CEI - Free Trade Agreements, Privatizing Liquor Sales, and Ethanol

Free Trade Agreements


Yesterday The Washington Times reported on President Obama's trade agenda. Obama has promised to push through free trade agreements, but his fellow Democrats have so far stalled his plans.


CEI Adjunct Scholar Fran Smith argues that the president will have to be far more aggressive if he is going to make progress toward free trade.


"[T]he president will have to do more than make a few public pronouncements  expressing his support.  He’s going to have to take on the union opposition, get House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in line, rally his troops by touting the benefits of these agreements, bring together those spurned business groups, and reach out to some Republican supporters of free trade."


Privatizing Liquor Sales


Virginia Republicans are concerned about Governor Bob McDonnell's plan to privatize alcohol sales in the state. 


CEI Policy Analyst Michelle Minton says Republicans who oppose privatization have forgotten what it means to be Republican.


"All lawmakers, not simply Republicans, should seriously consider the merits of privatizing liquor sales. In particular, Republicans should temper their fear of change with a commitment to their espoused ideals. [. . .] By supporting the policies that best preserve free enterprise and personal liberty, Republicans can at least be certain they are protecting their ideals and the rights of their citizens."




Growth Energy, an ethanol trade group, argues that the government should subsidize ethanol production to create a competitive fuel market.


CEI Research Associate Brian McGraw points out that truly competitive markets occur naturally, not through government intervention.


"[A]sserting that Growth Energy supports any form of competition or market forces is laughable. And implying that government is holding back their industry while ignoring the fact that other government laws support a huge percentage of their industry is dishonest. If the Energy Act of 2007 didn’t require billions of gallons of ethanol to be blended into our fuel supply, consumers wouldn’t be choosing high percentage blends of ethanol."