Several Trade Items in the News

By June 5, 2008General, Trade

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.

The bill is S. 3083. According to Brown’s news release, he was joined by other anti-trade members of Congress. Who were also flanked by labor leaders.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury announced that the next round of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue will take place June 16-17 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. From the AP story:

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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