Truth About Trade & Technology, March 29, 2012


...The former senator from Pennsylvania will keep on talking about how to create jobs in an economy with an unemployment rate that floats above 8 percent.

One of the best ways is with exports–and Santorum should tell a positive story about how his own view on free trade has evolved from occasional skepticism to a full embrace of how much our economy benefits when goods and services flow across borders.

Santorum can start with what he’s proposing right now. On his 32-point economic plan, boosting exports is item no. 19: “Negotiate 5 Free Trade Agreements and submit to Congress in first year of Presidency.”...

...In 1993, Santorum came out against the North American Free Trade Agreement, in what the Club for Growth has described as “perhaps the most important free trade vote of the last generation.”

Santorum, who hails from the Pittsburg area, said he was worried about the fate of the steel industry. “NAFTA will produce pockets of winners and losers across the country,” he said. “Our area is unfortunately one of the losers.”

It wasn’t that simple–certainly not for Pennsylvania. The Keystone State currently exports more than $2 billion per year to Mexico, according to Christopher Wilson in “Working Together,” a report for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Almost a quarter of a million Pennsylvanians owe their jobs to the Mexican market. Metal manufacturing alone accounted for $467 million of Pennsylvania’s exports to Mexico last year...


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