Free Trade Agreement Equals More Trade, Right?

This does not mean that free trade agreements don’t equal
increased U.S. exports,  but that increased trade can happen with or without them, and they may
not be as significant of a determining factor as one may think.

Ultimately, this realization may not mean much to the free
trade debate. While it challenges an
underlying assumption about the trade system and exposes a major flaw in the
Bush administration rhetoric about the agreements, this is not the first or
most important flaw that has been exposed.

She quotes William Hawkins, a senior fellow at the U.S.
Business and Industrial Council, saying that the pro-free trade lobby has
abandoned ''what they originally said these trade agreements would do, which is
expand U.S. exports,  bring
better jobs, actual benefits to the  United States," he said.

Unfortunately, these arguments have not been completely
abandoned. They are still heard
regularly out of the mouths of our political pundits and politicians, shaping
the way Americans think about this issue. Growing awareness about this issue has brought us closer to an honest
and open dialogue, but it is clear that it will take time to sort through the
fact and fiction.