The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel covered the “Globalization and the Midwest” conference on Monday in Chicago sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, focusing on the trade issue. Good piece, “Trade fears may hurt Midwest, study says.” The council’s president, Marshall Bouton, sees a rising “pre-isolationist” view taking hold in the Midwest, noting results of a soon-to-be-released public opinion survey.
NAM President John Engler spoke at the conference.
A succession of speakers from across the region noted that plant closings, dislocations and the abrupt pace of economic change have made open trade and capital flows so feared that few try to seize the opportunities of the new era.
“Trade is misunderstood,” said John Engler, the former governor of Michigan and current president of the National Association of Manufacturers. “Trade is the bogeyman,” he said.
Anti-trade sentiment makes no sense at a time when rising demand for U.S. goods in growing nations has provided the U.S. economy with one of its few bright spots, Engler said. “We won’t succeed just by selling to ourselves.”
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