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A Dedicated Politician

In this recent report, the Washington Post called Hillary Clinton “a dedicated free-trader.”  I challenged this description:

Dear Editor:

In February Sen. Hillary Clinton openly worried about, as she put it, “exposure of our economy to economic developments in countries like China.”  She also voted against fast-track trade-negotiation authority for the President, as well as voted against CAFTA.  And you report today that Ms. Clinton “told students in New Hampshire that she hated ‘seeing U.S. telemarketing jobs done in remote locations far, far from our shores'” (“Unions Press Clinton on Outsourcing Of U.S. Jobs,” Sept. 8).

So I dispute your description of Ms. Clinton as “a dedicated free-trader.”  Sure, on certain occasions she vows allegiance to the principle.  But when seeking the political affections of desirable protectionists, she’s happy to be partner to at least the subtler trade-restricting positions (if not yet the full-thrust positions that are the fetish of protectomaniacs such as Lou Dobbs).

Calling Hillary Clinton “a dedicated free-trader” is akin to calling Bill Clinton “a dedicated husband.”

Donald J. Boudreaux


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