With the unemployment rate at 9.5%, it’s safe to say that the economic “stimulus” has failed to create any jobs. In spite of this fact, the President has been on a speaking tour lauding his own economic policies. At a speech last week at the groundbreaking of a new battery manufacturing plant, Obama said, “Now, this is the ninth advanced battery plant to begin construction because of our economic plan.” What the President fails to realize is that the company which owns the site, Compact Power Inc, is a Korean owned business that has prospered and invested in the U.S. despite the President’s policies, not because of them.
As ATR has noted before, Obama and the Democrats have an awful track record when it comes to promoting free trade. From the “Buy America” provision in the stimulus, to the tariff on Chinese tire imports, they have continually made the marketplace inhospitable for foreign businesses.
Promoting free trade would reduce unemployment by providing incentives for rich foreign companies to bring their business over here. As Wall Street Journal notes, “For decades, multinational companies headquartered outside the U.S. have been creating high-paying American jobs…over 5.5 million Americans—4.6% of all private-sector workers—are employed at such companies here.”
Free trade would simultaneously attract new foreign direct investment and lower costs for consumers, resulting in a net wealth increase for mostly everyone.
Yet the Democrats continue to promote protectionist polices that deter foreign companies from doing business in the US; ultimately leading to further job losses. A clear example is their continued attempts to block the Korean, Colombian, and Panamanian Free Trade Agreements.
They also continue to interfere with the free-market, by wrongly targeting efficient foreign companies and investing in inefficient and unproductive ones. Take the recent dustup with Toyota for example. Congress lambasted Toyota for its recall, despite the fact that Honda announced a recall almost the same size only a month prior. All of this helped GM, which the government coincidentally has a large stake in.
Continuing these protectionist policies will only hurt the economy even further. During his presidential campaign, Obama claimed to be a free trader. If President Obama wants employment and his poll numbers to rise, it would be nice if his actions lived up to his rhetoric…for once.