Right Question

Asking the right question is usually more productive than trying to prove the right answer.

Monday, May 30, 2005

NAFTA Expansion?

In the wake of France's rejection of the European Constitution, Austin Bay has the following exceptionally good suggestion:
If the Dutch reject the EU constitution, I see a potential Plan C. It’s more than an ultimate revenge for the dirty anti-American games Chirac and his pal, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, have played during the War on Terror– for Great Britain and Holland it may make a great deal of economic and political sense.

Several years ago Conrad Black suggested that Great Britain join NAFTA– the North American Free Trade Association. He thought Britain’s liberal economic tradition was a better fit with the US and Canada than with French and German statist economies. (Black wasn’t the first to make the suggestion, but he did so with more of a public splash than earlier advocates.)

The Dutch have an Anglophilic streak and a pro-US bent. (The Dutch put a battalion in Iraq. I met with Dutch officers in Baghdad several times– and was impressed.)

So let’s offer NAFTA membership to Holland and the United Kingdom. If you’re Dutch or British, why be stuck in the floundering lost cause of a Franco-centric Greater Europe? We’ll call it the North Atlantic Free Trade Association. Heck, we don’t even have to change the acronym.

Here, here.

America's strength has always been the power of freedom, including free trade. And, just possibly there are a number of countries in Europe which would rather throw their lots in with America than with the new Franco-German version of Europe. We could do alot worse than to forge strong economic ties with the few nations in the world whose traditions of freedom are as longstanding as our own -- on which criterion, I'd suggest adding Australia as well.


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