By Erik Wasson - 10/08/12 04:02 PM EDT
Although Obama employed anti-free-trade rhetoric during the 2008 campaign, he has governed differently.
Obama renegotiated three free-trade agreements that were signed by former President George W. Bush with Panama, Colombia and South Korea and worked with Congress to get them approved. He has not signed any new free-trade agreements, however.
The Obama administration is moving forward with a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional free-trade agreement that was also started by Bush.
The TPP talks originally involved Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States; Malaysia and Vietnam joined later. The Obama administration has expanded the talks to include NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico.
The TPP could form an important counterweight to Chinese economic power in the Pacific, but numerous issues around agricultural commodities remain unresolved.
Romney has vowed to seek fast-tracked trade authority to complete the TPP and wants to create larger “Reagan economic zone” globally.