James Pethokoukis says that although Barack Obama may be temperamentally in favor of liberalized trade policy, he’s not actually doing anything about it:
The wonks aren’t driving U.S trade policy in the Obama administration. The political team is. Its priority is passing healthcare reform. To pass healthcare reform, Obama needs his core union support. And a push for new trade agreements would alienate Big Labor.
Hey, I know how to fix that! Pass the healthcare bill! Then Obama will be free to do whatever he wants on trade.
(Though, let’s face it: with unemployment at 10% there’s not going to be much stomach for an aggressive push on trade no matter what happens to healthcare. So this probably isn’t a very urgent issue anyway.)