Condoleezza Rice on Free Trade
Secretary of State
A: [A US-EU trade zone] is incredibly complex when you take the percentage of the world economy that would be represented, [and is further complicated because the integration of] Europe is incomplete. You have to ask, would that be useful, or should it not be broadened?
That much power concentrated in a free trade zone has two potential downsides: first of all the complications. If it were another time and place maybe 20 years down the road the EU were further along in its own development, maybe it makes more sense.
The second thing is that it may be viewed by emerging economies, in particular by China, and potentially also by Russia, and certainly the developing world, as making certain that they will never enter the international economy. It would so dominate high-end economic development. And what would you do with Japan? Nevertheless I remain in favor of increased free trade through a multilateral route.“.
The weakness was not in calling them to the table and acknowledging that they had purpose. Environmental groups are a little bit different in this regard - although I believe that environmental standards get better when countries get richer. But when you are talking about trying to transport American labor standards to South Africa, you are talking about protecting American jobs at the low end so that South Africa never finds its way into the international economy. So I am all for trying to bring groups in, but for understanding that there are some interests that are crucial to defend.
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