Exports, a Key to Reviving the Economy

By January 12, 2009Economy, Labor Unions, Trade

A McClatchy newspapers’ story, “With U.S. economy stuck, economists look abroad for growth“:

WASHINGTON — As U.S. consumers stop spending and investors keep their money to themselves, government and business leaders hoping to get the country’s ailing economy moving again are playing one of their few remaining cards.

They’re trying to sell more U.S. goods overseas despite the decline of both global demand and U.S. competitiveness.

Exports currently make up about 13 percent of the country’s total economic activity, far less than the 70 percent taken up by production for domestic consumption. But that’s where economic growth can still happen, analysts say, especially as the domestic housing and credit crises promise to freeze spending at home for at least another year.

Economists and business leaders suggest the incoming Obama administration implement export-friendly measures such as streamlining U.S. customs operations, negotiating more free trade agreements and developing industries such as alternative energy that can become the next generation of U.S. economic powerhouses.

We see President-elect Obama is meeting with Mexico President Calderon today, and we trust the campaign malarky of renegotiating NAFTA has been shelved. Given the state of the economy, let’s shelve lots of the more burdensome, anti-competitive, economy-slowing policies that were bandied about during the Democratic primaries.

The New York Times suggests caution will, indeed, be the byword in the early days of the new Administration. From “Economy May Delay Work on Obama’s Campaign Pledges“:

Although Mr. Obama has not publicly identified which priorities will have to wait, advisers and allies have signaled that they may put off renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, overhauling immigration laws, restricting carbon emissions, raising taxes on the wealthy and allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

And the Employee Free Choice Act, too, right?

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Reality-Based says:

    The reported delay in implementing some of Obama’s campaign priorities, if they were actually anything more than mere campaign rhetoric, seems to stem from concern about the impact of such proposals on economic growth. Obviously, this begs lots of questions about why we’d ever wish to proceed down these policy paths if they are acknowledged, by Obama advisers no less, to hold the propspect for harming the economy. The mind boggles. In their eyes, I suppose it’s just not “fair” that some people benefit more than others from a growing economy?

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