I was listening to a podcast over the weekend about the dangers of to the international trade system from the global economic downturn. These concerns are becoming common. One academic thinks that many of these bailouts that we are talking out are in violation of international treaties and could spark a trade war:

I think [Obama] has to really use his rhetorical powers at some stage to try and say that openness is at stake, and openness which is really — it’s not just trade, which Carla was correctly focusing on — trade — we have Buy America; bailouts which are — you know, if they are sectoral subsidies, which there are, and they are even more sectoral in the sense that they are Detroit and within that probably just two firms — those are clearly actionable under the SCM agreement, so I don’t see how it’s going to be proven to be the ability of — (inaudible).

(SCM = WTO’s Subsidies and Countervailing Measure’s Agreement)

So just to be clear, under Barack Obama, we already have a trade war against Mexico. Our Buy America provisions, which Obama did almost nothing to stop are raising concerns around the world. And our bailouts are in violating of international agreements.

How’s he doing, world?