"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Do Democrats Support Free Trade or Not?

April 28th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

“We can’t stop globalization,” Holden said. “What we can try to do is shape it so it benefits us as well as others.”Former Gov. Bob Holden, vice chairman of the Midwest U.S.-China Association.

Its amazing to us that once liberal Democrats leave the comforts of elective office, they all of a sudden become free traders and capitalists. We see this nationally as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton bludgeon themselves in the Democrat presidential sweepstakes over free trade and NAFTA. Conservative columnists Armstrong Williams notes this in his Human Events column:

“While she supported NAFTA in her biography and as the First Lady, she now opposes it and other free trade agreements. Surprised? Of course not! Now that she needs the far reaching, deep pocketed, liberal, union vote, she’ll say and do whatever it takes to win their vote.

In fact, while First Lady, her husband supported trade agreements with Mexico, China, Canada and other nations and free-trade continues to be one of the most important parts of his post-presidency work. Records show that she attended meetings that were designed to build support for NAFTA and other trade agreements. She says now that she spoke up in opposition at those meetings, and that Bill Clinton’s staffers support that fact, but her claim seems more than farfetched.”

Earlier this year, Sen. Obama had his own controversy regarding free trade when a campaign aide told a Canadian official that Obama’s rhetoric of renegotiating NAFTA was simply “political positioning.” From the AP:

“Barack Obama’s senior economic policy adviser privately told Canadian officials to view the debate in Ohio over trade as “political positioning,” according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press that was rejected by the adviser and held up Monday as evidence of doublespeak by rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Seems former Governor Bob Holden has had a change of heart also. Holdcn is currently the vice chairman of the Midwest U.S. – China Association. According to the Association’s website, the MWCA’s is a “not for profit, non partisan organization that fosters commerce between the Midwestern United states and China.” Former Senator Adlai Stevenson serves as the U.S. Chairman of MWCA and Walter Mondale and former Commerce Secretary William M. Daley (Clinton Administration) are senior advisors. Now when you think of free trade, is Walter Mondale and Adlai Stevenson the first two names that come to your mind?

As governor, Holden was a protectionist. He signed on to a Southern Governors’ Association resolution to “enforce trade law against subsidized Canadian lumber imports.” The resolution criticized Canada for having “minimum harvesting restrictions and other practices [that] encourage over-harvesting and over-production in Canada to the detriment of US industry.” Holden also signed on to a SGA resolution to establish a OPEC style cartel named the”Southern Dairy Compact” to “Protect local milk supplies.” Its amazing how open minded Mr. Holden has become now that he doesn’t have to worry about union or protectionist special interests anymore.

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