Asian leaders prefer Bush trade policies to Obama trade policies. Of course, that is not hard to do, when there are few specifics to the Obama Administration’s approach to trade, when to the extent that we have been afforded specifics, they have served to make the Obama Administration appear to be tremendously protectionist, and when the President has not even asked Congress to revive new trade negotiating authority for him.
The Obama Administration’s approach to trade policy has been nothing short of depressing. It will leave the United States with a much smaller economic presence in Asia–as Phil Levy references, it is the Obama Administration, not the Bush Administration, that has ditched Asia–and it will cost the United States in terms of economic growth. For an Administration that has pledged itself to reviving the American economy, Team Obama is overlooking and ignoring a surefire way to do so by allowing a once-robust American trade policy to wither on the vine.