I know America bullies (I can’t think of a politer term, I’m afraid) other countries into dropping trade “barriers” in the name of free trade (mostly this is directed against poorer countries, but trying to force Europe to accept GM crops - and demanding that goods are not labelled as containing GM so consumers can’t chose to avoid them sticks in my mind, for some reason, though I’m not necessarily against GM itself)
I’ve also known for a while that America, like Europe imposes some barriers, and hands out some subsidies, such as for agriculture and that these cause harm in the third world particularly. I know that Harley Davidson would have gone out of business long ago if it had been left to market forces. But what has surprised me recently is to keep coming up against so many examples of American barriers and subsidies - for example against Canadian wood imports, or the Afghans pleading to be allowed to sell textiles to the US to try to get their economy running.
So I have a question – how free is the American market?
But I’m more interested in the thinking behind it – I’m not a Conservative, either in the US or the UK sense, but in general I believe in the free market – and that it shouldn’t stop at national boundaries. I’ve just assumed that US Conservatives were pro free-trade, but reading threads here I see Conservative positions on taxes, welfare, the Gulf war etc, but the only positions I’ve seen on trade seem agin freedom – i.e. preventing outsourcing to India. Bush seems to be against free-trade – increasing tariffs and subsidies i.e. on steel.
So is free-trade part of US Conservative thinking? If so, is it just good old-fashioned hypocrisy (present in politicians in every country on earth) that dictates policy, or is there a feeling that the rules change at the US border – as with democracy: - “Democracy in America = Keystone of the country, Democracy outside America = less important than the profits of the United Fruit Co”?