US agribusiness subsidies squelched Haitian rice exports
Aristide was also barred <by the US> from providing any protection for the economy. Haitian rice farmers are efficient, but cannot compete with US agribusiness that relies on huge government subsidies, thanks largely to Reagan, anointed as the high pries of free trade with little regard to his record of extreme protectionism and state intervention in the economy. Other small businesses were destroyed by US dumping which Haiti was powerless to prevent under the imposed conditions of economy rationality.
Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p. 11-12 , Jun 1, 2010
1985: Vetoed import tariffs on textile goods
I found myself in a rare, head-to-head confrontation with President Reagan over proposed import tariffs on textile goods--a bill that aided industries already struggling in the US. Mass-produced goods from abroad were making a dent in an indigenous American business whose roots stretched back a century. The proposed tariffs would help protect this industry--including two textile plants in my district, which would benefit directly.
I informed the administration, which opposed the bill, that my support for the legislation prevented me from performing my whip duties. My chief deputy whip and I both recused ourselves.
Still, the bill passed, only to be promptly vetoed by the president. I did lead the drive to override the president's veto in an exhaustive campaign, and we managed to get 276 votes--71 Republicans and 205 Democrats. But it takes 2/3 of the votes to override a president, and our tally of 276-149 fell eight votes short.
Source: Herding Cats, by Trent Lott, p. 91 , Aug 29, 2006
1985: imposed import quotas on Japanese cars
Japan flooded the U.S. market with high-quality cars that sold far below the price at which the Big Three could afford to build, sell, and survive.
In 1985, the dollar, at 220 to the yen, was still too high to arrest the rising U.S. trade deficit. The Big Three were at death's door. Refusing to let any of them go under, Reagan intervened to save the industry by imposing import quotas on Japanese cars. Free traders denounced Reagan as a heretic. The death of Ford and Chrysler were of far less concern to them than fidelity to the free-trade gospel of David Ricardo and Adam Smith.
But Reagan's intervention succeeded. The U.S. auto industry was saved. By now, the boom of the 1980s was underway, propelled by the tax cuts of Reagan and the sound money policy of the Fed.
Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.201 , Aug 12, 2004
1985: Articulated goal of Western Hemisphere free trade
Reagan's belief in the twin policies of deregulation and free market trade reinvigorated the American economy in the 1980s. Under Reagan's leadership, we initiated a series of measures to ensure increased opportunities to sell American-made goods and services overseas, believing that exports equal jobs for Americans.
It was Reagan who first articulated a goal of free trade in the Western Hemisphere. America's first free trade agreement with Israel, implemented in 1985, was a Reagan achievement. A US-Canada agreement followed. In 1986, Reagan launched the Uruguay Round, a series of talks aimed at the reduction of trade barriers among more than 60 nations. NAFTA, providing substantial trade benefits to US firms seeking to conduct business in Mexico and Canada--our best customers--was another initiative of the Reagan-Bush years.
Reagan's faith in free trade principles was vindicated abroad by the crumbling of state-controlled, centrally directed communist economies.
Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p.177-178 , Apr 25, 1996
Proposed concept behind NAFTA in 1979
Reagan himself was a dreamer, capable of imagining a world without trade barriers. In announcing his presidential candidacy in Nov. 1979, he had proposed a “North American accord” in which commerce & people would move freely across the borders of Canada & Mexico. This idea, largely overlooked or dismissed as a campaign gimmick in the US, <<MORE>>