Okay, okay, okay.
I will be the one to ask my fellow conservatives to stop the crazy train. A recent poll by the folks at YouGov found a very interesting, and not good at all, piece of information. The poll found that Republican voters have grown more critical of free trade than Democrat voters, with 39% of Republicans saying free-trade agreements have been “bad” for America (compared to only 20% of Democrats). Even worse, among those who call themselves conservative, 42% responded that free trade has been bad for America, while of those who identify as “liberal,” only 27% do so.
I’d like to think that this all about partisanship. I’d like to think that Republicans are only pretending to not like free trade because President Obama has been talking about his free-trade agreements for the last couple of months. I’d like to think that Republicans have grown so tired of Obama that they’ll say anything on a survey just to express their dissatisfaction with the President. I hope that that is all this is.
Dear readers, please get this. Free trade is the very essence of the free market! Free trade is the heart of capitalism!
In fact, the thing that we conservatives shouldn’t like about free trade agreements is that we don’t have them with EVERYONE! Listen as the conservative think-tank, the Heritage Foundation, explains,
Free trade is an essential pillar of U.S. economic power and prosperity. It encourages labor force specialization and the exchange of goods and services that other countries do better and at lower cost. Specialization leads to competition and innovation, providing new technologies that allow Americans to produce more goods and services, cure more diseases, pollute less, get better education, and choose from a wider range of investment options. As the economy grows, people enjoy higher standards of living and gain a greater appreciation of the benefits of living in a peaceful society.
Competition, innovation, and new technologies also bring about changes that challenge some sectors to adapt themselves to those new trends and reap their benefits. Changes currently taking place in the U.S. manufacturing sector illustrate the process by which a growing society changes from a more industry-based to a more knowledge-based society. Those businesses and entrepreneurs who seize the opportunity to profit from this change will survive and, in surviving, will provide more and more Americans with the opportunity to increase their standard of living….
Instead of threatening to impose barriers to inexpensive imports, the Administration should lower the tax and regulatory burden on U.S. companies so that they can be more competitive. The more America moves toward economic freedom, the more it will foster its own prosperity, the prosperity of other nations, and ultimately the cause of liberty around the world.
The fact that so many Republicans and conservatives are currently down on free trade is scary. Are we forgetting our core values and our basic beliefs, simply because a Democrat President happens to be the one pushing for a free trade deal? Have you not noticed that the three groups so fired up about stopping the TPA, TAA and TPP are Liberal Democrats, Unions and…. Grassroots conservatives?
I too am against TPP, but the TPA is a totally different thing. Ted Cruz tried to explain the difference when he was stumping through Massachusetts just a couple of weeks ago.
Conservatives, Republicans – free trade is a good thing. Free trade limits regulations, opens new avenues for making money, gives producers and consumers new opportunities for making and spending money… and it happens relatively free of government interference (hence the “free” in free trade). C’mon, America! Support capitalism, support freedom, support American jobs, support free trade.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com