On Trade: Kirk Say Yes, Bush Says Yes, AFL-CIO Points Fingers

By January 19, 2009Labor Unions, Trade

Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, speaking at the U.S. Conference on Mayors, about his belief in the value of trade, as reported by Reuters:

[Kirk] told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that he hoped to be confirmed by the Senate within the next two or three weeks, and joked that he’d been warned by his 19-year-old daughter he was taking an unpopular job.

“‘Dad, this is cool, except for everybody hates your office and everybody hates the WTO (World Trade Organization). Why would you do this?'” Kirk said, recounting her words in mostly light-hearted remarks to the mayor’s group.

“And in short, I told her because it’s too important. Our economy is too important. The challenges that face our communities are so big that we can’t afford to take anything out of our economic toolbox, including trade,” Kirk said.

On Friday, President Bush signed the proclamation putting the U.S.-Peru Trade Agreement into full effect. Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), the AFL-CIO and various environmentalist groups objected to the signing, as BusinessWeek reports. The groups sent a news release Friday, and we call attention to the AFL-CIO’s argument:

“Peru’s labor laws still fall far short of meeting International Labor Organization standards, and we are deeply disappointed with the Bush administration’s decision to rush implementation without first securing compliance with the agreement’s provisions,” said Thea Lee, Policy Director at the AFL-CIO. “This represents a wasted opportunity and shows poor faith on the part of our own government.”

The AFL-CIO seems awfully intent on subjugating itself to international bodies and foreign organizations, as in its proud declaraton, “Global Unions Will Help Push Employee Free Choice.”

So change the name already: IFL-CIO.


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