Tuesday, September 11, 2007

All bad news, All the time

US exports are at an all time high and grew 2.7% last month. It was robust export growth that largely caused the recent upward revision of the second quarter GDP number. This is good economic news, but it gets buried in trade deficit hysteria.

Even though the headline is "Trade Deficit Declines Slightly" the story goes negative real fast. We are told by an "expert" that the number will probably be revised upward, we are told our "deficit with China" is at its "second all time highest" level, and we are treated to expert analysis by thug-o-conomist James Hoffa:

"Americans realize that our bloated trade deficit erodes our standard of living," said Teamsters President James Hoffa, whose union is leading a fight to overturn a Bush administration decision last week that opens up the nation's southern border to Mexican trucks.

With a little Mexico bashing thrown in, por gusto.

The 9th paragraph mentions the export record and the 11th paragraph points out its economic importance but again in the most negative way possible:

The boom in exports is helping cushion the U.S. economy from the adverse effects of the worst downturn in housing in 16 years and a serious credit crunch stemming from growing losses in subprime mortgages. Without continued export gains, some analysts worry that the country could be pushed into a recession.

If exports are so important to our economic growth (and they are), wouldn't it seem like a bad time to start up new protectionist measure and invite backlash/reciprocity?