(Wall Street Journal / May 7, 2012) The president wants other countries to embrace free trade, while defending tariffs for domestic textiles. Trade officials from nine dynamic Asia-Pacific economies begin 10 days of talks today in Dallas, Texas, hoping to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact by the end of this year. President Obama has said the deal will be “a model not only for the Asia-Pacific but for future trade agreements.” Perhaps, but the president’s ambitious Asian agenda has run smack into protectionist lobbying back home.

The White House is demanding TPP partners, chiefly Vietnam, agree to new rules that would bring transparency and market-oriented efficiencies to their inefficient (and often corrupt) state-owned enterprises. SOEs are indeed a drag on Vietnam, comprising …

(Greg Rushford / Wall Street Journal / May 7, 2012)

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