2008 has been a year when U.S. exports acted as a "shock absorber" for the economy, and there are signs they might be back on the rise after a dip in the latter months of the year. So will the Obama administration enact policies that promote more access to foreign markets for U.S. exporters?
The Wall Street Journal reports how the president-elect's selection of Ron Kirk as U.S. trade representative and Hilda Solis as labor secretary might show an attempt to court both pro and anti-free-trade wings.
Here's a morsel:
Former Clinton administration U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said he thinks Mr. Obama will continue to oppose bilateral pacts, but will make a big push on larger trade deals like Doha, or regional agreements with Latin America or Asia. The broader trade deals appeal to a broader segment of the U.S., Mr. Kantor said, and aren't any more difficult to pass in Congress than pacts with small countries.
"You'll see more multilateral and regional deals," Mr. Kantor said. "We might as well go for something big, which engages the rest of the world, rather than focus on bilateral deals, which makes us look like we're just going our own way."