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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Paper Disputes Letter Writer’s Views Of Free Trade

Wednesday’s Janesville Gazette contained a letter from a resident describing certain aspects of a Bush-brokered FTA with Korea and it’s adverse impact potential on the Janesville GM factory. The letter, as most letters are limited to 250 words, was an easy to understand perspective showing the possible effects in real dollars, and although it did not call out Rep. Paul Ryan by name, the writer concluded with an open and fair question to readers.
JG Letter Excerpt:
This is a typical FTA. The United States is always the loser. By the way, do you know how your U.S. Representative votes on FTA’s?
Although the vast majority of letters to the Gazette are usually left uncontested unless some serious or obvious mistakes were made with comprehension, clarity or lack of disclosure, the Gazette editorial staff would not let this resident’s perspective stand on it’s own. This particular letter came with a rebuttal attached in the form of an Editor’s note.
Editor’s Note:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s office informs us that under the proposal, U.S. trucks would get duty-free access to the Korean market and that the top-selling Korean “truck” in the United States, the Hyundai Santa Fe, is assembled in Montgomery, Ala., and thus not subject to the current tariff. The proposal likely won’t be considered in this session of Congress. A spokesman says Ryan has concerns with aspects of the agreement, especially it’s impact on the auto industry.
The editor’s note was a poor attempt to dispute the writer's points using what amounted to be opinion from Ryan’s office. Ryan’s understanding of the consequences of FTA’s could also be called into question and are no more or less credible than your’s or mine. The Gazette's apparent defense of the Korean-FTA while injecting Ryan’s concern into the picture appeared to be just another opportunity for them to do Ryan’s bidding....again.

As a Congressman, Ryan should be demonstrating his constituency's position on FTA's with votes that represent his district's views, not his own. After all, who is he working for?

Besides, Ryan thinks the recent Janesville job losses were due solely to the lack of an energy policy. Oddly, and the above article link was written by Ryan, a supposed Conservatives Conservative, there was no suggestion from him that energy reform should include conservation – at all. It becomes obvious Ryan’s suggestions for the nation’s energy policy could have very well been written by Big Oil. The first three of Ryan's five steps to a sustainable energy policy are geared to increase consumption! The Gazette of course seems to tow the same line.

See how Paul Ryan votes on FTA’s here.
More Opinion: Ryan Out of Touch.

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