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US free trade is BS(3 posts)

US free trade is BSMJ
Jan 13, 2004 2:21 AM,1280,-3618446,00.html

and Bush responded to the wide ranging criticism with a deafening sound of silence - what a leader!!

in the meantime you rabid neo-cons and "fiscal conservatives" who support the Bushies - you keep the lie alive telling yourself that America and Americans believes in free markets, fair trade and should not support public welfare

and BTW - while the link is from the Guardian - I notices the story was somehow overlooked by US media sources

Bush Tries to Sell Free Trade at Summit

Tuesday January 13, 2004 8:16 AM


Associated Press Writer

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) - President Bush told leaders from across the Americas that free trade is the best road to prosperity in the hemisphere, but several Latin American nations remained unconvinced.

Although they still have broad disagreements, leaders at the 34-nation Summit of the Americas worked hard Monday to show that relations were improving, pledging to strengthen democracy and fight terrorism in the region.

The most visible example of that diplomatic outreach came when Bush invited Mexican President Vicente Fox to visit his Texas ranch. Fox accepted and praised Bush's new immigration proposal, which would allow some foreign workers to live temporarily in the United States.

The presidents smiled, shook hands and walked together into the new Monterrey public arena, where heads of state formally inaugurated the two-day summit of the Organization of American States.

Fox's spokesman, Agustin Gutierrez, said the tone of the bilateral meeting marked a ``180-degree turn'' from the past year, when Mexico and the United States faced off over the Iraq war and American executions of Mexican nationals.

The Sept. 11 terror attacks also distracted Bush from the immigration overhaul sought by Fox.

Bush also reached out to the rest of Latin America, saying his government was committed to ``embracing the challenge of ... bringing all the hemisphere's people into the expanding circle of development.''

He added that all countries ``must work to provide quality education and quality health care for all our citizens, especially those who suffer from HIV/AIDs.''

In another goodwill gesture, Secretary of State Colin Powell signed an agreement turning over to Peru $20 million allegedly stolen by a former Peruvian intelligence chief and stashed in American bank accounts.

But several Latin American nations - and even Canada - challenged Bush's argument that all free trade roads lead to prosperity, saying the United States has an unfair competitive advantage.

``Over the long term, trade is the most certain path to lasting prosperity,'' Bush said during the summit's opening ceremony. ``Together we will ... lift all our nations, and show the world that free societies and free markets can deliver real benefits to our citizens.''

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, who intended to use the summit partly to improve relations with Washington, criticized his southern neighbor's economic policies, saying developing countries cannot immediately compete in the cutthroat global economy.

He said even the United States and other rich nations once ``asked for time to adjust'' to changing economies through agricultural subsidies and other supports. Martin added that the time for those nations to eliminate such programs ``is long past due.''

The United States also faced opposition to its insistence on setting a 2005 deadline for the Free Trade Area of the Americas - a hemisphere-wide trade zone - in the summit's final declaration. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who opposes the accord, has pushed instead for a humanitarian fund that could be used to help countries during financial and natural disasters.

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo criticized U.S. officials for refusing to lower agricultural subsidies while aski
Yes and no,TJeanloz
Jan 13, 2004 6:51 AM
The idea that trade barriers should be lifted has certainly not been strongly supported (in action) by the current Administration. Labor leaders should be rallying around Bush on this point...

This doesn't mean that free trade is bad, as a policy - it just means that we aren't there yet. I do think it's hugely unfair to ask for free trade while continuing to subsidize agriculture, steel, et. al.
Well, it is like 'free for us' trade...Spunout
Jan 13, 2004 8:32 AM
Current economic conditions show that the US can't continue to close borders, subsidize farming, and hit imports with protectionist duties (Canadian softwood lumber, for one).

It is too costly.

This is all coming full circle to the war on terror, look how costly that is, and US foreign policy precipitated that!