Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Devil Is In The Details.

The Washington Post editorializes against Senator Clinton for opposing a free trade agreement with South Korea. I am no economist, but incredibly wary of any "free trade" deal negotiated by the Bush administration. We always get these pie in the sky pronouncements about how this time the agreement doesn't suck. This time they are going to actually be serious about retraining workers who lost their jobs. This time environmental and labor concerns will be addressed. This time there will not be loopholes that you could drive a semi truck through.

Enough already. These free trade agreements aren't promoted for the benefit of workers but corporations. It's a trickle down philosophy. Workers may incidentally benefit in some fields from the deal, but that is not why it's being promoted. Some business interests want to exploit the market in a certain way, so the middle class American worker is being taken along for the ride with vague promises that have been empty in the past.

If there ever is a free trade agreement that workers in both countries really like, but the fortune 500 companies are squeamish about, we can talk. Opening up trade has too long been a code for making workers compete with each other for scraps in wages. Those who want support of "free trade" agreements have the onus on them by now to prove it's otherwise.