Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Oh dear.  Tom Donahue of the US Chamber of Commerce and Frank Vargo of the National Association of Manufacturer's have just given their blessing to the trade deal because of its weak labor language. Update: Now the Business Roundtable is adding its praise.

The US Chamber of Commerce welcomed the bipartisan deal, saying it would secure support for Congressional approval of the four pending bilateral trade agreements.

"It is our hope that this deal can pave the way for a solid majority of members to vote in favor of renewing trade promotion authority and passage of bilateral agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and Korea," said Tom Donohue, president and chief executive of the world's largest business federation.

"Over the course of these negotiations, legitimate concerns have been expressed about how addressing labor issues in trade agreements could affect US federal and state labor laws," he said.

"However, we are encouraged by assurances that the labor provisions cannot be read to require compliance with ILO Conventions."

Frank Vargo, vice president of international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers, cautiously welcomed the agreement.

"We are encouraged by the progress announced today, but reserve comment on the final package until we have had an opportunity to examine the details," he said.

Donahue and Vargo are representatives of the infamous 'Gang of Six' business lobbies that are aggressively right-wing, paranoid and extreme.  This is really really bad.  

Sirota has more.

Update [2007-5-10 20:50:58 by Matt Stoller]:: Here's the key deal-breaker from Donahue: "However, we are encouraged by assurances that the labor provisions cannot be read to require compliance with ILO Conventions."

The whole point of this deal is that it includes ILO standards. Baucus and Rangel look like fools.

Update [2007-5-10 21:9:43 by Matt Stoller]:: Ok, it keeps getting worse.

But a half-dozen House Democrats with strong labor ties, watching the news conference from the back of the room, later expressed strong dissatisfaction with the process.

"The strongest voices for workers and the environment were not included" in the negotiations and were not informed of the deal, said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio.

"I'm very disappointed that Speaker Pelosi held a press conference before meeting with the caucus," said Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine. "In a democratic process Democrats ought to know."

This is literally a repeat of NAFTA. Kaptur is one of the good ones.

Tags: Betty Sutton, Fast Track, Frank Vargo, free trade, mike michaud, NAFTA, NAM, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Donahue, us chamber of commerce (all tags)

Comments

67 Comments

This just SUCKS big time

A huge win for Bush, and just who are the Dem winners in this?

by dataguy 2007-05-10 04:46PM | 0 recs
the Dems win...

 ...because by caving to Bush and the Republicans on the trade`deal, they won't be called "liberal" in the media anymore. David Broder will say nothing but nice things about the Dems from now on.

  That's the way it always works, isn't it?

by Master Jack 2007-05-10 05:45PM | 0 recs
Quid Pro Quo For Blue Dogs On Iraq?

I'm suspicious that this came up today, of all days, when the major item on the calendar was actually Iraq.

I'm suspecting that this is a bone thrown to the Blue Dogs so they will vote with the caucus on Iraq.

by Rob Thorne 2007-05-10 09:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Quid Pro Quo For Blue Dogs On Iraq?

We picked up three overall votes, so it was not a mass migration by the Blue Dogs on the Iraq vote.  I think just about the same amount of Blue Dogs have voted against our Iraq bills as the Out of Iraq Caucus.  

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Christ, that's awful.

It's not labour language that's important. It's enforceable labour language, and considering the tendency of business advocacy organisations to hate anything with even a remote chance of being enforceable, if they're alright with it the language must have holes larger than a couple of Central American nations.

by Englishlefty 2007-05-10 04:49PM | 0 recs
This is why the Dems have lost ground

 The Democrats haven't stood up for labor since the Reagan years, at least, and because of that the party's single biggest and most reliable source of electoral support has eroded. So we have to scramble to build "coalitions" every time out, and actually win only when the Republicans hand it to us, as they did last year. And even then the Dems had to be dragged kicking and screaming to make Iraq an issue.

 This is the kind of thing that feeds the "there's no difference between the two parties" attitude that permeates much of the electorate. And that makes the working class ripe for Republican gays-and-immigrants demagoguing.

 These kinds of trade agreements cause very real pain to millions of Americans, Americans who WOULD be turning to Democrats for help if the party retained even the slightest vestige of FDR's legacy. And when the pain arrives, they'll be reminded daily by talk radio that it's the Democrats who sold them out. And not inaccurately.

 We're going to have a very hard time selling the Democratic Party to working-class voters when we pull crap like this. And when we lose next year, of course, the party insiders will blame it on not being "religious" enough...

 

by Master Jack 2007-05-10 04:59PM | 0 recs
Question

  If a working-class American asks me why he should support the Democratic Party, what do I tell him?

by Master Jack 2007-05-10 05:10PM | 0 recs
You tell them

that we are reclaiming our party.  That John Edwards will stop this crap.  

No trade deal!

by littafi 2007-05-10 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: You tell them

I don't think Edwards as anti-trade as you are making him out to be.  If he is, however, that is a complete 180 from his position last time around.

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:45PM | 0 recs
He opposes

the South Korean trade pact.  His camapign manager is David Bonior.  He works to organize workers in unions.  You need to look again.

by littafi 2007-05-11 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: He opposes

So you're saying that he is anti-trade?

I don't know why we should not approve a South Korea FTA.  They produce cars that get good gas mileage and will be the types of cars that we will need to have in our country if we are going to set and adjust to higher CAFE standards.  To say that you want to raise CAFE standards but don't want to import cars is Orwellian.  We need imports to reduce our carbon emissions.

South Korea is also a long-time ally of the United States, and at a time when we are trying to put the pressure on North Korea, the best way to do that is to show the economic benefits of having diplomatic relations  with the United States.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: He opposes

Agreed for the most part.  The only issue I have with South Korea pact is the Kaesong (sp?) piece but if we fix that I am all for it.

Edwards argument on restrictions on engines smaller than 3000 ccs (a 3.0 litre V6 which is a small 6 cyl) is ridiculous.  It is, to use Pat Moynihan's discription of Clinton's welfare reform, "boob bait for bubba."  It is nothing but pandering since the US doesn't build these types of engines or vehicles on a large basis.  Koreans and the rest of the world spend about 2 times what Americans do on gas so they are not interested in buying our Hummers and other SUVs.  Interestingly, Americans aren't either anymore.

It is really a shame what has happened to the US auto industry.  They have all but conceded the sedan market to foreign automakers.  We build great trucks and SUVs but US sedans are really lacking.  And to think mere 20 years ago, Ford revolutionized sedans with the Taurus.  

by John Mills 2007-05-11 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: He opposes

Yeah, if we do a South Korean FTA, it is likely to be to our benefit from an import perspective.  We will be imported more fuel efficient cars that are less pollutant.  I don't see how so Edwards can stand up and call for higher fuel economy and put out massive plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions yet still support American auto companies who don't have the products to meet higher CAFE standards and who fight(along with unions!) against higher CAFE standards.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: He opposes

Agree wholehearted.

by John Mills 2007-05-11 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Matt- If the bill includes ILO Convention standards, than they will be upheld regardless of what Donahue says.  I don't know, I haven't seen the bill, but news reports seem to indicate that the ILO standards are in there.  

MasterJack- I would tell that working class American that the only reason he has Social Security, the only reason his kids are getting an education, and the only reason he has any kind of safety net should he get laid off is because of the Democratic Party.  And as far your comments regarding labor and the Democratic Party is concerned, the Democratic Party is not the American equivalent of Britain's Labour Party.  The Dems have multiple constituencies, not just labor, and that is how they are able to win elections.

And I think you connecting a deal like this to the 2008 election is perhaps a little extreme.  Let's be honest: The only people that are going to remember this agreement are David Sirota and Lou Dobbs.  And those guys aren't cast their vote solely on this issue.

by KDJ 2007-05-10 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

What have you done for us lately?  I can't think if anybody but a couple of corporate lobbyests that love nafta.

I am not committing yet, but I am not leaning toward any free traders in the primaries.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-10 05:32PM | 0 recs
How about

the 40 million additional workers who will lose their jobs to overseas outsourcing?

Let's be honest: The only people that are going to remember this agreement are David Sirota and Lou Dobbs.

by workingclassanna 2007-05-10 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: How about

40 million?  That number is a little high don't you think?  There is a big difference between jobs lost completely and jobs being replaced by other jobs.  Right now, we are not losing any jobs we cannot replace somewhere else in our economy.  Unfortunately, the jobs being lost are higher-paying that the ones people eventually take.  Wage insurance and other ideas are being floated to solve this problem and I think these proposals should be looked into.  I've read several reports that make me think the issue of wage insurance could find its way onto the congressional agenda some time in the next two years.

However, trade doesn't seem to move the meter in terms of intensity.  There seems to be some folks, many of whom are uninformed, who have problems with trade.  However, those concerns do not translate to votes.  I would say salience is increasing on this issue, but it is still relatively low, and therefore intensity and activism that can translate into electoral impact is just not present.  

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: How about

2006 was not about Iraq. It was about trade and economic security.

From Florida to Hawaii and parts in between, pro-fair trade challengers Tuesday beat anti-fair trade incumbents, according to a major report on the 2006 midterm results conducted by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. Incumbents who had voted for the U.S. trade status quo of NAFTA, WTO and Fast Track were replaced by fair traders rejecting these failed policies and advocating improvement in 37 congressional seats (7 Senate and 30 House).

"This election changed the composition of Congress on trade to more closely represent U.S. public opinion. Congress needs a system for negotiating U.S. trade agreements - with a steering wheel and emergency brakes on negotiators - that delivers on the public's expectations for a new trade policy that wins for American workers and farmers and does not harm the environment or food safety," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division.

Trade and offshoring were wedge issues actively used in 115 congressional campaigns nationwide with more than 25 paid campaign ads run on trade and offshoring. Election exit polls conducted by CNN and The New York Times revealed that Americans' anxiety about the economy and job security trumped Iraq war concerns.

Trade is only going to become more important in 2008 now that we've learned about the widespread contamination of products coming from China.  This is the issue, Iraq is an afterthought for most working Americans.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-10 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: How about

The economy was an issue, but it was not the issue.  If Iraq had not been there, Dems may have picked up some seats, but it would not have been the wave that it was.  I think the economy may have been the icing, but Iraq was certainly the cake.  

I wish people cared more about the China trade issue, but I just don't see the nominees talking about food contimination too often on the trail or in the debates come this time next year.  This may be somewhat of an issue today, but there is a big difference between an issue that is in the news today and one that will still be relevant in 18 months.

Most working Americans are more worried about health care when it comes to domestic issues.  That is the number two issue in every "What issues are most important to you?" survey.  The economy is always high in these polls, indicating that it is a general concern and is not being pushed up dramatically in the polls by concerns about trade.    However, it is at a level of national security and terrorism while Iraq and Health Care are well
above.

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: How about

Iraw wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back.  Katrina was the one event that crushed Americans faith in the ability of the Bush government to protect them.  This came about because of the Republicans belief in making government small enough to drown in a bathtub.  

They have a hell of a way with metaphors.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-10 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: How about

and what is the likelyhood the antifair trade people will deliver on that?  It isn't either or and a democrat committed to working people is much more likely to give us both.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-10 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: How about

All of the above?

by Robert Oak 2007-05-10 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Matt- If the bill includes ILO Convention standards, than they will be upheld regardless of what Donahue says.  I don't know, I haven't seen the bill, but news reports seem to indicate that the ILO standards are in there.  

We'll see.  I hope you're willing to admit error.

by Matt Stoller 2007-05-10 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Hey Matt,

Any word from the Presidential campaigns on this yet?

I imagine that the AFL-CIO and CtW are going to be pissed about being betrayed like this after they went in full bore funding campaigns in 2006.

I'm not suprised, but still dissppointed by this.

I seriously believe that if the Labor Dems can gather enough members to walk out to deny a quorum they should.  They should go on strike for America.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-10 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

 I wonder if John Edwards will hit Hillary with this. (I assume Hillary supports the deal; I can't see how she wouldn't.)

 Hillary's riding high in the polls in part because her opponents aren't doing a whole lot to bring out the truth about her and her associates, who stand in deep opposition to Democratic Party principles. I don't know why they're so muted about Hillary's vulnerabilities. But this trade agreement hopefully will be a wakeup call.

by Master Jack 2007-05-10 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I wonder where Obama will come out on this.  My guess is that he will try to make some sort of convoluted compromise position that tries to split the difference.

I think that Clinton will come out against this.  She voted against Fast Track in 2001.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-10 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Trade agreements that are negotiated through Fast Track still have to be voted on by Congress.  If the Congress doesn't want to ratify that agreement, it can vote it down.  If the Democratic leadership doesn't want to talk about trade, they don't have to add the Fast Track agreements to the docket.  As Barbara Boxer said, elections have consequences, and we have yet to see what Speaker Pelosi would do with Fast Track agreements.

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I'm willing to admit error, but I think you would agree that Donahue can interpret things however he wants but it doesn't mean a thing in terms of how the agreement will become legislation and how the legislation will be implemented.  He's not in Congress.  

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

To go off on a tangent, Britain's Labour Party doesn't just have one constituency. It's gone all New Democrat on us, leaving it not terribly popular in any circles and with a massive hole in its accounts. This is a constituency that is important.

by Englishlefty 2007-05-11 12:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

No, it is "New Labour" today, certainly.  However, it was for a long-time the working class party and was affiliated as such.  Even today, labor unions continue to have input in Labour Party internal votes.  Labor unions have no such input on internal decisions in the Democratic Party.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

If we're sold out can we at last admit Pelosi isn't all that progressive.

I mean she was the one responsible for removing the provision that Bush had to get approval from congress before attacking Iran from the recent spending bill.

she pushed the Syria accountability act.  Both these laws did nothing but give the neocons an excuse to expand the war, and now this.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-10 05:29PM | 0 recs
come on new Dems

I'm sorry but this isn't releasing the details and I hope Strategic and fair Trade Dems like Dorgan, Tester, Webb, McCaskill et al plain break ranks and issue some press releases.

This is looking really bad from the smell test alone.

by Robert Oak 2007-05-10 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I would tell that working class American that the only reason he has Social Security, the only reason his kids are getting an education, and the only reason he has any kind of safety net should he get laid off is because of the Democratic Party.  And as far your comments regarding labor and the Democratic Party is concerned, the Democratic Party is not the American equivalent of Britain's Labour Party.  The Dems have multiple constituencies, not just labor, and that is how they are able to win elections.

 But labor is the UNIFYING constituency of the Democratic Party. Whether we're white, black, male, female, straight, gay, we're basically ALL labor. And the Democratic Party, directly or indirectly, has historically stood up for the interests of ordinary, working Americans. This agreement is a big middle finger to the Dems' historic base --the party's reason for existence. What, you think the Democrats are defined by their commitment to world peace?

 But I suppose we can win on, er, the...abortion issue! That's it! The White House is ours!

And I think you connecting a deal like this to the 2008 election is perhaps a little extreme.  Let's be honest: The only people that are going to remember this agreement are David Sirota and Lou Dobbs.  And those guys aren't cast their vote solely on this issue.

  The millions of Americans who lose their jobs or have to settle for far lower wages just to be working won't be forgetting this deal anytime soon. Especially when there won't be any scarcity of right-wing demagogues reminding them daily that "Nancy Pelosi sent your job to Colombia."

by Master Jack 2007-05-10 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

First off, Republicans are not going to using this against anyone.  Since when do Republicans talk about Americans losing jobs? Secondly, this story is probably going to die overnight.  It may get into the morning shows on TV, maybe, but by tomorrow night this will have passed and nobody will remember that it happened except wonks.

Secondly, the Democratic Party was not started as a labor party.  It was started as a way to gather support from many consituencies who hated John Quincy Adams to campaign for Andrew Jackson in 1828.  That has nothing to do with labor unions. Today, labor is a consitutency of our party, but it is not the major constituency that it once was.  

People who look at the labels of their clothing and other goods know that there is no way we can close ourselves off to trade.  Therefore, if trade is even an issue in 2008, the debate will focus around retraining and other measures to absorb some of the losses of trade rather than a discussion about trade itself, for it is not practical or intelligent to massively reduce trade in this country. My hope is that one of our candidates starts talking about the benefits that free trade can bring us, for there is another side to this issue that seems to be getting drowned out.

by KDJ 2007-05-10 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

 The STORY may (and probably will) die. The REALITY will not. Americans WILL lose their jobs or have to settle for poverty wages. Parents will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their kids' college educations and see them live at home until they're 40. The immigration issue (a direct consequence of these one-sided trade agreements) WILL intensify. This is the kind of thing that hits MOST Americans in one way or another.

 And Republicans will see the opportunity, once again, to attack the opponents' (perceived) strength. That they care even less about working Americans than Democrats do is irrelevant; they'll be content to just ramp up the rhetoric. "You're voting Democrat because you think they're pro-worker? Well, here are a few facts the liberal media isn't telling you..."

 Trade is not BAD, intrinsically. But to abandon our labor and environmental standards just to mindlessly satisfy some University of Chicago ideologues is going to alienate a lot more people than it's going to attract.

 The long-term decline of the Democratic Party from the mid-seventies to the present dovetails perfectly with the party's gradual abandonment of working people. If the Democrats aren't going to stand up for you economically, they why WOULD you vote for them, especially with the Republicans offering up some easy scapegoats?

by Master Jack 2007-05-10 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Long-term decline?  We just had the largest midterm success since the mid 1970s and the party has a large constituency than ever before. John Kerry got more votes than any Democrat in American history.

Job loss does correlate with one having to take another job for less income, but if you are in an area with a real economy that is not just built on manufacturing, you are probably not going to be working at a poverty wage.  If you are living in an area where the entire community is built on manufacturing jobs, you will want to relocate anyway and will be able to find better wages elsewhere.

While it is not universal, education is one of the biggest indicators for level of income.  The best investment any family could make today is to invest in the education of their children, especially graduate work, for that investment will pay off an overwhelming part of the time.  I agree with you that the cost of education is too high and that needs to be addressed if we are going to move our economy forward.  

And I don't think the immigration issue will intensify due to an increase in trade.  One of the reasons why we still have large numbers of Mexican immigrants is because we still heavily subsidize our agricultural industry, which puts Mexican growers at a significant disadvantage.  As a result, Mexico's number one industry cannot take advantage of many of the benefits of NAFTA. Indeed, if enough manufacturing jobs are outsourced to Mexico, this may encourage Mexican workers to way stay in Mexico if they can receive higher wages in those plants than they would in American agriculture.

Perhaps only loosely connected with trade but still relevant when talking about immigration and American wages:  The best way to raise wages in this country is to draft a legal framework that is quick and penalty-free that would allow currently undocumented workers to be granted citizenship and therefore begin receiving wages at the minimum wage and above.  The only problem with that is that in the short-term, the many of the wage increases we would see as a result of this would probably just be able to cover the cost of living increase that result in higher prices for goods and services currently performed by undocumented workers who work at below minimum wage.  In the long-term, this would likely be worked out in the same manner that a normal increase in the minimum wage is our economy.  
 

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

It isn't blue color workers that are losing their jobs now.  It is computer programmers and engineers.  These are people with new economy skills, so the education bullshit is just that, bullshit.  I would go back to school but I have no idea what to major in, and I won't take out loans on something taht will be outsourced anyway.  This issue isn't going to die.   I admit we don't have anything in the way of candidates on the Presidential level, but our congressional win, was on a fair trade agenda, and we will have the Presidential candidates in the future elections.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-10 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Getting a little off topic here, but does anyone really believe that a guest worker program would only involve Mexican or Latin American workers?  Hell no.  We'd be importing workers from India and elsewhere to do service jobs and work requiring skills and education.  Then where would education get us?

by jallen 2007-05-10 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

The guest worker program would apply only to Mexico if you are talking about comprehensive immigration reform.  Perhaps you are slippery-slope theorist, but I don't think you have to worry about anything of the sort.  

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

You are so condescending.

by jallen 2007-05-11 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

He asked a question so I gave him an answer based on fact, not opinion.  I get the feeling that everyone is skeptical of immigration and trade, so I feel the need to combat the myths but forth by Sirota and Dobbs.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I agree... coz

"...Hillary clears outsourcing air

Hillary Clinton made it apparent where she stood on outsourcing during her India visit, in an attempt perhaps to clear the Indian misgivings received during the Kerry campaign. "There is no
way to legislate against reality. Outsourcing will continue," she told an audience of Indian big-wigs. She pointed out that there were 3 billion people who feel left behind and are trying to attack the modern world in the hope of turning the clock back on globalization. "It is not far-fetched to imagine ... if the Indian miracle would be the one of choice of those who
feel left behind," said Hillary.

Hillary has been at the forefront in defending free trade and outsourcing. During the height of the anti-outsourcing backlash in the US last year, she faced considerable flak for defending Indian software giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for opening a center in Buffalo, New York. "We are not against all outsourcing; we are not in favor of putting up fences," Hillary
said firmly, despite inevitably invoking the ire of the anti-free trade brigade..."   Mar 1, 2005"

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/ GC01Df03.html

All in the DLC objective heir-apparent numbers game, regardless how 'she' votes.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-05-10 11:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

If you want education advice, go into health care.  The industry will only continue to get bigger in its current form or if we go with universal health insurance. Specifically, I would recommend health information systems, for the industry will be going electronic very soon.  Obtaining these skills is not hard either.  You could pick most of these skills up at a community college.

Computer programmers and engineers are not doing as well as they were a six years ago, but I'd say the market has probably re-adjusted.  If you have the right education, you can get a job in Silicon Valley.  Unfortunately, many companies are starting to complain that there are better computer skills elsewhere than there are here in the U.S., which means that we have some work to do with education.

Overall, I'd be more concerned about those computer jobs going to India than these manufacturing jobs going to the third world.  We are in no danger of losing our international power to Panama.  We do, however, need to stay competitive globally with the EU, China, and India.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I don't think universal health care is a sure thing if we do the hillarycare route again, and I also have a health problem, which makes my ability to graduate school shaky without any kind of health care, so I'll save my money thanks. I am 40 and it just ain't worth the investment or the debt.

Also many health care related fields are also being outsourced.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-11 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I would encourage you not to use right-wing buzz words like "HillaryCare," but I get your point.  Actually, by implementing a universal health insurance program, that will mean more work for folks in health care and you can bet there will be businesses sprout up to fit this new system which will create jobs.

Health care jobs really can't be outsourced that well. You don't go to India for your checkup, you go down the street.  Health information systems are also unlikely to be outsourced due to privacy concerns and the need to make this information easily available and without error.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I am not going to become a doctor at 40, and labwork and paperwork can be outsourced and probably will be.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-11 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Some analytical work can be outsourced, but it is done so to the benefit of the consumer.  Today, a doctor take an X-Ray during the day in the U.S., send that X-Ray to India for analysis who can do it in another time zone while Americans sleep, and the next day the American doctor can meet with his patient and give them the final diagnosis.  That is outsourcing, but that is better for the American consumer and for the patient, for it speeds up diagnosis, which can become crucial.

Paperwork could be outsourced, but because of privacy concerns I just don't see that happening.  I also think that the ability to access information quickly will keep those jobs in America.  Also, a universal health information system would likely be government created, which would like keep those jobs in the U.S.  

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

It was a proslave party back then too!  Things change.  Since fdr was elected it has been a social democratic party, and that is as it should be, and that is why we won least time out.  Tester won.  Harold Ford lost.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-10 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Harold Ford lost to Bob Corker, who is free trade, so perhaps that is not a great example.  Several congressman were elected who had concerns over trade, but that was not the major issue in their campaigns.  If you ask these same candidates what to do about trade, you will hear them talk about labor and environmental standards.  They seem to have gotten both in this deal.  If labor and environmental standards are not what they wish, then the fears from many that these candidates were not fair trade but rather anti-trade will come to fruition.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

If it is not enforceable labor or environmental provisions than this is not what we wish.  I don't think want it to be enforcable is antitrade.

by Dameocrat 2007-05-11 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Okay, so what in this agreement, which is outlined very well in today's New York Times, makes you think that the agreement will not be enforced or enforceable?

by KDJ 2007-05-11 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

History always repeats itself.  It is puzzling that the House Dems did not do better but I haven't followed this.  The last time labor beat business on a trade deal it was probably LBJ or Truman in the White House.  The real trade issue is with China, not South America.

by howardpark 2007-05-10 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

You've hit on something I think is important.  I think instead of worrying about Peru, Panama, and Columbia, we need to be worried about our competitiveness with the major players like the EU, China, India, and Japan.  Free trade is not likely to move a third world nation to become a first world nation, but if another major nation is benefiting from free trade more than us, that should send up red flags about our ability to compete.

by KDJ 2007-05-10 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Free trade doesn't help a Third World nation full stop. It needs limited protectionism for its most important industries before it can attempt to get rid of tariffs.

by Englishlefty 2007-05-11 12:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I would say that high tariffs for these countries would be necessary if their industries were brand new.  However, in many cases, these industries are not brand new and can compete in a free trade system with the United States.  In the case of agriculture, however, we do not practice free trade, we subsidize our agricultural industry.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I'd argue that if it has long established industries, it's not really Third World, certainly if the industries are of any size. South Korea, for example, by judicious protecting of certain areas of its economy, isn't Third World.

You're right that agricultural protectionism is practiced, which has a very negative effect on most LEDCs, but it's also worth considering tariffs on manufactured goods for these countries, making it inefficient for them to import the finished goods that would be fetching a high enough price to lift them out of poverty.

by Englishlefty 2007-05-12 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Well, obviously, South Korea has spent many years on their automobile industry.  Today they have some great brands and export many cars all over the globe.  Those industries do not need protection and with a FTA, they would not be protected.  However, we are going to be importing a lot more of their cars if we sign an FTA, which is bad if you are David Sirota, but good if you want to see lower greenhouse gas emissions and want access to cars that will meet new CAFE standards in the next few years.

I'm not following you on your second point.  First off, they shouldn't have any tariffs on imported goods if we enter a FTA with them.  Nor should we put a tariff on their goods.  If a country is not in a situation where they can remove tariffs on manufacturing goods because they are trying to protect their industries, then they should probably not be trying to enter an FTA with us.  For the most part, these countries are not getting FTAs.  If you look at the next round of FTAs that are being negotiated under the new Pelosi deal, we are signing agreements with countries that are specializing in either agriculture or manufacturing and have strong sectors to be able to compete in a free market.

by KDJ 2007-05-12 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

Good points Howard.  Of course, during Truman and LBJs time the US was a net exporter in part  b/c our industrial base had not been destroyed during WW II.  

I have lots of issues with trade with China including their poor human rights/labor treatment record and their lack of strong regulation which has shown up in the pet food scandal.  

by John Mills 2007-05-11 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

I am heartbroken about this sellout to the corporate interests who have become bolder and bolder in robbing us, destroying our land, our food, our water and our air. They brought back slavery. They destroyed our labor base. They poison people. They destroy communities.  They murder us.  They subvert our treasury to fraudulantly charge us for drugs and for weapons that are killing us. They prevent any improvement to our health care system.  They prevent us from cleaning up the air in our own county. No oversight. And Pelosi and Rangel sold us all out to these people today--these people who should be imprisoned.  And without allowing any of these issues to be brought up in debate.  I am heartsick, and very depressed.  I think it means that we have lost our country.

by syolles 2007-05-10 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal
All I have to say is this:

When asked about the Central American Free Trade Agreement per se just half of respondents (50%) said they favor Congress approving it. In stark contrast to the partisan polarization in Congress, support did not differ by party affiliation--50% of Republicans were in favor, as were 51% of Democrats. The recent Senate vote on CAFTA, however, showed 78% of Republicans in favor and 73% of Democrats opposed....
Consistent with attitudes about CAFTA, the poll also found broader dissatisfaction with US trade policy. Presented three options only 16% endorsed current government policy saying, "I support the growth of international trade in principle and I approve of the way the US is going about expanding international trade." But only 23% chose a position in opposition to the growth of trade. Rather 56% chose the position "I support the growth of international trade in principle, but I am not satisfied with the way the US government is dealing with the effects of trade on American jobs, the poor in other countries and the environment."

http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Global ization/CAFTA_Jul05/CAFTA_Jul05_pr.pdf
by jallen 2007-05-10 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

So what this report is saying is that Congress is more anti-trade than the public?  Interesting.  And as far as the last question mentioned in that piece was phrased, I am a proponent of free trade, but I am not satisfied with how our agreements are impacting the poor in other countries and American jobs.  It is up to our next President to work out these kinks in the system, not to demagogue and say that trade is bad while he or she is wearing a shirt that was made in Taiwan.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 04:38AM | 0 recs
Edwards and the Unions need to Act now!

This is Edwards' issue. And he needs to hold the sell-outs accountable. Hillary, Rangel, Pelosi and company have stabbed the working people of this country in the back. It's a terrible betrayal and the comments from Chamber of Commerce confirm it.

by cmpnwtr 2007-05-10 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards and the Unions need to Act now!

Unfortunately it means he will have the Republicans and the Democratic leadership against him.  Interesting times.  Hopefully the union support can help through the primaries.  

by pioneer111 2007-05-10 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

While this deal is disappointing, I'm not sure on its likelihood of passage. While the Senate is normally the more free-trade body, CAFTA passed rather narrowly (54-45) and since then, several free-trade Rs have been replaced by fair trade Dems (Brown, Webb, McCaskill, Tester). Anyone know Casey and Whitehouse's positions? If they are against this as well, the agreements might fail.

When does FasTrack come up for reauthorization, and can it be filibustered in the Senate?

by elessar 2007-05-11 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

June 30 is when Fast Track comes up for reauthorization.  I don't think there will be much chance of a filibuster, however, for it is the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader who will ultimately have final say if the authorization gets to the floor for debate.

by KDJ 2007-05-11 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Corporate Wingnuts A-OK with Trade Deal

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by pfouet 2007-05-21 05:29AM | 0 recs

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