Friday, April 25, 2008

John McCain Stands for Free-Trade

The Center for Individual Freedom, a non-partisan, non-profit organization with the mission to protect and defend individual freedoms and individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, doesn't pull any punches when they see freedom being trampled but they are also quick to offer praise for liberty's defenders.

In the past they have favorably recognized John McCain for "his opposition to wasteful spending and earmarks, his leadership regarding the war in Iraq and his belated affirmation of the remarkable economic benefits of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts."

Today CFIF is thanking John McCain for "speaking in favor of free trade in economically-battered Youngstown, Ohio."

"Ohio may once again provide the pivotal electoral votes in this year’s Presidential election, but its economic downturn renders it a particularly unfriendly atmosphere for free-trade advocates. Because of this, most politicians would have placated audiences by telling the audience what it wanted to hear, or avoiding economic subjects altogether, particularly free trade. Instead, Senator McCain refused to back down from his advocacy for free trade, just as he once opposed ethanol subsidies before an Iowa audience...

Also this week, Senator McCain rightfully endorsed the proposed free trade agreement with Colombia, which has been a steadfast American ally in a region brimming with such hostile autocrats as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Today, 90% of Colombian exports arrive in the United States duty-free, so they already possess access to American markets. By enacting this agreement, we would simply ensure that over 80% of American products would similarly become duty-free in Colombia.

In other words, the Colombia-United States free trade agreement would be a no-lose proposition for the United States...

Senator McCain did take care to sympathize with the audience’s hard times, saying, “the men and women of Youngstown know what it feels like to be counted out.” He added that, “you know how it feels to hear that good things are happening in the American economy, they’re just not happening to you.” Despite this, he told the audience that, “the answer to our problems is not the siren song of protectionism,” even delivering the speech at a closed steel plant.

To be sure, too many foreign markets remain unfairly closed to American exports, and too many allow theft of American intellectual property. But shutting ourselves off and closing our markets is not the answer to those problems. Rather, the solution lies in opening theirs and compelling them to observe property rights and the rule of law."

CFIF noted that, "Senator McCain once again earned tribute from conservatives and free-market advocates across America."