Monday, June 13, 2005

Where Have Free Trade Democrats Gone?

Today, the New York Times joins in the call for free-trade Democrats to support CAFTA.

The fact that so many Democrats who usually support free trade are withholding their support from this important agreement gives credence to those who say the Democrats are interested only in obstruction. The New York Times asks Democrats to get over their dislike of Bush and vote their convictions.

We couldn't agree more.


At 4:06 PM, Blogger Jami said...

i'm free-trade with stipulations. american companies operating overseas should have to follow the same labor and environmental constraints as they would here. i'm guessing cafta doesn't say that.

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Edo said...

I thought the DEMs ongoing attempt to reframe the issue to "Fair Trade" is right on.

Free trade is nothing but a boon to big business. Fair trade is what is needed for the world *and* for America.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger KMSweet said...

"The New York Times asks Democrats to get over their dislike of Bush and vote their convictions."

Maybe its just me, but the reason Democrats aren't voting for this IS because of their convictions, not because of some petty dislike of the President. If there is anything that our country should have learned, its that free-trade agreements like NAFTA and our "free trade" with China have been raw deals for the majority of Americans. Perhaps a few corporations' bottom line have marginally increased, but the tens of thousands of jobs lost in the manufacturing, textile, and other sectors SHOULD always trump any corporate benefit. After all, we are a nation of and for the PEOPLE. It seems some Americans are forgetting this integral part of our national character.

So I say to the Democrats and any Republicans in opposition to CAFTA, thank you for putting the people first. Thank you for voting your convictions.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

KM--actually free trade hasn't just helped "bottom lines." Mostly, it's provided all americans with more products at much cheaper prices. Economists estimate 1 trillion has been added to our economy over the last several decades due to free trade. Yes, jobs have been lost, but many would be lost anyway. We don't have a comprehensive free trade deal with China. They simply beat us in prive even with tarrifs. I won't go into it other than to say free trade is not a corporate ploy but a strong economic idea.

At 1:58 AM, Blogger acerimusdux said...

As a free trade Democrat, I think the reason that CAFTA isn't getting more support isn't because it fails to include labor and environmental protections, it'
s because it actually goes so far as to roll back existing protections that allready apply to most of these countries.

All that needs to be done to get moderate Democratic support here is to include in the language of the agreement the same kind of provisions that these countries currently have to comply with in order to maintain trade preferences under the existing Carribean Basin Initiative, and the Generealized System of Prefernces. This does not mean meeting the same standards that apply in the US. But it does mean allowing workers in those nations the right to form independent unions.

Many moderate Democrats supported banckruptcy reform - the Blue Dog Coalition for example came out in support of it early on.

But while bankruptcy reform was needed, the version we got was badly flawed.

Perhaps moderate Democrats have learned their lesson, and will not now support CAFTA, despite CAFTA's importance to increasing economic prosperity in this hemisphere, until they are sure they have an agreement that actually makes sense.


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