Thursday, November 16, 2006

When is free trade not free trade?

This from The Hill Blog:
By La. Dem. Rep. Charles Melancon on Foreign Policy

Monday night I voted against H.R. 5602, which would have extended normalized trade relations with Vietnam. Even though I expected that the bill would still pass on suspension, I wanted to send a message with my “no” vote to Vietnamese officials that we will not continue to tolerate unfair trade deals. I am very pleased many of my colleagues agreed and the bill failed to pass the House.

Vietnam has been dumping excess seafood on the U.S. market, driving down prices and crippling Louisiana’s shrimping industry. Just between 2000 and 2003, this illegal dumping has deflated the wholesale price of shrimp imports by 31 percent, costing American shrimpers $4.4 billion in revenue.

Commercial shrimping has been part of our culture in south Louisiana for generations, and we can’t keep giving away American jobs by allowing unfair trade practices to go unpunished. Until Vietnam agrees to sell seafood to the United States at fair market value, I will continue to oppose normalizing trade relations with them. We shouldn’t be afraid to protect American jobs and businesses from unfair foreign competition.

Just why is Vietnam's actions "dumping", "illegal" and "unfair"? If fair market pricing was not part of the trade agreements, that's not Vietnam's problem.

Ah, the devil is always in the details, huh?


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