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South Korea Accord

The Grip of the Old Economy

Robert L. Borosage | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Robert L. Borosage

President Obama touted his National Export Initiative this week, boasting that in the first quarter of this year, exports were up 17% from a year ago. Increased exports abroad generate jobs at home. Given the numerous economic problems we see reemerging of late, a little good news comes as welcome relief. But don't break out the spirits. Exports are a delectable appetizer, but the full meal is less digestible. Imports count too. Buying stuff abroad that could be made here displaces jobs. What matters is the balance of trade, not simply the rise or fall of exports.