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Recovery and trade

Obama has said he supports free trade, and the New York Times reports the economic crisis may delay action on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA.  But according to Laura Carlson, “It hasn’t been lost on the rest of the world that the U.S. government is adopting measures such as massive subsidies and bailouts that it has sought to deny developing countries under free-trade rules.”

Robert Kutter says many of Obama’s most sensible policies to revive the economy “violate the sacred dogma of free trade.  If the Obama administration is serious about reviving American manufacturing industry, it is only a matter of time before a foreign government hauls the U.S. before the World Trade Organization.”

Meanwhile 60 groups from the Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. joined the Alliance for Responsible Trade urging Obama to renegotiate NAFTA, not just to strengthen labor and environmental standards, but to shape trade policy so it doesn’t favor agribusiness and hurt small farmers — and further exacerbate the growing food crisis.

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Category: economy, family farms, international, trade, transition


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