Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) unveiled trade legislation yesterday, or rather anti-trade legislation, at a news conference where he was flanked by labor leaders. As The Plain Dealer summarizes: “The legislation would forbid negotiations on new trade deals until the government conducts a detailed review of all existing trade pacts, and recommends changes to ensure they meet tougher standards to protect U.S. workers and consumers.” In response:
Frank Vargo, vice president for international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers, said the bill baffles him because only a small portion of the nation’s trade deficit is accounted for by countries that have trade deals with the United States. Blocking new trade deals would cost U.S. jobs, he warned.
“To me, it’s pretty silly legislation,” Vargo said.
Frank Vargo, vice president for international affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers, said that the Chinese will be under pressure to produce results at the upcoming meetings in order to convince the next administration that the whole effort is worth continuing.
“The Chinese have to reach more deeply into their pockets and come up with something to keep this dialogue going,” he said.
UPDATE (10:40 a.m.): A news release from the Teamsters, supporting Brown’s legislation. James Hoffa attended yesterday’s news conference.
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