Roundup of What People Are Saying About the Peru FTA
AFL "unalterably opposed" to Colombia FTA

Trade on the Trail - Big week!

Here are some excerpts from various presidential primary Peru press statements - say that 5 times fast!

After the Peru NAFTA-expansion passed in the House yesterday with a majority of Democrats voting against it, Sen. Clinton's campaign put out this statement:

I support the trade agreement with Peru. It has very strong labor and environmental protections. This agreement makes meaningful progress on advancing workers’ rights, and also levels the playing field for American workers. Most Peruvian goods already enter the U.S. duty free, but our exports to Peru have been subject to tariffs.

However, I will oppose the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The South Korean agreement does not create a level playing field for American carmakers. I am very concerned about the history of violence against trade unionists in Colombia. And as long as the head of Panama’s National Assembly is a fugitive from justice in America, I cannot support that agreement. Accordingly, I will oppose the trade agreements with these countries.

Sen. Dodd's campaign put out this one:

Americans are looking for change - but there's nothing new in supporting the failed trade policy of the last six years, which is partially responsible for the loss of 3 million manufacturing jobs. It's disappointing that Senators Clinton and Obama, in supporting this [Peru] agreement, would support more of the same, which will only add to our deficit, taking jobs away from hardworking Americans and shipping them elsewhere.

And Edwards put out this:

For decades, our leaders in Washington have pursued trade policies that have devastated communities like the ones I grew up in. Take NAFTA – it was supported by insiders from both political parties, but it has cost us more than 1 million jobs. Now, at a time when American families are terribly concerned about job losses and a weak economy, our Congress is about to vote on expanding the NAFTA-free trade model to Peru.

And then this:

As I have said before, there are real and serious differences in this presidential race, and our stands on this trade deal are another example. Whereas voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and all across America have learned that I will fight for safe and smart trade, now they see that Senator Clinton, by supporting this trade deal, has chosen to follow a very different path.

And from Kucinich:

This morning's passage of the Peru Free Trade Agreement by the U.S. House proves that the Democrat-controlled Congress is totally out of touch with the American people and refuses to abide by promises it made to voters in last year's elections, Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said immediately following the vote.

Others have been pretty quiet but as far as house votes, here they are:

  • Duncan Hunter missed the vote.
  • Tom Tancredo voted yes.
  • Ron Paul voted no.

And in related news both New Hampshire representatives voted no on Peru NAFTA.

From the Associated Press:

In yesterday's debate, New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter asked at least for a delay. She joined opponents who said they worry about job losses, and spoke of plant closures in the state. She and Congressman Paul Hodes voted against the plan.

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craig fleming

have we learned nothing from the debacle that is now mexico. Now, we're planning to repeat the same disasterous globalization policy with Peru. Long live American Imperialism! How many more weaker civilizations do we have to thrust our economic dominion on before we become completly satiated. Does history teach us nothing. And everyone thought Ross Perot was silly with all his charts and graphs back in 1991.

Jose Padillo

I take issue with the claim that Duncan Hunter was quiet on the Peru FTA. The night before the vote he appeared on the floor of the U.S. House and soundly trounced the idea of opening a FTA with Peru. Hunter was there to vote against the Peru FTA, however, the vote ended up getting pushed into the next day. Unfortunately Hunter had a presidential campaign commitment he couldn't miss. HUNTER WOULD HAVE VOTED AGAINST THE PERU FTA IF HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PRESENT IN THE U.S. CONGRESS DURING THE VOTING. He's disdain for the agreement was obvious in the speech he gave on the U.S. House floor the night before the vote.

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