This could be some very, very good news! In the linked article, Bloomberg reports that Xavier Becerra, Democratic representative from California, has been offered the job of U.S. Trade Representative by Barack Obama. I admit to knowing nothing about Becerra but, if what Bloomberg has to say about his stand on U.S. trade policy and his voting record on trade deals is correct, this is indeed very good news.
Becerra, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees trade policy, said in a 2005 interview that he regretted voting for Nafta in 1993, and cited the problems with the trade accord as a reason he helped lead the opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement that year.
He also voted against a free-trade agreement with Oman, using the example of the record U.S. trade deficit with China as a reason to oppose it.
“It’s become very obvious that our system for devising trade agreements so very important to this country’s functioning around the world, has not only broken, but is broken completely,” Becerra said on the House floor, according to a statement from his office in July 2006.
If true, not only is the appointment of Becerra great news, but it speaks volumes about Obama’s plans for U.S. trade policy. Finally, after decades of presidents and trade representatives who were suckers for primitive 18th century theories about free trade, it seems we have someone who has done an objective analysis of the results and has drawn conclusions based on facts.
As soon as I find an address for Representative Becerra, I’ll send him a complimentary copy of Five Short Blasts. This is something I’ll be watching very closely and will keep you posted.