Obama’s free trade instincts

Where do the Democratic frontrunners stand on trade?

To counter this establishment reputation, Mrs Clinton has reached out to the left. Dick Gephardt, a former majority leader of the House of Representatives and a well-known trade sceptic, is an adviser. Mrs Clinton’s trade rhetoric has been among the toughest of the candidates. She has talked of “a little timeout” before new trade deals are made—exactly what the party’s left has been asking for.

Mr Obama has carefully avoided any such rhetoric. His trade strategy, like much else, is still short on details. Like Mrs Clinton, he voted against the free-trade agreement with Central America. But judging by his latest book, Mr Obama is more concerned with helping people deal with globalisation than trying to slow it down. One trade wonk who knows both candidates says that Mr Obama is more of an instinctive free-trader than Mrs Clinton.

Economist story here.

1 thought on “Obama’s free trade instincts

  1. DRR

    There was a story recently shedding some light on Sen. Clinton’s political strategy vis a vis trade issues where, to avoid the connection drawn between the much derided NAFTA & her husband & subsequently her, she is making a point of pinning NAFTA on the Bush I administration, claiming they were the ones who constructed it.

    Sen. Clinton has had a relatively pro-liberalization trade record in the Senate, but that she would even engage in such a weasely strategy purely for political reasons, ensures I won’t be voting for her, and I wasn’t planning on it anyway.

    Sen. Obama voted in favor of the, quite unpopular in Democratic circles, U.S.-Oman FTA. That takes some balls.

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