Saturday, July 14, 2007

'Smart Trade': John Edwards Re-Reinvents the Fair Trade Brand

FT. DODGE, IA – If you're a rural American, John Edwards feels your pain. In small town after small town, the former senator from North Carolina relates his personal experience as the son of millworker growing up in a town that would be decimated by the exportation of American jobs to foreign lands where the low-wages are only one of the many benefits to enterprising corporation.

In Edwards' eyes, and to be honest, The Brandwagon's, unfettered free trade has been a very mixed blessing. Yes, jobs have been created in America – and beyond. In fact, the massive private sector expansion within China has been a tremendous boon to American companies ranging from Google to Boeing and from Microsoft to Caterpillar. But, as Edwards readily acknowledges, the costs to rural America, the industrial Midwest, and the cotton-mill South have been extraordinary.

To Edwards, trade represents an opportunity, one in which pro-worker American values, environmental controls, and health and safety regulations can be exported to each of the countries from which we import. By toughening our stance on trade
rules, America can influence how America's partners conduct their affairs by leveraging the strength of our purchasing power. Here, Edwards offers a pragmatic approach, exclaiming, "We live in a global economy.... We can't put our head in the sand and pretend that's not true."

To Edwards, the rural and industrial America's future unfolds with a commitment to "Smart Trade," the realization that Lou Dobbs's brand of protectionism won't benefit the workers at Boeing or Caterpillar, while simultaneously pressuring those regimes that refuse to embrace humane worker health, safety, environmental, and wage standards, to modernize their business approach And, most importantly, Edwards is vehement in his desire to rebuild America's intellectual infrastructure through a stronger commitments to education, worker training, backed by the new investments in the technology necessary for future advancement in this century and not the twentieth.

With his initiative to create "150,000 green collar jobs a year," his plans to entice teachers to relocate to rural communities, and his push to wire rural America with the broadband access necessary in order to build a foundation for real competitive advantage in an increasingly global economy, Edwards' Smart Trade approach might gain real traction in "Red Country." Of course, "Smart Trade" was one of Kerry's positionings in 2004, but in Iowa, in 2007, its already paying dividends for former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

1 comment:

Mark W Adams said...

IMO, more than any other candidate, Edwards "gets it." Nearly all of his proposals state a detailed and practical solution to what ailes us, and an aggressive yet workable method to get us there -- all with the overriding theme of giving every American, and not just the wealthy, a shot at the American Dream