Lou Dobbs And The Democrats Are Lying About Tradeby Doug Mataconis
If The New York Times is right, 2009 could go down in infamy as the year that America’s leaders took a knowing step toward economic suicide. That’s because a recent Times analysis piece declared that among Democratic presidential candidates, free trade had become a “third rail” issue. Support for trade deals is now considered beyond the pale.
So what if protectionism helped keep Europe stagnant for generations; so what if there is massive evidence that protecting jobs quickly becomes a drag on job growth; so what if U.S. trade policy has helped make us a much richer nation than ever. Democrats see votes to be won by lying about trade, and they’re not going to let the facts get in their way.
Their maligning of the North American Free Trade Agreement is a perfect example. Its adoption in 1993 helped kick off one of the great periods of sustained economic health in U.S. history. The resulting explosion in trade with Canada and Mexico was crucial to the creation of more than 17 million new jobs, resulting in a five-year stretch in which the jobless rate was under 5 percent every year for only the second time since World War II.
Yet to hear Democrats tell the story, NAFTA has actually been catastrophic – especially for those with manufacturing jobs. In fact, economist Daniel Ikensen reports that in 2006, “the manufacturing sector achieved record output, record sales, record profits, record profit rates and record return on investment.”
Please, please don’t confuse them with the truth.