June 16, 2013

OUR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT:

OBAMA TRADE DILEMMA: SCANT SUPPORT FROM DEMOCRATS (TOM RAUM, 6/15/13, ASSOCIATED PRESS

As President Barack Obama pushes an ambitious agenda to liberalize global trading, political trade wars already are forming, and they're with fellow Democrats rather than with Republicans, his usual antagonists. [...]

Both deals generally have the support of U.S. businesses. But labor unions and human rights and environmental groups - core Democratic constituencies - have so far viewed them cynically.

These organizations, and Democrats in general, say that free-trade deals can cost American jobs and lead to environmental and workplace abuses that would not be tolerated in the U.S.

"We certainly have concerns," said Celeste Drake, a trade and policy specialist at the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation. "I think Obama realizes this problem about Republicans always being the big supporters (on trade liberalization) and he would like to have our support. But overall we're skeptical. We wish we'd see more."

It's not a new problem.

President Bill Clinton powered the U.S.-Mexico-Canada North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress in 1993 only by heavily courting Republicans and overcoming stiff Democratic opposition, including from House Democratic leaders and unions.

Posted by at June 16, 2013 6:25 AM
  

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