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« Nice side-by-side capture of globalization dynamics (guest post) | Main | Chart of the day: US farm income to be highest in 4 decades »
9:29AM

Obama's serious movement toward a genuine foreign policy legacy

NYT front-pager yesterday on "Obama's Bid for Trade Pact with Europe Stirs Hope."

Impossible!  I know.

If trade deals are hard in good times, then they must be harder in tough times, right?  I mean, aren't we told by stern-faced national security experts about how the Great Recession is fostering trade wars and currency wars, so this move - amidst all such rising trade protectionism - is IMPOSSIBLE, correct?

Except trade deals like this get down EXACTLY during slow times.  Remember when we got NAFTA, because this one will end up being just as big or bigger.  NAFTA was Clinton's signature foreign policy achievement.  I know, I got the grand tour of his library from the director when I gave a speech there years back, and NAFTA was front and center.

If successful (and this will be), then this will be Obama's big achievement - the one history will remember.  Compared to this, the wars and the targetted assassinations will be miniscule, because they just deal with the friction caused by globalization's historic expansion, whereas this will fuel another wave.

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  • Response
    Response: Leesrmvc
    nice and thanks.

Reader Comments (7)

Interesting that NAFTA is considered Clinton's signature foreign policy achievement. As I recall, Bush 41 signed NAFTA and left it to Clinton to get the treaty ratified. Clinton definitely deserves credit for putting to bed though. I wonder how the Bush 41 library presents NAFTA.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames

I saw an interview with the EU trade ambassador to US a few days ago. Big theme was combined power of US and EU would ensure a say in any future world trading system and or changes to the current one.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Jennings

No weirder, James, than Reagan getting credit for post-Vietnam mil guid-up actually begun and architected under Carter.

Only finishing matters in political history.

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

WTO Doha is paralyzed. Now everbody seems to build its own trade blocs. China together with India, Japan, Southkorea, ASEAN an Asian "free"trade bloc. The USA tried KORUS and TPP and forgot about APEC and is mostly isolated in this area. The EU tried to bulid a European-Asian free trade zone, but had no sucess. Now the USA and the EU find togteher again and try to build TAFTA.Will we see a world of trade blocs or the next step: A free trade area between TAFTA and the Asian free trade area? Or will the TAFTA be a "economic NATO" (Gabor Steingart) and producing a new Cold War on international trade?

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

....and Obama implementing Bush 43's SOFA with Iraq.

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick O'Connor

Very True! Ironic then, it will likely be Obama's successor who gets the credit if this endeavor comes to fruition.

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Amazing to celebrate Mr. Obama's attempt at a trade deal with Europe when he drastically increases food prices, nrg prices, and does not lift a finger to reduce govt bloted spending. Liberals say they care about the children...what about the grandchildren? Lascivious baby boomer spending is immoral, propping up their own lifestyles at future generation's expense.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThaddeus jankowski

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