Survey Says: We're Doomed.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spends a "substantial sum of money" trying to figure out "What to Say/Not Say on International Trade."

Instead of speaking of “globalization,” it is better to refer to “international trade.” The word globalization is “often viewed perniciously,” the survey of voter attitudes warns, and implies that business is “exploiting Third World workers in the name of cheap goods.”

Advocates should stress how free trade deals “level the playing field.” The sentiment “Our trading partners should treat us as fairly as we treat them” is a “home run statement,” according to the survey results.

Foreign affairs are also touched on. When pushing a Korean free trade pact, for example, “You must distinguish South Korea from North Korea.”

Also, advocates should never speak ill of "protectionism" because “protecting something sounds positive.”

So much for that North Korean free trade agreement we've all been pulling for.

Via Dan Ikenson.

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  • Elemenope||

    Someone find Frank Luntz and shoot him in the head. With a "fast and efficient projectile"...certainly *not* a bullet!

    Also, what the heck is a "survery"?

  • ||

    Crossbow bolts are reusable.

  • EJM||

    When pushing a Korean free trade pact, for example, "You must distinguish South Korea from North Korea."

    Maybe that would help explain why the AP still doesn't think it's appropriate to have Seoul stand alone in datelines. (Then again, the same goes for Madrid, Istanbul, Warsaw, and Bangkok, among others. Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine.)

  • ||

    I prefer to stress the "Having a sweatshop to work in, is the best thing that has ever happened in their undeveloped land. That's why they sign up by the thousands. Because the choice between stone-age tribal life and performing tedious labor in uncomfortable conditions 18 hours a day, six days a week, for $1.37, is a no brainer." argument.

  • ||

    It's just PR. Why do you think the Pro-Abortion and Anti-Choice movements never really gained any traction with the public?

  • ||

    I know Dan Ikenson took a dim view of the survey effort and its analysis, but I felt heartened to hear of an effort by businesses (and erstwhile trade partner Colombia, as the article mentions) to find better ways to champion free trade. So often today free trade is successfully painted as some sort of impossible, extremist, or utopian program, and part of that defeat must lie in a communication gap between free trade's advocates and the general public.

    Some people react to issues based on their presentation (anyone follow the election?). It's an abdication of civic duty on the part of those who do so, but it's also the natural response of the uninformed. We'd be foolish not to turn such prejudices--some of which are ultimately based in otherwise admirable human traits or history--to our own advantage.

  • TallDave||

    Doomed! DOOOOOMED!

    So much for that North Korean free trade agreement we've all been pulling for.

    Great, there goes my business plan for cut-rate Korean brides.

  • Josie||

    The sad thing is, people will eat it up like crazy. Its like someone saying "I don't take money from lobbyists" but taking money from political action committees.

  • Antiglobalist||

    Free trade isn't the solution to an economy that's crumbling from within. It seems to me that no one benefits from globalization except the very rich people managing the corporate machinery.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Free trade isn't the solution to an economy that's crumbling from within. It seems to me that no one benefits from globalization except the very rich people managing the corporate machinery.

    So should Michigan not trade with any other US state, since its economy is crumbling from within?

  • ||

    "Some people react to issues based on their presentation"

    Thems fightin werds! I agree generally wi wha you be sayin, but wen somewon presents themselves vary badly or argues a point with logical fallacies, ignorents, or atacks and roodness, its hard to sea pass that and look at the underlining arguement.

  • Elemenope||

    Why do you think the Pro-Abortion and Anti-Choice movements never really gained any traction with the public?

    I personally prefer "Anti-woman" and "pro-fetus recycling". Me, I'm all for recycling fetuses.

  • ||

    Perfect example! "Antiglobalist" isn't named "Anti-Free-Trader". I think the survey hit on something.

    And to Antiglobalist: Ending free trade is called an "embargo" when its enacted by a foreign power, and it's considered an act of war, too.

  • Elemenope||

    "I want fetus omlettes and I want 'em now!"

    or...

    "You can't make a baby omlette without breaking some eggs."

  • ||

    I suppose this explains why the early intellectuals of the libertarian movement changed the name away from "git the hell off my propertah!"

  • economist||

    Nigel Watt,
    Dammit, I don't even want my town to be trading with the next town over. Come to think of it, I won't buy from anybody who lives outside my neighborhood. And, now that I reflect on it, I'm not even sure I trust my neighbors. They call me crazy, but when Halliburton is revealed as an alien front to conquer the earth and they ban the production of tinfoil and I'M the only one with a tinfoil hat, who'll be laughing then, huh?

  • Fritz||

    Really, "protectionism" is considered too positive? Is protectiveness considered a positive attribute in the public mind? Is that why most politicians deny that label?

    I don't think these guys are onto anything. Most people like to deny that they are protective, even when they really are. The best that can be done is to remind people that in the long run, trade is the best way to raise the living standards of poor countries, and reap domestic benefits--and contrast this with the rhetoric of equality-obsessed politicians that nevertheless oppose free trade deals out of a narrow minded sense of impulsive nationalism.

  • Daniel Reeves||

    Free trade isn't the solution to an economy that's crumbling from within. It seems to me that no one benefits from globalization except the very rich people managing the corporate machinery.


    D'oh! That's not what you're supposed to have learned from Smoot and Hawley, you idiot!

  • Daniel Reeves||

    Free trade works for the same reason why trading works with your grocer, why trading works town to town, state to state. I'm just glad that the founding fathers put a halt on interstate tariffs. The US economy is so integrated today that it seems ridiculous to us that people back then would have wanted to put up tariffs blocking trade between each state.

    Trade benefits everyone. Especially poor, shitty countries like China. They need trade more than anyone. Damn greedy liberals would rob them of all their wealth in the name of protectionism, as if an American job is somehow worth infinitely more than a Chinese job. And they call Republicans nationalistic? And don't even get me started on the lump of labor fallacy...

    I hate debating free trade. It's like arguing with children. Greedy, ignorant children. Go open an economics book, dammit.

    Whew. I'm tired.

  • ||

    This has to have Carlin turning over in his grave.

    On the plus side, I'm glad that he isn't around to read this nonsense.

  • Elemenope||

    Reeves --

    You're being kind of a condescending jerk, which is usually my job (so I'm annoyed at the competition).

    No, it is not enough to say "[mumble, mumble, mumble] Ricardo [mumble, mumble, mumble] comparative advantage [mumble, mumble, mumble] go read a textbook", because if that was the reality every economist on the planet, including the bad ones, would agree with you. You're placing free trade on the same epistemological level as doctors asserting that blood circulates throughout the body; even people who flunk out of med school know that. hell, the homeless guy down the road probably knows that. Practically the only people who *don't* know that are, as you somewhat inartfully put it, ignorant children.

    Free trade is, rightfully, more controversial, in no small part because it is more complicated. I even happen to agree on the merits that free trade ends up generally being beneficial overall, *over the long term* (but surely fucks many people over the short term), but to say "go read a book" is simply asinine.

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