Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Where the candidates stand on free trade 

Cato's Center for Trade Policy Studies has a neat tool that looks at the voting records of Congresspersons to determine their stances on trade issues. It's neat because it divides their records between votes for trade barriers and trade subsidies. Those voting for low barriers and no subsidies are free traders. There are those who are for low barriers but subsidize domestic producers -- these are classified as "internationalists" and not free traders. I have written down the results for the three presidential candidates remaining, plus for Senator Norm Coleman:
Wellstone! by the way was the closest thing to an isolationist as we've had.

P.S. This opposition to trade subsidies should also be applied when thinking of tax breaks to dissuade airlines from taking jobs to other states. Use of the public fisc this way is a lousy deal for both small airports and large. It's all the same logic.

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