At Long Last, Congress Will Vote on Three Trade Pacts that Unions have Held Up

At long last both the House and the Senate are scheduled to vote on the three free trade agreements (FTAs) that have languished for more than four years. Votes on the trade pacts are scheduled for  next Wednesday and will be linked to votes on Trade Adjustment Assistance — a condition that President Obama and Democratic leaders had demanded.

Although there appears to be bipartisan support, the AFL-CIO is still opposed to all of the pending FTAs and brought hundreds of union members to Capitol Hill to tell their congressional cohorts to vote against all three pacts. Their particular focus is on the U.S.-Colombia FTA, even though they demanded — and got — an Action Plan for Colombia to take specific and onerous steps to ostensibly protect union workers in that country.

As CEI has written, trade unions have been largely responsible for holding up the trade pacts, even though the agreements are expected to create many thousands of new jobs. Obviously, appeasing unions by giving in to their demands hasn’t worked.

One can only hope that they won’t have the clout to influence enough Democrats to vote against the pacts.