Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey “It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.” So said Barack Obama in his State of the Union address.
And for one of his ideas to reignite that engine, Republicans applauded. “And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”
One wonders if any of those in the hall who rose robotically at the phrase “free and fair” were aware of the trade results just in from 2012. What were the 2012 figures for the European Union?
U.S. exports to Europe fell, imports from Europe rose, and our trade deficit with the EU shot up 16 percent to $116 billion. We ran a trade deficit with Italy of $20 billion, with Ireland of $25 billion, with Germany of $60 billion. The Europeans are eating our lunch.
What about South Korea, the country with whom we signed a free-trade deal in 2012? U.S. exports to Korea fell last year, and due to a surge in imports our trade deficit in goods with South Korea soared 25 percent to $16.6 billion.
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