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UPDATE: I have been invited to appear on Lou Dobbs Tonight at 6:45pm EST to discuss the secret trade deal. As always, because of the potential for breaking news, you never know 100% if these things will happen - but I wanted to let folks know.

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the Bush-Democratic secret free trade deal.

With the opening of the new week, fair trade Democrats are going on the offensive in response to the secret free trade "deal" worked out between a handful of senior Democratic congressional leaders and the Bush administration. It is now a full four days since the press conference announcing the deal, and the dealmakers still have yet to release the legislative language of the trade policies in question, instead simply sending out their own press releases and triumphant statements from K Street lobbying groups. A full news update follows in the extended entry.

Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) this secretive behavior is happening at precisely the same time the Associated Press reports that "Democrats are suddenly balking at the tough lobbying reforms they touted to voters last fall" with many wanting "to keep the big campaign donations and lavish parties that lobbyists put together for them."

The stonewalling, and the declaration by the Bush-connected U.S. Chamber of Commerce that it has been given "assurances that the labor provisions [in the deal] cannot be read to require compliance" has created a full-on backlash on Capitol Hill and in the heartland. Though some say the specific legislative language of the deal hasn't been written yet, that explanation seems suspect considering the unity and enthusiasm with which top K Street icons have endorsed the  deal and the claims of "assurances" corporate lobbyists say they have been given about the unenforceability of the labor standards. Here's the latest.

DETAILS EMERGE ON LEAD UP TO THE DEAL; LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE STILL SECRET

HILL NEWSPAPER CONFIRMS EMANUEL STYMIED DEMOCRATIC MEETING ON TRADE: The Hill Newspaper reports that "six House Democrats had sought to get House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to put off the announcement of a deal until after the caucus reviewed it, but were rebuffed." As reported on this website last week, a May 10th letter to Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) was ignored in advance of the press conference. Emanuel, not surprisingly, was the Clinton administration official who helped ram NAFTA through Congress. According to John D. MacArthur's groundbreaking book The Selling of Free Trade, Emanuel's specific responsibility at the time was convening weekly meetings with K Street lobbyists to plot about how to put pressure on Democrats to support the deal. Similarly, as an investment banker, he published a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the eve of the China free trade deal demanding Democrats support the agreement, which has resulted in the loss of thousands of good-paying U.S. jobs and further domestic wage deterioriation. In 2004, House Democrats nonetheless rewarded Emanuel by giving him a coveted slot on the Ways and Means Committee - the panel that oversees trade policy.

NAM HEAD ECHOES CLAIM THAT SECRET LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE WILL MAKE LABOR STANDARDS UNENFORCEABLE: The Hill Newspaper reports that former Michigan Republican Gov. John Engler, now head of the National Association of Manufactuers, "said the secret deal would not bind the U.S. to more detailed ILO convention" standards. This claim about the central tenet of the much-touted deal echoes a similar claim by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Tom Donohue.

AP - DEAL DESIGNED TO "PAVE WAY FOR FAST TRACK": The Associated Press reports that proponents of the deal believe it "could pave the way for an extension or renewal of Bush's "fast-track" authority, which allows him to present completed trade deals to Congress for an expedited vote." Earlier reports have indicated that this is one of the major motivations for the dealmakers. As just one example, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) said after the deal that he now supports fast track reauthorization. Rangel's congressional counterpart, Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), has not said where he stands on fast track. Most recently, Baucus refused to answer a direct question about his position at the recent International Economic Summit in Butte (audio of the interchange can be heard here). The question followed a Montana State Senate resolution demanding Baucus use his chairmanship to stop fast track reauthorization.

OPPOSITION TO THE SECRET DEAL MOUNTS

LA TIMES - FAIR TRADERS WILL BE HEARD ON TUESDAY: The Los Angeles Times reports that with a potential revolt on their hands, Democratic leaders added trade "to the caucus agenda [for Tuesday] through a petition letter filed Thursday by six House members concerned about the new policy, including Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Lakewood), a former labor lawyer."

FRESHMAN DEM - MAJORITY OF DEMS OPPOSE THEIR OWN LEADERSHIP: Confirming a New York Times report last week, The Times reports that "Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), a labor lawyer who campaigned on a 'fair trade' platform and became one of the freshman class leaders, said a majority of the caucus, including many freshmen, opposes the new policy and is demanding more details." These rank-and-file lawmakers "complained that Pelosi compromised too much but also that her announcement of the deal Thursday took them by surprise, included few details and angered key constituents."

PELOSI TOUTS DEAL'S DETAILS, YET REFUSES TO RELEASE DEAL'S DETAILS: In the Times story, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's spokesman said of fair trade critics: "Once they see the details [of the deal], I think people will be supportive." However, Pelosi's office has not yet released the legislative language of the trade pacts at the core of the secret deal.

FAIR TRADE PRESSURE PUTS BREAKS ON COLOMBIA AND SOUTH KOREA PACTS: In light of growing opposition to the secret deal and thanks to intensifying pressure by populist lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the Hill Newspaper reports that "more economically significant deals with Colombia and South Korea, while covered by the deal, still face an uncertain future." United States Trade Representative (USTR) officials and business lobbyists acknowledged there is no guarantee those accords will come up for votes anytime soon.

KRUGMAN - FAIR TRADERS CRITICISM GROUNDED IN FACT: Writing in the New York Times, longtime free trade economist Paul Krugman acknowledges that "fears that low-wage competition is driving down U.S. wages have a real basis in both theory and fact." He acknowledges that in the 1990s he and other economists "concluded that the depressing effects of imports on the wages of less-educated Americans were modest" but "that may have changed." Though he does not take a position on the deal, his piece was an important benchmark for such a widely respected economist.

Originally posted to davidsirota on Mon May 14, 2007 at 07:38 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (154+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbou, Rebecca, claude, selise, Alumbrados, fladem, sj, Donna Z, SteveLCo, Athena, Paleo, Night Owl, Sean Robertson, PhilK, Inky, eugene, Iddybud, Adam B, Thom K in LA, Windowdog, areucrazy, Jeff Simpson, marcvstraianvs, philgoblue, IndySteve, Lahdee, Dave B, markd, be inspired, ManfromMiddletown, HarveyMilk, RFK Lives, lzachary, Zach in Phoenix, Matilda, bumblebums, expatjourno, HighSticking, joel3000, bronte17, JSCram3254, The 1n Only Leoni, OCD, sayitaintso, roses, psnyder, Charlie Armstrong, superscalar, MTgirl, GW Chimpzilla, cometman, synth, Ready2fight, PaulVA, NYFM, AbsurdEyes, Liberaljentaps, Green Tea, Dave925, JayBat, YetiMonk, Redbug, andyj2287, adigal, Marc in KS, greeseyparrot, rapala, Karma for All, chumley, Leslie H, maybeeso in michigan, jrooth, Alexander G Rubio, Jeffersonian Democrat, PBen, Paul Goodman, zbctj52, kaye, Hugo Estrada, volballplr, teresab, ratzo, buckeyedem08, QuickSilver, BobOak, Eric K, rolandzebub, Bob B, FightTheFuture, wiscmass, sodalis, flyoverstatesman, jct, viscerality, Shirl In Idaho, esquimaux, Neutrino, redcardphreek, Mensor, Junior Bug, goodasgold, UEtech, real world chick, Pager, happy camper, NearlyNormal, BalkanID, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Preston S, el cid, Dinclusin, MBNYC, TayTay, Josh or Con or Both, Turbonerd, shaharazade, pkbarbiedoll, bstotts, Granny Doc, OHdog, lams712, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, BaldEagle3, Polacolor, Quequeg, Mr Met, lemming22, FishOutofWater, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, biggus, Unbozo, Strabo, todd in salt lake, jedennis, epppie, pioneer111, word player, madgranny, Captain Nimrod, sable, Bikemom, willb48, Neon Mama, TomP, alba, MKinTN, Spoonfulofsugar, Fiona West, theunreasonableHUman, 123Mary123, MrJayTee, brione
    •  David, thanks for highlighting this.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy

      but would you also atone for your support of the failed Dem strategy on Iraq and your misguided loyalty to your old boss, Rep. Obey.

      If you and we are not going to be a counterweight to complete capitulation on trade AND on Iraq, then Rahm and the Clinton rightists will dominate. Sadly, you contributed to this in your support of this failed strategy.

    •  lou dobbs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, pkbarbiedoll

      david, i hope you're on.  you always do a great job of punching holes in the RWCM frames.

      and i'm sure dobbs or his stand-in will find a way to tie it back to immigration, which is kind of OT, but would be a good opportunity to score some points while you're there.

      something like, "democrats, even fair-trade democrats don't all agree on immigration any more than republicans. but what fair-traders want is for american workers to get a fair deal, and foreign workers to get a fair deal too, and the same kind of labor standards, whether they're here or in their home country.  that eliminates the incentive our employers have to hire them, here or abroad, and give american workers pink slips.  in turn that eliminates the demand that keeps immigrants coming across our borders literally by the truckload..." is the kind of talk that gets the respect of most working folks i know.  

      l'audace! l'audace! toujours l'audace!

      by zeke L on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well I'll be. (57+ / 0-)

    Rahm Emanuel, eh? Why am I not surprised? Over in VirginiaDem's diary I speculated Hoyer was the problem here but I am unsurprised to see it is actually Emanuel.

    That man will destroy this party and its Congressional majority before he is through, and all in the name of consolidating his personal power and position. He is an enemy of all of us, and we need to be backing the Democratic majority that opposes Emanuel's tactics on this important legislation.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon May 14, 2007 at 07:35:56 AM PDT

  •  Paul Wellstone (58+ / 0-)

    How I wish he was still alive! Wellstone passionately called for fair trade, three weeks before his death in 2002 he demanded a trade system that "doesn't just work for the multinationals, but also works for the environment, for safe food, for living wages; a trade policy that promotes democracy and the right to organize and bargain collectively."

    "We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of men and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us." Thomas Merton

    by AbsurdEyes on Mon May 14, 2007 at 07:37:05 AM PDT

  •  too bad you've burned bridges with the ... (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    IndySteve, Elise, epppie
    Hidden by:
    TocqueDeville

    Too bad you've burned bridges with the professional protest industry, or maybe the anti-war networks (CODEPINK, WAMM, et al) could raise this issue in their e-mail alerts, etc.

    ohh, well.

    Personally, I tink you are perfectly happy to point out top-tier collusion between some Democrats and Bush here, when nothing can realistically be done about it, when the same sort of thing was happening on H.R. 1591, and it would have been possible to sink that legislation, but you and Chris Bowers and Move-On did everything you could do to create noise and collusion and split the progressive movement on the war issue.

    It's all an act. You are just another paid actor.

  •  Dems flirting with American labor disaster? (36+ / 0-)

    Mr. Krugman's thoughts:

    So what’s the answer? I don’t think there is one, as long as the discussion is restricted to trade policy: all-out protectionism isn’t acceptable, and labor standards in trade agreements will help only a little.

    By all means, let’s have strong labor standards in our pending trade agreements, and let’s approach proposals for new agreements with an appropriate degree of skepticism. But if Democrats really want to help American workers, they’ll have to do it with a pro-labor policy that relies on better tools than trade policy. Universal health care, paid for by taxing the economy’s winners, would be a good place to start.

    and the thoughts about "footloose" corporations from Ralph Gomory, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and a former top executive at IBM. Mr. Gomory wants to use the corporate income tax to reward companies that invest in "high-value-added" jobs here and penalize those that move such facilities overseas.

    Instead of benefiting both of the countries involved — as mainstream trade theory argues — locating new factories on foreign shores adds to the economy of the other country at the expense of the United States...

    ..Living standards here will inevitably decline unless something is done to encourage U.S. corporations to invest at home instead of abroad..

    ....Where companies go is affected by self-interest. We need to make it in the self-interest of companies to invest in America....

    LINK

    Tell me, somebody, how making a renewal of Bush's "fast-track" authority an easy or sure thing will facilitate a move toward pragmatic or common sense solutions to the problems that intelligent and experienced professionals like Mr. Krugman and Mr, Gomory clearly see.

    Why the cheap sell-out? I mean, Dems don't even have to go overboard-left to set a new course toward fairness. They could easily appeal to the center, making a case with blue-chippers like Gomory on their rational side. They have such power now...they can do what so many of us can see is the right thing to do for all Americans.

    Wtf are they thinking?!

  •  Pelosi needs to wake up in a hurry... (41+ / 0-)

    She's already got a caucus that's fractured over Iraq.  Why the hell is she creating a totally unnecessary fissure over trade?  Hell, trade is an issue on which she could unite the BD's and antiwar Dems.

    Why give this WH a legislative success?  Why make a deal in which the devil is in the details w/ people who always, as a matter of routine, screw you on the details in the end?  Why make a deal on their priority (trade) while minimum wage languishes?

    I don't understand any of this.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Mon May 14, 2007 at 07:51:08 AM PDT

  •  We Need To Tell The DLC Dems (24+ / 0-)

    to take a hike.  Their "GOP-lite" strategy was not the strategy that led the Dems to take control in 2006.  The DLC message handed control of Congress  to the GOP for twelve years when they lost control in 1994.  

    The message of "fair trade" was one that resonated with voters.  Rahm Emmanuel and the rest of his "free trade is good" crowd need to quit playing footsie with the NAM, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bushco.  ILO labor standards adherence is a must for any trade deal and that is one area that the Dems cannot compromise on.  

  •  There is NO CLEAR.... (36+ / 0-)

    ...evidence that "free trade" is really beneficial at all. For many who espouse free trade/globalization the THEORY IS THE EVIDENCE.
    I know all too well the supposed "benefits of trade" found in the economics textbooks (comparative advantage, Pareto optimality) ever since I was in high school up until I was an economics graduate student. In nearly all of the arguments I had over free trade the "evidence" provided by the professors as to what the benefits really were was the theory itself. I totally understand the difficulty with trying to determine what jobs were the gains made from free trade, etc., I worked with other economics graduate students trying to quantify it. But when the best "evidence" is the theory, with all of its built-in assumptions (many which might not reflect real world conditions), then one must question the theory itself.

    It boggles my mind how there are many normally progressive, intelligent people (like Robert Reich, and until recently, Paul Krugman) who still adhere to the tenets of free trade like a religious fundamentalist. I understand that there can be a basis for mutually benficial trade, that type of trading has gone on since ancient times. But until free trade can be counted on as being something more than just an excuse for corporations to find cheaper labor, lax environmental and safety standards, and cheaper natural resources (all usually under an autoritarian regime in the developing country), then count me as a staunch anti-free trader/anti-globalist.

    This SECRET agreement is the most galling of all. Even if one buys into the specious agrument about real, tangible "benefits of free trade", why the whole fast-track authority and the lack of details? What do they have to hide??? The fact that there are Democratic fingerprints on this breaks my heart. The corporatists will get what they want, debate be damned.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:06:50 AM PDT

    •  6% of GDP (8+ / 0-)

      But, I should note, we do not have the theory of free trade implemented in these agreements.  One of the basic assumptions is the goods of production are not mobile and there are many others...plus the theory does not state a "win-win" unless a series of variables are held static (constant), which is not at all what we have here.

      Strategic trade, Peter DeFazio has a bill to create a Congressional Trade Office, modeled on the Congressional Budget Office, to obtain some accurate statistics and projections for Congress to craft additional treaties.  

      I don't know why his bill is not going cheered right and left for accuracy, analysis on a topic so complex as trade is positively missing.

      http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

      by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:09:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Free Trade" is a PR slogan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, lams712

      Adam Smith and David Ricardo are the poster children for a campaign of deception. The truth is the principles of free trade, if they were still applicable, which they're not, bears little or no resemblence to the corporate globalization models being perpetuated in its name.

      The transnational corporations who these trade deals are being written for have higher revenue streams than most countries. This is something else entirely.

      •  That is the most important point in my opinion... (0+ / 0-)

        The truth is the principles of free trade, if they were still applicable, which they're not, bears little or no resemblence to the corporate globalization models being perpetuated in its name.

        There are circumstances where trade can be beneficial to all involved. In ancient times the Romans would trade their olive oil for incense from Persia, for example. Trade today however is a corporate-driven exercise to find sources of cheaper labor, etc. and there is scant evidence that this type of trading is truly beneficial. Or rather it might benefit a small minority in a given country at the expense of everybody else. How can we then say that is somehow beneficial for all???

        When a corporation goes into a less developed country the intent is not to uplift that country, but to tap into the cheaper labor, etc. I think we should all be skeptical about any corporate-driven trade agreements.

        "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

        by lams712 on Tue May 15, 2007 at 07:39:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One of these days (19+ / 0-)

    the Dems will realize that more people work for a living in this country than live off investments in offshored production or manufactured imports. Seems glaringly obvious to me.

    "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

    by MBNYC on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:16:11 AM PDT

  •  thanks for shining the spotlight on this (9+ / 0-)

    we can't let this go away.

    there are only two sides -- with the troops or with the President

    by danthrax on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:17:39 AM PDT

  •  There's a companion piece to your diary (6+ / 0-)

    that I am adding a link to from the front page.

    I hope you don't mind. It goes along nicely with your diary.

    "...the Edwards folks do not endorse Brittany's crotch."

    by Pager on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:23:45 AM PDT

  •  Free trade increases rich/poor gap (27+ / 0-)

    Free trade has been used to break unions, export environmental destruction and make wage slaves out of workers, worldwide. Did the Mexican poor benefit from NAFTA? No. Nor did the American worker.

    Only the wealthiest have substantially benefited from trade pacts. The global surplus of labor has been used to drive down wages for all workers and the owners have pocketed the gains.

    Rahm is enjoying his ill gained wealth.

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:24:08 AM PDT

  •  Usually (13+ / 0-)

    Most arguments with free traders end with their "free trade is inevitable" or "leading economists believe. . ." crap.  They never have anything substantive to back up their assertions so they always seem to throw up their hands and turn to their ordinary co  

    Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

    by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:24:31 AM PDT

    •  How about this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YellowDogBlue, Utahrd

      Free trade lowers the inflation rate, which increases the standard of living (and disposable income) for the vast majority of Americans.  Free trade also provides access to a variety of goods that we would otherwise have be unable to make ourselves.  Finally, free trade has led to a booming US export market that exported over $1.3 trillion in goods/services last year.  

      •  How about this? (27+ / 0-)

        Free Trade has allowed corporations to move manufacturing facilities overseas with no penalty.  

        Workers have been dislocated, propritory techniques have been taken out of the control of the American economy, and the same goods are now produced using labor that meets no humane standards for work hours, safety conditions, or benefits.

        America is losing her manufacturing base in the pursuit of cheaper production costs.

        Poor quality goods are flooding the market, and obtaining high quality goods is becoming increasingly difficult as the LCD of quality control is employed to boost profit.

        Consumers are encouraged to acquire more, and more "cheap shit" to keep this whole lopsided system afloat.

        •  Free Trade (14+ / 0-)

          Is also causing us to increasingly rely on nation's like China to help finance our debt as we buy more and more useless junk.

          At least our exports did grow in one area though.

          Empty shipping containers.

          Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

          by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:08:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  free trade isn't free (14+ / 0-)

            I cringe every time I see the term free trade.

            The term itself is a marketing gimic to hide the reality of what should more accurately be called multi-national corporate trade.


            They call it free trade, because free trade is easier to sell than multi-national corporate trade.


            ````
            peace

          •  Speaking of useless junk.... (5+ / 0-)

            I got a new lawn mower over the weekend.  Not the most expensive model but not the cheapest either, and I thought it should do just fine on my small lawn.  That is until I started it up.  It would not go more than 10 feet before the wheels fell to their lowest setting and skinned the hell out of my yard.  The problem was in the metal latches which are supposed to keep the wheels locked in place.  If they had been 1/4 longer, it would have held the wheels in place just fine.  But in the rush to make my new mower overseas, as cheaply as humanly possible, someone decided that it would save $$$ to use less metal on these latches.  

            Now I have a bungee cord affixed to my new mower to keep the wheels in place.  It works fine, but it would have been better if someone had not decided to sacrifice quality for the sake of a few pennies worth of steel to keep the price point reasonable for the big box company that ordered it, all in the name of globalization.

            Tell me again how unfettered free trade is really for my own good...

            The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

            by cometman on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:24:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, why didn't you return the defective (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cometman, Granny Doc

              product and go buy a quality mower? When people accept the useless junk, and make the same lowest price decision the next time, they validate the corporate decision to import cheap useless junk.

              "People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."
              - J. Danforth Quayle

              by davewill on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:32:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It was a birthday present from my folks... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis, Granny Doc, davewill

                who brought it from 2 states away. If I had purchased it myself locally, it would be back at the store.  But in this instance, I felt it was more cost effective to fix it myself than have my parents spend time and money returning it two states away and getting a replacement.

                The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

                by cometman on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:37:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  lots of this stuff (7+ / 0-)

              How many $34 dollar DVD players have died within a few weeks...my favorite is the meat thermometer where one isn't supposed to put it in anything above 275 degrees...now how oxymoron is that one?  I had to go to 4 stores before finding a meat thermometer that actually was designed to go into the oven inside the roast.

              Let us discuss batteries that catch on fire, or baby bibs made with led and the obvious is our food supply...what else has been going on that we are completely unaware of with these sorts of stories appearing?

              http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

              by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:11:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  But you just stated (8+ / 0-)

        Free trade lowers the inflation rate, which increases the standard of living (and disposable income) for the vast majority of Americans.

        The other day that it was this same increase in the standard of living and added disposable income which was responsible for the trade deficit.

        You seem to want to have it both ways, you want people to live under a policy of 'free trade', then you want to blame those same people for the fallout that it causes.

        <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

        by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:57:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about this? (17+ / 0-)

        Free trade gives us poisoned food from China, while US farmers are paid not to grow wheat. Free trade gives us more crap than we know what to do with while degrading the environment, exploiting workers, and perpetuating the unfortunate perspective that all human activity should be measured in $$.

      •  Does it? (17+ / 0-)

        which increases the standard of living (and disposable income) for the vast majority of Americans.

        Does it really?  You have to earn the same or greater than you were earning before to increase your disp[osable income.  I seem to see a lot of factory workers working at MacDonald's no or at a gas station now thanks to these investment deals labeled "free trade."  By 2015, Forrester Research predicts U.S. employers will move 3.4 million white-collar jobs and $136 billion in wages overseas by 2015.  Those are just white collar.  So much for growing our own industries.

        Free trade also provides access to a variety of goods that we would otherwise have be unable to make ourselves.

        Like what?  Sneakers?  Oh wait, they're $150 - geez, who knew how much cheaper they would get once we stopped paying a guy in Lowell, MA $12 an hour and starting getting them from China at 25 cents a worker.  

        Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

        by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:06:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More manufacturing workers lose their (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YellowDogBlue

          jobs due to technology than free trade.  Hell, even the plants that are "shipped" overseas tend to employ fewer workers than the plant that closed here, so let's ban technology in manufacturing too.  Also, think of all the inflation we have had over the past 5 years, guess what, its all from local markets (or a cartel in the case of oil), not from goods we import, now think how high that inflation rate would be if we got rid of free trade.  

          As for the variety of goods thanks to free trade, have you ever bought fresh bell peppers in December, or roses for Valentine's Day, or aquarium fish, etc.

          •  that is just plain false and absurd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jennybravo

            That is simply not based in any fact, statistic or study anywhere.

            Technology is NOT the reason workers are being displaced, even increased levels in productivity are being attributed to offshore outsourcing by more than a few economists...
            hell, corporations know this, why do you think they spend millions and millions in lobbying?

            http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

            by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:13:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I work with manufacturers (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YellowDogBlue

              and I see it everyday.  Computers, robots, and logistics improvements have replaced more workers than outsourcing ever will.  Just in the area where I work, we have a plant that at its peak employed 3000 workers and now employs 300 with nearly 4 times the output.  Also, check out the new engine plants being built here, they operate on about 400 workers (that total, all 3 shifts combined) and produce more engines than the labor intensive plants of the past.  The fact is we manufacture more in this country than we ever have before with fewer and fewer workers every year, which proves that technology is replacing workers.

              •  statistics say otherwise (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PaulVA

                some individual "hey I know, trust me I work in 1 plant" is bogus and most assuredly does not negate the aggregate statistics, productivity calculations and the number of lost jobs, directly attributable to bad trade deals, in the least.

                http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

                by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:44:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  statistics do not say otherwise (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  YellowDogBlue

                  some anti-trade/globalization groups put out bad stats to prove their point does not mean those stats are accepted by the mainstream economics community.  And then you still cannot explain how we are manufacturing more goods than ever before with a much, much smaller manufacturing workforce (read technology).

                  •  uh (0+ / 0-)

                    I think world leading economists, including Paul Samuelson say otherwise.  "WE" are not manufacturing more goods than ever before due to offshore outsourcing of entire businesses.

                    Ya know, your spam arguments are so weak and just "I said so" it's not worth bothering to respond frankly.

                    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

                    by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:58:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And the GDP statistics (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      YellowDogBlue

                      show that we are manufacturing more than ever before (in real and nominal terms).  And I will take the numbers over the opinions of Mr. Samuelson.

                      •  pull some stats (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PaulVA

                        I'm sick of your spams claiming things that are not true..and Samuelson, probably the most famous and credible of economists, works with mathematics and statistics, that's not opinion.

                        http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

                        by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:19:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Stuff GDP stats (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        el cid

                        GDP grows with the population. Just as American productivity stats are skewed because of the Wal-Marting of retail. Every time you open a McDonald's or a Subway it has an effect on GDP. Manufacturing as a percentage of GDP is collapsing, that's not Paul Samuelson, who used to be free trades pimp-in-chief, that's the Treasury Department. And you've been beating this robotics argument over and over again, but you cannot explain why Germany and Japan, who are not only the world leaders in the use of robotics, they are the chief manufacturers of industrial robotics, have seen much smaller declines in their manufacturing forces. I've asked you this question before. It negates your theory completely. If robotics and industrial efficiency is killing the American workforce, why isn't it killing Japan's?

                        •  The same basic question (0+ / 0-)

                          If robotics and industrial efficiency is killing the American workforce, why isn't it killing Japan's?

                          Could be asked about Japan's tariff assesments and import duties.

                          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                          by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:01:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Jagdish Bhagwati (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            superscalar

                            one of Samuelson's proteges, and probably the world's most eminent free trader (since Krugman, Samuelson, Blinder and others jumped ship) once argued in an op-ed in the New York Times that Japan's markets were completely open to American products, while at the same time, half way around the world, the president of Mitsubishi, Minoru Makihara, was boasting at a dinner at the Tokyo foreign correspondt's club that Japan's domestic markets were: "still closed and tightly protected." Japanese business leaders are like Israeli politicians, they speak embarrassing truths when they don't think anyone is listening.

                            What's most embarrassing is that respected economists like Bhagwati are either so ignorant of the realities, or so dishonest as to blindly cheerlead in the face of overwhelming evidence that their theories are rubbish. But economics has a long history of pseudo-scientific pretense. Remember the saw about the natural rate of unemployment, this pillar of economic thought as recently as six-years ago? No one believes it anymore, or full employment without inflation? Check please. "Serious economists" couldn't get these relatively simple concepts correct.  

                          •  Jagdish Bhagwati (0+ / 0-)

                            McKinsey Global Institute's 'go to guy' when they need a mouthpiece.

                            <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                            by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 04:17:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  After looking up the exact number (0+ / 0-)

                          according to the CIA fact book, Japan has 57% of the world's industrial robots. So I guess we'd expect to see big declines in Japan's manufacturing workforce as Japan either replaced its workers with robots, or sent work to cheap labor havens, especially considering the overvalued yen and the cost of the average Japanese worker, who makes a third more than the average American worker. But it ain't happening. Japanese companies are outsourcing, but they're putting their workers back on the assembly lines producing more capital intensive goods, gone are the jobs putting together tube televisions, replaced by even higher paying LCD, or laser diode, or avionics, or superconductor producion, or lens cutting, or putting together the wing components of the new Boeing, or the new high speed rail system being exported to China by Japan and Germany, or the next generation Toyota Prius that is rumored to get nearly 100 mpg, etc, etc.  

              •  New technology (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                grrr, BobOak

                Also pens up new industries where workers go to produce the new equipment - creating a sort of "circle of life" effect.

                Outsourcing does not do that.  It just kills jobs dead.  

                And it is not just a problem with manufacturing, either.  

                Remember the IT industry where everyone could retrain and go to since there were so many jobs there?

                150,000 Layoffs at IBM

                Report on Tech Worker Offshoring

                Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

                by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:55:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  numbers, please (0+ / 0-)

                from a source considered reputable by those who haven't drunk the neoliberal kool-aid.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:55:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  a rational American (0+ / 0-)

                would prefer 300 good jobs with decent pay and benefits whose employees pay taxes in America to 3000 sweatshop jobs in the Third World.

                Especially if the sweatshop jobs are so bad (physically dangerous, mind-numbing to the psychological damage point) that NOBODY should be doing.

                You're using automation as a red herring, your apparent alternative is to make the cost of labor so cheap in the US that we'll be getting 3000 sweatshop jobs in the USA, and I'm not buying your line of shit.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:01:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I never thought of that (0+ / 0-)

              Technology is NOT the reason workers are being displaced, even increased levels in productivity are being attributed to offshore outsourcing by more than a few economists...
              hell, corporations know this, why do you think they spend millions and millions in lobbying?

              If they can use all this new "technology" to do all the jobs so cheap and don't need to worry about the wages of the workers, why do they still send the jobs overseas?

              And I wonder why it is so horrible to expect that corporations to be a little more loyal to this whole country and its people than they are to a group of  comparatively few stockholders...

              In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. M.L.King Jr.

              by jennybravo on Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:52:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  estimates on cost-savings through offshoring (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jennybravo

                I've seen from offshoring consultants are in the 10-15% range IF EVERYTHING GOES RIGHT.

                Labor rates aren't everything, if one wants to do business as a First World corporation, you have to have a First World infrastructure. A major reason why the Third World is cheaper is that they have a Third World infrastructure and labor rates reflect this. So an offshorer either has to buy, build, or work around the local infrastructure. And whichever solutions one picks will cost lots of money.

                I suspect that the reason for offshoring has more to do with Enron-style accounting, a place in the budget where one can claim cost reductions which can be used to artificially inflate profits which a CEO uses to trigger bonuses and options every 90 days. . . knowing that by the time reality catches up with the company, he'll have moved on and cashed out.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:27:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank You very much (0+ / 0-)

                  for the response...I really appreciate people explaining/pointing out,  things like this. I fully realize there is a lot I don't know and so new ideas and information to look into is valuable to me. Things just keep looking worse and worse the more I find out.....

                  Now can someone explain what the Doha agreements could mean to labor? *wink

                  In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. M.L.King Jr.

                  by jennybravo on Mon May 14, 2007 at 03:44:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I was just reading (0+ / 0-)

            how a Mitsubishi plant built here used so many robots that the plant ran horribly. A company came in took most of them down and production increased. Yes many things today can be done using new technologies, but the computer still has to be programed. It's just being programed for 10$ an hour vs 20 or 2$ once we get China on board.

      •  Pat Buchanan, Kossack favorite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg

        I never have figured out why so many Kossacks are in favor of Pat Buchanan's economic policies.

        Phyllis Schlafy is anti-trade, too.

        So how come France, Germany and Britain's economies didn't collapse when they instituted free trade with the poorer Spain, Portugal and Greece?  Even poorer eastern European countries are now part of the European Community.  Shouldn't France, Britain and Germany now have a Haitian level standard of living?

        •  It is not anti-trade or pro-trade (14+ / 0-)

          The "free trade" at all cost advocates would love it if it were that way.  It is fair trade versus free trade where trade deals actually are trade deals and not investment deals like NAFTA that only exist to service the movement of capital.

          Your other analogy is silly, at best.  Since Pat Buchanan was against the Iraq War at the start, I guess we must have all been for it to be correct - according to your b.s.

          Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

          by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:12:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly - this debate isn't over the existance of (11+ / 0-)

            trade, but how trade is actualized.   Free trade / globalism is a major contributor to global warming, and encourages labor abuses.

            Think about this - we used to make the majority of what we import from China right here in the states.  We now burn untold thousands of barrels of oil a year to ship the same products from the other side of the world - JUST so corporations and shareholders see slightly higher profit margins.  That is insane.  

            On top of that, the products are made with a high cost to the environment and labor.  Globalization is wrong, and this secretive trade pact will most likely also prove to be wrong.  If they have nothing to hide, show us the damn bill.  Until then it is suspect along with those who arranged the deal.

          •  Fair Trade = Protectionism (0+ / 0-)

            That's the essential breakdown of the argument.  Its one thing to want to standardize environmental conditions (which I think should be in trade agreements), but its another to demand that every country pay US wages and that is what "fair trade" really revolves around and is just protectionism with a prettier name.

            •  Only somebody who (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilK, grrr, BobOak

              believes that labor (i.e. - humans) is a commodity would hold to that.  You would have been a joy to have been around during the pre-civil war era.

              Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

              by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:41:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Corporate Protectionism (7+ / 0-)

              That is the corporate propaganda and current trade policy is protectionism.

              It is Corporate protectionism and special interests protectionism and does not even follow the theory of Ricardo generally.

              http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

              by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:01:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  protectionism (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              el cid

              Fair Trade = Protectionism (0 / 0)
              That's the essential breakdown of the argument.  Its one thing to want to standardize environmental conditions (which I think should be in trade agreements), but its another to demand that every country pay US wages and that is what "fair trade" really revolves around and is just protectionism with a prettier name.

              What is wrong with a little protectionism of the workers here? Seriously...every other country seems to be doing it, why can't we? Would somebody tell me why being a little protective of our own people is such a bad thing. And before you answer, please keep in mind I did not say total protectionism. But something reasonable...

              In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. M.L.King Jr.

              by jennybravo on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:00:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  name a "21st Century economic success story" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              el cid

              that isn't using some heavy-duty form of economic protectionism.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:08:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There hasn't been one (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alizard

                This is the academic specialty of Ha-Joon Chang, an economist at Cambridge, who wrote the definitive treatment on the subject called "Kicking Away the Ladder". In short, open markets do not lead to national wealth, tightly regulated markets do. Every European nation over the last 400-years: Britain, Holland, Germany, Scandanavia, France achieved their economic positions via closed markets. The U.S. did the same. The East Asian Tigers are still among the most regulated, and closed economies on earth. In China, there are onerous tariffs, complete government control of the banking sector, strict laws on foreign participation in equity markets, non-convertability of the currency. In Japan the Central Bank engages in the most blatant anti-free trade policies with nearly constant interventions in the currency market. South Korea and Taiwan have ridiculous tariff levels. Malaysia has some of the strictest currency controls in the world--which is how they averted the financial crisis that rocked the Asia in 1997--free traders said such interventions would be disasterous.

                If you wish for a summary of the catastrophic failure of the "Washington consensus" one need look no further than economies that have accepted, or rejected the neoliberalism dispensed by the IMF, which includes neoclassical trade theory, among other cancerous economic platitudes. As soon as Argentina rejected IMF dictates, the economy boomed.

                •  I consider neoliberalism (0+ / 0-)

                  the logical successor to Communism.

                  It, like Communism, is a faith-based economic cult in which:

                  • professing total belief is required regardless of objective real-world results
                  • whose benefits only accrue to people already at the top of the tree
                  • which is unfortunately, as dominant inside the Beltway as Communism was within the Kremlin during the rise and fall of the Soviet Union,

                  So people repeat buzzphrases in DC like "free trade" and appeal to Friedman's writings instead of those of Marx and Lenin,

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 06:31:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  utard, astroturf favorite (0+ / 0-)

          If you were capable of making an honest argument, I might take the time and effort to refute it.

          Your conflation of serious arguments against unrestricted corporate "free trade" with opposition to any form of foriegn trade tells me that whichever PR firm has you on payroll should offshore your job to some blogger in Bangalore with a better grasp of economics and politics.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:07:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A job (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jennybravo, jkb246, PaulVA

        or at least a better paying one

        Free trade lowers the inflation rate, which increases the standard of living (and disposable income) for the vast majority of Americans.

        would help better the average worker's standard of living far more than buying cheap goods from China.

        •  Obviously, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YellowDogBlue

          free trade gives everyone (all 300 million) access to the cheaper goods, thus lowering the inflation rate and providing them with more disposable income, whereas without free trade a couple hundred thousand at best get higher wage jobs, while the other 299,800,000 suffer by paying much higher prices and thus have a reduced disposable income and possibly standard of living.

          •  are you a bad lobbyist? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaulVA, alizard

            I'm sorry but this is an old talking point of corporate propaganda that has been discredited repeatedly.   There is no data that suggests lower prices equals out the loss in jobs, overall salary levels.

            Is this why CPI is increasing?  

            http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

            by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:39:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The inflation argument has not been (1+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              YellowDogBlue
              Hidden by:
              BobOak

              discredited and is quite widely accepted by most mainstream economists.  CPI is increasing due to uncompetitive markets (housing, medicine, oil, food, and college) not from the common household goods, clothing, and electronics we import, which are actually keeping the overall rate down due to their deflationary aspect.

              •  Some good old ratings abuse I see (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YellowDogBlue

                no response to a factual argument, just a zero.  Maturity at its height.

                •  you didn't think you'd be outed as a troll (0+ / 0-)

                  sooner or later?

                  You didn't think people would notice your endless recitation of neoliberal talking points which have been by and large, discredited?

                  Is your contempt for the intelligence of the people you are reciting outworn talking points to aimed at Democratic activists in particular or for anyone who isn't part of the Bush 1/1000 demographic that benefits from Bush tax policy and from unrestricted corporate trade?

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:12:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  how about this (0+ / 0-)

        we can buy cheap plastic shit to put in our rental homes we live, but we can't buy a house of our own. It took us a long time and move to a place over an hour and and half away to buy a house (30 years old and fairly small, mind you) to be able to afford a home.)

        In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. M.L.King Jr.

        by jennybravo on Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:38:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What can't we make ourselves?? (0+ / 0-)

        TV's, Computers, phones, customer service people.

  •  Unions = Middle Income = Secure USA (13+ / 0-)

    "Free" trade ala Rubin ala Milton Friedman = the death of the labor movement and middle America

    •  Milton Friedman on H-1B (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jennybravo, PaulVA, alizard

      You'd be shocked to know that Friedman looked at H-1B Visas, guest worker Visas and offshore outsourcing as a subsidy and thus not free trade...

      they consider it an unfair comparative advantage to use methods to undermine domestic labor markets.

      I was very surprised to read that.

      http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

      by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:03:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh No!, I agree with Milton Friedman? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PaulVA, alizard, BobOak

        I was just reflecting on this topic the other day: how sustained manipulation of the labor market to ensure cheap labor has some of the same effects as a tariff.

        Cheap labor becomes a crutch that encourages inefficiancy and waste in domestic companies, while the hoarding of talent depresses economic growth in overseas countries. Such economic growth would have led to innovation, competition, and perhaps lower prices to the consumer.

        Our own labor policy is undermining our competitiveness.

        It really is a form of protectionism.

        •  freaks you out doesn't it? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaulVA, alizard

          Even more frightening is when Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader agree, which they often do on trade.  I finally dealt with this by saying, hell, when there is an elephant in the room the only ones wanting to claim it's not there are those who have a very vested interest in claiming it's not there, even though it's shitting all over us.  ;)

          http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

          by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:56:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ugh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YellowDogBlue, NYFM, Elise

    Here's a link to another point of view, from somebody who actually might know something, instead of speculating from Montana:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    In it is a link to mydd, and a diary that has a link to a pdf of the 14 page agreement.  

    Hopefully, Mr. Sirota and his followers, you'll read it before trashing it.  And by the way, some of us think that Dem Hill Staffer has it right- the Dems got what we wanted in this agreement.

    •  Sorry - that 14-page document is truly (9+ / 0-)

      unimpressive. The labor standards are pathetic and full of weasel words and loopholes. Shame on Rangel for this sell out . .

      •  what would you like to see (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YellowDogBlue, Elise

        as an alternative?  Seriously.  No trade?  Trade only with countries whose labor standards meet our own, pathetically low ones?  Trade only with countries who don't allow "Freedom to Work" laws to be passed?  Trade only with those countries who have mandatory, not voluntary, environmental standards?

        This bill is a step forward from what the US has today.  It is not a fix all.  But it's a start.

        •  I would like to see (18+ / 0-)

          A Democratic Congress that upholds its obligation to labor.  A DC that remembers where it came from.  A DC that is not a shill for corporate interests rather than the forceful and stringent application of laws that protect workers, the environment, and the American standard of living.

          I want a DC that remembers why they were sent to Washington and doesn't give an inch to the Bush Administration and their corporate thugs.

          I'm damned tired of hearing, "Well, this is where we are.  We have to move on from here."  We are where we are because 30 years of give-aways have pushed us down this road.  Let's go back to the fork and take the path less traveled.

          •  But what does that mean? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YellowDogBlue, Granny Doc

            I agree with everything you said, in substance (hence the rec) but in terms of a trade policy, what would be different in this much reviled deal?  I think your rhetoric is spot on, but I fail to see how this deal is not consistent with what you're talking about.

            It can't turn around "30 years of give-aways."  But isn't it a step towards the DC you envision?  If not, what would you want to see, in terms of legislation, that would get us there?

            Seriously.

            •  Apologies for taking so long to get (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chicago Lulu, PaulVA

              back to you.

              I would like to see a Congress that follows the law by reviewing and voting on all treaties, including trade agreements.  No fast track.  I would like to see open debate with everyone on record so we can follow the positions of our Reps and hold them accountable.  

              Why are they willing to give away any authority to BushCo when the results have been so disasterous?

              This treaty is just another K Street boon doggle, and they have put a little lip gloss on the pig to distract us.

              "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. John Stuart Mill

              by Granny Doc on Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:17:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  fast track (0+ / 0-)

                In the Dem Hill Staffer diary I linked to in the post above, the diarist claims that the deal specifically denies fast track status to trade agreements.  Now, Sirota says the exact opposite here.  I'm inclined to believe the person actually involved in discussions, but maybe I'm being unreasonable.

                •  This is incorrect (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Granny Doc

                  the diarist claims that the deal specifically denies fast track status to trade agreements

                  This is what it says.

                  They have also said, very clearly, that this agreement does not mean that fast-track will be renewed.

                  There is a big stretch between saying some future deal won't happen and saying that future deal not contingent on this current deal.

                  But even this is not true as Rep. Rangel has already said that fast-track for DOHA is on the table.

                  I'm inclined to believe the person actually involved in discussions

                  Who would that be?

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 06:50:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Why trade policies??? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jennybravo

              Nobody seems to be asking that magical question.  What is so important to us that we can't make/grow here?? Bananas.  

              I don't want to become a closed economy, but it makes no sense to be trading with most of these countries. Have to remember that trade means "Send goods to US"  These countries don't have money to buy anything from us.  The TV's, Books,clothes, food, food,can all be made here PERIOD. Our trading partners should be Western Europe, Parts of Asia that don't ship us poisoned products and that would buy things we sell and that's really it. No jobs in India, No lead covered bibs from China. I see teens outside that would love a good paying customer service job.

              The first candidate I see that wants to drastically change our trade policy will get my vote.

        •  I would like to see goods coming from countries (7+ / 0-)

          that pay $3 a day to their workers taxed to the hilt when we import them - we need to bring them in line price-wise with American-made goods. Then that t-shirt at Wal-Mart would cost as much as the quality one made here.

          Free trade is good for corporations. The corporate chiefs make hundreds of millions of dollars, the stockholders get wealthier, and Charlie down the road loses his job making a product. The corporations can pay slave wages, and still charge us to the hilt for goods. Or give us "bargains" in a Wal-Mart. And that some Dems sold out of this does not surprise me - there are corporate Dems, and there are populist Dems. I am with the populist Dems in trying to preserve the middle class in this nation.

          My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

          by adigal on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:28:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kossacks love regressive taxes? (0+ / 0-)

            Rich people can already afford to pay higher prices for US-made goods.

            You're proposing regressive taxes on cheap imported goods that poor people buy.

            Let's just send tax collectors down to homeless shelters.  It would be easier to operate.

            •  When outsourcing companies can no longer sell (8+ / 0-)

              their goods, they will need to bring the manufacturing back here. And to ask corporations that outsource jobs to pay a tax to bring it back in is not a regressive tax. You are mischaracterizing it, so as to defend "fair trade." Maybe we can use that tax money to help those who lost their jobs with training or job creation.

              My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

              by adigal on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:40:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You know where it's going to end up. (0+ / 0-)

                The tax revenue is going to end up building Bridges To Nowhere or on other projects proposed by lobbyists that take congressmen golfing at nice courses.

                We can't keep pregnant women and toddlers from sneaking over the border.

                How are we going to prevent people from shopping in Vancouver and Tijuana and bringing stuff back?  How are we going to prevent smuggling?  Maybe we'll build a big wall........

                •  The Ultimate in Doublespeak (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  alizard, adigal, NoMoreLies, BobOak

                  The tax revenue is going to end up building Bridges To Nowhere or on other projects proposed by lobbyists that take congressmen golfing at nice courses.

                  Advocating for a cause lobbyist love while at the same time stating the "inevitable" about lobbyist influence.

                  Bravo.

                  Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

                  by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Once we have jobs or training for new jobs (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PaulVA, alizard

                  we can worry about those smugglers from Vancouver. And Mexico.

                  My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

                  by adigal on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:28:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  so there are no legitimate purposes for (0+ / 0-)

                  raising tax revenues, all tax money raised automatically goes to boondoggles?

                  The tax revenue is going to end up building Bridges To Nowhere or on other projects proposed by lobbyists that take congressmen golfing at nice courses.

                  You're here to push GOP talking points in the hopes of distracting people from figuring out how to take action against the new FTA, not to engage in serious dialogue.

                  Remember, your PR firm can replace you with a Bangalore blogger who's better informed than you are. In your case, I fully support this.

                  It would improve the quality of this discussion to have better-informed FTA advocates.

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:37:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Actually we have way too many special (5+ / 0-)

          trading arrangements already that flood our market with cheap trash made by underpaid workers that contributes to global warming and other environmental problems. Enough already!! Learn from the past!! No more trade deals. NAFTA was a disaster for both Americans and Mexicans.

    •  If (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karma for All, BobOak

      What some of the Dems wanted was to create new trade agreements with no regard to or discussion about existing trade agreements - I will agree with you that some of the Dems got what they wanted.

      Now all that's left is to wait and see if these new 'free trade' agreements are created and, come 2008, whether that is in fact what the American people wanted all along.

      <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:02:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The essence of this debate: Impassioned rhetoric (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jxg, Chicago Lulu

      vs. reality.

      Impassioned rhetoric has taken an early lead, but typically fades in the backstretch.

      •  Exactly what is the reality? (0+ / 0-)

        I would contend that the reality is that we are going to get a few more trade deals, or at the least the attempt will be made to give us a few more trade deals.

        Am I wrong?

        <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

        by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:58:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. Trade deals. (0+ / 0-)

          A key function of government.

          Heck, COMECON was a trade deal.

          What's wrong with trade?

          •  Did I say anything was wrong with trade? (0+ / 0-)

            This is what I said.

            I would contend that the reality is that we are going to get a few more trade deals, or at the least the attempt will be made to give us a few more trade deals.

            Am I wrong?

            It's a simple question which requires merely a simple answer.

            <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

            by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:37:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  what's wrong with trade arrangements that (0+ / 0-)

            favor major campaign contributors against the middle class?

            Nobody objects to trade, and your conflating fair trade with no trade says a lot more about you than about the issues under discussion..

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:39:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  we're been reading it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaulVA

      and so has Sirota and the real problem is that 14 page document is not the actual legislation, the actual wording of the trade agreement itself, which can change things even more dramatically.

      I don't think Sirota is being pollyanna here.

      http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

      by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:11:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lots of rumors that Rahm would be rewarded (0+ / 0-)

    Heard hints that Rahm would receive a BIG reward for the congressional win in 2006. Very surprised when he was NOT in some major leadership roll BUT maybe this might be THE reward.....

  •  We need Democrats (15+ / 0-)

    who fight for workers and unions.

    "We've got to save America from this President." John Edwards 4/3/07

    by TomP on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:06:55 AM PDT

    •  Labor unions are globalizing / working w/NGOs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaulVA, Karma for All, TomP

      With the future of labor unions globalizing and working in step with NGOs in developing nations, government is totally abdicating its own responsibility if they continue to ignore the need for regulation of corporate activities on moral and ethical levels.

      I found this online document from a Virginia Tech MBA [pdf] that explains what he observes happening in Labor today, beginning with this quote:

      "If we're going to be able to effectively challenge companies like Shell or Exxon or DuPont and other corporations which operate without regard to national boundaries, we have to redefine solidarity in global terms."

      Richard Trumka
      International President
      United Mine Workers of America (Herod, 1995)

      I emphasized certain statements from the document:

      Labor's Globalizing Evolution

      The development of improved working conditions and retention of wealth in developing nations may be the most important result of labor’s strategies.  Labor networks that draw upon world unions and non-governmental organizations have the ability to directly affect markets.  By influencing markets, the labor organization has leverage to back demands for business to improve wages and working conditions.  The power of the network is protected by legislation that prohibits unfair labor practices and fosters political activism.

      The near term objective of a labor network is the retention of jobs in the U.S.  A secondary objective is the promotion of equality in working conditions worldwide, however, by promoting increased wages and benefits in lesser developed nations, the domestic labor organizations are helping equalize costs between domestic and foreign markets.  In the long term, the combined efforts of labor and non-governmental organizations promoting civil rights, worker safety or environmental protection will push the cost of production and transportation in the developing nations closer to that of the United States.  As production costs rise in the developing nations, it is hoped that more wealth can be retained in the host country, contributing to a better standard of living and hopefully the development of a middle class.

      Changing trends in legislation, from the 1935 NLRA to the series of workers rights laws passed in the early 1970s have impacted the manner in which unions and management interact.  Public administration has a continuing role to play in the evolution of a global labor network as they support current and new legislation, developing agency regulations that protect workers and, at the same time, grappling with the globalization of the world’s economy.  Relaxation of trade barriers and the concurrent regulation of corporate activities on moral and ethical levels will be an important role for Government as it promotes both economic growth and national security.

      Historically, labor played a major role in American politics. Recent campaigns have seen labor’s role diminished as the number of unionists has decreased and Labor’s political network has splintered.  To continue to be a major political force, it is essential that labor seek out organizations with similar goals as allies to promote ethical business practices and fair wages.  Ethical practices include attention to civil and worker rights, developing environmentally friendly business processes and working in a moral fashion abroad.

      NGOs benefit labor as the network has an increased ability over the lone union to influence economic markets and subsequently business decisions.  Business, left to its own initiatives, is motivated by profit – labor and NGOs contribute the moral and ethical fiber that make American business strong.  The new connections between environmental, civil rights and labor organizations have proven successful influencing multi-national business to increase wages and improve working conditions. The future may see greater cooperation between international labor organizations and labor with NGOs to create a global network designed to promote equitable labor practices across borders.

       

      •  The Steelworkers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Iddybud, BobOak, TomP

        Are in merger talks with some of their European counterparts right now as a matter of fact - a big step towards one big union.

        Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

        by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:49:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  US Social Forum (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Iddybud, PaulVA, TomP

        The first US Social Forum in Atlanta this June will be very important to aiding this process forward, as a wide range of progressive and radical organizations and individuals will gather under a single umbrella for the first time.  I would think the more progressive unions will be participating, that's certainly been the case with Social Forums in other parts of the world.  

        Radicalism reborn, 21st century style @ The Agitator

        by ActivistGuy on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:58:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now more than ever, moral/ethical DC leadership (0+ / 0-)

          I know that "ethical" and "DC" have become strange words to expect to string together credibly in one sentence, but...

          If America is going to regain the status of trusted nation in this world with a collective national  mind for human rights and the support of the kind of democracy around the world whose nations' respective populations stop voting for these hard-liners that are ensuring future wars between all of us, then now more than ever, Congress and the American President are needed for moral and ethical leadership on this issue. It's tied in to national security as well as it's tied into the economic, environmental and labor-fairness issues.

  •  I Fear the US Workers Lose Again (9+ / 0-)

    This is the same old same old.  The democrats won the Congress because they said that they would make sure that American workers would be treated fairly, and the democrats won Congress because they said they would do everything they could to end the Iraq war.  Well, we see the democrats have caved on both issues.  We are getting ready to pass a new free trade agreement and Congress has just voted again to fund the Iraq war.  Democrats who voted in 2006 will not soon forget this disloyalty.  We will remember.

    •  You know they just don't get it (6+ / 0-)

      One of the effects of locking the people out of the decision-making process, having everything wired by insiders and then spun through the media machine, is that the final product is untouched by working class hands.  They simply have no clue what we're seeing, thinking, feeling, and, increasingly, saying.  Because of the relative imbalance of power and wealth between the corporados and the rwest of us, they can get away with that for a while, even a long while.  But not forever.  The blowback is this:  The longer we go unrepresented and unheard, the further out of the discussion we are pushed, the more sudden and radical our reentry into the poolitical picture will be.

      Radicalism reborn, 21st century style @ The Agitator

      by ActivistGuy on Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:54:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wage tariff (4+ / 0-)

    I hate to say it but without any real way to enforce labor standards how about either a direct or indirect waqe leveler so agreements simply cannot be glorified cheap labor/offshore outsourcing agendas?

    I don't understand well enough yet but so far it seems that nothing is enforcible.

    I certainly think any "government to government" complaint process will have the same luck we're having with the rest of the economic fairness issues for working America.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:01:35 AM PDT

  •  WhyCan't US Trade Be As Advanced As S. America's? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaulVA, FightTheFuture, lams712

    In South America, nations are constantly negotiating and re-negotiating trade agreements based on mutually beneficial issues that do not anti-democratically end their abilities to regulate labor or human rights or product safety or environmental standards.

    Do these pro-investor / pro-oligopoly maniacs really expect us to believe that we're unable to have trade negotiations as advanced as those that take place in Latin America?

  •  Oy. Here we go again. First it was bashing (1+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Kingsmeg
    Hidden by:
    alizard, pkbarbiedoll

    immigrants. Now it's bashing trade.

    There's something really ugly about this Lou Dobbs style of populism.

    •  If only (4+ / 0-)

      The current economic deals really had something to do with trade.

      Foir somebody who seems pretty concerned about immigrant bashing, you do have a way of supporting a method of exploiting them by supporting piece of shit policies like this, no?

      Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

      by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please (4+ / 0-)

      You want to create the rules of the game all by yourself, and then you get pissed off when nobody wants to play.

      You want to define an 'immigrant' as anyone who runs across the I15 freeway in Southern California, yet you don't engage in any pre-requsite policies to fix that which is making them run across that freeway in the first place - a large portion which is the results of your beloved 'free trade' thus far.

      Yet you seem to see some great victory in an agreement about new trade agreements.

      Then you want to define 'populism' as any train of thought which says there is something inherently wrong with this logic.

      I know you are just itching to call someone a 'racist' or a 'protectionist', or a 'xenophobe' here. Go ahead - get it off your chest - but at that point you have gotten that off of your chest, at least have the fucking common decency to attempt addressing yourself to the points being made here.

      <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 10:58:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And what are those points being made here? (0+ / 0-)

        The 14-page summary of what was agreed to is out there.  Essentially, it promises improved labor and environmental protections in current and future trade deals generally in exchange for moving forward with a couple of relatively minor trade deals now.

        Trade is essential to our foreign policy as well as our own economic well-being.

        So what's the beef? All I hear in the diary and comments is, in essence:

        • We don't trust the Democrats who made the deal.
        • We don't think it will actually be implemented as written.
        • We think trade deals are, in general, bad for American workers, or perhaps for all workers.

        The last point is worthy of debate, although I don't think there's much support for it. The rest of what I see hear is, frankly, a bunch of speculation and breathless rhetoric.

        And yes, I do think it has an essentially reactionary political philosophy and motivation behind it.

        •  I keep making the same point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaulVA, pissedpatriot

          But maybe my point is invalid or is not shared by anyone but me.

          My point is simple - no new trade deals until we fix the trade deals we have.

          But there again, I have this notion that a lot of the American public shares this same point.

          Maybe I'm just all wet.

          in current and future trade deals

          Let us remain honest. This agreement says nothing about current trade deals and everything about new trade deals.

          Trade is essential to our foreign policy as well as our own economic well-being

          How's that been working out for us? Bonddad put up a diary just this morning which would suggest that our 'economic well-being' ain't.

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:20:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No offense, but it's a lousy strategy. (0+ / 0-)

            The point of a trade deal, like any agreement, is to fix the terms of a relationship for a specified period of time.

            If you focus on fixing the previous trade deals, you're stuck asking to renegotiate terms that were previously agreed to.

            That's a very weak negotiating position.

            Better to negotiate better terms in the new trade deals, where you have some leverage.

            Then, when the old ones come up for reauthorization, you have a basis for bringing them up to the same standard.

            •  So (0+ / 0-)

              You simply keep making new trade deals. I see. I also see immediately how this is, in contrast to my idea, a great strategy.

              <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:33:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  When you're a block of 300 million consumers (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pissedpatriot

                Earning a heck of a lot by world standards, vis a vis a nation with a population that is fraction of that - you have leverage in new trade deals and in renegotiating trade deals.

                The NAFTA terms are not the holy bible for crying out loud.

                Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

                by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:39:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  explain the urgency about (0+ / 0-)

              FTAs that makes it necessary to act now instead of 2008 when Democratic control of the White House, House, and Senate can reasonably be expected.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:52:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  DOHA (0+ / 0-)

          The 14-page summary of what was agreed to is out there.  Essentially, it promises improved labor and environmental protections in current and future trade deals generally in exchange for moving forward with a couple of relatively minor trade deals now.

          I don't think so. I think it is about Doha. If you will try to follow my logic, I think you can see why I am suspicious of this. It looks to me that BUSH and has wanted fast track on DOHA and this is the deal that he made to get it. Now I don't know much about doha, but I find it hard to trust bush on any deal he makes. HE DOES NOT COMPROMISE! So if he is agreeing to this, there has be a big win in it for him.

          Below is what I came cross in looking this up when this thing was announced last thusday/friday and also included is the start of a diary I had thought about doing. But instead I just posted it in comments sections instead. I've added some to it for this comment

          It looks to me like this deal is about DOHA. I'm not really familiar with DOHA, but I (blindly) did do some research on it. One advantage to searching without knowing quite what you are looking for is that it helps keep your mind open to the results you find.   And when I started looking this up last week, things kept leading me to DOHA and fast track authority for Bush. For example, one of the first things I found when I put "rangell pelosi trade deal" in my google search engine I found this from back in feb or march:

          http://business.guardian.co.uk/...

          George Bush will tomorrow exploit the weekend's breakthrough in global trade talks when he announces that he wants an extra year to fast-track a deal covering agriculture, services and manufactured goods through Congress....

          US sources said the White House would be asking Congress to renew the trade promotion authority by 12 months when it expires at the end of June, but made it clear that the upbeat mood at the trade ministers' meeting on Saturday did not mean a deal was inevitable.

          I also found this from wikipedia about doha in 2006:

          Geneva, 2006
          The July 2006 talks in Geneva failed to reach an agreement about reducing farming subsidies and lowering import taxes, and continuation of the negotiations will take months to resume. A successful outcome of the Doha round has become increasingly unlikely, because the broad trade authority granted under the Trade Act of 2002 to U.S. president George W. Bush expires in 2007.[4] Any trade pact will then have to be approved by the U.S. Congress with the possibility of amendments, which creates an additional burden on the U.S. negotiators and decreases the willingness of other countries to participate.

          Hong Kong offered to mediate the collapsed trade liberalisation talks. Director-General of Trade and Industry, Raymond Young, says the territory, which hosted the last round of Doha negotiations, has a "moral high-ground" on free trade that allows it to play the role of "honest broker".

          It sounded to me like Bush wanted DOHA pretty badly.

          I also came across this:

          From CQ in April 2007:

          House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel says he is willing to temporarily extend President Bush’s fast-track trade negotiating authority to accommodate the Doha round of global trade talks.

          "We are prepared to give a restricted fast track, limited to the Doha convention," the New York Democrat said Tuesday in remarks at the National Press Club.

          Trade experts say that without fast-track authority, U.S. trade negotiators face a near-impossible task because other countries know that any deal would probably be butchered by amendments in Congress.

          Current fast-track rules — which require expedited up-or-down congressional votes on trade pacts, without amendment — lapse June 30.

          Rangel said Congress is unlikely to renew the law (PL 107-210) before it expires. Democrats want significant changes to the law and are now negotiating with the administration.

          The absence of fast-track rules could effectively derail the World Trade Organization talks known as the Doha Development Round because the United States would be unable to reliably promise any concessions.

          Rangel said any Doha-specific extension of fast-track rules must include key Democratic trade policy principles, the broad outlines of which he unveiled March 27. He has been negotiating details with U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and other top House and Senate lawmakers from both parties.

          Democrats say pending and future trade pacts, as well as any fast-track renewal, must reflect those priorities, including strengthened labor and environmental standards.

          Rangel was vague, however, on whether a Doha-only fast-track extension would have to include enforceable International Labor Organization (ILO) standards, an issue that has stalled broader negotiations between lawmakers and the administration. The Doha talks, focused on helping the world’s poor, do not include labor issues.

          Well when you have all this talk about doha and fast track by rangell and business interests in the past few months and then all of the sudden this secret trade deal gets passed, it makes me suspicious. And when comments by bush buddies like this are flying all over the place, I really get worried:

          Okay, this is pretty long, but I hope some of you will take to read the whole thing and let me know if I am way off base in my thinking.

          Ms. Schwab said the accord announced Thursday would help in her talks at the World Trade Organization aimed at reaching an agreement opening barriers for farm goods, industrial products and services. Those talks involve Brazil, India, the United States and the Europeans.

          The new policy, while not applicable to fast track or the Doha round of multinational trade talks, "lays the groundwork for a bipartisan position on trade," said Rep. Jim McCrery (news, bio, voting record) of Louisiana, top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee

          And people keep insisting that all this is a little bitty trade deal about Peru and Panama (or whoever).

          It sure doesn't look that way to me....

          In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. M.L.King Jr.

          by jennybravo on Mon May 14, 2007 at 03:16:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read the outline? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          superscalar

          The environmental protections are just plain silly. In trade deals with Colombia and Peru, we are insisting that those two countries abide by environmental protocals that ban trafficking in endangered species, whaling, prohibitions against cfcs, and the conservation of Antarctic resources (as if countries near the equator like Colombia and Peru are in any position to abuse Antarctic resources!) The only "environmental" protections applicable to any of the countries we're negotiating with are the conventions on tuna, wetlands, and marine pollution. CFCs are no longer manufactured, anywhere. Peru, Panama, Colombia, and South Korea do not engage in whaling, and are already signatories of international agreements banning the practice. So that's it folks, the whole show. Those are the extent of the environmental protections--nothing on air quality, water quality, global warming, species protection, forest degradation (although Peru must change some logging practices.)

          As far as labor is concerned, well, it's an even bigger joke really. This agreement obligates compliance with the ILO Declarations of 1998, not the actual ILO Conventions. Then again, it might mot obligate anyone to anything, since U.S. Trade Reps are telling reporters and apparently the National Retail Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that even the the fine print on the ILO Declarations will not obligate manufacturers to those minimal standards. Then of course, there is no guarantee any of this stuff makes it into any trade deal.

          Those praising this shit are really intellectually dishonest. There is nothing new here. These so-called environmental and labor protections were negotiated in 1993 in the lead-up to NAFTA, and conveniently left out, and they were left out by a Democratic Congress doing the bidding of a Democratic president who actually campaigned against the very thing he came to symbolize. If there is Dem bashing, it's well deserved. This whole ordeal demonstrates two things about the Democratic leadership--1) they are not fundamentally different  from the Republicans, they craft legislation in secret. 2) They are campaign liars who shut out the rank and file in their caucus, and betray their supporters at their earliest convenience. The Democrats have not changed.  

    •  Why are you so stupid and clueless? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joel3000, PaulVA

      Really?  Have you been asleep since the 90's?  Do you say what is being said here is inaccurate and untrue?  Please, counter with how this is wrong, else you are just whining because you do not like how the facts and truth are being presented.  Well, tough shit, go write your own diary, dip.

      The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

      by FightTheFuture on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:02:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  troll rated for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pkbarbiedoll

      not presenting any kind of argument, just conflating opposition to a corporate agenda with racism.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:49:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hmm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YellowDogBlue, NYFM

    Your link to The Hill piece shows that there is a lot of support and only some opposition to this bill. As a matter of fact the only real disagreement seems to be from big pharma.

    Let's pull a few key grafs.

    After years in the wilderness, House Democrats led by Rangel won key concessions from the administration on labor and other issues while agreeing only to move forward immediately with the Peru and Panama deals, business sources noted.

    NAM President John Engler said that the trade policy was not one that NAM would have designed, but that it reflects political reality. He also said compromises are necessary to restore the bipartisanship that has lately been missing from trade policy.

    Looks like a backlash.

    Six House Democrats had sought to get House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to put off the announcement of a deal until after the caucus reviewed it, but were rebuffed. In a May 10 letter to Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the members, including Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine), said they were trying to avoid a split in the caucus "given the devastating effects of splits in the past."

    Six house dems? The way Davey describes it I would have thought that only six supported it.

    While groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the deal, others held back to study the language on labor. For example, the American Farm Bureau Federation is reviewing the language to see if there are any implications for farm labor, including children who work on the farm.

    "We want to make sure that U.S. agriculture is not in jeopardy of being challenged," a source with the group said.

    Reserving judgment? What a novel idea. It's be nice if some of the people who claim to be on our side did that.

    The deal would weaken protections that have been included in recent trade deals for U.S. pharmaceuticals, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) also did not endorse the deal. In a statement, PhRMA President Billy Tauzin said his group was "extremely concerned" during the negotiations about whether core U.S. intellectual property rights would remain protected.

    That appears to be the biggest group that's concerned.

    UPDATE: I have been invited to appear on Lou Dobbs Tonight at 6:45pm EST to discuss the secret trade deal. As always, because of the potential for breaking news, you never know 100% if these things will happen - but I wanted to let folks know.

    Do us all a favor and try not to act as ifr you speak for the entire left side of blogastan.

    "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

    by Mike S on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:10:11 AM PDT

    •  How cay anyone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jennybravo, PaulVA

      Write an article praising an agreement they have not seen.  Journalistic stenography, just publishing press releases - just as they've been doing for the Bush Administration for 6 years now.

      Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

      by Dave B on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:29:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't seen you write a comment objecting to Davey writing an article condemning it.

        Not to mention the fact that the article doesn't really "praise" it so much as it tells what all of the sides are thinking about it.

        "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

        by Mike S on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:33:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He hasn't condemmed the agreement (0+ / 0-)

          He has condemmed the process.

          Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

          by Dave B on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:46:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have got to be (0+ / 0-)

            kidding. Davey has fully condemned the agreement AND the process.If Davey isn't condemning a Democrat then I don't think he feels his life is complete.

            "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

            by Mike S on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:52:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Who supports it? (0+ / 0-)

      The National Association of Manufacturers, US Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, Sander Levin and the Bush administration. There's your support. Of course, with the expectation of a Democratic president in 2008, those trade groups will take whatever they can get now. So where is all this Democratic support you imagine in that Hill article?
      Where are the endorsements by Democrat-affiliated interest groups? There are none.  

      The six Democrats you scoff at represent a much larger contingent within the caucus.

      According to the New York Times:

      Despite the endorsement of Rangel and Pelosi, many Democrats say that half or more of the Democrats in Congress may vote against the deal.

      From the LA Times:

      Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), a labor lawyer who campaigned on a "fair trade" platform and became one of the freshman class leaders, said a majority of the caucus, including many freshmen, opposes the new policy and is demanding more details.

      Teamsters. Opposed. United Steelworkers. Opposed. Change to Win unions (6 million members). Opposed. AFL-CIO. Qualified ambivalence. U.S. Business and Industry Council, trade group of medium sized domestic manufacturers. Opposed. When the only endorsements are from trade groups traditionally aligned against the Democrats, and Democratic constituents and Democratic apologists seek out those endorsements as a positive, something stinks in Denmark.  

      •  That list of potential support just got a little (0+ / 0-)

        smaller when the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Defenders of Wildlife and Friend of the Earth issued a joint statement not long ago dismissing the new "environmental protections" as inadequate, and assailing the old provisions, which were not addressed, that allow companies and nations to challenge environmental laws as anti-competitive practices before WTO tribunals.

        •  But wait. (0+ / 0-)

          Didn't you say that no one knows what's in it.

          Make up your mind, boy.

          "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

          by Mike S on Tue May 15, 2007 at 06:01:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We know what's in the outline (0+ / 0-)

            It's been public record since last Friday afternoon, take a look at it. The outline is the same thing Clinton negotiated in 1993. Don't expect the legal language in the actual document to be more comprehensive then the broad strokes in the outline, and the outline is an embarrassing exercise in Democratic duplicity with Bush's trade reps. The enviro accords are spelled out in all their inadequate glory. The labor protections are likewise. It's a dog and pony show, but it's refreshing to know some Dems didn't learn their lesson when they tried this act during NAFTA.

  •  What's wrong with Nancy Pelosi? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Donna Z, lams712

    I thought she was on OUR side.

    Is she a no-goodnik Stepford-Dem?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:16:43 AM PDT

    •  Have to get rid of million dollar congress (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Einsteinia

      I can understand the upscale Senate, but this government is going crazy. Bloomberg now wants to finance his own run for the White House.  What is the minimum requirement to run for government?

      1 million dollars in cash down payment, 10 cars, 2 helicopters, and 10 illegal workers. Don't forget 2 wifes and 10 girl or boyfriends.   We have to get the money out of this government. It's going to ruin this country.

  •  But the Democrats are Gods (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pissedpatriot, lams712

    and can do no wrong. So we must be satisfied with whatever they decide.

    Right?

    at least on Kos.

  •  if these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712

    if these parties were beer, their names would be "suck ass" and "suck ass lite"

    Tastes like ass, but less filling.

    Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

    by pissedpatriot on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:45:26 AM PDT

  •  H-1B offtopic (7+ / 0-)

    But, I'm aware that people who want strategic or some trade policy that is in the national interest and especially in the interests of most working Americans are also very concerned about massive insourcing.  Insourcing is defined as when a corporation/employer cannot offshore outsource the job, they bring in cheap labor for displacement of US workers instead.

    Right now, we have on the Calender for a vote on Wednesday S.2611, which is last years "Comprehensive" immigration bill.  For all of those unaware that bill contains massive (really masked unlimited) H-1B Visa increases with an automatic "escalator" the minute the cap is reached.  It also creates a F-4 Visa which turns our University system (and let us discuss the financial difficulties for Americans to attend college) into a glorified green card machine.

    Supposedly "negotiations" are going on with just a few and also supposedly H-1B Visa increases are a "done deal" even if they replace S.2611 with something else.

    This is very, very bad news for STEM professionals, nurses, accountants, economists ....

    and please call up your reps and demand this be stopped.  

    If anyone is aware of the WTO, GATS mode 4 these Visas are being put into trade agreements, to trade people as commodities, as "services to be traded".  H-1B Visa applications are 70% by Indian corporations where their only business model is labor arbitrage, to offshore outsource your job.  IBM has a LEAN agenda to replace American workers by offshore outsourcing their jobs....

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:45:47 AM PDT

  •  oh by the way (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Donna Z, jkb246, PaulVA, pkbarbiedoll, lams712

    oh by the way, while everyone is focussed on other things, our gov is now poised to allow mexicans illegal or otherwise to get cdl licensed.  Say good bye to the teamsters. Strikes mean shit when we can just fill the job with mexican truck drivers at half the price and no benefits.

    Ah the beauthy of fixing elections, you can fuck over anyone, anytime.

    The more I know about this country, the more I wish I didn't know about this country.  Oh to be a moronic flave waver, must be nice.

    Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

    by pissedpatriot on Mon May 14, 2007 at 11:50:25 AM PDT

    •  what's so sad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pkbarbiedoll

      is that a while back I told my oldest son to get a job in truck driving. He had worked in construction, but was not able to get a permanent job with on the job training like in the good old days. Now illegal immigrantion is putting an end to those jobs. So,  I told him he either has to get a job serving people, repairing stuff already shipped here from overseas, (assuming that anything still gets repaired besides cars...now it's mostly disposable junk.) or driving a truck. At the time, truck driving seemed pretty safe since you needed the proper licences, etc. But it looks like those jobs are being sold out too....

      In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. M.L.King Jr.

      by jennybravo on Mon May 14, 2007 at 03:30:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I still say we're jumping the gun on this thing (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, it hasn't even been written yet, and if the AFL-CIO president supports it, how bad for workers could it really be?

    Plus isn't Rangel a pretty strong liberal?  I doubt he'd sign on if it sucked as bad as you seem to think it does.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:35:42 PM PDT

    •  Who said he supports it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pkbarbiedoll

      we will vigorously oppose the Colombia and South Korea agreements and renewal of Fast Track.

      Sweeney also says the federation is still concerned that the agreement "fails to adequately address issues related to the outsourcing of U.S. jobs and the ability of foreign corporations to challenge U.S. laws, among others."

      AFL-CIO

      Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

      by PaulVA on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:46:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Relax People (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaulVA

    Tom Friedman thinks it's a great idea and he hasn't read it either, so I think we can all relax. <snark>

    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" - James Madison

    by Hotspur18 on Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:07:04 PM PDT

  •  Bye Bye Congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pkbarbiedoll

    Republican Ad sometime next summer
    "Democrats want to ship your jobs overseas" "Democrats want to let in terrorists". VOTE REPUBLICAN to protect America's Interests.....

    And the people will fall for it and we will be back to minority status just because a few Dems are as greedy as the Republicans we are trying to get rid of.

    •  I'm more worried about 2010 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pkbarbiedoll

      A Democratic White House, House, and Senate who hasn't either delivered meaningful economic relief by then or made obvious progress in that direction is going to be asked by the American people, "We gave you the power you asked for, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR US LATELY?

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:59:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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