If you're at all sympathetic to a politician positioning himself around "fair" trade—when policy is enacted to "level the playing field"—you my friend are being taken. You see select jobs preserved by some legislative act, but you don't see the utter destruction that comes from protection. For as the [unavoidable] negative effects emerge they'll come cloaked in excuses that will lend themselves to yet more government intervention.
It's the definition of a vicious cycle: His faux-patriotism seals your vote as it seals him support from the favored industry. And he seeds yet more opportunity for government to grow—as it intervenes into a hamstrung (by protectionism) economy—and himself the support of soon-to-be-cronies as other industries lobby for the same protection.
Don Boudreaux makes the point perfectly in this letter to the Winston-Salem Journal regarding a "new law that will save textile jobs".
"Will the President post photos on his website of Americans whose jobs are destroyed because foreigners will now have fewer dollars to spend and invest in the U.S.? Will Mr. Obama boast that his re-election strategy includes a policy that, by dulling the creative forces of competition, diminishes America’s economic dynamism and, hence, reduces its economic growth?"
Be sure to read the entire letter...