By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Democrats | Economic Antediluvianism | Economy | Free Trade | Protectionism — Comments (4) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Either Nancy Pelosi doesn't understand the nature of the U.S.-Colombia trade deal, or she thinks that she can fool the public. In any event, she makes a hash of things in trying to explain why she allowed for fast-track authority to expire--thus putting the deal on the back burner:
Democrats will vote on a free trade agreement with Colombia only after the White House and Congress address pressing domestic economic concerns, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday.
"We still believe it is possible to bring the Colombia free trade agreement to the floor under the proper circumstances, but first we need to address the worsening economy," Pelosi told reporters.
Earlier, President George W. Bush said the pact was "dead" until Pelosi scheduled a vote.
"This has to be done in recognition not only of the concerns that we have about human rights violations of workers in Colombia, but based on the economic security of America's workers here in our country," the California Democrat said.
"We ask the president to, once again, bring his people to the table so we can move forward," she said.
Administration officials said they have been trying for months to engage Pelosi in talks on bringing the pact to the floor for a vote, only to have their efforts ignored.
One does not know whether to laugh or cry. American markets are already open to Colombia products. The deal opens Colombian markets to American products. How American workers do not benefit from having another market opened to the things they make is beyond comprehension.
But of course, there are a lot of myths associated with the rejection of the trade agreement. And concerns about American workers and the environment are Pavlovian and come about with the advent of any trade deal, the facts notwithstanding. Robert Zoellick was right and while I hate to say that I told you so, I did.