Cato’s Sallie James translates Senator Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) recent press release, in which he declares a special fondness for sleeping bags made in the USA:

WASHINGTON¬-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) today introduced a bill that wouldmodernize and reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through 2012, along with the Andean Trade Preference Act.

By “modernize”, Senator Sessions means “set a damaging precedent of individual members of Congress being allowed to create loopholes from law to favor certain constituents.”

“The current loophole in the GSP is an unfair policy and an injustice to American industries,” Sessions said.

Even if you think having to compete with imports is an injustice — and I surely do not —  I can find only one company and at most one “industry” (and not “industries,” plural) that would suffer it. But “an inconvenience to a company in my constituency” doesn’t sound nearly as good in a press release, does it?

The legislation introduced today would not only fix this loophole in the GSP but also reauthorize the program to allow for trade to continue in a fair way….

On the contrary, Senator Sessions is seeking to create a loophole in favor of the Alabama manufacturer. 

It surely should raise plenty of eyebrows when a Senator tries to carve out trade policy in favor of one very narrowly defined industry, such as sleeping bag manufacturers.