Friday, December 12, 2008

Washington Lawyer on Free Trade

I am currently licensed as an attorney in both California and Washington, D.C. It's not as impressive as it sounds--there are procedures for mutual cooperation between the two bar associations, so you can waive into D.C. if you meet certain criteria. The D.C. bar publishes a magazine called Washington Lawyer. This month's cover feature a story on free trade, by Sarah Kellogg:

While the majority of Americans favor trade, that majority has been shrinking. Fifty-three percent of Americans had a positive view of free trade in 2008, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, a public opinion survey of the Pew Research Center. That’s down from 59 percent last year and 78 percent in 2002. What’s shocking in the numbers is that the United States ranked last among developed nations in terms of public support for free trade. The next closest nation was Egypt at 57 percent.

Trade’s financial benefits and costs are constantly being debated, but there’s no denying exports play an important role in the U.S. economy. In 2007 exported goods and services accounted for 12 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. One of three U.S. acres is planted for export, and manufacturing exports have increased by 128 percent since the last multilateral- trade round more than a decade ago, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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