A few months ago, many of us were excited by the announcement by various members of Congress that they were forming a Congressional Populist Caucus. Since then, there hasn't been much news about this caucus - until today:
Populist Caucus, House Trade Working Group & Progressive Caucus Members Join to Express Concerns about Panama FTA
Groups sending letter to Speaker outlining problems with the agreement
Washington, DC - Signers of a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressing concerns with the Panama Free Trade Agreement will gather to unveil the letter and discuss their concerns at a press conference today. The letter was led by Populist Caucus Chairman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), House Trade Working Group Chairman Michael Michaud (D-ME), Progressive Caucus co-chairs Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Populist Caucus Vice-Chair Betty Sutton (D-OH), and Progressive Caucus members Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Phil Hare (D-IL), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). A full list of cosigners and the letter will be released at the press conference.
I'd say this is a perfect issue for the Populist Caucus to get itself involved in. The Panama Free Trade Agreement hits the intersection of rigged trade policies and corporate tax rip offs - two less-noticed but hugely important issues that will require congressional pressure to address.
As noted a few weeks ago, the debate over trade is shifting slowly - and we've already been taught that it is going to take constant pressure for the Obama administration to move in the right direction. Looks like that pressure is ramping up.