Saturday, February 16, 2008

Obama believes that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy

I e-mailed Greg Mankiw the other day in response to his blog post about Obama's anti-trade stance. He was kind enough to e-mail me back. I agree in some sense with Dr. Mankiw response that in some cases it is hard to tell if Obama is listening to his advisors to playing or to the farther left wing part of the Democratic party.

I wish Dr. Mankiw would post a more balanced discription of Obama's stance on free trade, instead of posting only his possibly anti-trade quotes. As I said in my last post I think Obama is really not that far off main stream economist beliefs. Below is text from Obama's campaign website on his belief in trade.

But first a quote from nobel Prize winner Joeseph Stiglitz from his book Globalization and its Discontents “No one said there wouldn’t be losers, but the assumption was that there would be enough winners to compensate the losers,” Stiglitz said. But this has not happened, he added. “If we are to make globalization work, we have to recognize that there are losers and that we have to design policies that respond to this.”

Obama seems to propose ways to compensate the losers of free trade.

Obama's trade platform

Obama believes that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy and create more American jobs. He will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security.

Fight for Fair Trade: Obama will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. He will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world and stand firm against agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement that fail to live up to those important benchmarks. Obama will also pressure the World Trade Organization to enforce trade agreements and stop countries from continuing unfair government subsidies to foreign exporters and nontariff barriers on U.S. exports.

Amend the North American Free Trade Agreement: Obama believes that NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the American people. Obama will work with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to fix NAFTA so that it works for American workers.
Improve Transition Assistance: To help all workers adapt to a rapidly changing economy, Obama would update the existing system of Trade Adjustment Assistance by extending it to service industries, creating flexible education accounts to help workers retrain, and providing retraining assistance for workers in sectors of the economy vulnerable to dislocation before they lose their jobs.

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