Friday, May 23, 2008

That’s the practicality of trade

Today I was startled by a sign in a store window until I got closer and realized that from the angle at which I was approaching the last three letters had been cut off: “Recession Sale. Let us make your dollar go farther.”

To make it even better, it was a Hallmark store.

Speaking of making your dollar go fart, this morning Bush gathered some oranges and motorcycles and construction equipment and God knows what else on the South Lawn to celebrate World Trade Week.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING COMPETENT: It’s a joy to welcome entrepreneurs and business leaders and folks who understand the importance of this country being competent enough to work to open up markets for our goods and products and services.

He introduced the secretary of commerce: “Carlos Gutierrez is the Secretary of Commerce. Trade means commerce.”

He introduced his subject matter: “Today I’m going to spend some time so our fellow citizens understand the importance of trade by connecting trade with products with jobs.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “For some in Washington, trade is a political issue. In other words, people think it makes good politics to say we’re not going to let you trade.” He went on to castigate “[t]he politicians in Washington who use trade as an issue to frighten voters”.

DUDE, WHAT’S UP WITH THE HARLEY? “[A]nd the reason why we’ve asked you to bring some of your products here is to remind people that that motorcycle is made by American workers, and that if we’re able to more likely sell those motorcycles into Colombia, for example, or Panama or South Korea, that the worker who made that is more likely to get a pay raise or have somebody else join him or her on the floor. That’s the practicality of trade.”

Bush found many things to be interesting, among them:
And it turns out, if you’re working for a company that exports goods and services, you make better money. Isn’t that an interesting fact?

Most of the goods coming from Colombia enter America duty-free -- isn’t that interesting?

It’s interesting, I’ve been -- you know, I constantly talk to fellow leaders on the telephone, and as you know, I’ve been traveling as well. And I’ve been asked quite frequently: Why is it that your Congress won’t pass a free trade agreement with Colombia, for starters?
He named some facts which he wanted to remind our fellow citizens of: “One, our economy grows better when we export; two, there are jobs.”

WHAT IT SEEMS LIKE YOU WANT IF YOU’RE A FARMER: If you’re a farmer, it seems like you want people to work hard to make it easier for you to sell that orange somewhere else.

IN OTHER WORDS: “When you say ‘level the playing field,’ what I’m talking about is reducing tariffs on goods and services, which makes it easier to sell -- in other words, it’s less expensive.”

HE’S GOT AN MBA, YOU KNOW: “The quality is the same, but the price is less, which makes it more likely something is going to be purchased.”

REALLY, AN MBA. FROM HARVARD AND EVERYTHING: “Fruits, oranges -- these oranges right here are taxed at 15 percent going into Colombia -- 15 percent more expensive, 30 percent more in South Korea and 15 percent more in Panama. ... So those are percentages, but you need to think about the percentage in terms of, it’s that much more expensive to buy.”

WHAT BUSH HASN’T GIVEN UP HOPE THAT: “I haven’t given up hope that the people will recognize that obstructionism is not leadership”.

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