Bush endorses exports

Reports of Pres­i­dent Bush’s speech sound like the sort of thing you wish he’d been not only say­ing but doing con­sis­tent­ly for the past four years … bq. Wednesday’s robust­ly word­ed speech was aimed at per­suad­ing vot­ers that eco­nom­ic open­ness had been a source of the country’s growth and pros­per­i­ty, and that Demo­c­ra­t­ic efforts to restrict the move­ment of jobs abroad would hurt the economy.(“FT”:http://www.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1078381676467&p=1012571727102) But when you exam­ine his “speech(link to transcript)”:http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040310–4.html more close­ly, the only ‘out­sourc­ing’ he men­tions is for­eign out­sourc­ing of man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs to the USA (a Hon­da plant in Ohio). He crit­i­cizes alleged calls for US ‘iso­la­tion­ism’ and endors­es the need to reduce trade bar­ri­ers. But he doesn’t men­tion imports of ser­vices (‘outsourcing&#8217)specifically. The Inter­na­tion­al Her­ald Tri­bune “reports(link to IHT story)”:http://www.iht.com/articles/509634.html that on the same day, Bush’s Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Robert Zoel­lick, was pick­ing his way much more gin­ger­ly through a hos­tile grilling on the out­sourc­ing ‘con­tro­ver­sy’ before the Sen­ate Finance Com­mit­tee (chiefly respon­si­ble for trade issues in the US Sen­ate). The IHT sum­ma­rized Zoellick’s views as: “Out­sourc­ing was judged nei­ther good nor bad” (my empha­sis). Per­haps Zoel­lick hadn’t been briefed on the new pro-trade pol­i­cy? Per­haps he feared that he’d be hung out to dry—like the Chair­man of the President’s Coun­cil of Eco­nom­ic Advis­ers was last month—when he said what any econ­o­mist would say[⇒ relat­ed sto­ry]: that out­sourc­ing is good for the econ­o­my.

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