Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Trashing trade talk

Last week Governor Blanco announced she will make a trade-oriented trip to East Asia in the fall, including stops in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China. The announcement specifically mentioned a stop at Expo 2005 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Take a look at what’s happening there. Hostility from some quarters in response to the governor’s announcement is both surprising and misplaced. Governor Blanco’s desire to build the state’s foreign trade ties through travel is most welcome. It’s also likely to yield long-term benefits for the state and its citizens. Such efforts should be embraced -- not condemned. Knee-jerk rejection of Governor Blanco’s efforts to expand Louisiana’s trade relationships with some of the most dynamic economies in the world almost smacks of xenophobia. It also demonstrates a failure to understand the realities -- and benefits -- of global trade. Everybody wins if the governor’s East Asian trade mission is a success. Gambatte Blanco-sensei!