Drinking, Dieting, Industrial Policy
On Trade, Democracy Is Speaking

Deathstar Deal Meets Incan Mathematics

As the congressional recess begins, pro-Deathstar Dems including Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), and others have traveled down Peru-way for a meet-and-greet with the local pro-FTA forces.  As Congress Daily PM reports,

In Lima, Rangel and Levin met Monday with business groups that favor the deal and with Garcia, sources said. Today's meetings included members of Peru's parliament and other government officials. The only group opposed to the deal that secured a meeting with lawmakers was the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers, a leading trade union, according to Luis Zuniga, president of CONVEAGRO, an agricultural consortium critical of the deal. Zuniga said he welcomed the efforts by U.S. lawmakers to push Peru toward implementing labor reforms in advance of consideration of the deal. "The problem is, those who want an FTA in Peru are the same ones who do not want labor laws to be reformed in Peru," Zuniga said through a translator.

And while some press in advance of the trip suggested that pro-Deathstar Democrats were going to require that some changes be made to Peruvian labor law before the U.S. Congress take up consideration of the pact, this too appears to be slipping.

According to Inside U.S. Trade, the deal that the pro-Deathstar Dems hammered out with the Peruvian government will let Peru off the hook for changing most of its laws, instead allowing the president of Peru to make a series of decrees that  "will likely not outlaw" bad labor practices, "but clarify that they do not serve to undermine labor rights." Overall, Peru will only address "six out of the 11 issues that House Ways and Means Democratic staff had identified as needing action."

Now, Congress Daily reports that "mock markups" on the Peru FTA could happen in early September.

So, let's get this straight. The Deathstar Deal made less than half of the changes demanded by fair trade groups to the Peru FTA (just to get them not to oppose it). According to these reports today, only about half of the changes demanded on labor rights by the pro-Deathstar Dems are actually being addressed by Peru, mostly through decrees and clarifications rather than by law changes. Now, for those more specialized in Incan mathematics than I, what percentage "good" is this deal?

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