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Don't Know Much About Foreign Trade

1:08 PM, May 19, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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Barack Obama complains about Japan's closed market:

Speaking to a crowd of farmers in a barn, Barack Obama cited the Japanese not selling American beef as an example of how current trade policies have hurt rural communities.

"You can't get American beef into Japan…even though we have the highest safety standards. They don't want the competition," he said in response to a question about trade and manufacturing jobs moving to China.

U.S. firms have certainly had a hard time selling in Japan (and in many other nations). Fortunately, however, Senator Obama is wrong about the situation; Japan lifted the embargo on U.S. beef almost a year ago. Right now the U.S. exports 5,000 tons of beef per month to Japan. Korea has also lifted its ban on U.S. beef imports, but that didn't stop Obama from putting that nation on the same black list as Japan.

Ignorance of current events, or just a simple pander?