To boost job creation, President Obama announced a National Export Initiative to boost American exports during last night's State of the Union address. He says he won’t settle for second place when it comes to revamping our economy.
That’s good, because preliminary data from last year are showing that the
The President seems serious, even mentioning the
He is unlikely to drop the
So here’s a more modest idea. Since President Obama made special mention of American farmers, and since farm income was down by one third last year, why not change American policy to expand agricultural exports to
To do this, he could take a few steps – and protectionists can relax, since none involve opening the
But our exports suffer from self-imposed restrictions.
And American companies are not permitted to extend credit to
These are all policies that, to date, President Obama has preserved even though he says he wants to “recast” our relations with
He has also preserved President Bush’s travel restrictions, with the exception of allowing Cuban Americans to travel to
If President Obama were to end travel restrictions, American travelers – religious and civic groups, sports teams, universities, and even tourists – would create a flow of information and ideas between our countries and correct a mistaken foreign policy that pretends to extend American influence while building a wall between our peoples.
An open travel policy would affect agriculture too: the revenues from American travelers will lead to increased purchases of our farm products.
Together, these measures would make the
About one third of those imports come from
That translates to half-billion dollar boost in American farm exports.
Is that what you’re looking for, Mr. President?