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Who says Congress can't get anything done? Granted, they can't pass any measures that would help the American worker at a time when 1 in 10 are unemployed. The bulk of Obama's jobs bill remains stuck in limbo, unlikely to ever come to a vote. And of course, it wouldn't stand a chance in the House anyway.

But when it comes to free trade, bipartisanship has never been stronger:

Both the Senate and House sent the free-trade agreements to the White House with large bipartisan majorities — marking a rare moment of congressional agreement amid months of partisan bickering over jobs and the economy.

...

The Senate approved the Panama deal 77-22 while the agreement with South Korea passed 83-15 and Colombia 66-33.

At a time when people are engaging in mass demonstrations around the country over the lack of jobs, the enthusiasm and bipartisanship over free trade is downright surreal. Despite assurances from business organizations that these deals will create jobs, the evidence suggests otherwise:

...Robert Scott, the director of trade research at the Economic Policy Institute, says the economic boon has been wildly overstated. The trade deals with Colombia and Korea will in fact kill more than 200,000 American jobs through outsourcing in the first seven years after the plan is enacted, Scott says. Although he expects American exports to increase due to the agreements, he says American imports will increase at a much greater rate, widening the country's already significant trade deficit.

"The only people who benefit are the top 10 or the top 1 percent who run or manage multinationals," says Scott. "They get very wealthy from outsourcing."

In other words, these agreements would only seem to exacerbate the ongoing employment crisis. As the International Business Times notes:

If emerging markets...continue to trigger the transfer of jobs out of higher labor-cost production centers such as the United States, the U.S. could see unacceptably high levels of unemployment linger for even longer than current projections of 8 percent unemployment through at least 2014. Also, if outsourcing continues at its current pace, job growth could remain inadequate.

Strangely, Obama and the Democrats seem content to let this potentially job-killing measure sail through without demanding an up or down vote on the American aspects of the "American Jobs Bill."

Granted, not everyone is happy:

The approval of the pacts, in a rare bipartisan collaboration, is a big victory for President Obama, who sold the deals as a key step toward bolstering job growth. But it angered liberal groups and labor unions that say the agreements will hurt working Americans by subjecting them to additional foreign competition and accelerating a race to the bottom on wages.

All three agreements passed easily in the Republican-led House, over the objections of most Democratic lawmakers. The Senate passed each deal by a strong majority, overcoming opposition largely made up of liberal Democrats and lawmakers representing onetime industrial hubs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When Bush tried to pass these agreements (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Sky Net, Floande, Leftcandid

    ...he insisted that these countries, Columbia for example, could already export freely to the US with no tariffs at all. But that American businesses had to pay huge tariffs to sell goods in Columbia.

    Is that true? Who knows?

    Approving the free trade agreement will also strengthen our economy. Today, almost all of Colombian exports enter the United States duty-free, while American products exported to Colombia face tariffs of up to 35 percent for non-agricultural goods and much higher for many agricultural products.   

    In other words, the current situation is one-sided. Our markets are open to Colombian products, but barriers exist that make it harder to sell American products in Colombia. I think it makes sense to remedy this situation.   

    I think it makes sense for Americans' goods and services to be treated just like Colombia's goods and services are treated. So it's time to level the playing field.

    As soon as it is implemented, the agreement I'm sending Congress will eliminate tariffs on more than 80 percent of American exports of industrial and consumer goods.    Many products in key American sectors such as agriculture and construction equipment, aircraft and auto parts, and medical and scientific equipment will enter Colombia duty-free. If you're an American farmer, it's in your interest that this agreement get passed -- after all, farm exports like high-quality beef, cotton, wheat, soybeans and fruit will enter duty-free. And in time this agreement will eliminate tariffs on all American exports to Colombia.

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/...


    "The tree of Capitalism must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of hippies."

    by Pluto on Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 11:49:56 PM PDT

    •  Nice sales pitch. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, terabytes, Leftcandid, rudy23

      On the other hand  :

      http://www.democracynow.org/...

      "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

      by Funkygal on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 03:07:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Colombia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MGross

      I already posted this report once today, but reposting as it has a good follow on to your question.

      Its tariff system averages about 11 percent, which is a standard figure for South America.  In practice this meant a $1 billion tariff penalty on the $11 billion in planes, cars, jewelry, foods, mining equipment, and other American exports to Colombia.  The tariffs will disappear with the agreement in force.  By contrast, the United States has essentially no tariffs on Colombian goods.  (To be precise, last year the Customs Bureau collected $9 million in tariffs on $15 billion in Colombian goods.)  

      $9 million compared to $1 billion?  We're making out like bandits on this one.

      •  Ah,yes. The roses & emerald report. (0+ / 0-)

        Consumers of these should be thrilled by these deals.
        But Americans looking for jobs? Not at all.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 04:47:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You missed the point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo

          Our exports to Colombia have far more potential for growth with the FTA in force.  That's jobs.  The consumer benefit from this one is relatively minor.

          •  No,I didn't miss the point. (2+ / 0-)

            I simply do not share your commitment to exploitative globalization. And yeah,dead unionists are not easily overlooked by me,either.

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 05:41:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  exploitative? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Escamillo

              You lost me.  How is exporting considered exploitative globalization?

              •  So Sky Net is code for disingenuous. (0+ / 0-)

                But at least we both agree you're lost.

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

                "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

                by tardis10 on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 07:12:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yeah (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Escamillo

                  I guess that was easier than responding to anything I actually wrote.

                  •  What you wrote? (0+ / 0-)

                    You write that you don't believe in any analyses except the link you provide above. That analysis is one that skates over all the real issues with this:

                    This leaves relatively little new to say about the topics which have received the most attention – the labor, environmental, and automotive policies renegotiated between 2007 and 2011;

                    It then goes on to point out how much of these deals already exists but only in temporary form.Hence the desire by some to make them permanent. Likely you have read various other analyses that are far more in depth and clearly were not in favor of passage. Here is one re:Colombia. http://www.demos.org/...  Briefly,for wide-ranging reasons including protecting US jobs, bolstering GMO food production, exporting US styled banking /financial practices, environmental concerns both local and global,worker's rights issues (especially in Colombia) and longer term geopolitical concerns many of us do not approve these deals.. This link has been shared before. http://www.democracynow.org/...  I hope you get the chance to read it.
                    These activists have seen in their countries just what is going on. As I have. We can do better. Much much better.If I thought these deals moved us all forward to a better more equitable world,I would support them. I do not,so I don't.
                       

                    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

                    by tardis10 on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 06:43:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What I wrote (0+ / 0-)

                      Well, you still didn't actually respond to anything I wrote.  I never said I didn't believe any analyses except the report I posted.  I posted it because it had an answer to the previous commenter's question.  In my other comment in the other diary I said I didn't believe EPI's analysis because their methodology and assumptions were not credible.  They failed to look at actual trade flows with the three FTA countries and how the FTA would affect those flows.  Instead they just used Mexico and China as proxies, regardless of the vast differences between those economies and the new FTA countries.  So that's what I said.

                      As for the report I posted, it's clearly stated in the report that he skated over various issues because they've already been discussed to death.  The point was to look at a few other issues that haven't been discussed much.  They were good points and no one bothered to counter them.

                      The first report you posted is purely on how this will affect Colombia, not the U.S., which had nothing to do with what I wrote upthread.  My own personal view is that it's up to the Colombians to decide what's best for their country.  We can only tell them how to suck eggs so much.  Colombians will make their own decisions and their own mistakes and they'll deal with them.  We're not the guardian of the developing world and it's not up to us to decide what's best for them.  Attempts in the past to do that have failed miserably.

                      The second article you post to is frankly just an unengaging piece with three activists who don't actually know much about trade and trade agreements.  They just repeat the same old arguments without any new information.  Sorry, didn't learn anything new from that one.

                •  THanks for the link. some good info there. nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  "exploitive globalization"? You sound like (0+ / 0-)

              Oswald Bates.

              As for unionisus, the longshormen of WA state will be pleased, as will many other unions around the country that rely on trade.

      •  As I Wrote Below (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        There never seems to be anyone around to reply 'well ... yeah ... stupid, because the U.S. unilaterally granted them access years ago'

        I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

        by superscalar on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 05:30:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This Is True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      When Bush tried to pass these agreements he insisted that these countries, Columbia for example, could already export freely to the US

      Because the U.S. granted access Colombia access to U.S. markets as part of the 'War On Drugs' ... but when the politicians and the CEO's whine 'but they already have access to our markets' there never seems to be anybody around to reply 'well ... yeah ... stupid, because the U.S. unilaterally granted them access years ago'.

      Andean Trade Preference Act Expired on February 12th

      Hence the big hurry to pass these new 'free trade deals'.

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 05:29:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I say legalize Columbia's exports (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      and start taxing them!  Both things really seem like a no-brainer to me . . .

  •  we need to picket in front (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Funkygal, Major Tom

    of senators' houses.

  •  Yet another one of those Nixon goes to (7+ / 0-)

    China moments. Yet another Democrat delivers  a huge win for the corporate class.

    http://blackagendareport.com/...

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 02:33:20 AM PDT

  •  George Carlin on bipartisanship : (12+ / 0-)

    "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 02:34:29 AM PDT

  •  Did you notice what passes with huge bipartisan (6+ / 0-)

    majorities?  Bush tax cuts extension, confirmation of General Betrayus in 2010,  Obama-Boehner Satan Sandwich.....

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 02:37:38 AM PDT

  •  Senate roll call : (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Major Tom, Floande

    http://www.senate.gov/...

    H.R. 3078, 3079 and 3080

    For house :
    http://house.gov/ - see under legislative activity->votes

    Fun fact: OWS supporting Pelosi voted "aye" for Panama and South Korea.  And tomorrow OWS supporting prez will sign the bills with great fanfare, stinking of bipartisanshit.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 02:44:58 AM PDT

  •  80 percent of Democratic house caucus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, Leftcandid

    opposed Colombia deal.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 03:16:51 AM PDT

    •  Lipstick on the pig. The Dems pretend to be on (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom, Floande, terabytes, cslewis

      the  side of unions and human rights by voting against that while more voted for the other 2. A trade treaty is a give away to corporations. period. OWS supporting Nancy "impeachment is off the table" Pelosi is one. My own senator Amy "bipartisanshit" Klobuchar is another specimen.

      Apologies to pigs for associating them with our obnoxious congress critters.

      "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

      by Funkygal on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 03:41:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cslewis

      The 99% will make the changes that are needed...in the streets. Citizens United, etc. have made electoral politics a complete sham (instead of merely crooked, virtually fixed.)

  •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cslewis

    Tell me we got something very good for the 99% folks from this latest Democratic cave. Was it a new extension of unemployment insurance? Or perhaps it was a reinstatement of heating oil assistance for the elderly and poor? Hey, what about WIC? Was it also included?

  •  But, of course the trade deals passed, handsomely. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terabytes, cslewis, Mr Robert

    Anything to impoverish more Americans. It is the way of the RNC and DNC/DCCC.

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 04:27:40 AM PDT

  •  All bipartisan measures are against US (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floande, terabytes

    and more gifts to Wall Street. That's why electoral politics is dead, why the economy we (the 99%) live under is doomed, and why Occupy Wall Street was inevitable and unstoppable.

    Because even if there WAS no OWS, Wall Street and it's lackeys are destroying everything; their kleptocracy is unsustainable.

  •  Funny how CNN described this on their ticker.. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm paraphrasing, but it was something like:

    "Congress passes bills to help workers hurt by foreign trade."

    WTF?

  •  Can't Obama Veto this Bill? (0+ / 0-)

    If Daily Kos, MoveOn, OWS, Huffington Post demanded a Veto do you think it would work?

    I just don't understand why these organizations can't coordinate their anger to get something done or stopped.

  •  Senators voting against all three (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftcandid

    Blumenthal (D-CT)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Casey (D-PA)
    Hagan (D-NC)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Manchin (D-WV)
    Merkley (D-OR)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Whitehouse (D-RI)

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