President Obama vs Democrats on free trade

Back in the days of “hope and change”, candidate Obama was against NAFTA and voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA.

He beat up Hillary Clinton for her support of NAFTA and blamed everything on free trade agreements. The Washington Post called it "pander".  

We recall that he turned off Canada and Mexico with some of his attacks on NAFTA. Some of us raised concerns about the candidate's comments but it worked well in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, three states with strong union influence.

That was then and this is now. He was giving speeches and pandering back then. He has to govern now in the context of an Asia Pacific market that also includes Chile in South America.

President Obama is getting it from Democrats and labor leaders, as we read in Laurie Kellman's post:

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said the bill "would allow secret trade pacts to sail through Congress with no chance to alter them. That's bad for American workers as well as their families."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the agreement marked only a start and could be derailed by amendments that might be added when lawmakers consider the bill in committees or on the floor.

"Negotiating objectives without enforcement mechanisms don't get you very far," Brown told reporters.

Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said the bill "puts Congress in the back seat and greases the skids for an up-or-down vote after the fact. Real congressional power is not at the end of the process, it is right now when the critical outstanding issues are being negotiated."

There is a 2008 Obama flavor to those remarks from Mr Hoffa and Senators Levin & Brown.    

It's about legacy for President Obama. We are in year seven of the Obama presidency and it looks like another war in the Middle East is what he will be likely remembered for. ObamaCare is still unpopular and the numbers just don't add  up. The U.S. economy has improved but don't expect a Democrat in 2016 to say that happy days are here again. And the Obama foreign policy is one problem after another.

Again, it's about legacy, especially since he is running out of time and possibilities.

President Obama was wrong in 2008 and he is right now. We need this trade deal to promote U.S. businesses in the Asia Pacific region.    

Unfortunately for President Obama, the Democrats are throwing his words from 2008 right back at him.

It’s like Obama’s chickens have come home to roost!   

Yes, I support the free trade agreement. At the same time, it's hard to feel sorry for a man who was so irresponsible in 2008.

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