Parochial Political Interests & Economic Nationalism (0) vs. Free Trade & Global Economic Integratio
WASHINGTON, DC — In a world where it seems to be increasingly the case where people retreat to their parochial interests, it’s nice to see that the U.S. Senate yesterday passed the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement. While two-way trade between the U.S. and Oman was only about $1 billion last year, passage of this Agreement provides a legal mechanism to increase not just economic ties, but also to heighten bilateral interaction and accountability on social and environmental matters. Free and fair trade is certainly not a panacea for all of the world’s ills, but without the institutions and agreements to facilitate rules-based global exchange and integration, the world would be an even more nationalistic and isolated place. In the current U.S. Congressional election season, parochial political interests could have trumped national and international interests -in this case, I’m heartened to see they didn’t.