Saturday, April 16, 2016

Trade Policies That Send American Jobs Overseas Are Republican Policies That New Dems And Blue Dogs Support


It became clear during the 2008 Democratic primary that Obama knew what was wrong with NAFTA and knew he could use it effectively as a weapon against his neoliberal, free-trade-supporting opponent, Hillary Clinton. Once Obama got into office he seems to have forgot his NAFTA-related trade promises-- and worse. We'll get to the TPP in a moment. Recall that on November 17, 1993-- quite late at night-- the House voted on NAFTA, the George H.W. Bush "free trade" bill that he tried to pass but couldn't. Bill Clinton assured Wall Street he would get done. And it got done. Clinton hired Rahm Emanuel, then a little known White House aide already fashioning himself an image as a bully and an asshole, to ride roughshod over reticent Democrats opposing job killing "free" trade policies. With Tom DeLay working one side of the aisle and Emanuel working the other side, they bribed, blackmailed and beat up enough Members of the House to get NAFTA passed 234-200. 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats voted for it. 156 Democrats (+ Independent Bernie Sanders) voted no, as did 43 Republicans.

These Wall Street-backed trade deals are part of the Republican agenda and one of the problems with the bribed, conservative Democrats-- like Hillary Clinton-- is that they sell themselves to these policies over and over for cash. Yes, I know she always loves to say that the $42,160,423 she's taken in campaign contributions from the Finance Sector-- which doesn't even touch the millions she and her husband have been paid personally in lightly-disguised personal bribes in the form of "speaker's fees," for the speeches she refuses to let the public see now-- never influenced her on policy. Ever hear of a politician say that the bribes they took influenced a decision they made. You don't believe it when Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell says it; why would you believe it when Hillary Clinton, who takes far more in bribes from Wall Street than both of them combined and supports the same ugly trade policy agenda they do, says it?

When the House voted on fast track authority for TPP last June it passed 219-211, 191 Republicans and just 28 Democrats-- virtually all from the corrupt Blue Dog/New Dem/Clinton wing of the party-- voted for it. This was pure Republican/Wall Street legislation that was backed with the slime of the Democratic Party-- your Debbie Wasserman Schultzes, your Kurt Schraders, Gregory Meeks, Ami Beras, Jim Himes, Ron Kinds, John Delaneys, Jim Coopers (the Nashville Blue Dog who is one of the new Dems left in Congress who voted for NAFTA)-- Team Hillary!

Pressure from Bernie forced her to finally back away from the TPP treaty she's ardently supported and even helped negotiate. Few people believe her opposition will last longer than the campaign. If she gets into the White House, all those millions she's gotten from the banksters will dictate that she pushes it through, perhaps with some much-ballyhooed but superficial adjustments. The dishonesty of the Democratic political establishment when it comes to trade policy-- part of the pathology exposed by Thomas Frank in his new book, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened To The Party Of The People-- speaks loudly to the abandonment of working families and their interests by the Establishment/Hillary-wing of the party. Earlier in the week, Lee Fang, writing for The Intercept exposed how Japanese government lobbyists in America are gaming the system in favor of the TPP here in America at the same time that the Boston Globe exposed how the Obama administration has been using the old unethical Rahm techniques to push the TPP forward.
New Balance is renewing its opposition to the far-reaching Pacific Rim trade deal, saying the Obama administration reneged on a promise to give the sneaker maker a fair shot at military business if it stopped bad-mouthing the agreement.

After several years of resistance to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact aimed at making it easier to conduct trade among the United States and 11 other countries, the Boston company had gone quiet last year. New Balance officials say one big reason is that they were told the Department of Defense would give them serious consideration for a contract to outfit recruits with athletic shoes.

But no order has been placed, and New Balance officials say the Pentagon is intentionally delaying any purchase.

New Balance is reviving its fight against the trade deal, which would, in part, gradually phase out tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam. A loss of those tariffs, the company says, would make imports cheaper and jeopardize its factory jobs in New England.

The administration has made the pact a priority. It could be voted on by Congress later this year, though possibly not until after the November elections.

...The company employs about 1,400 people at its five New England factories-- one in Brighton, one in Lawrence, and three in Maine. Company officials say they are looking to add workers to those plants, and they see a major military contract, with potentially as many as 200,000 shoe orders a year, as a way to help reach that goal.
One of the worst of the congressional Dems-- if you want to call him that-- on the Wall Street neoliberal trade agenda is Oregon Blue Dog Kurt Schrader, one of the 28 Democrats to cross the aisle and vote with the GOP on Fast Track authority. His opponent in the Oregon primary is Dave McTeague, a Bernie-backing former state legislator. Former Oregon Congressman Les AuCoin endorsed McTeague pointing out that "Oregon doesn't need a self-proclaimed Blue Dog Democrat," adding that it's "time for a real Democrat in Oregon's 5th District" and asserting what anyone who watches Congress carefully already knows, namely that Schrader is nothing but a "Democratic impostor who now holds the seat for the special interests."

Democrat Dave McTeague and Blue Dog Kurt Schrader debate the TPP

McTeague, who has said Shrader's supporting for the job-killing trade bills was a big part of the motivation for running, attacked Schrader for his vote on the Panama Free Trade that led directly to the Mossack Fonseca financial scandals. McTeague: "Congressman Kurt Schrader’s vote for the Panama U.S. Trade Deal aids and abets Panama’s status as a tax haven for the rich and corporations to hide their assets from U.S. taxation... Once again, Congressman Schrader ignored the testimony of organized labor and citizen groups like Public Citizen. They objected to the Panama deal chiefly because of that country’s role as a haven for money laundering and tax avoidance by U.S. corporations. The AFL-CIO warned Schrader and others, that 'Panama is known as a tax haven with a history of attracting money launderers and tax dodgers.' Schrader should know that Panama is one of the world’s major tax havens where 400,000 foreign firms and numerous wealthy individuals use its dual tax system, banking secrecy and shady incorporation laws to dodge taxes. Panama is also used by Mexican and Colombian cartels’ for money laundering operations according to the U.S. State Department. This trade deal did nothing to curb Panama’s status as a tax haven where many U.S. firms are incorporated, avoiding their obligations at home. Instead Congressman Schrader rewarded Panama with a trade deal worth billions."

Last week when McTeague and Schrader faced off in front of the Willamette Week editorial board, they sparred over trade deals like the TPP, with McTeague emphasizing how it undermines labor rights, environmental protections and consumer rights, while Schrader just spewing all the same old lies that Clinton was using to defend it before she finally raised the white flag and agreed it sucks and that she'd oppose it. If you'd like to help Dave McTeague and the other congressional candidates running, along with Bernie, against the TPP and the neoliberal "free" trade agenda, the thermometer will take you to the place:
Goal Thermometer

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At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Once Obama got into office he seems to have forgot his NAFTA-related trade promises-- and worse."

Obama forgot a lot of promises. Remember his promise to filibuster FISA. He voted for passage. Remember his vow to march in Madison against Scott Walker's Right-to-work-for-less laws? No comfy shoes, no marching. And so very much more.

The FISA lie was why I couldn't vote for him in either election. I'd had enough with Democratic liars despite Republican liars being so much worse. That is why -with the exceptions of Al Gore and John Kerry- I voted third-party as much as possible. Sure, maybe I don't win. But if enough of us did this, we would certainly get their attention when their victory margins dwindle into the margin of error.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Exit 135 said...

Ralph Nader's 97,421 votes in Florida during the 2000 election made the 'selection' of George Bush possible. Gore lost to Bush by 537 votes in Florida. Just saying.,_2000


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