“Pass the Peruvian F.T.A,” so reads a New York Times editorial today on the same day the House is scheduled to vote on the U.S.-Peru trade pact. One of four pending trade deals, the Peru agreement is also the one that has the best chance of passage in this anti-trade climate.
The four trade agreements all have enforceable labor and environmental standards that were part of a “bipartisan trade deal” negotiated with the Democratic leadership and the Bush Administration.
But labor unions — even though they got what they wanted in the agreements — still aren’t satisfied and are campaigning against the pacts.
The NYT noted:
A group of Democratic leaders from the Clinton administration and Congress recently sent a letter to Congressional Democrats pointing out that rejecting the trade agreements signed in Latin America “would set back regional U.S. interests for a generation.”
Their argument also works on a bigger map. It would be a folly for the United States to turn its back on trade. Democrats, who have taken control of Congress and might soon take the White House, should not lose sight of that fact.
It indeed would be “a folly” to reject this and the other trade agreements. But has that even stopped Congress?