March 18, 2014
OUR REPUBLICAN PRECEDENT:
Why Democrats Should Back the President on Free Trade : Bill Clinton saw the promise of the global economy--and America reaped the benefits. (THOMAS F. 'MACK' MCLARTY, March 17, 2014, WSJ)
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 18, 2014 3:37 AMWhen it comes to international trade agreements, Democrats have been sounding a lot like the "party of no." From congressional leaders to some in the party base, pessimism about free trade has become almost a reflex. The default position portrays trade deals as a threat to American jobs and wages, exposing our economic weaknesses to the world, rather than as opportunities to grow our economy and maximize our strengths.There's some irony in this attitude. One of President Obama's big achievements has been to advance the most ambitious trade agenda in a generation. The president has signed three free-trade agreements, with South Korea, Panama and Colombia in 2011. Now the administration is closing in on two historic pacts with countries representing 60% of the world's economy: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Canada and 10 other Pacific Rim countries, including Mexico, Japan and Australia. But leading Democrats, including Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, are opposing the president's request for the authority to finish the deals, also known as "fast track."