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December 5, 2007

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?


  • July 3, 2007

    Story Updates: Libby, Eagles, Trade and more

    Libby Sentence Commuted: Reaction to President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence was rapid. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. announced that he will be holding a full committee hearing next week titled, "The Use and Misuse of Presidential Clemency Power for Executive Branch Officials." After President Clinton pardoned 140 people on his last day in office, Congressional leadership held similar hearings entitled, "Proposals to amend the president’s power to grant reprieves and pardons." Read an excerpt from testimony here.

    Read more about the issues surrounding the case and continue the conversation.

    Watch Bill Moyers' recent essay entitled, "Begging his Pardon"

    "We have yet another remarkable revelation of the mindset of Washington's ruling clique of neoconservative elites—the people who took us to war from the safety of their Beltway bunkers. Even as Iraq grows bloodier by the day, their passion of the week is to keep one of their own from going to jail."


    Watch Bill Moyers interview with Ambassador Joseph Wilson from NOW with Bill Moyers, February 28, 2003. It was the release of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent which led to the Libby trial.

    "Somehow it's hard for me to imagine that a democratic system will emerge out of the ashes of Iraq in the near term. And when and if it does, it's hard for me to believe that it will be more pro-American and more pro-Israeli than what you've got now," says Joseph Wilson in his interview.

    More about Plamegate and Judith Miller from BUYING THE WAR.
    ---------------------------

    Continue reading "Story Updates: Libby, Eagles, Trade and more" »


    June 29, 2007

    Trade Policy Not Just a Rust Belt Concern Anymore

    by Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division

    If you listen to some corporate lobbyists and Beltway pundits, you’d think that only blue-collar workers without college degrees working in a Rust Belt factory should be concerned about NAFTA-style trade agreements. Not so.

    Did you know that Alan Blinder, a former Fed vice-chairman, Princeton economics professor, and NAFTA-WTO supporter, says that 40 million American service sector jobs could be offshored in the foreseeable future? Economy.Com estimates (PDF) that nearly one million such jobs already have been “offshored” since early 2001 alone – one in six of those in information technology, engineering, and financial services.

    Continue reading "Trade Policy Not Just a Rust Belt Concern Anymore" »


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