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How ‘Bout You Not Change Us?

November 12, 2010

You know, I really need to go to skating… geez.  There’s actually material to post today.  Here’s Steven Spruiell at NRO.  You might have heard that President Obama personally went to the G20 summit in Korea to close a deal on a US-Korea free-trade agreement.  Spruiell has the reason why the US couldn’t close the deal:

Here’s the punch line: U.S. automakers, their unions, and their allies in government — including most Democrats and Barack Obama — think Korea’s fuel-economy and environmental standards are too high. They are arguing that these standards act as a non-tariff barrier to cars and trucks made in U.S. factories, because, gosh darn it, we just don’t make cars and trucks that clean and green over here.

Americans who favor free trade abroad and less regulation at home are left to scratch our heads: Should we be angry because Obama is holding up a market-opening agreement over such an obvious red herring? It’s the only excuse he has for wanting an even more one-sided deal for the Detroit automakers, who want the car tariff to be phased out gradually, like the truck tariff. Or should we be popping champagne corks because Obama has finally found an environmental regulation he doesn’t like? 

Heh. Well, I guess environmental regulations are bad when they whack your union buddies.  Now the administration is caught on the horns of dilemma over whether to push for stronger regulation or just punt on a prize they all thought in their grasp.  At stake here is $10-$12B in US GDP every year, and now we’ll potentially can it over a single industry that likely wouldn’t get much there anyway, at least not right away.  Hyundai and Kia seem to be doing fine supplying cars to Korea, at the price and standars the Koreans like.

By the way, this continues a series of seal-the-deal failures that the administration has suffered.  They couldn’t get the Olympics, they couldn’t close the deal on several European negotiations… let’s not even talk about the iPod to the Queen.  Maybe the new idea should be to send people who know how to negotiate, rather than the head of state who thinks everything is won on personality.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ellen D. permalink
    November 12, 2010 7:22 pm

    Yep, our Hyundai Sonata regularly gets over 30 MPG in mixed town/hwy driving and I’ve gotten over 40 MPG and sometimes 45 MPG over 300 miles of highway driving. This is with a gasoline only engine, not a hybrid.

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