Free Trade Benefits Everyone
The solution to restoring America’s entrepreneurial spirit is to allow markets to freely trade with each other so that jobs can be created here and abroad. A recent Pew survey among U.S. consumers found that support for free trade rose from 36 percent to 44 percent, but the lack of interest shown by Congress on trade issues indicates that they are not in touch with their constituents.
The global reality is that free trade amongst countries rarely exists. Where free trade does exist is interstate commerce between our 50 states, where it has fueled our domestic economy.
We should therefore examine free trade at its purist. Why not have our Free Trade Agreements resemble the kind of trade that exists amongst the states? The U.S. Constitution forbids tariffs amongst states on any kind of product or service. All 50 states are under the same federal laws controlling banking, the environment, labor rights, safety standards and copyright and patent protection. All 50 states use the same currency, not subject to manipulation or devaluation. All 50 states are ultimately answerable to the Supreme Court.
Adopting these same standards would eliminate tariffs on manufactured and agricultural products and open up service markets and government procurement. Labor rights, safety standards, environmental protection, intellectual properties, and due process would all be protected and regulated. In short, the playing field would be leveled. They must be pursued vigorously and immediately.
Here are some steps we should take immediately to create jobs and level the playing field for trade:
- Enforce Trade Agreements – especially NAFTA
- Pass the Colombia, South Korean and Panama Free Trade Agreements
- Depoliticize the Trade Promotion Authority so they can create more U.S. jobs
- Foster Development through Trade and Aid, even among unpopular nations
- Help Small Businesses to Export by creating access to capital and removing trade barriers
- Create the department of Global Trade and Industry which would have control over all trade policies within a single department
- Convince Unions that free trade creates more American jobs, not less
- Protect Intellectual Property
- Welcome Investment from Abroad
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