Fig leaf free trade

Posted in Made in China, Permanent Fail at 7:05 am by George Smith

Free trade is taken by everyone not in power to mean rip-off and misery. All you American guitar belong to China. And so on.

Except for weapons.

Here’s a coincidental laff riot on a free trade with America agreement waiting the go-ahead for Colombia, earlier in the week:

Earlier in the week: Wisconsin bill stripping labor’s bargaining rights goes into effect in August.

Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, has been one of strongest proponents of using the trade agreement as a carrot to encourage Colombia to make additional labor reforms.

Under the plan, Colombia committed to hiring 480 new labor inspectors, including 100 this year.

It also pledged a number of actions by June 15, including enacting laws to establish criminal penalties for employers who undermine the right to organize and bargain collectively.

Other actions due by then included publication of regulations prohibiting the misuse of worker cooperatives to circumvent labor rights; the start of an outreach program to inform workers of available remedies in labor rights cases as well as criminal penalties for employers who violate the law; and a series of inspections to ensure employers are not using temporary services agencies to thwart unions from forming and exercising their labor rights.

Earlier in the week: Wisconsin bill stripping labor union rights goes into effect in August.

Our primary “trade export” to Colombia: Military training and arms.

Economist Dean Baker on the Colombia, Panama, Korea “free trade” deals.

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