Putting all of his China-bashing aside for a moment, Mitt Romney announced the following in a speech on Monday:
I will champion free trade and restore it as a critical element of our strategy, both in the Middle East and across the world. The President has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years. I will reverse that failure. I will work with nations around the world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding existing relationships and establishing new ones.
The point about President Obama not signing “new” free trade agreements is kind of a technicality. He did sign some, but the negotiations originated with the Bush administration, so they weren’t “new,” according to Romney.
But I’m more interested in Romney’s “championing” of free trade. Which nations will he be negotiating with? He mentions countries that “are committed to the principles of free enterprise.” That kind of sounds like the language used by California Rep. Devin Nunes, which I mentioned last week. Nunes proposes starting free trade negotiations with the EU and Brazil. Is this what Romney has in mind as well? As noted in my earlier post, I’m pretty skeptical of the chances of success for both of these. But Romney doesn’t get that specific in terms of trading partners, so I’m not sure exactly what he intends. Even more reason to be skeptical.