The Protectionist Case for Free Trade


The fight for the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which plugs free trade in name if not in fact, is not going particularly well. Today's Washington Post reports that pro-CAFTA-ites, in addition to buying House votes with pork and sucking up to the sugar industry, are promising that more trade with Central America is the best way to stick it to China. In yesterday's Wash Times, one William R. Hawkins explored the China-CAFTA connection in an anti-China, anti-CAFTA rant:

[House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill] Thomas promised a vote before CAFTA on a bill by Rep. Phil English, Pennsylvania Republican, that includes some "anti-Chinese" provisions. There is to be increased monitoring of Chinese intellectual property theft, a Treasury definition of currency manipulation and the application of countervailing duty law to "nonmarket economies" on a case-by-case basis.

Earlier this week, Jeff Taylor reported on pro-CAFTA forces in North Carolina.