Thursday, October 13, 2011

Council on Foreign Relations: Edward Alden & Bernard L. Schwartz- 'Free Trade Agreements Signal Bipartisan Cooperation'

Source:Council on Foreign Relations- Senior Fellow Edward Alden.

"The U.S. ratification of the stalled Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama indicates that "there is a possibility, despite the very great partisan divisions in Congress, of bipartisan cooperation on economic issues," says Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. However, Alden emphasizes that "it is important not to overstate the potential job creation benefits" of the agreements." 

The fact is America has to trade with foreign countries. We are a country of 310M people in a world of 6B people. We are huge, but we only represent 5% of the world's population. Most of the customers in the world live outside of America, so it's in our best interest to trade with these countries especially in our own neighborhood like Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean and in emerging markets in South America like Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, and of course with the European Union, Arabia and Asia, and even in Africa. 

An economic policy that would work best, includes foreign trade. Making things in America, selling them here which creates jobs in America for Americans. But also selling those products to other countries by exporting them, including our natural Resources. If we ever get around to establishing a national energy policy to sell as many products as possible to make as much profit as possible to create as many American jobs as possible. 

What foreign trade is about when it works and it works when tariff rates are low and equal, meaning you have the same tariff rate in your country, as your trading partners have in their countries. 

You also have assistance for people who lose their jobs as a result of free trade and help for them to find another job for people who lose a job thats not coming back. Assistance to learn a new trade even while they are on Unemployment Insurance. 

What we shouldn't be doing is having an isolationist policy either on trade or foreign policy and limit the influence that we can have as a world power both economically and in foreign policy. But we shouldn't be trying to run the world either but representing our own national interests and expressing our own democratic values. And foreign trade is a way to do this to be engaged with what is happening in the world. 

One of the reasons why I'm for eliminating the trade embargo with Cuba, who doesn't represent a threat at all to us economically, their military or in the war on terror, Cuba is simply not a threat to America, perhaps never has been. The trade embargo has cost both countries and hasn't helped anyone, denying Cubans and Americans access to the other country and allowing Cubans to see what liberal democracy looks like, individual liberty as well. But this is what we should be doing with any country whether they are democratic or not, as long as they don't represent a threat to us. 

If you want to have a strong economy and be able to influence other people's and other countries, you need to talk with them in order to do that and do business with them to give yourself maximum access around the world and be able to make as much profit as possible. And have as many customers as possible as well, otherwise you are just talking and dealing with yourself, which can get lonely.

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