The White House has given the go-ahead to a third trade agreement since December, this one with Panama. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk hinted that the Panama deal was coming soon in a conference call earlier this month announcing the Colombia trade deal. The NAFTA-style trade deal with Korea was announced in December. From the Hill about the Panama deal:
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk has given the Panama trade agreement a green light, paving the way for a congressional vote on the long-stalled deal within months.
Kirk notified Congress on Monday that Panama has cleared all the hurdles needed for passage of the U.S.-Panama trade agreement. He said technical discussions on implementing the legislation can now begin with Congress.
House Republicans are continuing to push an arbitrary deadline of July 1, 2011 for passage of all three outstanding trade deals.
“I look forward to working with the administration to ensure that all three of our pending trade agreements are considered by Congress by July 1. We are on the home stretch, and I welcome the opportunity to show the world that we once again have a market-opening trade agenda that creates U.S. jobs,” [Texas GOP Rep. and Trade subcommittee Chairman Kevin] Brady stated.
And Ron Kirk, in a conference call with reporters, seems to be making every effort to meet that deadline, as I wrote two weeks ago.
The Assassination Stress Tests call for Colombia to hit its main points by mid-June – just in time for the deadline imposed by House Republicans to push through all three pending trade deals, including Korea and Panama. While the Administration initially balked at moving all three trade deals together, it appears as though they’re doing just that. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk was frustrated by the lack of movement on the Korea deal in a White House call this afternoon, during which he also revealed that the Panama trade agreement would move “in the coming days.”
Each of these trade deals will kill American jobs, sacrifice American sovereignty, and, in the case of Colombia, do nothing to stop the deaths of dozens of union members every year. None of these deals should pass. The next question is, how do you stop the “free trade” freight train?