Most free-market economists support the idea of fast-track authority for the president to expedite the free-trade agreement with Asia — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
But hold on a minute, says Ralph Benko, senior economic adviser for American Principles in Action, and advocacy group for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
"There is another point of view," he writes on Forbes.com
. "America’s great supply-side founding father, Alexander Hamilton, was, of course, no enemy of tariffs."
While that was 240 years ago, Nobel laureate, supply-side economist Robert Mundell told Forbes.com in 2013, "'it has been a mistake to let U.S. manufacturing run down so low,'" Benko explains.
"'While other nations have industrial policies to maximize their trade benefits, the United States leaves itself open like a naked woman. A big problem is with nations that may prove to be future enemies.' Strong words,'" Benko notes.
The House of Representatives so far has rebuffed President Obama's effort to gain fast-track authority, but there is still a chance that it may pass.
But Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes, a staunch advocate of free trade, urges the White House and Congress to push through new trade agreements with both Europe and Asia: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the TPP.
"In today's globalized 21st-century economy, it's critical to strengthen relationships with our global trading partners," Forbes writes in an article
for Investor's Business Daily.
"Adopting TTIP and TPP will strengthen our economy by removing barriers to new markets and increasing exports as well as foreign direct-investment in America."
Free-trade agreements benefit both American businesses and workers, Forbes argues. The White House estimates TPP would lift American exports more than $120 billion a year by 2025 while creating 650,000 jobs in the U.S.
"For the U.S. economy, which is starving for high-paying jobs, this trade agreement is a no-brainer," Forbes says.
"In addition to promoting U.S. commercial interests, FTAs [free-trade agreements] have advanced key policy and societal goals by exporting the higher U.S. standards concerning labor, working conditions, the environment, corruption, drug trafficking and democratic reform."
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