Obama: Already Damaging Our Relations With Allies

And he isn’t even elected yet! Barack Obama says that he wants to “improve America’s standing abroad,” by which he means suck up to the Europeans. But in every tangible way, the policies he advocates will damage relations with allies and lead to diminished American influence. Nowhere is this more evident than with respect to trade.

Obama’s perverse opposition to expanding export opportunities to Colombia is well documented. His pledge to tear up NAFTA, too, is already having unintended consequences, as the Wall Street Journal reports:

Barack Obama’s promise to unilaterally rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement if Canada and Mexico won’t go along with his ideas on labor and the environment has not gone unnoticed in Ottawa. If Canadians are going to have a tougher time selling their goods and services south of the border, who can blame them for looking east — across the Atlantic to Europe.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France signed an agreement Friday to begin negotiations for a free trade pact between Canada and the European Union. A Canada-EU study released last week outlines the joint economic benefits of such a partnership, with two-way trade estimated to increase 22.9% by 2014.

The proposed partnership goes a lot further than Nafta. In addition to allowing free trade in goods and services, it would harmonize regulations, open up the air-travel market, and boost opportunities in government-procurement. Most important, it would free the labor market so that skilled workers could move easily back and forth across the Atlantic. …

At a news conference on Friday, Mr. Harper said, “We must stand against protectionism and work to lower and eliminate barriers.”

Under an Obama administration, the United States will be more protectionist than Europe. That’s a recipe for economic decline. As with so many of Obama’s policies, however, the full extent of the damage will not be evident until long after he leaves office.

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