America’s sputtering economy and persistently high unemployment are urgent matters. Does anyone think opening up negotiations with the 27-member European Union (E.U.) will have a near-term impact on either side of the Atlantic? Meanwhile, there is a fast track to more jobs and wealth through expanded trade with just two countries, our neighbors Canada and Mexico. But there wasn’t a single mention of Canada in the SOTU speech. Mexico got one brief nod, in the context of Ford returning jobs to America from Mexico.
The President’s E.U. trade proposal has already been widely quoted, meeting quickly with measured bureaucratic approbation in Europe. Of course any progress towards more open and free trade is a net good for the world. And as the President noted in his SOTU, America and the E.U. account for 30% of world trade, and fully half of global GDP resides in these two regions.