OPINION: Obama’s jobs strategy should be a North American one

Robert A. Pastor, Los Angeles Times, 9/16/11

Washington focuses on the urgent and has little time for the important. As a result, it faces chronic problems and cannot plan for the future.

There is no better illustration of this than the idea that was missing from President Obama‘s address last week to Congress on jobs: North America. Had he grasped it, he would have amplified some of his proposals in a way that would have helped achieve his job goals and two others — doubling exports and limiting undocumented immigration.

Most Americans view our neighbors, north and south, as very dependent on the United States. That is true, and it explains why we don’t take them seriously, except as problems. What few Americans realize is how dependent we are on them. The top two markets for U.S. exports are not China and Germany; they are Canada and Mexico. Our top two sources of energy imports are not Saudi Arabia and Venezuela; they are Canada and Mexico.

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