Fair Traders Are Beginning to Win on Policy
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Coming from the Financial Times -- the paper of record for Big Money -- this story is really an incredible sign that the progressive fair trade movement is gaining real ground and winning the broader political debate:
The most striking thing about the debate within Washington is how long the measures took to get noticed -- and how little they are perceived as a protectionist act ...The dwindling band of free-trade Democrats on Capitol Hill has been almost completely silent ...
Looking at the political environment and Barack Obama's own journey to the White House, perhaps that is not surprising. Along with his well-known criticisms of the effect on jobs and wages of deals such as NAFTA, Obama's campaign singled out Buy American as a symbol of economic patriotism.
The Washington reaction to Buy American suggests that much of Congress and the Obama White House, while still respecting existing treaty commitments, is not going to go out of its way to placate protesting trading partners. The judgment most experts made – that free traders within the Obama administration will have to spend most of their time playing defense -- has thus far been vindicated.
David Sirota was the top spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee. He is currently writing a book on the middle class economic squeeze for Crown Publishers. You can contact him at Davidsirota.com.