Their Anti-Worker Attitude, Maybe They Just Cannot Help It
U. S. has negotiated bi-lateral free trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and . The treaties appear to be pro-growth, particularly with Panama as reported by the Wall Street Journal. South Korea
The White House supports the treaties. The Republicans support the treaties. The business community supports the treaties. So why is there a problem?
Because in any free trade agreement there are winners and losers, the losers typically being workers who lose their jobs because of the increased imports. To soften this suffering the Administration wants to link approval of the agreements
to the renewal in scaled-back form of the longtime Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers hurt by foreign competition.
The Republican position is that any assistance to workers adversely affected by the agreements is so terrible that they would try to block the agreements rather than agree to such assistance. In an attempt to appease Republicans, the Administration has already scaled down the program from $1 billion and
Business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, backed Mr. Obama's efforts to revive the trade deals, which promise $13 billion a year in new export activity, far more than the trade-adjustment program would cost.
But apparently even $1 of aid to affected workers is too much. The Republican leader of the Senate
Mr. McConnell said that "if the administration were to embed a TAA into the
No what Mr. McConnell thinks is that it would benefit low and middle income workers Can’t have that now, can we? It wouldn't be cricket.
For Mr. McConnell and Conservatives, government benefits are only supposed to be used for upper income folks and for business. And if it takes blocking a deal that would add $13 billion in exports to the economy, well ideological purity must surely come before economic growth and more jobs.