St. Charles Herald-Guide

Free trade would improve economy

Our View - June 24, 2011

One of the surest ways to improve our depressed economy would be to expand our foreign trade. And President Barack Obama said in his last state of the union address that he wants to double it by 2014.

But apparently politics has intervened. One of the most effective ways of increasing foreign trade would be to increase free trade among nations. And that would displease the American unions which is one of the President’s biggest support groups and which oppose free trade because they feel it would cut into their members well-being.

This country and the world would be far better off economically with expansion of free trade, allowing local businesses to sell freely to businesses in other countries, increasing the amount of opportunities to sell products worldwide and, consequently, expanding the economies of those countries and the well-being of workers around the world.

Free-trade agreements with three countries - - Colombia, Panama and South Korea - - which were negotiated by former President George W. Bush have been stalled by President Obama under pressure from the unions. And agreements with other countries could come to pass with Obama’s efforts to bring this benefit to his country.

We hope he will change course and support this great opportunity. As President, he needs to do what is best for his nation and the entire world and not cling to what one group wants for its own benefit.