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Trade Update: The Peru Deal

For those of you on the free trade beat, Senate Democrats and Republicans yesterday overwhelmingly approved a trade deal with Peru, handing President Bush "an unusual victory," says THE NEW YORK TIMES, yet it remains to be seen whether the deal will serve as a catalyst for similar agreements in Latin America and Asia.

The Peru deal passed the House in November, though by a slimmer margin, after both parties reached a late compromise. As Speaker Pelosi explains after the vote:

Today, the House built upon President John F. Kennedy’s legacy of free trade by passing an agreement that promotes both free and fair trade. The Peru Free Trade Agreement represents a remarkable breakthrough because Democrats were able to secure enforceable, basic labor rights and environmental standards in the core text of a free trade agreement.

President Bush too praised the recent Senate vote, yet continues to urge lawmakers to hasten the passage of pending agreements:

Today's action by the Senate also marks the approval of the first free trade agreement that fulfills the May 10 bipartisan trade agreement with Congress by incorporating enforceable labor and environmental standards. I look forward to signing this legislation into law and urge Congress to promptly consider and approve our other pending free trade agreements, starting with Colombia, which would be important to the stability of the region, and including Panama and South Korea.

What do you think?

  • Will passage of the Peru agreement affect pending trade deals with Panama, South Korea and Colombia?

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    Cheap llama wool serapes, or maybe tainted fish farm seafood destroying a fragile upwelling ecosystem? Look for a freezer case soon in Ten Thousand Village Idiots.
    And Colombia, even cheaper blow, man, and cowboy gangsters like Unionbusters, right in your local meat plant. They weren't that bad of people until we taught them our corporate corruption model (Co-opt the leaders with bribes, negate fair elections.) and trained torturing enforcers at SOA/WHINSEC at Ft. Benning, Ga. Just another blowback, coming up the pike, ask Chalmers Johnson.

    Pelosi is not right. It is Franklin D. Roosevelt´s legacy, not Kennedys. More specifically, it is the legacy of Roosevelt´s legendary Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, the sponsor of the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act of 1934, the cornerstone of the sophisthicated structure of american trade politics nowadays. Hull´s era was the beggining of all the multilateral trade regime.

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