On Trade Agreements: Walk, Then Run — But Start, Already!

By October 28, 2009Trade

From The Hill, a story we hadn’t seen elsewhere, “Obama mulls trade partner change-up“:

The Obama administration is locked in an internal debate over whether to negotiate a new Asian-Pacific free trade partnership.

The Obama administration is locked in an internal debate over whether to negotiate a new Asian-Pacific free trade partnership.

If the White House decides to go forward, it would amount to the first new free trade arrangment launched by President Barack Obama in a part of the world leading the global recovery.

At issue is a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), joining the following countries in a free-trade group: United States, Chile, Singapore, Australia, Peru, Brunei and New Zealand. There are existing bilateral agreements with the first four, so Brunei and New Zealand would be new partners.

Fine. That’s a good idea for jobs creations and export-driven economic growth. But …

The National Association of Manufacturers supports the TPP, but also wants the pending trade deals to move forward, said Doug Goudie, the group’s director of international trade policy. “I think it’s a great idea. Asia is where the significant growth will be,” he said.

Those agreements being already-negotiated pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

We do welcome the discussions, really. But while the Administration and Congress talk, other countries act. Here’s the latest:

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