If approved, this FTA would include drastic modifications in labor rights regulations and environment protection norms, and although the media doesn't mention anything else, I hope that it would also include more intellectual rights and protections for Indigenous peoples. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Charles Rangel and the US Secretary of the Treasure, Henry M. Paulson Jr. made this announcement in the White House.
Free trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea are in suspense. Some members of the Democratic party are annoyed with their Congressmen, because most of the new-elected congressmen run anti-free trade campaigns promising that they would not approve more free trade deals. It's expected that the US Congress will soon include the Peru and Panama FTA for debate, or will give President Bush the option of Fast Track (without Congressional approval) to approve this controversial commercial deal.
TLC PERU-EEUU PODRIA SER APROBADO
El TLC que se aprobaría, tendría modificaciones drásticas en los aspectos laborales y de protección ecológica, y aunque los medios no lo mencionan, espero que se incluyan tambien los derechos intelectuales y protecciones para los pueblos Indígenas . Los congresistas Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel y el secretario del Tesoro de EEUU, Henry M. Paulson Jr. hicieron el anuncio en la Casa Blanca.
Los TLC con Colombia y Corea del Sur siguen en suspenso. Algunos miembros del partido Demócrata están molestos con sus congresistas, pues la mayoría de los nuevos congresistas hicieron campañas electorales prometiendo que no aprobarían mas tratados de libre comercio. Se espera que el congreso de EEUU someta pronto a debate los TLC de Perú y Panamá, o le otorgará la facultad de Fast Track (sin necesidad de la aprobación del congreso) al presidente Bush, para que apruebe este controversial acuerdo comercial.
The Washington Post:
Path Is Cleared For Trade Deals
Congressional Democrats, White House Agree to Include Stringent Labor Provisions. Agreement Makes Labor Rights Part Of U.S. Policy
By Peter S. Goodman and Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, May 11, 2007; Page D01
Congressional Democrats who only six months ago struck a combative stance with the Bush administration on trade policy yesterday reached a deal with the White House, clearing the way for approval of trade pacts with Peru and Panama.
Traducción: Los congresistas Demócratas quienes hace solo seis meses montaron una posición combativa contra el gobierno de Bush en el tema del libre comercio, llegaron a un acuerdo ayer con la Casa Blanca, limpiando el camino para la aprobación de los acuerdos comerciales con Perú y Panamá.
"Today marks a new day," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared as she stood beside the Bush administration's Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., to unveil the deal. She expressed gratitude to Republicans as well as Democrats.
"With their help, we have been able to agree to this new trade policy so that we can raise the living standards in the United States and abroad, expand our markets and spur economic growth," Pelosi said.
Participants said they hope the deal will open the door to broader movement on trade issues in Washington, perhaps jump-starting other stalled talks or leading to greater protection for American workers.
The key to the agreement, said those involved, was the Bush administration's reluctant assent to Democratic demands for more stringent labor rules. Under the new policy, enforceable labor provisions will be written into the text of future trade deals to protect the rights of workers abroad to organize unions and bargain collectively, while banning forced and child labor and workplace discrimination.
Traducción: La clave para este acuerdo, dijeron los involucrados, fue que el gobierno de Bush aceptó renuente las demandas de los Demócratas por reglas de trabajo más rigurosas. Bajo el nuevo acuerdo, las provisiones de trabajo serán escritas en el texto de los futuros acuerdos comerciales para proteger los derechos de trabajadores en el exterior de organizar sindicatos y negociar colectivamente, mientras que prohíben el trabajo forzado, de los niños y la discriminación en el trabajo.The Bush administration had resisted such rules, reflecting the fears of business interests that they could boost the power of American labor unions, opening a backdoor for them to rewrite U.S. law to their advantage. But the administration concluded that it had to swallow the labor rules lest its trade deals die in a Congress controlled by the other party.
The deal also includes an agreement between the White House and Congress to develop a "strategic worker assistance and training initiative" that would increase job training and financial assistance for communities that suffer job losses to overseas competition and automation. Democrats said those programs would go beyond existing benefits, but they provided few details.
Analysts said the compromise essentially ensures congressional passage for the pending trade deals with Peru and Panama. Far less certain is the fate of two controversial pacts with South Korea and Colombia.
Traducción: Analistas dijeron que este acuerdo asegura esencialmente la aprobación parlamentaria de los acuerdos comerciales pendientes con Perú y Panamá.
But the array of people standing together yesterday in a room at the Capitol, speaking of bipartisan cooperation, underscored that a significant political balance had been struck.
Along with Paulson and Paulson stood Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who took the lead in negotiations for the Democrats. Also present was U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab, who led the talks for the administration.
"We need not be talking about a Republican trade policy or a Democratic trade policy, but rather an American trade policy," Schwab said.
The New York Times:
Bush in Accord With Democrats on Trade DealsVIDEO: FREE TRADE VS. FAIR TRADE
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
Published: May 11, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 10 — The Bush administration reached agreement on Thursday with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrats to attach environmental and worker protections in several pending trade accords, clearing the way for early passage of some pacts and improving prospects for others.
Traducción: El gobierno de Bush llegó a un acuerdo este jueves con la presidenta de la cámara de representantes, Nancy Pelosi, y otros Demócratas para incluir normas de protección ecológicas y laborales en varios acuerdos comerciales pendientes, abriendo el camino para una pronta aprobación de algunos tratados y mejorando las posibilidades de otros [tratados].
The unusual agreement, which came after weeks of negotiations, would guarantee workers the right to organize, ban child labor and prohibit forced labor in trading-partner countries. It would also require trading partners to enforce environmental laws already on their books and comply with several international environmental agreements.
Traducción: Este acuerdo inusual, el cual llegó después de semanas de negociaciones, podría garantizar a los trabajadores el derecho a organizarse, prohibiría el trabajo infantil y el trabajo forzado en los países que firmen acuerdos de libre comercio con EEUU. También requiere que los países firmantes apliquen leyes de protección ecológica firmados, en concordancia con los acuerdos internacionales de protección del medio ambiente.
While the understanding was a victory for Democrats, it also represented a shrewd compromise by the White House. The agreement is the first major bipartisan economic deal to emerge since Democrats took control of Congress in January. It has immediate importance for four countries — Colombia, Panama, Peru and South Korea — that are seeking to enter into trade pacts with the United States.
But officials in Washington predicted that the agreement’s effect would go beyond those countries and could be a template for all trade deals, including a possible worldwide accord.
Administration officials are hoping that the agreement will cause many Democrats to support future trade deals. They hope that enough Democrats will join with Republicans, who generally support such measures, to make passage of the agreements probable, if only narrowly.
The negotiations were led on the administration side by Susan C. Schwab, the top trade envoy, and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., and on the House side by Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
“I think today is a recognition of the results of the November election,” Ms. Pelosi said at a news conference. “It doesn’t mean that this paves the way for trade agreements where we have other obstacles. But where it comes down to labor standards and environment, this is enormous progress.”
Ms. Schwab said that the agreement would send a message to trading partners that the United States was prepared to provide new impetus to the faltering talks for a global trade accord.
Democrats have been pressing for worker, environmental and other protections on trade deals without success since President Bush took office in 2001. The absence of such protections has meant that when lawmakers passed measures that lowered trade barriers, they generally did so without the support of Democrats.
In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton was able to get only 40 percent of his fellow Democrats to endorse the North American Free Trade Agreement, and only about 60 percent to support a global trade agreement. Since then, many Democrats have soured on measures to lower trade barriers.
The breakthrough came as the politically sensitive trade deficit jumped in March to $63.9 billion, or 10 percent more than February’s revised deficit of $57.9 billion, putting the imbalance at its highest level in six months.
The report, issued by the Census Bureau, followed a trend that economists have observed for several months: even as growth slows in the United States, expanding economies overseas are creating a need for American exports. In March, exports totaled $126.2 billion, up $2.2 billion from February. Those gains were not enough to offset an $8.2 billion rise in imports, which totaled $190.1 billion.
Thursday’s compromise affects four trade deals pending before Congress, two of them signed and two with negotiations that are nearly complete. All four countries would have to accept the provisions agreed to with the Democrats, but trade officials said they expected no major problems.
Peru and Panama are considered most likely to win early Congressional approval. Colombia is more problematic, because Democrats are demanding that, besides the new measures, more protections be added to prevent violence against activists trying to organize workers.
Traducción: [los acuerdos comerciales] con Perú y Panamá se consideran muy probables de contar con una pronta aprobación del congreso.