Bush pushes for FTA

Associated Press

Washington, April 11:

Never mind the criticism from Democrats about soaring trade deficits and lost manufacturing jobs. President George W Bush is campaigning as an unrepentant free trader and criticising Democrat John Kerry as an ‘economic isolationist.’

Bush’s secretary of commerce, Don Evans, has gone even further, saying opponents of open trade are “waving a surrender flag rather than the American flag.”

Yet for all the administration’s tough rhetoric, some members of the president’s own party are growing increasingly worried that his staunch defense of free trade won’t sit well with voters concerned about jobs, including the shifting of jobs overseas. “The Democrats are going to play on people’s fears of losing jobs and outsourcing in a shameless way and we need to be more aggressive in answering back,” said Republican Senetor Lindsey Graham, whose home state of South Carolina has lost nearly 65,000 textile and apparel jobs since 1992.