President Supports Trade Agreements, Slams Those Who Agree

By September 30, 2010Trade

A brief moment of odd policy disconnect showed up last week when President Obama spoke in Philadelphia at a finance reception for U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), who is running for the U.S. Senate seat against former Congressman Pat Toomey, a Republican.

In his rhetorical drubbing of candidate Toomey, the President said this:

This is somebody who, when he had a chance, voted to cut help for small businesses; who wants to make trade deals that send jobs out of Pennsylvania; who seems more concerned about the folks he used to trade with on Wall Street than the Pennsylvanians here on Main Street.

What? President Obama says he supports trade expansion, wants enactment of U.S. free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea, and touts negotiations toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership.

This is a President who has made doubling U.S. exports within five years – now four-and-a-half years — a top economic priority. And now he’s beating up candidates who support trade agreements, an necessary tool for achieving that goal?

Yes, a disconnect.

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