Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Columbia "Free Trade" is a bad deal

Triple Crisis bloggers on the Obama Administration's trade deals

The Obama Administration’s latest free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, were the subject of several Triple Crisis posts this month. MatĂ­as Vernengo criticizes the Colombian agreement in his post, “The Colombia FTA: Only Corporations Win.” Guest blogger Sarah Anderson from the Institute for Policy Studies explains that FTAs under Obama restrict the use of capital controls and other crisis prevention tools in her post, “How Obama is to the Right of Reagan on Trade.” And Timothy Wise and Kevin Gallagher point out that President Obama is breaking the promises made by candidate Obama in their joint post, “The false promise of Obama’s trade deals,” based on their recent LATN policy brief, “U.S. Trade Policy: Still Waiting for a ‘21st Century Trade Agreement.’”

In his recent post, GDAE’s Timothy A Wise explains how the Obama Administration’s work on free trade agreements represents a step backwards:

U.S. Trade Policy: Moving backwards in the 21st century

Three years into the Obama Administration, progressives have no shortage of complaints about the president’s economic policies, which seem very much at odds with Candidate Obama’s soaring rhetoric. Economic policies have been centrist at best. Unfortunately, the President’s trade policies may be further to the right than that. He is now counting primarily on Republican votes to push three Bush-era trade agreements, with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. And his trade negotiators are in Chicago wrapping up a negotiating session on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which he promised would be his signature “21st century trade agreement,” unencumbered by Bush-era provisions.

Administration proposals, however, are very last-century, drawing more from the disastrous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) than they do from forward-looking reform proposals. On the campaign trail in 2008 Candidate Obama criticized NAFTA and other trade agreements for giving “broad rights to investors.” So what are his 21st century TPP proposals? By all accounts, a broadening of rights for investors  
. . . Read the full post here.

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