Pro-Trade Dems, Sticking to Their Guns, Mostly

By July 19, 2007Trade

Good piece in The Hill on the “New Democrats,” who recognize that free trade agreements open markets abroad and create export-related jobs in their districts.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) was pleased with the deal Democratic leaders and the Bush administration reached in May that appeared to pave the way for bipartisan votes this summer on a free trade agreement (FTA) with Peru.

But a little more than two months later, Smith said he’s unsure whether the House will actually pass any trade deals this year, even if they include the tougher labor and environmental language the administration agreed to in May, which Smith hailed.

“Now I am worried about whether we’ll actually pass trade agreements with that language,” said Smith, who is a vice-chairman of the House New Democrat Coalition.

Smith also expresses concern that no one appears to be talking about reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority.

Meanwhile, free trade negotiations between South Korea and the European Union began Monday.

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