As we have amply demonstrated before, our trade partners are not happy with the latest promises from liberal presidential candidates to unilaterally pull out of NAFTA unless Canada and Mexico agree to “renegotiate on terms that are favorable to all of America.” Liberal MP Mark Holland told Canadian TV he doesn’t appreciate “NAFTA being used as a political football — a lot of games being played with something very serious.”
Now Newsweek‘s Fareed Zakaria tells us that U.S. trade partners throughout the world are also distressed by the latest round of progressive protectionist pandering:
Already the mood is shifting abroad. Listening to the Democrats on trade “is enough to send jitters down the spine of most in India,” says the Times Now TV channel in New Delhi. The Canadian press has shared in the global swoon for Obama, but is now beginning to ask questions. “What he is actually saying—and how it might affect Canada—may come as a surprise to otherwise devout Barack boosters,” writes Greg Weston in the Edmonton Sun. The African press has been reporting on George W. Bush’s visit there with affection and, in some cases, by contrasting his views on trade with the Democratic candidates’. The Bangkok Post has compared the Democrats unfavorably with John McCain and his vision of an East Asia bound together, and to the United States, by expanding trade ties.
Looking ahead to the general election Zakaria wonders if liberals can stay on message:
Railing against Mexicans, Chinese and Indians for stealing American jobs smacks of anger, paranoia and fear of the future. Americans want hope, as Obama says, “hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope.” Where is that courage now?