By Richard S. Dunham
FEW OPTIONS. At his core, Bush is a free-trader, and he won't back down on trade liberalization. But he will press the WTO to crack down on unfair practices from Asia to Europe. Trouble is, other countries have a slew of complaints about U.S. protectionism, too. So an excessively get-tough policy could exacerbate already raw trade frictions, especially with Europe, and hurt the global economy.
If Bush doesn't have many good options, neither do his Democratic foes. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) wants to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement and pull out of the WTO the day he becomes President. Ain't gonna happen.
On the more viable left flank, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean says he would reopen trade pacts to force new concessions from allies on labor and environmental issues. But rival Joseph I. Lieberman says Dean's policy would