[biztech-discussion] Trade Bits

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 14:42:21 -0700




An update on work by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and our allies to
nominate and elect a President in 2004 who supports pro-worker, environment,
family farm, and human rights trade policies.

CHINA CASE: The AFL-CIO filed a 105-page trade case Tuesday asking the Bush
Administration to respond to the trade advantage China has gained by
refusing to
protect workers, enforce a minimum wage, or recognize independent unions.
The challenge was made under US laws which make violation of labor rights an
unfair trade practice, but the New York Times quotes trade lawyer G.
Loeb as predicting that the case would fail.  "The WTO standards do not
into these labor issues," Loeb said. "If the Bush Administration doesn't
reject this
petition, I would advise China to lodge a complaint at the WTO."

NEW TRADE DEAL:  An agreement this week to add the Dominican Republican to
CAFTA brings to  eight the number of nations with which the US has made
trade deals since December.  The Bush administration says it "plans to
continue negotiating more such agreements this year," even as trade heats up
as an election issue, the Washington Post reports.  The Post notes that
approval of CAFTA is in doubt because of concerns by Democrats about
inadequate worker protections.  "The reason CAFTA can't pass is because we
have a bunch of economic isolationists using labor as an excuse," says U.S.
Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.

ISOLATIONISM BAD, TARIFFS GOOD?:  George Bush warned voters in Ardmore PA
Monday against the Democrats' "economic isolationism," but Sen. Arlen
Specter said that Bush's economic record "would hold up well in
Pennsylvania, in part because of the president's decision in 2002 to impose
tariffs on imported steel," the New York Times says.

JOBS: "We're gutting our own economy," said unemployed software engineer Liz
Trojan at a rally in Portland OR last week to protest job outsourcing.  Rep.
Peter DeFazio charged that Bush trade policies are "disastrous" for workers,
and called for repeal of "fast track" authority, the Portland Oregonian
reports.  In Akron OH, Sen. John Kerry returned to the jobs theme in his
first visit to Ohio since Super Tuesday.  Kerry's chances of defeating Bush
in Ohio "may hinge on one acronym: NAFTA," writes AP.  Bentley Hudson, a
laid-off electrician in Akron, said a lot of good people supported NAFTA,
but "it's time to change it."  AP's exit poll showed 7 in 10 Ohio voters
blamed foreign trade for taking away jobs.

ROVE, GREENSPAN ON TRADE:  Free trade will continue to produce "huge
economic dividends for the nation," Karl Rove told the Portland Oregonian
last week.  Rove said that criticism of free trade by Democratic
Presidential candidates reflects concerns of only "a smaller, more left,
more extreme group" of Democratic primary voters, dominated "by some
elements of organized labor that are afraid of open competition and trade."
In testimony before Congress the same day, Alan Greenspan warned against
efforts to link trade and worker rights.  Greenspan said the US should not
use ethics "as a guise for protectionism, which I fear in too many instances
is really what it's all about," the New York Times says.

JOB OPENING?: A candidate for a new position in the Commerce Department to
promote manufacturing withdrew from consideration "24 hours after Sen. John
Kerry criticized him for laying off American workers and opening a factory
in China," the New York Times reported Friday.  The White House said the
action had "nothing to do" with Kerry's comments.

MORE JOB OPENINGS?:  The "biggest difficulty" facing George Bush in his
re-election bid is "the perception of his management of the economy," the
New York Times reports based on a NYT/CBS News poll released yesterday.
Only 38% of respondents approved of Bush's economic record and only 39% say
Bush is likely to increase jobs.  The poll shows that by a margin of 30
points, respondents say the Bush administration's policies have "reduced the
number of jobs rather than increase them," the Times says.  The poll shows a
trial heat at Bush, 46%; Kerry, 38%, and Nader, 7%; without Nader, the race
is "effectively tied" at 46-43%.

FESTIVAL FOR PEACE: A festival for Peace and Civil Liberties will be held in
Savannah GA while economic ministers are meeting at the G8 Summit off
Georgia's coast from June 8-10. "The Festival will serve as a platform for
local people and visitors to voice their objections to the misdirection of
global policy, in respect to the environment, human rights, peace, workers'
rights and a host of other issues," says Kelly Gaskink, chair of the June 8
Organizing Committee.  Gaskink says that John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, and
others have been invited to speak.   For more information see

For more information on Regime Change 2004, contact:

Jim Jontz
President Emeritus
Americans for Democratic Action


or visit www.fairtradenow.org

Other related posts: