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Foreign Policy Freelancing

Just for fun:

Reported today in Reuters, referring to the Colombia trade pact,

"We're working with the State Department, the Treasury and USSR (U.S. Trade Representative's Office) on conditions where people might be in position to support it," said Rangel, whose committee has initial jurisdiction over trade agreements.

Our trade policy is clearly antiquated when we're negotiating standards with the United Soviet Socialist Republics.

Also, last week - in the Congressional Record: May 22, 2007 (House), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) defended the trade deal laid out by the Bush administration and a few members of Democratic leadership as a template for trade relations with NORTH Korea (?!):

"There are obstacles and other issues that have to be dealt with in our trade agreements. This is just part of the special ones that often have to be dealt with. They certainly will be with Colombia, with North Korea, [issues] that are not spoken to in this template that will be very specific."

UPDATE: Congresswoman Schwartz's office has assured me that she mispoke and that a correction was immediately submitted to the Congressional Record.

But her statement might be truer than she thought. A little known provision in the pending agreement references an industrial zone, Kaesong, that according to the Wall Street Journal's "Washington, Seoul Face a Thorny Issue" (no longer available online), "combines South Korean capital with North Korean labor" (i.e. multinationals using slave labor). Read more about this at the Huffington Post in David Sirota's "Bush, Congress Consider North Korea 'Free' Trade Pact."

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