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David Sirota has it here:

Obama to vote FOR NAFTA Extension

"Obama said he would vote for a Peruvian trade agreement next week, in response to a question from a man in Londonderry, NH who called NAFTA and CAFTA a disaster for American workers. He said he supported the trade agreement with Peru because it contained the labor and environmental standards sought by groups like the AFL-CIO, despite the voter's protests to the contrary. He also affirmed his support for free trade."

Since Sirota only usually mentions labor and enviro standards as reasons to oppose FTAs and ignores agriculture (and how ironic for Obama to say you support this trade agreement that will devastate the Peruvian rainforests on the same day you announce a good plan to address CO2 emissions....), i will focus on what i believe will be the most devastating impact of this agreement: on Peruvian farmers who will now starve.

the labor and enviro reasons are all sound too, but the most profound effects will be on small scale Peruvian farmers, who constitute much of the population.

Obama follows the "conventional" wisdom that I learned in my trade theory classes: either you trade or you are an "isolationist" country that ends up like North Korea. This is such a false and stupid paradigm, on par with Bush's telling other countries you are "either with us or against us."

There are 28,000 cotton farmers in Peru who will now be subject to dumping by our cheap cotton. Unlike US cotton farmers, Peru farmers don't get subsidies to make up for lost income when the price crashes for cotton. The same will be true of maize farmers, who will get dumped on by cheap US corn.

Oxfam has the story here:

Peru Cotton farmers livelihoods threatened

Folks who have read my previous diaries know that Oxfam and many U.S. family farmers agree there is a severe problem of dumping and overproduction leading to low prices. We disagree profoundly on the causes and solutions (i.e. subsidies are not the root cause and getting rid of them is not the solution), but we both agree this trade agreement is a BAD DEAL for Peruvian farmers and agree on the impacts.

Lily looks after the family money and has to budget carefully. She says: "How are we going to live now [under the FTA]? We are going to die of hunger. My kids would like to be professionals – my daughter a dentist, my son wants to join the army. But they can’t they have to stay at home and work in the cotton field."

How heartbreaking that a former community organizer such as Obama cannot hear the cries of the oppressed, and Peru's workers, farmers in their opposition to this agreement and what it will do to them.

Free trade agreements that reduce a developing countries tariffs only serve to weaken a country's food sovereignty. After NAFTA passed, Mexico became reliant on cheap US corn, which drove 2 million farmers off their land (and into the US). Instead of sustainable, small-scale farming that produces for local markets, what this FTA will do is shift the model towards the US's model of industrial agriculture, complete with factory livestock farms and huge plantations to grow food for export (asparagus, artichokes). this in turns harms US vegetable producers who cannot compete with the cheap imports.

Ervin Palma again: "[We are seeing] the reversal of the agrarian reform of the 1970s [when land was redistributed in favour of the poor]. Many agro-exporters are increasing the land under cultivation, buying up land from small producers, who have to sell their property to pay debts. People talk of the "agricultural export boom" here in Peru, but the truth is that the money generated by the sale of asparagus and other export products is not helping the communities or the workers on the big farms. The profit remains in the hand of a few."

Earl Blumeneauer, he of the supposed "local and healthy" food beliefs who fought for Farm Bill "reform" under this guise, supports this FTA as well. Yet this FTA not only undermines Peru's small scale farmers, it threatens our own local food efforts! Besides U.S. vegetable/fruit producers (many of whom have already  been driven out of business by cheap imports from Latin America and China) having to compete with plantations with horrid working conditions in Peru, our ranchers and cattlemen will also have to deal with corporate agribusiness packers now importing livestock from Peru, some of which have dubious health standards!! But Smithfield and Tyson will love sourcing cheap cattle and bringing them into the US's feedlots...

http://www.theprairiestar.com/...

Here is what Bob Billard of R-CALF, the progressive cattlemen's group (as opposed to the morons at National Cattlemen) had to say about the lowering of US food safety standards because of foreign imports:

"This is why the requirement that allows foreign packing plants to export beef into the United States so long as the country meets equivalent standards n is inadequate," he noted. "The United States only inspects about 11 percent of imported beef, pork, and poultry, and we certainly don’t have the resources to ensure that developing countries are not using veterinary drugs, pesticides, and feed supplements that are restricted here in the United States."

The United States has the highest production standards in the world and we should be using trade agreements to help elevate the production standards in developing countries, not lowering our standards simply to facilitate more imports into the United States, as the Peru agreement would do, said Bullard.

This is why i do not believe agriculture and food should be part of free trade agreements and why I think they are so devastating to the third world. most progressives focus on labor, enviro, intellectual property, investors rights, all of which are important, but the number one industry in many developing countries is agriculture and this is where the FTA hurts the most.

I do hope John Edwards does seize on this issue, as he has been by far the best in terms of laying out a family farmers agenda that truly takes on agribusiness. He doesn't yet link trade to agriculture issues, mainly cause I'm not sure he understands the link, but his message is right on target.

Obama is a good and smart man. I hope he stops listening to his "Hamilton Project" advisors soon though and starts to grasp the huge challenges farmers around the world are facing.

Originally posted to Farm Bill Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:42 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  BUT: Was the questioner 'offended'? (6+ / 0-)

    As far as I can tell, this is the criterion for judging a political position by a presidential candidate ...

    Oh. Did he ask Obama "Don't tase me, bro!"? That would make a big difference here ...

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:43:58 PM PDT

  •  Interesting post. Thank you for this. (5+ / 0-)
    •  Prayers for Michelle (12+ / 0-)

      i felt bad posting this after seeing the diary about Michelle Obama's accident. My thoughts and prayers for her and the injured driver. But this is such an important and urgent issue.

      btw, i won't throw brickbats at just Obama. the Ways and Means Cmtee and Senate Finance BOTH passed the Peru FTA w/o nary a dissent. As the farmers i work with gripe, "What's the point of electing Democrats when both parties are working to screw me over with these free trade agreements??"

      And a giant kudo to Rep. Tom Allen of Maine. He has already come out opposing the Peru FTA. We will see if Susan Collins follows the usual Bush line or stands up for the farmers and workers of Maine. This is a winning issue for his Senate race, which is why I find Obama and the Dems position baffling. 2/3rds of GOP voters ALSO oppose and are skeptical of free trade!! WAKE UP DEMS!!!

      •  Feel free to update your diary using my link. (4+ / 0-)
        •  FTA threatens small-holder Peruvian farmers (9+ / 0-)

          Many humanitarian organizations don't like the Peru FTA at all. For example, Church World Service says...

          While the impact on the U.S. will be miniscule, the effect on many Peruvians could be devastating.
          In particular, the FTA threatens small-holder Peruvian farmers by requiring Peru to lower tariffs on agricultural products, making the country vulnerable to cheap subsidized imports from the U.S, which would effectively wipe out local farmers-as happened to the 1.3 million who have been displaced in Mexico since NAFTA passed 12 years ago. This is of particular concern in a country working to curb coca production.
          In addition, the Peru FTA may also threaten the availability of affordable water supplies and affordable generic medicines.
          Compromise?
          An agreement reached by Democratic Party leaders and Bush Administration trade officials to include some provisions relating to labor rights, environmental protection and safeguards on generic medications is far from adequate. It is not at all clear that these provisions will be enforceable. In addition, they fail to address the issue of free trade's impact on livelihoods in Peru.
          The current U.S. trade agenda has resulted in job loss, rural dislocations and migration, decrease in job quality, increased violence, human rights abuses, and economic insecurity both domestically and abroad. In the U.S. the trade model encourages the relocation of well-paying jobs which have built the vast middle class in exchange for more insecure and lower-paying service jobs. In developing countries, rural dislocations resulting from U.S. agricultural "dumping" force people with no other options into urban and international migration, coca production and drug trafficking that brings increased violence.

          The recent agreement will not repair these fundamental flaws.

          Kill me before I have to think again!

          by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:04:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thank you! (9+ / 0-)

            you seem to be the only poster who actually understood my arguments and how trade impacts food security/farmers. the rest of the folks here just want to debate union wages and competing with China/India. totally irrelevant to the issues i am talking about here.

            Church World Service is an awesome group who totally understands how trade and agriculture work and what is wrong with the free trade model they never teach us about in economics classes.

            •  Their nonsequitur (4+ / 0-)

              shouldn't discourage you.

              My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

              by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:46:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Destroying small farms is NOT "progressive." (4+ / 0-)

                International aid organizationsare opposing FTA all across the board.

                International aid organization Oxfam criticized today's signing of the
                US-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Washington, an agreement it says
                would do more harm than good for millions of Peruvians who live in
                poverty. Provisions in this trade agreement threaten the livelihood of
                small farmers in Peru and will put access to important life-saving drugs
                at affordable prices out of reach for the majority of Peruvians.

                According to Oxfam, the agreement includes strict new intellectual
                property rules that exceed World Trade Organization (WTO) standards and
                could dangerously hinder Peru's access to important life-saving drugs.
                The agreement also fails to take into account that the US subsidizes
                farm production with billions of dollars in taxpayer support, meaning
                that Peru's small farmers will face massive dumping of subsidized farm
                products on their market. Although the agreement makes it easier for
                foreign investors to operate in Peru, it also leaves the government with
                a weakened ability to enact or enforce its own laws on public health,
                safety, and the environment.

                Kill me before I have to think again!

                by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:59:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  according to (4+ / 0-)

                  the campaign boosters the ascent of the man into the Presidency will transform America's relationship with a slum kid in Karachi.

                  The peasant family making their own food and minding their own business can suck it up for that cause. There are lots of shanty slums in Lima for them to live in and reflect on US Presidential politics.

                  My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

                  by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:04:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I get it. We have a family ranch. My husband (0+ / 0-)

              watched the movie "Life and Debt", he finally realized what we had done to people like him in other countries.
              I urge people to watch this movie by Stephanie Black.

              "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

              by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:02:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oxfam's objections were not addressed (5+ / 0-)

            From Oxfam, and still valid. Pesticide restrictions and labor laws don't address the impact on small farmers in Peru.

            On the other hand, the PTPA will fully eliminate tariff protection on basic crops, which the US International Trade Commission has estimated will lead to large increases in Peru’s imports of US basic grains, such as wheat, rice and corn. This means that Peruvian farmers who supply their domestic market will be undercut by heavily subsidized, cheaper US imports that are dumped in Peru below their real cost of production. As a result, there is a risk that many Peruvian farmers who are no longer able to earn a living by producing basic grains will turn to coca cultivation, thereby undermining years of US foreign policy and drug eradication efforts.

            It has been suggested that Peru’s farmers could be compensated for the loss of their livelihoods. However, Peruvian agricultural leaders have stated that farmers would need close to $1 billion to compensate for their annual losses from the PTPA, nearly 30 times what the Peruvian government has committed to make available. This is also a far less effective way to promote development than providing full and effective safeguards for crops that are vital to livelihoods and food security.

            Kill me before I have to think again!

            by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:08:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The agricultural component of FTA is like NAFTA (5+ / 0-)

              Public Citizenalso opposes FTA since the agricultural component is the same as NAFTA.

              The agricultural provisions in both the Peru and Panama "free trade agreements" (FTA) are nearly
              identical to those in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreements remove
              tariffs on U.S. imports and forbid various price ceilings on staple foods and price floors for farmers,
              but do not discipline U.S. subsidies – meaning they would cause enormous distortions and disruption
              to the farm and food systems in Peru and Panama, where millions live as subsistence farmers. Under
              NAFTA, the same package of policies led to 1.3 million Mexican peasant farmers losing their
              livelihoods as subsidized U.S. food imports flooded the market.1 While the price paid to Mexican corn
              farmers fell by about half following NAFTA, the deregulated retail price of tortillas shot up hundreds
              of percentage points over the pact’s first five years.2 Mexico negotiated 10- or 15- year tariff phaseouts
              for staple foods (similar to Peru, which negotiated 10- to 17- year tariff phase-outs, and Panama,
              which negotiated 9- to 19-year phase-outs), but after NAFTA passed, U.S. agribusiness giants began
              pressuring for and obtained accelerated Mexican tariff cuts over three years.

              Kill me before I have to think again!

              by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:13:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agribusiness loves the FTA (5+ / 0-)

                Check out this list of supporters of the FTA. It's like the Hall of Fame of big-time Agribusiness. Small farm associations are not represented.

                Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner met with several the Coalition for U.S.-Peru Trade Thursday to discuss the pending free trade agreements with Peru, Columbia, and Panama. The groups represented were the American Farm Bureau Federation, Corn Refiners Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, and National Pork Producers Council.

                Kill me before I have to think again!

                by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:17:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  American Friends Service Committee opposes FTA (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  docangel, LaEscapee

                  The American Friends Service Committee opposes FTA for very good reasons.

                  While the Peru FTA includes some significant improvements regarding labor and environmental protections and access to medicines, it still contains many of the NAFTA/CAFTA problems.  These fixes do not address the structural and systemic flaws the current framework generates, including growing inequities, the destruction of livelihoods, increasing deterioration in the health and well-being of people living in poverty and environmental devastation both in the U.S. and abroad. The US-Peru FTA will not bring stability or development to the region!

                  Kill me before I have to think again!

                  by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:21:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  4,000,000 Peruvian farmers strike against FTA (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    docangel, Junior Bug, Farm Bill Girl

                    Farmers in Peru hate the FTA, but what do they know?

                    Agriculture accounts for a full one-third of employment in Peru. The Peru Free Trade Agreement would require Peru to reduce tariffs and other protections for its domestic agricultural sector. Because food staples exported from the United States receive heavy government subsidies, they are actually sold on the global market for less than the cost of production. OxFam America has warned that the Peru Free Trade Agreement will "institute an uneven playing field" and "continue to entrench an unfair system in which the U.S. provides massive domestic agricultural supports that allow products to be exported below their cost of production, while our trading partners are left with no means of protection." Four million peasant farmers went on strike in Peru this July to protest the pending Free Trade Agreement.

                    Kill me before I have to think again!

                    by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:26:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  yup (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  docangel, Ken in MN, Jacob Freeze

                  the same commodity groups that are in bed with their corporate cronies like SMithfield, ADM, Tyson, all to screw their members and family farmers of America who they claim to "represent."

                  most family farmers DO NOT export and don't give a shit to export. the ones who want to export are big commerical farms (like in CA) and factory farm CAFOs. as Neil Young said at Farm Aid, "why don't we just try to feed ourselves and let farmers in other countries feed their people?"

                •  Archer Daniels Midland is big on these (0+ / 0-)

                  And the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in in cahoots with the packers who control 80% of meat packing.  I belong to R-Calf which is anti trade agreements and broke away from the National Cattleman because they became an arm of the packers and retailers.

                  The Farm Bureau is also a joke.  The Farmer's Union is the real grass roots small farmer group.  The other is just an insurance company and Republican front.

                  "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

                  by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:06:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  This is all supported by an approach to ... (4+ / 0-)
            ... modeling the economy that dominates the economic profession, marginalism. While it is a useful approach within its scope of competence, it does not work well when comparing things of different priorities, and it does not work well when we cannot assume a range of alternative occupations that people can pursue to put food on the table and a roof over their head.

            And that is one of the areas where these Free Corporate Wealth Areas fall down ... because there are large numbers of people in the agrarian economies of low and middle income nations who have few alternatives ... and since FCWA'sSee Note don't really generate massive new employment in manufacturing at living wages, they can't all move to the cities and find a good living there.

            The other main flaw of marginalism is to assume equal power ... but FCWA's from NAFTA to the US-Jordan FTA, to the Peru FTA, build in unequal power. Governments can bring cases that terms of the treaty are not being respected. And corporations can bring cases to try to weaken labor or environmental laws of a country. But trade unions and environmental groups cannot bring cases to try to get labor or environmental "language" enforced ... so the playing field is permanently tilted in favor of trade tribunals stacked with "trade experts" striking down labor or environmental laws, and tilted against trade tribunals allowing effective enforcement even of the language of the corporate wealth agreement.

            (Note: Since a majority of the text of these treaties are about private wealth transfers across borders, and only a minority about trade, it is Orwellian to call them "Free Trade Agreements". They are Free Corporate Wealth Agreements, with trade concessions thrown in as a sweetener to seal the deal. Of course, poor farmers don't have a lot of political clout in Peru, so there is no need to protect their interests in drawing up the FCWA.)

            SupportTheTroopsEndTheWar.com and Energize America

            by BruceMcF on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:32:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for that deeper analysis of "Fair Trade" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ken in MN

              "It is Orwellian to call them "Free Trade Agreements". They are Free Corporate Wealth Agreements."

              Excellent point, IMHO.

              Kill me before I have to think again!

              by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:39:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nice Bruce. I appreciate the detail and the (0+ / 0-)

              framing of "Free Corporate Wealth Agreements".  It's like Thom Hartman says. "There are no borders for corporations just for individuals."  

              "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

              by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:10:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Feel free to address the concerns (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pioneer111

          on Peruvian farming mentioned by the diarist. Makes me wonder what effect this will have on small farmers in the US as well, who are disappearing rapidly.

          Lets keep Virginia Blue in 2008 - www.VirginiaForEdwards.org - get involved!

          by okamichan13 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:15:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  bad effects (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ken in MN, Jacob Freeze

            on 1. small scale vegetable/fruit farmers in the US. we SAY we want "local healthy food", but these guys can't compete with Peruvian plantations that pay workers 30 cents a day.and the WalMarts of the world will import from them instead of the local farmer 10 miles away since it's still cheaper.

            1. independent ranchers who now must deal with cheap South American cattle flooding US markets, to be bought by Smithfield and Tyson.
      •  Thank you for highlighting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        docangel

        This very serious situation, don't pay attention to the cheerleaders, don't let em get you down. Nice work by the way.

  •  I hope Edwards seizes on this non-issue. (11+ / 0-)

    The Peru FAIR TRADE bill in not part of NAFTA.  Obama is against NAFTA.  He voted against CAFTA.  The AFL-CIO has no problems with the Peru bill.

    Charlie Rangel is the author of the bill and did a great job making it fair to labor and the environment.

    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/...

    Now if you want to follow Sirota's idea of Patrick Buchanan isolationism, go for it.

    •  Come on now, no need to pick a fight with Edwards (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Junior Bug, icebergslim

      or his supporters on this.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:01:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Edwards voted for China MFN. Obama no on CAFTA, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, dotster, vernonbc, Yoshi En Son

      as you've said.

      Obama's vote against CAFTA:

      Senate Roll call

      Question:  On Passage of the Bill (S. 1307 )
      Vote Number: 170 Vote Date: June 30, 2005, 09:34 PM
      Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
      Measure Number: S. 1307
      Measure Title: A bill to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement.
      Vote Counts: YEAs 54
      NAYs 45
      Not Voting 1

      Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Nay Obama (D-IL), Nay

      Edwards voted for China MFN, despite the fact that NC has a lot of unions employed in the textile industry (and hence even the Republican Jesse Helms voted against it):

      Senate Rollcall

      Question:  On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 4444 )
      Vote Number: 251 Vote Date: September 19, 2000, 02:21 PM
      Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
      Measure Number: H.R. 4444
      Measure Title: To authorize extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the People's Republic of China, and to establish a framework for relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
      Vote Counts: YEAs 83
      NAYs 15
      Not Voting 2

      North Carolina: Edwards (D-NC), Yea Helms (R-NC), Nay

      This vote alone shows that Edwards' talk on trade is to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

      ~~~~~~

      Furthermore, Edwards said:

      Published: February 24, 2004

      ''I believe that Nafta should exist,'' Mr. Edwards told editors and reporters of The New York Times at a meeting yesterday in New York, as he sought endorsements heading into next Tuesday's primary. ''I think Nafta is important -- it is an important part of our global economy, an important part of our trade relations.''

      He also voted for Vietnam NTR.

      ~~~~~~

      If Edwards wants to make an issue, he should explain in clear, non-demagoguery terms, as to why this deal is worse than the deals he supported for trading with China and Vietnam.

      ~~~~~~

      As others have noted, this deal seems to be a significant improvement to FTAs, but I am yet to explore the details.

      •  Do you have a substantive comment on the diary? (5+ / 0-)

        or does all that ammount to this:

        but I am yet to explore the details.

        out of respect to the diarist, don't try to turn this into a candidate war diary. He brings up very important issues - and moves beyond Sirota's peice to examine some potential problems in depth.

        Lets keep Virginia Blue in 2008 - www.VirginiaForEdwards.org - get involved!

        by okamichan13 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:10:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, TomP's diary (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MontanaMaven, dotster, Yoshi En Son

          at myDD is devoid of any serious substance.

          The diarist here suggested that Edwards should make an issue out of this, and I am propositioning that he do so in proper rigorous terms in light of his past record and rhetoric.

          I posted Rep. McDermott's support for this bill. I do trust his judgement, before I study the bill (and the subject of trade) at length myself (I am rigorous when I study something, and am honest to tell you when I haven't done so yet).

          ~~~

          My initial comment from perusing her diary is that I do tend to agree with her on:

          This is why i do not believe agriculture and food should be part of free trade agreements and why I think they are so devastating to the third world. most progressives focus on labor, enviro, intellectual property, investors rights, all of which are important, but the number one industry in many developing countries is agriculture and this is where the FTA hurts the most.

          that the impact of trade on native farming communities should be kept in mind and local farming should be sufficiently protected.

          I need to to see the bills (and other info) myself and think about the matter before I can make better-educated remarks.

          •  I would like to see your research on this (6+ / 0-)

            I frankly don't care what Edwards position is on this.  I haven't heard as yet.  But I am concerned of the effect on local farmers and sustainability in underdeveloped countries.  These trade deals often promote large agribusiness to the detriment of the little farmers.  

            It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

            by pioneer111 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:34:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Will try my best to write (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MontanaMaven, pioneer111, icebergslim

              on the subject of trade at length before the end of this month.

              "These trade deals often promote large agribusiness to the detriment of the little farmers."

              I tend to agree. The reason could possibly be this: farming lobby (esp. large-scale industrial-level farming) in the US is rather strong, but I suspect that in poorer countries, farmers don't have much of a political clout currently. Since the system when left unchecked tends to disadvantage those w/o representation, it is likely, i'd say, that farming industry in other countries suffers from trade agreements where the country involved isn't factoring that in.

              •  Plus the country involved aka U.S. doesn't care (0+ / 0-)

                about its own small farms and ranches.  We also get little attention from candidates.  I've lived in small towns and big cities and we all need to work together for a sustainable future.

                "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

                by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:19:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            America08

            you don't.

            why not just say that?

            Lets keep Virginia Blue in 2008 - www.VirginiaForEdwards.org - get involved!

            by okamichan13 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:24:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not sure what you meant (0+ / 0-)

              by "you don't". Protecting Peruvian farmers should first be done by the Peruvian govt, but to the degree that it is a humanitarian issue, we should help as well even if the Peruvian govt doesn't. That's my thinking.

          •  Yes, please. We have a family ranch and we get (0+ / 0-)

            screwed six ways to Sunday by big packers and big agri-business.  Take a look at the movie "Life and Debt" by Stephanie Black.  Corporate Trade agreements have devastating effects on farmers in all these countries.  We devastated Mexico's corn farmers.  Now they are up here, many illegally, working for Cargill and Tyson in the meat packing plants which are dangerous and unsanitary.

            "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

            by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:16:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  records (5+ / 0-)

        Yes, i don't trust Edwards either--he was very bad on family farmer issues when he was in the Senate. But at least his recent rhetoric and stances have shown he sort of "gets it." Which is more than I can say for the rest of them (except for Kucinich who also is very strong on farm issues).

        This FTA is probably better on labor/enviro (as the apologists keep saying).

        it is still a disaster for farmers as dumping will become a huge problem for Peru.

        •  I am with you in principle, FBG, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          icebergslim

          on protecting native farming sectors, but I do need to see and read more details.

          •  just read up on what happened (4+ / 0-)

            to Mexican farmers under NAFTA. Carnegie did a study showing how they were driven off because of below-cost US corn. Tufts should have some studies too. corn farmers on both sides got screwed, ADM made out, but we are rich enough to give our farmers subsidies to try and help them stave off poverty. mexico does not have the luxury to do that (so no, subsidies do NOT cause overproduction or dumping. they are a RESULT of such things!)

            •  primary industry (0+ / 0-)

              is a sort of high tech thing now. And it is controlled by ADM and Monsanto. See locations of HQs.

              My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

              by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:43:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Archer Daniels Midland is headquartered in (0+ / 0-)

              Illinois, northwest of where I grew up.  They wield a lot of clout and have made off like bandits.  As I said above, the Mexican farmers got screwed when we flooded Mexico with cheap corn.  Then they had to get jobs in our packing plants, legally or illegally, because we did that.  

              When people don't see that it's all connected, we all get screwed.

              Have you seen "Life and Debt"?

              "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

              by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:23:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Non-issue? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      docangel, Junior Bug, America08

      why not actually deal what the diarist raises? It doesn't get a pass because Rangel signed off on it.

      Lets keep Virginia Blue in 2008 - www.VirginiaForEdwards.org - get involved!

      by okamichan13 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:08:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A few points: (8+ / 0-)
    1.  The AFL-CIO is neutral on this deal, IIRC.
    1.  This is NOT an extension of NAFTA or CAFTA.  I repeat:  it is NOT an extension of NAFTA to Peru.
    1.  The Peruvian Agreement contains environmental and labor protections.  That is a vast improvement over NAFTA and CAFTA.
    1.  A big problem with NAFTA was that it took adjudications of such matters away from the government and placed it in a supra-national body that was unaccountable.  Somebody has to enforce these standards.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:52:27 PM PDT

  •  David Sirota is a good man (6+ / 0-)

    Since Sirota only usually mentions labor and enviro standards as reasons to oppose FTAs

    But neither he nor anyone else can explain how labor and environmental standards are going do anything to change the massive wage disparity between Peru and the US.

    So, like El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and so many other countries with which we cannot compete with respect to wages, the 'free trade' with Peru will be, for the most part, a one way street.

    Raw materials will flow to Peru from the US (tariff free) and finished goods will flow back into the US (tariff free) from a country with a workforce that makes somewhere around $9 per day.

    And all the labor and environmental standards in the world are not going to change that fact.

    'Fair Trade' is a mirage -- nothing more.

    <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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:53:16 PM PDT

    •  That horse is already out of the barn. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotster, icebergslim, vernonbc

      Either we compete with China and India or we lose more business.  Fair trade and unionizing third world countries is the only way that we can compete now.

      Is that computer you are using built in the United States?  How about that chair you are sitting on?  What about the clothes you are wearing?

      •  Talking points -- nothing more (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MontanaMaven, docangel, LaEscapee

        Either we compete with China

        How do we compete? I noticed in your talking point you don't address this.

        I'll tell you how we compete -- we compete on wages -- and this is why Tonelson calls it The Race to the Bottom: Why a Worldwide Worker Surplus and Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards

        Is that computer you are using built in the United States?  How about that chair you are sitting on?  What about the clothes you are wearing?

        Your point obviously being that because there is little that I can point to around me that is made in the US, we should work as hard as we can towards not being able to point to anything.

        <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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:06:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you miss this part? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dotster, icebergslim

          Fair trade and unionizing third world countries is the only way that we can compete now.

          We need to raise their wages to keep our wages in check.

          •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MontanaMaven

            You equate joining a union, or the right to join a union automatically translates to higher wages.

            How's that workin' out in the US? We have all of the labor rights in the world, and we also have a practically speaking unlimited supply of cheaper labor in the form of illegal immigration that makes sure that wages continue to decline.

            Labor rights mean nothing if there is an unemployed supply of labor willing to undercut union wage levels.

            <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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:16:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what we need is a good outbreak of the Bubonics. (0+ / 0-)

              My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

              by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:40:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  And my point about your computer is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          icebergslim

          that some items are still made in America.  Instead of complaining about outsourcing while sitting at your Chinese computer, you may want to reconsider your shopping choices.

          Just pointing out that we need to act locally.

          •  AMEN... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi, pioneer111

            and I can tell you for almost a fact, that all of us angry and beating on the keyboard, that this shit came from CHINA, slapped with a U.S. name on it.  Period.  Want to buy American?  There is a 20" monitor @ 149.99, but American made will be 399.99, who will win in this one?  We know.  The consumer who want the cheaper price, period.  We need to educate ourselves, which means if we want only from U.S.A. we are willing to PAY FOR IT.  And with us being so greedy, WE WON'T.

          •  More Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

            Instead of complaining about outsourcing while sitting at your Chinese computer

            Point me to an American made computer and I will consider buying it.

            You lead the cheer on the offshoring of manufacturing and then, when the majority of that manufacturing has been offshored question me as to "why I don't just buy American"?

            <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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:19:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Love Tonelson. I have it on my desk. Along with (0+ / 0-)

          "Screwed" by Thom Hartmann.

          "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

          by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:28:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And what do we do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Farm Bill Girl

        when our exploitative trade policies keep putting Chavez type figures in power?  Who do we trade with when they nationalize the factories American corporations built on stolen lands, and "Free Trade Zones?"

        I'd actually love to see more and more Chavez type socialists in power worldwide, but it wouldn't be a good thing for US trade.  We're causing a lot of the world to become radicalized.

        ---
        If you have a boss, you need a union.
        --Steve Earle

        by VelvetElvis on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:14:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As Yoshi said below: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, docangel, Geekesque

      NAFTA let the horse out of the starting gate.

      We are playing catch up here and very poorly at that.

      Do you think these major companies getting everything made on the back of China, India give a holy damn?  They don't.  And the US Worker has sufffered.

      Can anyone on this board, honestly, believe that stopping NAFTA will bring work back the the U.S.?

      I don't.  Because these companies would rather move overseas for cheap, import, and still get paid.

      For NAFTA to be overhauled.  Everyone has to come to the table, period.

      Or it will continue like this.

      And Clinton signed NAFTA.  Go figure.

      •  And supporting the FTA with Peru (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        docangel

        For NAFTA to be overhauled.  Everyone has to come to the table, period.

        Is obviously a step in that direction.

        Is there not something to be said for not signing new free trade agreements until we can at least begin to dig ourselves out of the hole we have already created?

        <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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:08:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you really think? At this point and time? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, Geekesque

          That if you kill NAFTA, (which I believe should be killed, but I am a realist) will bring back all these jobs lost, gone?  PLEASE.  Reality Check.  These companies would rather LEAVE THE U.S.A. and import on the cheap, than listen to anything the government have to say at this point.  And the consumer, who was used to getting that computer for 299.99, do you honestly think they are willing to now pay 599.99?  Think again.  We are selfish souls.  Wal-Mart taught us that.  Until we, as a country, is willing to toss NAFTA and buy only U.S.A. and pay higher prices, it won't happen.  And yes, everyone has to come to the table and it will mean brokering and sacrifice.  NAFTA fucked this country.  That is a horse that we won't catch.  

      •  Food (5+ / 0-)

        food is not the same thing as a computer.

        all you people are talking about are finished goods.

        food is essential to life. and the local food movement has taken off, along with awarenss of "food miles," all of which are in direct opposition to the "cheap food" model of free trade. it's one thing to buy made in China clothes/electronics. another thing entirely for Chinese food and ingredients given the recent pet food scandals, as well as numerous recalls of seafood and other things. when Americans have nothing left to eat but foreign poisonous food, then maybe we'll see the folly of globalized free trade for food.

  •  Have you read what the AFL-CIO has said (8+ / 0-)

    about the Peru agreement (they're neutral on it)

    The Peru TPA labor chapter requires that signatories to the agreement "adopt, maintain,
    and enforce in their own law and in practice" the International Labor Organization (ILO) core
    labor standards, subject to the same dispute settlement, enforcement mechanisms, and selection
    criteria as the commercial provisions in the agreement.  This represents major progress over the
    Jordan FTA, which required only that countries "strive to ensure" that their laws recognize and
    protect the core labor standards.  It is also an enormous improvement over the agreements
    previously negotiated by the Bush administration (Chile, Singapore, Morocco, Australia,
    Bahrain, DR-CAFTA, and Oman), which required only that countries enforce their own
    domestic labor laws.  These previous trade agreements also contained significantly weaker
    enforcement mechanisms for labor and environment than other commercial provisions.

    The Peru labor chapter makes several other improvements over previous FTAs negotiated by
    the Bush Administration:

    It closes an important loophole that allowed governments to avoid complying with their
    labor obligations by claiming that they were exercising prosecutorial discretion.  The new
    proposal clarifies that any decisions with respect to allocation of enforcement resources
    must not undermine the commitment to enforce the core labor standards.  

    It replaces the commitment to "strive to ensure" not to derogate from labor laws in order
    to increase trade with a stronger, straightforward prohibition against derogating from
    labor obligations in a manner affecting trade or investment.

    Their conclusion:

    Undoubtedly, the Peru TPA, as amended, marks a substantial step forward toward a trade
    model that will benefit the working people of both countries.
     We applaud the substantial effort
    that brought about these changes.  However, it is important to remember that the May 10th
    agreement represents the tip of the iceberg in addressing what is wrong in our trade policy.  
    Improving this agreement alone will not solve America’s problems.  Further work needs to be
    done to improve the "template" for future trade agreements.  We must work together to build a
    prosperous economy and workforce of the future, and act expeditiously to address the domestic
    and international policies that are putting U.S. workers, businesses, and farmers at risk, such as:  
    currency manipulation, unfair and imbalanced asymmetries in the tax code, and lax and
    inconsistent enforcement of our trade laws.

    •  Granted, David Sirota has probably not read it, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ILDem, jj32, dotster, icebergslim

      knowing David Sirota.

    •  And if you ask what the benefit is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      docangel

      Undoubtedly, the Peru TPA, as amended, marks a substantial step forward toward a trade model that will benefit the working people of both countries.

      It is the benefit that all so-called 'free trade deals' promise -- cheaper goods.

      How's this been working out for America so far?

      <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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:02:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HAVE YOU READ THE DIARY???? (4+ / 0-)

      i don't even talk about labor or enviro standards. i'm talking about what the agreement will do for our farmers here and in Peru. Something which all the free trade apologists here do not seem to get.

      Democrats, coming from primarily urban districts, have little to zilch understanding of how trade intersects with agriculture! Labor standards are good, but the dumping that will occur under this will be completely contrary to their goals of increasing living standards!!! and only will increase illegal immigration as desperate farmers are driven from the land as occured under NAFTA. all the labor/enviro standards in the world WILL NOT ADDRESS THIS.

      •  Did you read this? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, Geekesque

        called the bill?

        •  YES i have (6+ / 0-)

          and it says NOTHING ABOUT FARMERS!!!! or food security. or the dumping that occurred under NAFTA that drove all the farmers off the land.

          why are folks bringing up the AFL-CIO when i'm not talking about them? I'm talking about farmers and agriculture! something Democrats are in total ignorance about as you all have proven!

          I do not agree with Sirota on some things, particularly that he totally ignores agriculture when it comes to trade issues and virtually  never mentions it. So I understand if folks take issue with him on those things, but I am now discussing how the "free trade" model devastates farmers around the world and only benefits agribusiness. Dems tend to come from urban districts and just don't understand this fact. neither does it seem, do many "progressive" bloggers.

      •  That's not what the AFL-CIO says. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, Geekesque, dotster, icebergslim

        Their conclusion:

        Undoubtedly, the Peru TPA, as amended, marks a substantial step forward toward a trade
        model that will benefit the working people of both countries. We applaud the substantial effort
        that brought about these changes.

        However, it is important to remember that the May 10th
        agreement represents the tip of the iceberg in addressing what is wrong in our trade policy.  
        Improving this agreement alone will not solve America’s problems.  Further work needs to be
        done to improve the "template" for future trade agreements.  We must work together to build a
        prosperous economy and workforce of the future, and act expeditiously to address the domestic
        and international policies that are putting U.S. workers, businesses, and farmers at risk, such as:  
        currency manipulation, unfair and imbalanced asymmetries in the tax code, and lax and
        inconsistent enforcement of our trade laws.

        So no problems with the Peru deal itself.

        Their only problem is that they're justifiably worried that the Peru deal will be an anomaly and the other deals will suck as much as NAFTA and CAFTA.

        And I think I'm going to trust the AFL-CIO more than David Sirota or someone who's previous diaries include " YearlyKos Coopted by Corporate Free Traders", "Big Business Coopts the Left on Farm Bill DON'T FALL FOR IT", " Netroots Betray Farmers"

    •  This is the statement that sticks out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MontanaMaven, Geekesque, icebergslim

      For a guy that grew up in Michigan, this is the part or their statement that sticks out to me...

      However, it is important to remember that the May 10th
      agreement represents the tip of the iceberg in addressing what is wrong in our trade policy.

      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 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:09:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, their point being that they don't trust (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland, dotster, icebergslim

        Congress (and rightly so) to do as good a job on other agreements as they have on the Peru deal.

        Why should they get complacent or trust them for future deals? They've gotten screwed over on most of the free trade agreements.

        Sander Levin (of Michigan), Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, however, has worked to make this a decent to good deal. Hopefully he'll continue like this. But again, that's no reason for the AFL-CIO to get complacent or trust Congress on trade for the future.

  •  Reminder, folks, that changes to tags (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, DemocraticLuntz, icebergslim

    are recorded.  Please don't engage in tag abuse.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:11:57 PM PDT

  •  Under what conditions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, Geekesque

    would you approve of a deal with Peru?

    Iowa - The Cyclone State

    by clonecone on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:19:58 PM PDT

  •  If the AFLCIO is good with it, I'm satisfied..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi

    It's right to be more suspicious of trade agreements than before, but the afl cio imprimatur means a lot.

    Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

    by Inland on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:21:27 PM PDT

    •  AFL-CIO is neutral, but this is a FAR cry (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, jj32, Niniane

      from NAFTA in their eyes.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:24:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  AFL-CIO is NOT backing this bill n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      America08, pioneer111
    •  so even if (6+ / 0-)

      trade unionists in Peru, teachers and farmers in  Peru and family farmers and UNITE here oppose it, that's nothing??

      i'm not talking about the AFL here! i don't care! i'm talking about farmers, who represent the poorest of the poor both here and in Peru.

      •  Right! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MontanaMaven

        Kill me before I have to think again!

        by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:49:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hear you (3+ / 0-)

        I wonder why so many here can't understand the human suffering this will bring to the poor farmers in Peru. About two years ago I hosted a representative of the Zapatista here in South Dakota. He brought films of the devastation caused by NAFTA including starvation and forced relocations. Farmers who had lived on their lands since before 1492 had the choice of either drifting into the huge slums of Mexico City or braving the hostile and dangerous journey to the Rio Grande, where an Army tried to keep them from working for the gringos waving money at them from across the river. It takes desperation to make the trip these people make and that desperation is being caused by the ignorance of FTAs that are inhumane in their assault on the poorest of the nations poor. Your diary explains it nicely, thanks for writing it.

        •  Enclosure. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jacob Freeze

          google it.

          My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

          by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:59:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  thanks (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          docangel, Jacob Freeze

          There will be a conference on NAFTA's effects, particularly on farmers, later this month in Minneapolis.

          http://events.iatp.org/...

          Farmers from mexico, canada and the US will all be there to discuss how we build food sovereignty, in the midst of free trade ideology.

          none of the ideologues backing this FTA have seen fit to address the problem of the farm sector.

          •  NAFTA helped Mexico (0+ / 0-)

            I am a Democrat.  And I know that free trade, properly executed, works.

            I've spent quite a bit of time in Mexico (worked as an I-Banker in Mexico City for many years, and my parents hail from Nuevo Leon).

            Mexico would be MUCH worse off today, had it not been for NAFTA.

            The problem lies in the execution by RightWing Mexican governments that make Bush seem reasonable.

            Back in 93, the Mexican government knew it had a problem, given the productivity differentials between the US and Mexico.  For example, a US acre yields 4x as much corn as an acre in Mexico.  Mexico knew this back in 93.

            What should they have done about it?

            Investment.  Invest in dams, in irrigation systems, in agricultural education.

            Yet, it did nothing.

            And please don't come back telling me that the RightWing government lacked funds.  The PRI and PAN governments have insisted on maintaining the capital gains tax where it is today: 0%.

            Moreover, the top marginal income tax rate is 28%, down from 35% when Fox took the helm, in 2000.

            Mexico's farmers have been negatively impacted by NAFTA b/c they can't compete.  And they can't compete b/c the RightWing govt. chose not to assist them.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

            by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:15:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wrong, they can compete (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jacob Freeze

              If the U.S. stopped the gigantic farm subsidies they could compete.

              •  they don't want to compete! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                docangel

                farmers in the US and Mexico do not want to compete with each other in a "race to the bottom." that only benefits grain traders seekign access to cheap corn (which goes into HFCS and into feed for factory farms). they want to produce food for their families and communities. they don't need to "export" or want to get bigger and bigger and use more GMOs and pesticides.

            •  but of course (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              docangel, Chaoslillith, Jacob Freeze

              MExican farmers should just be like the US! have tons of industrial monoculture GMO corn instead of the genetic diversity they used to have as maize is revered in Mexico.

              now they've sacrificed their food sovereignty, are reliant on imports and getting screwed since corn prices are up and their tortilla sector has been monopolized by one corporation in bed with ADM.

              i'm sure the NAFTA was good for i-bankers and corporate executives. for the farmers in both countries, it's been less good times. Not that the Hamilton Project would ever acknowledge such a thing...

              •  10% vs 33% vs 50% (0+ / 0-)

                What it have hurt the Mexican government to invest in agriculture?  Would it have hurt it to deploy forty to fifty billion dollars in the construction of several dams, which would have sig. helped bridge the productivity gap?

                Of course not.

                But that would have meant that the affluent would have to pay their fair share in taxes.

                Do you know how much the Mexican treasury receives in tax receipts: 10% of GDP.  In the US, it's about 33% (federal+state+city).  In Western Europe, it's as high as 50%.

                The Mexican farmer has been negatively due to the Mexican government's criminal negligence, not NAFTA.

                Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

                by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:36:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "NAFTA helped Mexico"... Harharharhar!!! (4+ / 0-)

              Tell that fable to 2,000,000 immigrants in LA County.

              Arguing that NAFTA would have worked if only Mexico had an entirely different government is ludicrous, but promising for a certain kind of comic theatre of cruelty.

              The A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima wouldn't have hurt anybody, if only all the inhabitants had moved to Chicago in 1942.

              Global warming won't be a problem, if only a race of superior beings from another galaxy reverses climate change tomorrow.

              Wishful thinking won't save the small farmers in Peru, any more than it saved the small farmers in Mexico.

              Kill me before I have to think again!

              by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:32:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Mexican Govt at Fault, not NAFTA (0+ / 0-)

                Jacob, had Mexico begun to raise taxes on its wealthy back in 93, it could be a very prosperous nation today.

                Mexico needs investment, and the RightWing Mexican government will not ask the oligarchs to pay their fair share.

                Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

                by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:38:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I'll try to come (0+ / 0-)

            I'll also be attending an "Indigenous Border Summit" on the reservation south of Tucson this November. I hope I did the link correctly.

            http://indigenousbordersummitamerica...

      •  Inland is an antiwar fanatic. (0+ / 0-)

        It's all about the IRW for him/her.

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:58:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd respond, but I respect the topic of the diary (0+ / 0-)

          and nobody respects your opinions.  

          Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

          by Inland on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:08:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well we know what repealing NAFTA means. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pkbarbiedoll

    Extending it into South America!

    It's the reverse equivalent of Welfare reform.

    My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

    by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:22:47 PM PDT

  •  The major problems (6+ / 0-)

    seems to be the fact that our agricultural subsidies create an artificially low price for American cotton, not with the fact that we have this agreement with Peru. Theoretically, free trade is a great idea, assuming a minimum of government intervention to secure favorable pricing for its goods. Of course, we don't really see that in today's world, given the EU's CAP and American subsidies. That being said, perhaps our ire should be directed at our harmful agricultural policies rather than this trade agreement.

    •  Word. eom (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:25:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Subsidies are not the problem (6+ / 0-)

      is free trade REALLY a good idea for food though? Should WalMart and Safeway and Stop N Shop import apples from China and Peru even though they grow it 10 minutes away, but it's more expensive (and tastes better)? or better to have cheap apples shipped from thousands of miles away?

      you cannot separate agriculture from our trade issues.

      The problem is NOT subsidies. If you read my first diary in my series on subsidies, you will see how i refute the myth that our subsidies create "artificial" low prices for cotton.

      you can also read this economic study that talks about how ending subsidies for cotton will not raise prices.

      http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/...

      Overproduction and low prices has been a central feature in agriculture for two centuries now, before even subsidies. Subsidies are a REACTION to low prices/overproduction. they are NOT THE cause of it.

      Look at coffee. no subsidies. not grown in first world. still global glut because of overproduction, and thus record low prices.

      what you ultimately need, because farmers are price TAKERS, are price floors for commodities to ensure farmers everywhere get paid a fair wage, and make ADM/Cargill/Smithfield and other users of commodities pay a fair wage to farmers, so thus eliminate the need for subsidies. and to control overproduction, you need supply management. Coffee used to have the Intl Coffee AGreement where counries had quotas to ensure a decent price for coffee. this was put in place in the 60s becasue we feared "Castroism" would overtake latin america and we wanted to throw the peasants a bone. Reagan came along and destroyed the agreement, and thus, deregulated the price of coffee in the name of "free trade." prices have collapsed, and thus driven farmers off the land from everywhere from Nicaragua to Brazil to Vietnam.

      Agribusiness wants cheap commodities. they don't mind subsidies because it's the taxpayers who are paying. what they HATE is paying farmers a fair price. farmers would much rather be paid from the market than from taxpayers. All of this flies in the face of free trade dogma.

  •  let's contrast. (nm) (0+ / 0-)

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

    by danthrax on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:26:35 PM PDT

  •  Did Obama use the terms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, icebergslim

    "free trade" or "fair trade" or some other more appropriate term  (I wish there was one)?  I think he needs to clarify what he means and create a vision for whichever one he choses.

    The problem we've had so far is an unregulated, free-trade agreement with whatever country we're dealing with and, clearly, people and nature are being exploited.

    However, I believe world trade is here to stay.  We can't afford isolationism.  Obama has talked about this extensively in his book.  I wonder if this was a question he hadn't had time to think about but he felt he should respond to.

    •  Semantics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob Freeze

      Of Human Rights Groups in the third world--The Institutional affect of Human Rights is itself a fig leaf for economic colonialism.

      During the nineties I remember being bombarded with stories about the sainted Kurds and how their Human Rights were being messed with. It even worked its way into Bridget Jones

      Little did they realize the complaints they made against Saddam were the vanguard for the invasion policies of their mother countries Governments.

      My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

      by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:57:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "world trade" (4+ / 0-)

      is here to stay.

      but do we want FOOD to be part of it? do we want farmers in Peru to produce for export markets instead of their own local markets? do we want to keep importing food from thousands of miles away, damn the enviro standards and fossil fuel used? do we want our farmers and ranchers to keep going out of business, along with their beautiful land so that we can pave all over it?

      "world trade" in food only benefits food processors and grain traders (Kraft, Nabisco, Hershey, Dannon, Smithfield, ADM) not farmers.  

      •  Well, it also benefits the oil companies. You (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ken in MN

        have to use a lot of oil to transport things all over the world instead of encouraging people to sell what they grow locally.  

        "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." -The Lorax, by Dr. Suess

        by docangel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:13:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Food... (0+ / 0-)

        ...is THE most serious national security threat we face.  And this fact is PROOF that Bu$hCo, the Republican Party, and their enablers in the Democratic party don't give a flying pig shit about National Security.  Dangerous food imports will kill orders of magnitude more than 9/11...

    •  farm lobby (0+ / 0-)

      try to level the playing field and end the enormous subsidies big agriculture gets and free trade might work. You can't, because they got a lock on both parties.

      •  subsidies go to farmers (4+ / 0-)

        but it's AGRIBUSINESS, who BUYS and PROCESSES the commodities, that really benefits, because we let the "free market" determien the price for commodities and when they are too low, farmers get subsidies.

        so it's really ADM (making high fructose corn syrup) and factory farms accessing cheap feed, that benefit from our subsidy scheme.

        http://www.inthesetimes.com/...

        getting rid of subsidies and deregulating price will only make agribusiness happy. you need to have a price floor for commodities as well as supply management to control overproduction if you want a fair system and to piss off agribiz.

        free trade for agriculture will never work because of the nature of farm markets. farmers are price TAKERS. they don't control the price and thus are not responsive to supply/demand.

        look at coffee as i have said above. no subsidies. untrammelled free trade means low prices, overproduction and massive poverty. the Intl Coffee Agreement worked for the decades it was in place.

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      We can't afford isolationism.

      Why not?

  •  How could you Obama? (5+ / 0-)

    Free trade is always bad for workers in both countries.
    These agreements must be stopped
    and NAFTA rescinded

    Anybody but Hillary the Hawk
    Do Hawks cackle too?

    by wmacdona66 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:54:31 PM PDT

  •  Obama SSSSSUXXXX!!! Edwards RRRRAWWWWXXXXX!!!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MontanaMaven

    "You'd better get this straight. Wise up before it's too late." - Sister Sledge.

    by Andy Lewis on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:42:35 PM PDT

  •  Let's be clear... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland

    The main problem with this agreement is that it leaves our rather egregious farm subsidies intact.  That wasn't taken care of in the farm bill, but it's worth pointing out that Obama has called for capping farm subsidies.

    "Whether the British ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one of the most difficult questions of our time." - George Orwell on the Spanish Civil War

    by Ramo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:58:43 PM PDT

  •  Obama a triangulator just like Hillary (4+ / 0-)

    There's no reason for this guy even to be in the race.  

    He has no important ideas.

    I mean look at his education policy:  he wants to have merit pay to raise standardized test scores.

    Well that's just great: divide teaching staffs as you drive creativity, curiosity and higher level thinking out of American classrooms.

    Even Hillary isn't that bad.

    John Edwards: "Join the campaign to change America." Hillary: Join the campaign to change insiders.

    by formernadervoter on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:38:26 PM PDT

  •  The problem with ag is that the trade isn't free (0+ / 0-)

    Our subsidies distort trade; a real free trade deal would prohibit those subsidies.  

    •  real "free trade" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MontanaMaven

      would then pit farmers arouind the world against each other, cause massive starvation as farmers everywhere went out of business. meanwhil,e factory farms would get bigger and ADM/Cargill/Monsanto would all make a lot more money than they already are.

      not to mention the fossil fuel waste as fruits and veggies are shipped from China to the US...

      •  Buy local. An economist said "Why are we sending (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ihlin

        our Keebler cookies to Denmark and they are sending their cookies here?  Wouldn't it be better to just trade recipes?  But then the shipping companies and the oil it takes to run them wouldn't make as much money, would they?

        "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

        by MontanaMaven on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 01:35:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another sell out (0+ / 0-)

    Obama sucks up to the beltway pundits and the corporate-controlled press.

    If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

    by Paleo on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 06:21:06 AM PDT

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