Trade Gridlock Would Be A Lot Better
From today's Wall Street Journal, front page article Republicans Grow Skeptical On Free Trade, "By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is bad for the U.S. economy, a shift in opinion that mirrors Democratic views and suggests trade deals could face high hurdles under a new president."
For example, from the actual poll that was given to Republicans:
Statement A: Foreign trade has been good for the U.S. economy, because demand for U.S. products abroad has resulted in economic growth and jobs for Americans here at home and provided more choices for consumers.
Only 32% of Republicans agreed with this statement. Yikes!
Statement B: 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.
59% of Republicans agreed with this statement. Yikes!
In another part of the poll on policy positions that a Republican president might take, 61% of Republicans agreed with the position "Favors tougher regulations to limit imports of foreign goods." Yikes!
In other words, it looks like there will be upcoming bi-partisan consensus on anti-trade, pro-protectionist policy positions. That's pretty scary when you have the Republicans agreeing with the Democrats that free trade is bad and protectionism is good. Legislative gridlock on trade would be a lot better, I agree with P.J. O'Rourke on this one. Here's what he said:
"I like legislative gridlock. What I hate is bipartisan consensus. Bipartisan consensus is like when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help."