Free Trade In South Carolina?

Lynne Kiesling

I hope Megan McArdle’s right, and that Jim DeMint’s replacement of Fritz Holling brings a much-need dose of free-trade into Congress.

Actually, how do you think these results affect the probability of the textile protectionism that I mentioned on Sunday?

2 thoughts on “Free Trade In South Carolina?

  1. It’s a good sign. DeMint taking Fritz Hollings’ seat is a huge pro-free trade change, especially on textiles. Burr isn’t as clear a free trader, though he seems to be a little better than Boyles would have been. Also Robin Hayes was re-elected yet again in NC-08, with 55% of the vote. He was the last vote for Fast Track, and then Dems targeted him in both 2002 and 2004. Reportedly when he voted for fast track, he said that he had signed his own death warrant. Not so, it appears. Sen. Bowles harped on free trade being bad in both of his Senate races– and lost twice.

    This means that protectionism just isn’t as big a deal in the South as everybody’s thought. In the Midwest and Northeast it’s still popular, though.

  2. Republicans from protectionist states aren’t always that free trade (DeMint is a godsend, though), but they’re usually better than their Democratic alternative. In any case, the Senate move from 51-48-1 to what looks like 55-44-1 should make it easier to get CAFTA and other things past the Senate. The closer the margin and the more close votes the President needs, the more deals he has to make with protectionists.

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