So now we will see another test of George Bush’s very shaky Free Trader credentials. He rightly wants Latin America to open up its markets to mutually enriching capitalism via the Free Trade Area of Americas (FTAA) agreements… but will the USA do the same for its markets?
In order to make FTAA worthwhile, Brazil has demanded the United States open its fiercely protected sugar, steel and citrus markets to freer competition.
Analysts agree that without Brazil there will be no FTAA, and it is unclear how quickly Washington can lower key tariffs.
It amazes me how so many US Republicans who cursed every breath taken by Bill Clinton, damning him quite rightly as an unprincipled political weathervane, nevertheless just gloss over George Bush’s dismal record on liberalising world trade. Why is allowing the state to interfere in markets so as to make products such as sugar, lumber, steel and fruit more expensive to American consumers and industry just shrugged off?
The need for political support from key states, you say? Ah, I see. So you mean George Bush is just an unprincipled political weathervane, then. Gotcha.