The New Protectionists

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/hottopic/?id=110008015

    Ports of Gall
    The new protectionists use national security as their cover.

    Saturday, February 25, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

    EXCERPT

    "I also believe that winning the war on terror will not happen by military strength alone. This is fundamentally about America's values and leadership. . . . The idea of winning hearts and minds has been derided by some. But I don't think that we can overlook its singular importance. . ."--Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, February 25, 2004
    In Mrs. Clinton's "hearts and minds" crusade, this will not go down as a good week. A United Arab Emirates government allied with America, that provides a Persian Gulf base for U.S. military operations, and that was the first Middle Eastern country to join the U.S. Container Security Initiative, has been rewarded with Congressional demagoguery that a company it owns can't be trusted to manage commercial operations in U.S. ports. With Mrs. Clinton herself leading the jeers.

    And why? For no other reason than that it would be an Arab-owned company. If it is "foreign" ownership that's alarming, the same politicians would also be denouncing the Chinese, Singaporean and British companies that already manage some U.S. port operations. So the message that all Arabs need not apply comes through loud and clear.

    By the way, to make this argument does not mean we are accusing critics of racism. We are accusing them of error, not to rule out stupidity. These columns have long supported profiling young Middle Eastern-looking men in airport screening, for example, as a way of reducing the odds of another 9/11. But Mrs. Clinton was absolutely correct to note back in 2004 that to win the war on terror we need Arab and Muslim allies. And trashing friends who are engaging in legitimate commercial transactions is not a good way to keep those allies.


    SNIP

    And, lo, the New York Sun reported this week that "nearly every politician who has been at the forefront of the opposition to the Dubai deal is on the receiving end of some Longshoreman largesse" in the form of campaign contributions. They include New York Representatives Peter King (R), Jerry Nadler (D) and Vito Fossella (R) and Senators Clinton, Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Chris Dodd (D., Conn.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.).
     
  2. KenH

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    Protectionism brought us the Great Depression in the 1930s. Protectionism is bad for America and bad for the world. It should be rejected.
     
  3. billwald

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    The protectionists are worrying about the wrong stuff. We already have open borders.
     
  4. poncho

    poncho
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    How did protectionism bring about the Great Depression Ken?
     
  5. KenH

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    "For 140 years, culminating in the disastrous experience of the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930, Congress exercised its power to directly manage trade policy. Members routinely traded votes for higher tariffs on products of interest to their particular constituencies. A representative in Florida, for example, might vote for tariffs on wheat in exchange for tariffs on oranges.

    This behavior reached its peak with Smoot-Hawley, where Congress set tariffs for over 20,000 items at the highest levels in U.S. history. That massive increase in protectionism helped turn a cyclical recession into the Great Depression, spelling financial ruin for millions. Congress had proved incapable of resisting parochial appeals in favor of the national economic interest."

    - Source

    "The roots of current U.S. trade policies can be traced back to the Trade Agreements Act of 1934. The purpose of this act, passed by the U.S. Congress, was to increase United States exports to foreign countries. There was a need for such an act for two reasons. First, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 raised duties on imports to 53
    percent in 1931 and 59 percent in 1932. This action provoked other countries to retaliate against the U.S., shrinking world trade. Second,
    the ensuing worldwide contraction in economic activity in the early 1930s caused world trade to decline even further, Between 1929 and 1933, world trade shrank 25 percent."

    - Source
     
  6. poncho

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    Hey thanks for the links Ken. Here's a different take.

    SOURCE

    So, once again it would appear that it all comes down to arguing over the control of money and power and not the protection of the people public assets and infrastructure.

    Surprise surprise.

    [ February 25, 2006, 08:05 PM: Message edited by: poncho ]
     

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