Senate Gets 79 Votes for China Currency Bill as Obama Sends “Free” Trade Agreements to Congress

By: Tuesday October 4, 2011 7:30 am

Yesterday, the Senate voted for cloture on a motion to proceed on a bill to discourage China’s currency manipulation, with a bipartisan 79-19 vote. But the White House would rather pursue its “free” trade bills with Columbia, Korea and Panama.


Trumka Sends List of 22 Murdered Colombian Unionists to the President

By: Tuesday September 27, 2011 1:40 pm

We have known for years about the dangers of being a trade unionist in Colombia, of the murders of organizers and labor officials. The murders have increased in frequency in the years since the US negotiated a trade deal with Colombia. They are well documented. Now Rich Trumka has sent the President a list of victims.

Senate Passes Trade Adjustment Assistance, Setting Up “Free” Trade Agreements

By: Friday September 23, 2011 9:50 am

Speaking of Congress, they may be getting themselves in a position to actually pass those three long-stalled trade agreements The Senate passed a bill providing assistance for workers displaced by trade agreements, but its prospects in the House are uncertain.

Congress Returns to Session Amid High Negatives and Much Despair

By: Tuesday September 6, 2011 7:59 am

Congress is back on the job today, at least in the Senate. The House just had to have one more day off to refresh them for the ideological agenda-setting ahead. The return to session comes at a time when polls show a total collapse in confidence in Congress’ ability to do their job, and a general pessimism about the prospects for a turnaround in the economy. The big story of the week will be the President’s jobs speech on Thursday. But what will Congress do when left to their own devices?

Exceedingly little.

Obama Administration Plans Round of Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement Talks

By: Thursday September 1, 2011 7:00 am

Next week in Chicago, the Administration kicks off the eighth round of Trans-Pacific free trade agreement talks with multiple Asian nations. The nine-day negotiation includes talks with Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Peru and Chile, but whatever comes out of the talks is intended to be a “docking agreement” to which larger nations in Asia and South America can sign up. That would include Japan, India and Taiwan; heck, it could include mainland China. This has been in the works for many years, and the Obama Administration has been negotiating since late 2009. The soft deadline for a Trans-Pacific FTA is November, just two months from now.

White House Has Several Unused Options When It Comes to Jobs

By: Thursday August 4, 2011 8:30 am

While there is a rhetorical pivot to jobs, jobs, jobs , what the White House is proposing is not even close to the most they could do. What we have here is actually a poverty of imagination. There are plenty of things that the executive branch can do – power they’ve had since they came into office – to boost jobs. They have $80-$100 billion in unused TARP funds that could be put to productive use, including at least $40 billion dedicated for housing. They could use Fannie and Freddie much more aggressively than this renting idea, creating a kind of modern-day HOLC to buy up homes.

The Big Pivot

By: Tuesday August 2, 2011 1:02 pm

The President’s address fell mainly in line with what he’s been saying over the past several weeks: with the debt limit deal, a “manufactured crisis” in his words, put to bed, now the good and wise and responsible members of Congress can get to work on a jobs package to put America back to work. This is the big pivot, the time when all the focus shifts to jobs. Isn’t it exciting?

Trade Deals Imperiled as Senate GOP Stages Walkout in Committee

By: Friday July 1, 2011 6:51 am

I thought Mitch McConnell was just grousing about trade adjustment assistance being included in the three trade deals that the President sent to Congress. What I didn’t know is that the White House negotiated directly with House Republicans on the deal, and didn’t really consult the Senate minority. So they’re making mischief out of a real opposition, not to put on a show. This means that these trade deals may not go through at all.

Free Trade Flip Flop: Trade Package Goes from “Huge Mistake” to “Grand Bargain”

By: Thursday May 5, 2011 7:05 am

The Obama Administration intends to meet Congressional demands to move all three pending NAFTA-style “free trade” agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama by an arbitrary deadline of July 1

Obama Administration Begins Process for Passing Three Free Trade Deals

By: Wednesday May 4, 2011 3:05 pm

The South Korea deal could cost 159,000 jobs in the first eight years, and the Colombia deal 60,000 jobs.

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