Arnold Kling

Trade Agreements Undemocratic?

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Senator Ernest F. Hollings is opposed to giving the President "fast track" authority to negotiate free trade agreements.

But these cries are not really for making trade free they are for transferring power over trade to the executive branch and favored corporate interests. This should not be the way economic policy works in a democracy.

Special interest groups are a major factor in trade policy. They work primarily through Congress, with Senator Hollings a prime example, keeping textiles from devoloping countries out of our markets in order to protect his corporate constituents.

Discussion Question. Hollings equates strong Congressional scrutiny of trade agreements with a more democratic process. Is that reasonable?

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