Concealing potentially job-killing trade schemes from the American public thwarts democracy. Rushing unpopular legislation through Congress before American citizens have an opportunity to review it and tell their elected representatives how they feel about it obstructs democracy.
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk doesn't believe many middle-class manufacturing jobs will be a part of America's future. Like many free trade proponents, he views the loss of these jobs as inevitable.
"Free trade" is right up there on the list of very bad policies -- at least if you believe in a middle class. But the administration is amping up its efforts to get three "free trade" deals through Congress.
Believe it or not, there actually are Democrats and Republicans -- lots of them -- committed to robust international engagement, smart foreign aid, and coherent and sensible U.S. international public diplomacy.
The United States filed a complaint against Guatemala for failure to enforce labor agreements outlined in a free trade deal with Central American countries, making it the first time the U.S. has brought a case against a trade partner.
"Free trade should be premised on fundamental respect for human rights, especially the rights of the workers producing the goods to be traded. In Colombia, workers cannot exercise their right without fear of being threatened or killed."
Obama may soon find that he is committing a big sin against one of the major premises of the reigning ideology, and will create a head-on collision with one of the cherished dogmas of market fundamentalism -- "free trade."
Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration is dreadful. His explanation is even worse. He shrinks Warren's statements about gay people down to a "disagreement," as if we're talking about ethanol subsidies.