Trade in the Shade
Bush allows Democrats to attach eco-protections to trade agreements
If the Decider isn’t careful, he’s going to become the Compromiser. Last week, President Bush and congressional Democrats worked out a deal that will attach environmental and labor protections to trade accords in the works with Colombia, Panama, Peru, and South Korea. The compromise will require U.S. trading partners to comply with international environmental agreements and enforce their own existing green laws. No doubt following the shining lead of the U.S. Ahem. Administration officials hope the agreement will have a ripple effect, allowing future trade bills to sneak through even a Democrat-controlled Congress; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was also positive, saying, “[W]here it comes down to labor standards and environment, this is enormous progress.” Some critics disagree, saying the standards don’t go far enough — specifically, they point to potential loopholes for non-eco mucking around by foreign gas and oil investors. But hey, when has that ever been a problem?