We assisted our allies in many ways to recover from World War II and the Korean War. We helped rebuild Europe. We defended the "free world" from a take over by communism and we helped their economies by entering into trade agreements that did not always help the American citizen.
I am proud of what we did. I also acknowledge that most often we also benefited from our decisions.
However, That was then and this is now.
Many of the allies that we helped are now strong; both politically and economically. In fact a number of them are our strongest competitors on the economic scene. It is time that we stop subsidizing them economically with biased trade practices and require that they contribute more to their national defense.
The two issues, trade and defense, are related. It is costing the American taxpayer dearly to bare the brunt of defending Germany, Japan, Korea and our other allies. This defense burden puts us at an unfair disadvantage when we must compete with these same allies in the global economy.
These issues are not going to be solved just at the negotiation table. Parts of a fair trade policy will need to be implemented without worldwide agreement. We are all sovereign nations with our sovereign self interest. It is time to move forward.