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  • Is the Democratic Blockade of Trade Really Over?

    This time about three years ago, a California Democrat exercised legislative power to do something unprecedented in America’s international trade policymaking.

    Effectively ending more than five decades of bipartisan consensus on trade policy, on April 10, 2008, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her like-minded colleagues unilaterally and irresponsibly amended House rules to circumvent the 90-day timetable for taking up the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that President Bush had submitted to Congress—thereby dooming it.

    The Colombia trade accord was negotiated under presidential trade promotion authority (TPA), which clearly and specifically covered votes on trade agreements. The law forbade amendments to trade pacts and required that both the House and Senate act on the agreement within 90 days after the President submitted the pact to Congress. The spirit of this trade rule had never before been violated, and the House and Senate had on many occasions responsibly and dutifully held straight yes-or-no votes on trade pacts.

    AFL-CIO then-President John Sweeney quickly praised Pelosi’s unprecedented move, saying, “We applaud her for taking decisive action to reassert congressional authority over trade.”

    Fast forward to April 2011. Two leading Democratic Senators, Max Baucus (MT) and John Kerry (MA), now assert in their recent op-ed that “The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is not a partisan political issue.” They add, “Let’s be clear: Trade is critical to American innovation and economic growth. It can expand opportunity for workers and entrepreneurs, both at home and abroad.”

    Where were they three years ago?!  All the same, it is exciting to see two prominent Democrats finally discovering the importance of trade. Let’s hope their colleagues join them in supporting the principles of free trade and the Colombia trade pact without further delay.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Is the Democratic Blockade of Trade Really Over?

    1. Pingback: Is the Democratic Blockade of Trade Really Over? – Heritage.org (blog)

    2. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      So what happened in Columbia? Did they suddenly become more Socialist or something? Brazil gets all the help because they are now a Socialist Nation. They get the big Oil development because they have Socialist Leaders (arguably communists.) So, then true to his Nature, Obama is always supporting the Foreign Interest (not our allies, understand, just our traditional enemies, Communists or Socialists)!

      Nancy doesn't believe in Free Trade with non Communists, if it were Cuba or Venezuela? Hey! Come on it! But if a nation is a true ally, then it's 'to Hell with you!' Perhaps they have a way to give lip service to Trade with Columbia, but no real trade will happen. I don't trust Nancy Pelosi, she is lawless (and an atheist, I knew her personally in SF years ago.) Nancy was awarded her Office for her terrific performance doing Farenheit 451 on libraries. "Let's get rid of those nasty old American books!" No kidding. Demo-crats have a spoils system! Obama got his Office for bringing down the American Housing Market with ACORN (Rep. Franks, Community Redevelopment Act, AIG, et. al.) Conspiracy.

      It is a Trade Blockade, I think it was fair to say that. If only we could pepper spray and tase Nancy, she would quit saying things like The Vote isn't Important. "It's the shared values!" Values? Values? Like destroying America is a Value of some kind?

    3. Nealr says:

      When we buy in South America you can expect it was taken away from China and other Asian countries. People ought to look at country of origin when they go shopping for clothes. Maybe find 25% made in China and 75% from all other Asian countries. Make some friends and help out our neighbors.

    4. Michael Guy says:

      We have a national debt because foreign nations like China, are lead by patriotic geniuses and not globalist, The patriots and nationalist like Hu jintao and wen Jinbao merely take the profits acquired under free trade and loan some of this revenue back to the white house and congress at terms, conditions, interest and pledges of collateral favorable to the lenders, Free trade has brought us imbalance of trade and a national debt, it is time to tax goods made overseas, If foreign investors want to compete in the American market, let them come here and build a factory. And lets rid ourselves of overbearing rules, regulations and agencies, like the EPA, that impose burdensome mandates upon businesses.

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