Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mexico wants trade and we do too

Trade has been a large part of the global prosperity we all have enjoyed the past 25 years. Where there is more trade there are more jobs. It doesn't mean that there aren't changes in product flows that results in people losing their jobs. But the sum total is a much larger benefit that swamps the loss for a few. And one of the causes of the Great Depression was the Smoot-Hawley tariffs that raised the barriers against trade. Let's continue with what works, says the president of Mexico. Bloomberg
Mexican President Felipe Calderon warned Barack Obama against trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying restricting commerce would only encourage illegal Mexican emigration to the U.S. ``The day access is closed, workers will jump over whatever river or wall you put there,'' Calderon told business leaders today at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Lima, Peru, where leaders of 21 nations are meeting. Calderon's comments reflect unease among U.S. trading partners over the likely economic policies of President-elect Obama, who has expressed reservations about Nafta and pending agreements with Colombia and South Korea. Leaders from the Asia- Pacific region also said they are concerned protectionism would exacerbate the global economic crisis. ``Obama's signals have not been very positive as far as free trade is concerned,'' Luc Gerard, president of Bogota-based private equity fund Tribeca Partners, said in an interview. ``There's definitely a concern.'' The leaders are meeting amid signs that the global economic slump is growing deeper. The worst credit crisis in seven decades spurred countries from China to the U.K. to boost spending or cut taxes in an effort to support growth and avoid a prolonged recession. ``One of the enduring lessons of the Great Depression is that global protectionism is a path to global economic ruin,'' President George W. Bush told the summit.
When Barack first mentioned killing NAFTA the Canadians were looking for a deal more beneficial to Canada and less to the US.

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