"If Barack Obama really wants to sell his message of hope to American voters this November, he needs to stop treating us like pathetic victims unable to compete economically with people in Mexico or China.
Rather, he needs to discuss people like Kyle Schwulst, 28, founder of ElectroJet Inc., a Whitmore Lake outfit of seven employees. Schwulst shopped his electronic fuel-injection device to China's huge market for scooters and now expects to employ 20 people by year end and foresees $500 million in sales in two years.
Or take Dan Kocks, president of Warren-based Enterprise Automotive Systems, a supplier of castings and forgings to the auto industry. Kocks was hired two years ago to take the company global. He now predicts that exports to Germany, India and other nations will be 40% of sales within five years, creating jobs in Michigan.
Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, Obama pandered in the Democratic Party primaries to labor unions and others in the party base who blame low-wage foreign countries for stealing American jobs. He vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and he whined about China's currency. On Monday in Michigan, he tried to have it both ways.
In a Flint speech, he did not vow to ram changes in NAFTA down the throats of our Canadian and Mexican neighbors. Perhaps that was out of deference to former Vice President Al Gore, who brilliantly defended NAFTA in a 1993 debate with Ross Perot -- and was to appear onstage Monday night with Obama at Joe Louis Arena.
"I believe in free trade. It can save money for our consumers, generate business for U.S. exporters and expand global wealth," Obama said in Flint Monday morning. Then he reverted to the anti-trade rhetoric of the primaries, zinging South Korea for its lopsided automotive trade with the United States and accusing foreign nations of unfair subsidies and closed markets, as if he were blissfully unaware of U.S. farm subsidies and our 25% tariff on pickup truck imports.
"The politics of this were unfortunate in the primaries," said Martin Zimmerman, a University of Michigan business professor and former chief economist and group vice president of Ford Motor Co.
Many political observers expect that Obama, if elected, would stifle the anti-trade talk. He won't be able to square his bashing of President George W. Bush for his unilateral approach to Iraq if he turns around and dictates my-way-or-the-highway terms on NAFTA to Canada and Mexico.
"The question is: How far can you back off on your primary positions once you're in office?" Zimmerman said"
Source: Detroit Free Press
By Tom Walsh " Obama tries to have it both ways on free-trade"
Meanwhile the Democrat nominee spent much of yesterday pandering for votes on a college campus where he promised students $4000 in tuition credit and free tuition for community colleges subject to completing community service. Obama failed to share with the students how he proposed to pay for this generous policy. It must be nice to be clueless about the real world works and make financial promises the country simply cant afford to keep by having your advisers fudge billions of dollars in your so-called economic plans.
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