Bush Sez This is "World Trade Week 2008"

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 5/22/2008 12:12:00 AM
A few days ago, our good friends at the World Trade Law blog had a post entitled "McCain Goes After the Free Trade Vote." This, of course, made me wonder if there is such a thing as a free trade vote in America, or a meaningful voting bloc positively motivated by trade issues. Let me be perfectly blunt: Selling the free trade cause in America at the present time appears to be as easy as hawking Cosmopolitan subscriptions to the Taliban (now that would be the ultimate expression of free trade ;-) Despite the quixotic nature of the cause, it is notable that another thing which binds Bush and McCain aside from Iraq is, well, free trade. Call it senseless, call it "he doesn't care no more 'cause he's a lame duck," but Bush has just declared this week to be "World Trade Week 2008" for what it's worth. That it received virtually zero press coverage just goes to show the status quo. Read it and sleep. From the White House:

Free and fair trade helps secure a future of freedom and promise. During World Trade Week, we recognize the positive effects of opening markets around the world. Open markets play an integral role in America's economic progress, creating better-paying jobs, expanding consumer choices, and providing increased opportunities for American workers and employers. Free and fair trade also increases economic growth among our trading partners.

My Administration is committed to expanding economic freedom worldwide. We will continue to seek an ambitious outcome in the Doha Round that will reduce and eliminate tariffs and other barriers on goods and open new markets for services trade. The Doha Round provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance open markets, strengthen economic growth, and help millions rise out of poverty.

We also encourage the Congress to approve our pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Our free trade agreement with Colombia is important, because it will support one of our closest allies in the Western Hemisphere currently under assault from a terrorist network. Congressional approval of this agreement would make clear America's unshakeable commitment to advancing the benefits of free markets and the interests of free people.

Today, nearly 250,000 U.S. firms export U.S. products. Ninety-seven percent of those exporters are small- or medium-sized businesses. The number of U.S. small business exporters has more than doubled since 1992. Those businesses have surpassed a quarter of a trillion dollars in annual export sales.

Free and fair trade helps reinforce our Nation's commitments to democracy, transparency, and the rule of law. This week and throughout the year, we recognize the importance of trade in promoting prosperity and freedom in the United States and around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 18 through May 24, 2008, as World Trade Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this week with events, trade shows, and educational programs that celebrate the benefits of trade to our Nation and the global economy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.