Economics is an inexact science — we all know the joke about getting three economists in a room and ending up with four different opinions — but certain general principles always hold true. One thing we should know for certain: tariffs create an inefficiency and remedying them with trade agreements provides the best way to increase jobs and improve the financial health of both nations. That’s why both Democratic and Republican Presidents have sought fast-track approval of legislation to reduce unnecessary barriers.
Granted, some people will lose their jobs during the process, but these jobs would eventually be lost anyway as our economy adapts for the future, and we become stronger through our natural advantages over other nations, the ability to innovate being our best skill. The Internet did not start in Europe nor did smartphones. They were developed by U.S. companies promoting U.S. products with U.S. jobs.
Sometimes Keynesian economics is counterintuitive — it seems that a recession calls for austerity instead of deficit spending. But the wisdom of our President saved us from this critical error, a mistaken approach Europe still hasn’t learned from. The stimulative effects of the Fed has proved critical in leading America’s recovery as well as various efforts by our President.
So, for once the Republican Congress has done the right thing in granting the President fast-track authority to promote Pacific trade. Let’s hope that Hillary Clinton doesn’t get called on the carpet by inevitable pressure from constituencies such as trade unions and others.