Trading Places

The Washington Post editors make a fine suggestion:

President-elect Barack Obama needs to reassure Americans and U.S. trading partners around the world that free trade will be part of his plan for U.S. economic recovery. If his campaign for the White House had a weakness, it was the mixed signals he sent in this regard. Mr. Obama frequently acknowledged the benefits of trade, but he just as frequently denounced specific agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which he made an ill-advised pledge to renegotiate. Mr. Obama’s party is, of course, deeply divided between protectionist constituencies such as organized labor and pro-trade technocrats such as those who populate his economic team.

President-elect Obama’s reported first choice for Trade Representative, Xavier Becerra, has dropped out (or didn’t make the final cut). Although this may be a sign that the Obama team can only tolerate one pardon-plagued nominee at a time (the other being Eric Holder, of course), this might also be an indication that Becerra, whose record on free trade is mixed at best, was not ideologically aligned with the President-elect. We will see whether the nominee is more or less pro-trade than Becerra.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Trading Places

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Conservative Crack-Up, 2017 Edition

Podcast: Conservatism in shackles while O.J. goes free?

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I ask Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman whether the health-care debacle this week is simply a reflection of the same pressures on the conservative coalition Donald Trump saw and conquered by running for president last year—and what it will mean for him and them that he has provided no rallying point for Republican politicians. And then we discuss OJ Simpson. Give a listen.

1
Shares
Google+ Print

Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron surprised almost everyone when he invited President Donald Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with him in Paris, especially after the two leaders’ awkward first meeting in Brussels in May. After all, between now and then, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and Macron has become perhaps the most vocal critic of Trump among European leaders.

6
Shares
Google+ Print

Trump Quietly Gives Putin What He Wants

Quid pro quo?

Until now, the notion that Donald Trump was providing Russia and Vladimir Putin with concessions at the expense of U.S. interests was poorly supported. That all changed on Wednesday afternoon when the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump ordered his national security advisor and CIA director to scrap a program that provided covert aid to anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

30
Shares
Google+ Print

Voters in the Age of Affect

Is it Trump's posture, or is it simpler than that?

Though it enjoys a level of political dominance unseen since the 1920s, the Republican Party’s agenda is stalled. Yet, despite their failure to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Republicans are damned like Sisyphus to keep trying. Republican office holders must now administer health care’s taxes and subsidies, and the rest of the GOP agenda cannot advance without freeing up the revenue dedicated to the administration of ObamaCare. A dysfunctional, one-party Congress led by an unpopular neophyte in the Oval Office should precipitate a backlash among voters. But that outcome is far from certain. Ubiquitous surveys and studies dedicated to uncovering the mystery that is the curious and contradictory Trump voter suggests that this may indeed be a new political epoch.

12
Shares
Google+ Print

Iran’s Newest Hostage is Different

An escalation.

On July 16, 2017, Iranian Judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejehi announced that Iran had sentenced an American to ten years in prison for alleged espionage. An Iranian judiciary website subsequently identified the American as 37-year-old, China-born Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University Ph.D. student in history.

21
Shares
Google+ Print