From Investor’s Business Daily, an editorial, “Free Trade For New Orleans“:
At this week’s Three Amigos summit in New Orleans, where Mexico, the U.S. and Canada met to discuss and defend free trade, President Bush was right to also bring forth New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The mayor of the hurricane-hit city made an impassioned plea to Congress to pass the Colombia free trade agreement for New Orleans’ sake. He knows how badly his city needs every break it can get, three years after the biggest disaster to ever hit a U.S. metropolitan area.
“New Orleans is becoming an even greater international city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” Nagin wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last November, “and we are making every effort to capitalize on trade liberalization that will flow from these FTAs (free trade agreements). Our port system is ideally situated to take advantage of the Latin American FTAs.”
IBD notes the close connections, historically and geographically, between New Orleans and Colombia: “New Orleans is situated on a direct shipping route just 1,640 miles to Cartagena and Barranquilla on Colombia’s Atlantic coast.”
(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds, who observes, “Congress is unmoved because free trade produces less graft than massive aid projects. But it’s funny that this hasn’t gotten much attention from the press.”)
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