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| 7/21/2009 12:00:00 AM

Trade: What Is to Be Done?

Jul 21--Even pro-free trade Democrats are getting fed up with the U.S. trade agenda, which largely consists of winning Congressional approval of free-trade pacts with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, and finally finishing negotiations on the global Doha trade round.

The Democratic Leadership Council, a think tank for moderate “New Democrats,” would toss out the old, and bring in a new agenda. In a policy paper, the DLC argues for slashing tariffs to poor Muslim countries and largely eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers in the environmental, health and information technology industries.

“A new trade agenda would tie the Obama administration’s trade negotiations and bills directly to some of its largest goals – growth and job creation based on clean energy, leadership in innovation, reconciliation with the Muslim world (and) help for the world’s poor,” says the report.

The DLC aims to ease some of the rancor over trade. Although it says the administration should push the three pending free-trade deals through Congress so doesn’t reneg on commitments, it says the U.S. shouldn’t negotiate new ones. The modest economic gain from FTAs, the DLC reports said, isn’t worth the political angst among Democrats.
 
Read more here.
 
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