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  • Eyes on Trade is a blog by the staff of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW) division. GTW aims to promote democracy by challenging corporate globalization, arguing that the current globalization model is neither a random inevitability nor "free trade." Eyes on Trade is a space for interested parties to share information about globalization and trade issues, and in particular for us to share our watchdogging insights with you! GTW director Lori Wallach's initial post explains it all.

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March 21, 2011

Tariffdega Nights: The Latest Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Adam McKay, the writer and director of such Will Ferrell classics as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Talladega Nights The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Bobby, has always had a political streak. His Funny or Die website featured the hilarious video with all the "SNL presidents" calling for Wall Street reform, and his movie "The Other Guys" tackled corporate corruption in its closing credits.

His engagement with policy runs deep. He maintains a blog over at the Huffington Post, where he recently questioned offshoring of jobs. And on comedian Marc Maron's excellent podcast, McKay recently said the following:

McKay: You have to raise trade tariffs. We only pay 2%... India has a 40% tariff, China has 22%, we only have a 2% tariff. That's crazy! You notice no one talks about that. You could almost say that one issue alone could change our whole nation if we went to a 10% trade tariff.

Maron: Because it would encourage manufacturing?

McKay: All the manufacturing would come back here. Wal-Mart couldn't be making that money anymore. You'd see factories spring up all over this country. And you could get rid of all those subsidies, the 48 billion, you could get rid of the Bush tax cuts...

By the way, we could literally balance the budget and fix the economy right now in 10 minutes. That's how easy it is. The problem is the wall of white noise and misinformation and anger that gets in the way of it where they justify everything...

How about Mitch McConnell in Kentucky voted against the Made in America provision for the stimulus package, and he's in the poorest state in the country? Against the Made in America provision, but no one talks about that. Instead it's about liberals, it's about gay marriage...

It would be pretty unusual to hear this policy advocated in Washington policy circles. But then again, as a long running Pew poll shows, there is a wide gap between the general public and elite respondents (defined as Council on Foreign Relations members) when it comes to trade policy.

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