The Deals are "Trade" Pacts, Not "Free Trade" Pacts

Print
Thursday, 16 June 2011 06:45

If you are an advocate pushing for the new trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama you might call them "free trade" pacts. The idea of "free trade" has considerable resonance with an important segment of the public (i.e. business people). However, the deals do not free all trade (don't expect to see a flood of Korean doctors into the United States) and they actually increase many barriers, most importantly by strengthening intellectual property protection. So, when the Post calls the deals "free trade" pacts it is acting in its role as an advocate, not as a newspaper.

The Post also tells readers:

"The Korea deal is expected to generate more than $10 billion in additional annual sales for U.S. companies."

Actually people hold expectations. The Post doesn't tell us which people. This is important, since many people's expectations prove to be unjustified. For example, many "expected" NAFTA to lead to a U.S. trade surplus with Mexico, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. These expectations proved to be wrong. It would be interesting to know if the same people are the ones who expect $10 billion in additional annual sales from the Korea trade pact.