Obama on Trade

Bypassing the current flap over Obama’s stance or anti-stance on NAFTA, let’s instead look at his past history on other trade agreements. He appears to be against free-trade with countries in the Americas from his debate speech and his past votes, and for trade with overseas countries. He also is for opening doors with tyrranies, and Communist countries.

This should concern all US Citizens – in general the people of the Americas are closer to par with wages and protections of US workers than many other places in the world. This means that jobs are less likely to be exported through American trade agreements, and trade is more likely to be even when we trade in the Americas. Would you rather buy your goods from Costa Rica, or China? The answer should be obvious.

Obama has a troubling history of votes — he voted Yes to trade with Oman, but No to the Central America Free Trade Agreement. In theory this was because CAFTA does not have labor protections in it, but what has he done about trade with Pakistan, China, the Philippines, and other places overseas where labor rights and environmental protections are even less protected than in Central and South America? 

In early 2007 he and Senator Patrick Leahy held up the vote on the Andean Free Trade Agreement to advance a case from Ecuador, where the government is bordering on full Communism, against and American oil company, Chevron. That case has drug through courts since 1993, and amounts to a 10 billion dollar shakedown of a US oil company.

So when Barack Obama says he wants Social Justice, is it just for those in Communist and tyrannical countries, or is it for US Citizens and their friends and neighbors?