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Where have all the free-traders gone?

By Chris | November 15, 2007

According to an early October WSJ poll, 59% of Republican voters think that foreign trade is bad for the economy. These voters agreed with the statement:

“Foreign trade has been bad for the U.S. economy, because imports from abroad have reduced demand for American-made goods, cost jobs here at home, and produced potentially unsafe products.”

It seems that recent recalls from China have contributed to anti-trade sentiment. But, traditional misconceptions about trade seem to be at the root of protectionism. One excerpt from the WSJ article:

Julie Kowal, 40 years old, who works in a medical lab and is raising five children in Omaha, Neb., said she worries that Midwestern producers face obstacles selling beef and autos abroad. “We give a lot more than we get,” she said. “There’s got to be a point where we say, ‘Wait a minute.'”

This does not bode well for the likelihood that the next president, whether Republican or Democrat, will make progress towards reducing barriers to trade.

Topics: Political Science, Trade | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Where have all the free-traders gone?”

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