FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lori Wallach, The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority

By: Sunday June 9, 2013 1:59 pm

You think trade is complicated, technical, boring, so you tune out and don’t pay attention to the issue… And then BANG, you’re told they are moving the facility where you work out of the country and you are going to be laid off, but if you want your severance and the chance to collect unemployment you have to train your replacement. Not long after that, in other factories and offices everyone is told to accept wage and benefit cuts or they’ll move that facility out of the country, too.

Six months later you look around and your downtown locally-owned storefronts are getting boarded up one at a time because the private-equity-owned chains that circle the town carry all that cheap stuff from China and they buy at such a large scale that no small business can compete.

After a year you finally land a job! The job is you have to dress up like a duck and stand on a corner waving a sign.

These are the things that all of this arguing about trade is about. Welcome to the new America.

 

Assassination Stress Tests: White House Moves NAFTA-Style Colombia Trade Deal

By: Wednesday April 6, 2011 2:10 pm

The Obama Adminstration announced today it intends to move to Congress a NAFTA-style trade deal with Colombia (better known as Colombian “Free Trade”). The hold up for the last five years has been the little issue of union members being assassinated in Colombia. Specifically, 2,850 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia in the last 25 years, including 52 murdered in 2009.

Good news! The Obama Administration and Colombia have agreed to an “Action Plan” to reduce those assassinations in the next 3 months before Congress ratifies the NAFTA-style trade deal. As Marcy Wheeler noted, those checkpoints are essentially “assassination stress tests” – a meaningless series of goals without real enforcement, and without a requirement that the number of murders is actually, you know, reduced.

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