As a strong believer in free market economics, I find it abhorrent when a Republican president -- one who originally campaigned on a platform advocating free trade of commerce and ideas -- continues to play the protectionist trade game by pulling the tariff card. But as Tim Minahan points out in a post from earlier this week, George Bush is up to his trade antics again. Like many other fellow neo-cons and supply siders, I've had it with Bush's protectionist economic policies and spend thrift tendencies. From a continuous stream of no-bid contracts in Iraq to the giant Katrina spending cock-up, Bush has proven -- at least to me -- that there is no difference between his trade and spending programs and those of many of his peers across the political aisle.
But the scary part is that I think Obama and Hillary will be worse from a protectionist perspective if either win (because of the unions driving economic support for their campaigns, not to mention their general left of center economic views). And don't let campaign rhetoric cloud your judgment -- remember that Obama has the most liberal voting of all Presidential candidates. All in all, for companies engaged in global sourcing, I'd say that it's time to bone up on transshipment strategies and other tax and tariff minimization plans given a trade environment which only looks like it will become more protectionist.