If Barack Obama wins the White House, his administration will face potentially
irreconcilable conflicts between his signature proposals -- like transforming
the American economy into a 21st century "green-collar" job engine -- and the
dictates of the "free trade" regime that both major parties have advanced with
unbridled zeal for the past quarter century.
At issue is whether government policy can provide incentives that supposedly provide an unfair advantage to one country's industry at the expense of that same industry in its "free trade" partner countries. I can't get far enough down the rabbit hole to understand the legal and political pivot points on free trade. Here in Seattle most of us remain baffled how European governments can subsidize Airbus against Boeing. Our government has subsidized any number of industries in a near-infinite variety of ways. Are ethanol subsidies illegal from a free trade perspective? What about the smorgasbord of goodies the Fossil Industry has enjoyed over the decades? Can someone explain to me why it will be impossible to implement incentives to boost green job creation and the renewable energy industry?