Further to our post of yesterday on the obvious benefits of free trade agreements, the President said:
“I’m also a big believer in trade…But I’m — what I’m for is trade that opens up people’s markets just like we opened up ours, that’s what I’m for. (Applause.) I believe good trade policy — here’s my definition of good trade policy: it’s fair. That’s all we ask. See, we open up our markets, you open up yours. You treat us the way we treat you.
There’s a lot of talk about the WTO and the Doha Development Round. We’re very much in favor of it moving forward. We think it makes a lot of sense. We think it makes a lot of sense for American workers that we open up markets. We think it makes sense for people who are locked in impoverished nations that we open up markets. We think trade helps lift people out of poverty, that’s what we believe. So we’re strongly supportive of the WTO round…
I want to thank you for your support on this. My attitude is, we want to be treated fairly, and the American people and the American manufacturer and the American farmer can compete with anybody, anytime, anywhere so long as the rules are fair. (Applause.)
…One of my big fears is that we lose our nerve, is that we kind of say, well, this is a new emerging economy and, therefore, we can’t compete, let’s just retreat; why don’t we become protective, why don’t we throw up walls and barriers around the United States of America — why don’t we just try to isolate ourselves from competition.
That’s not the American I know. The America I know is a country that is confident — confident in our capacity to compete; entrepreneurial by nature. There are some smart things we can do, and will do, to make sure we remain competitive. But one thing we must never do is to not be willing to do the right policies so we can remain the economic leader of the world. We owe it to our people to put good policies in place. We owe it to future generations of Americans to keep the entrepreneurial spirit strong. And here are some ideas as part of a strategy to do just that.
I want to appreciate what you’re doing for the country. I thank you for the risks you take. I thank you for the folks you employ. Government is not going to stand in your way; we want to stand side-by-side with you to make sure the entrepreneurial spirit remains strong here in the country.”
Do you think he’s been reading the blog….?
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