swindle | Read More »
Heckuva Job, Obama Administration
The President who promised us that he would re-engage the world and put to the side the supposed unilateralism and arrogance of the Bush Administration has raised hackles across the world with the news that the Obama Administration is pushing for “Buy American” provisions in the new stimulus act. Now, the Administration appears to be backtracking on this utterly protectionist proposal. And a good thing | Read More »
Two Words Of The Day For The “Reality-Based Community”
Or two names. Anyway, without further ado: Smoot. Hawley. Explanation. Be very, very, very afraid. Malevolent agents bent on destroying the economy could not do a better job than these protectionists could.
“A Complete Collapse In Foreign Demand”
Read this about the nosedive in trade activity since the onset of the financial crisis last fall and feel the sickening lurch in your stomach. And hey, if that’s not enough, consider that things are likely to get a whole lot worse on the global trade front before there is even a sand castle’s chance in an earthquake that they will get better. At least | Read More »
On The Trade Front: Heckuva Job, Obama Administration
Let’s review the bidding: An ill-considered statement from the Treasury Secretary tax delinquent nominee concerning Chinese currency re-evaluation may very well start off a trade war between the United States and China. If that’s not enough, there has been little to no movement whatsoever on the part of Team Obama–stretching from the campaign to the present day–to indicate that there will be any serious effort | Read More »
Trade Diplomacy: Foundering
So reports Daniel Ikenson. I disagree with the contention that Congress’s activities “whiff Rumsfeldian” because Donald Rumsfeld was a heck of a lot more adroit than the House Ways and Means Committee will ever be under current leadership in dealing with the international community on the issue of trade policy. In any event, as Ikenson references, this is the kind of arrogant foreign policy-making that | Read More »