The New York Times reported last week:

President Obama on Sunday praised the energy bill passed by the House late last week as an “extraordinary first step,” but he spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution.

“At a time when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we’ve seen a significant drop in global trade,” Mr. Obama said, “I think we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there.”

It’s nice that President Barack Obama is admitting his cap and trade legislation will send more U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, but we’re less than convinced about his newfound commitment to free trade. And neither is White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, who said in March of this year:

When I’ve heard him talk about economic issues—with the exception of NAFTA, where I just hope he doesn’t believe what he says—he seems intelligent and serious. I wouldn’t say I’m bowled over by the brilliance of anything I’ve heard, but everything has a kind of thoughtfulness to it that’s sort of impressive.