If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.

 

Trump's North American Trade Triumph

A Commentary By Stephen Moore

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

For those on the left and right who were certain that President Donald Trump's presidency meant the end of global free trade ... think again. Though Trump's critics have dismissed the significance of the new Mexico and Canada trade deal, it's hard to deny that it is a welcome advance for the economy of the entire continent.

The pact will extend for years a (mostly) tariff-free North American trade zone. This was Ronald Reagan's vision nearly four decades ago -- and that legacy can now live on for hopefully many years to come.

Here's just one example of the importance of this agreement. In the area of energy production, the integration of our economies and the freer flow of energy investment capital across our southern and northern borders means more pipelines, more LNG terminals, more oil refineries and more exploration. North America is poised to be the new Middle East for energy production for the next 50 years, with all the related economic advantages that confers on our region.

One of the most favorable outcomes of the new trade pact is the provision that locks in 10 years of patent protections for new pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. While some critics are portraying this as a sell-out to the big drug companies, the opposite is true. Patent protections for drugs invented in America reduce costs for American consumers by forcing foreign countries to help pay for the research costs (about $1 billion for each new drug brought to market) and stop free riding on our innovation.

As University of Chicago professor Tomas J. Philipson puts it in a 2018 study on the drug industry: "There is no free lunch. If neither Americans nor foreigners pay for the R&D to develop new drugs, then soon nobody will receive new treatments."

One research team that found that price controls and inadequate patent protections will prevent the development of six new blockbuster drugs each year by 2020 and more than a dozen a year by 2050. No one can benefit from a drug to cure cancer, MS, Alzheimer's or epilepsy at any price if it hasn't been invented.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will both save lives by accelerating medical research and reduce drug prices at home by ensuring that foreigners no longer enjoy medical innovation without paying their fair share.

Despite these virtues, Democrats in Congress are threatening to vote as a bloc to prevent passage of the trade pact. These are the same people who just a few months ago were complaining that Trump's "reckless and dangerous" trade policies were harming the economy and alienating our allies. Now he has a deal that helps the economy and unifies our neighbors -- and they are against it. They have exposed themselves as free trade hypocrites.

Opponents of the new trade agreement on the left and right have nit-picked about certain hard-to-defend features of the plan -- such as foolish wage requirements for Mexican autoworkers. But this misses the bigger point. USCMA means that free trade is alive and well across the borders of North America.

Congratulations to Donald Trump and his trade team for delivering an agreement that will promote prosperity across all three nations.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of "Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy." To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

See Other Political Commentaries.

See Other Commentaries by Stephen Moore.

Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.