9:01 AM, Jul 23, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Peggy Noonan examines the mini-furor over the manufacturing of the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms in ... China. It was, she believes, a missed opportunity to create a sensational political ad:
someone might have thought: "Hey, we could do a nice commercial to run during the games, with American women and men making the uniforms, looking up from their sewing machines as the camera goes by and saying, 'Good luck America.' The last shot is of a seamstress at the end of the day on a floor in the New York Garment District. As she goes to turn off the lights, she walks by a mannequin wearing the full uniform, gives the shoulder a little pat and says, 'Good luck, kid.'" As if we're all in this together, and what we're all in is actually bigger than the games.
Yes, it would have made a nice commercial. But instead of playing on people's resentments, why not a commercial that illustrates why free trade is desirable? Or why wages in the United States – including for garment workers – are high and sticky? Maybe even something that goes to the problem of minimum wage laws. After all, even if there were people in the United States willing to work for what the Chinese are paid, and a firm willing to hire them and pay those wages, the law would not permit it.
In the present crisis, which shows signs of real staying power, our politics could prosper from less sentimental messaging and more hard-nosed communication. Which means we shall probably experience less of the later and much more of the former.
12:00 AM, Feb 4, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Some fear America is about to go protectionist. Others fear it won’t. Where you stand on this issue depends on where you sit. Sit in the chair of the CEO of a major exporter, and you fear protectionism and the ever-rising spiral of retaliations. Sit in the chair of the president of a trade union, and you welcome what others call protectionism and you call fair trade. Sit in the chair of a Wal-Mart customer and you fear anything that will drive up prices, putting pressure on your over-stretched budget.
Colombia has become one of the most promising economies in the Western Hemisphere.9:00 AM, Oct 31, 2011 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
On October 21, President Obama signed into law the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA), thereby giving American exporters greater access to one of South America’s fastest growing markets. The long, tiring debate over the FTA—which began five years ago, when the agreement was first completed—showed that popular perceptions of Colombia are stuck in a time warp. Not only has the country become a much safer and less violent place than it was in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, it has also become one of the most promising economies in the Western Hemisphere.
12:41 PM, Oct 12, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
During Tuesday night’s debate in New Hampshire, moderator Karen Tumulty challenged Mitt Romney on his recent tough talk on China. Romney says China is a “currency manipulator” and argues that, by setting unfair prices and allowing the theft of American intellectual property, the Chinese government is cheating world markets and must be held accountable
1:00 PM, Sep 6, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
For a while now, Obama's been mentioning in speeches that there are free-trade agreements that need to be ratified as away to create jobs and spur growth... while blaming Republicans for the hold up.
4:25 PM, Apr 9, 2011 • By PATRICK CHRISTY
The Obama administration finally announced earlier this week an agreement on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, paving the way for its ratification. The Colombia FTA is long overdue, and President Obama’s change of heart is a welcome step for America and Colombia alike. As the White House notes, American workers will immediately benefit from the agreement:
2:18 PM, Feb 25, 2011 • By PATRICK CHRISTY
Despite high unemployment, the Obama administration has been slow to come up with an effective trade policy. It’s seemingly been trying with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, but its lack of success is startling.
5:00 PM, Feb 11, 2011 • By JOHN NOONAN and PATRICK CHRISTY
It is, in a way, unsurprising that the president gave Bogota a brief nod during his State of the Union address. After all, In 2010 State of the Union address, the president claimed, “we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea and Panama and Colombia.” And, in 2009, President Obama told Colombian president Alvaro Uribe that he was “confident that ultimately we can strike a deal that is good for the people of Colombia and good for the people of the United States.” Yet, no such deal has been struck.
Beijing plays chess; America plays tiddlywinks.Jan 17, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 17 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
China’s president, Hu Jintao, is about to make a state visit to Washington, hard on the heels of a statement by Liang -Guanglie, his defense minister, that “in the next five years our military will push forward preparations for military conflicts in every strategic direction.” Not quite Nikita Khrushchev’s “We will bury you,” but close enough to give President Obama good reason to reset our overall policy towards the Chinese regime, including abandoning the outdated notion that trade is only about economics.
12:50 PM, Nov 15, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain had some sharp words about President Barack Obama’s policy toward Afghanistan earlier today at a conference in Washington.
9:03 AM, Nov 12, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with A. B. Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
India.11:42 AM, Jul 19, 2010 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
In recent years, Latin America’s trade with India, the world’s largest democracy, has grown much more slowly than its trade with China. However, the Latin Business Chronicle notes that “an increasing number of Indian companies are now looking at Latin America as the ‘next frontier.’”
Good news for South Korea, but what about Colombia and Panama?7:30 AM, Jul 1, 2010 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
Speaking to reporters at the G-20 summit in Toronto, President Obama declared his intention to complete the U.S.–South Korea free-trade agreement, which was signed by the Bush administration three years ago. “I want to make sure that everything is lined up properly by the time I visit Korea in November, and in the few months that follow that, I intend to present it to Congress,” Obama said. “It is the right thing to do for our country, it is the right thing to do for Korea.”
Is President Obama serious about trade?2:15 PM, Jan 28, 2010 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
Hugo Chávez and his cronies must have been very happy with President Obama’s first State of the Union address, which completely ignored the challenges to democracy in Latin America. Obama cited the brave Iranian activists who are fighting for freedom in the streets of Tehran, if only very briefly, but he failed to mention the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who have gathered in Caracas and other cities over the past week to protest against the failed policies of a dictatorship. The demonstrations in Venezuela are ongoing, yet Obama did not see fit to discuss them.
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