Populist Caucus Organizes Around Trade and Globalization

by: David Sirota

Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 10:42

Congressional Quarterly publishes an article about the newly formed Congressional Populist Caucus, which cuts across the progressive-Blue Dog divide in some interesting ways. I suggest you give it a read. Of note is the focus on trade and globalization:

The caucus opposes negotiating trade deals that don't bind the other country to enforcing significant anti-pollution and worker-rights regulations. And caucus leaders hailed indications from the White House last week that President Obama intends to pursue stiffer trade agreements to protect American manufacturing interests, such as the struggling auto industry.

Indeed, the House's Trade Working Group is co-chaired by Michael H. Michaud of Maine, a Populist Caucus member. He recently sent a letter urging the president to renegotiate both the North American and Central American free-trade agreements and to put on hold pending efforts to finalize bilateral trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea left over by the Bush administration. Of the 53 other representatives signing the letter, 17 were from the Populist Caucus. Braley said that "trade is a good thing for our economy" but added that it's key to make sure the terms of the agreements are fair - and enforceable. "There's a difference between having things down on paper in a trade agreement and having your trading partner actually enforce the law and making something that has teeth."

Trade and globalization policies are going to become more and more important in the economic debate, even if they aren't quite front and center now. And it seems to me the Populist Caucus could play a very constructive role in cobbling together a much different policy for Democrats in Congress.

David Sirota :: Populist Caucus Organizes Around Trade and Globalization

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on top of the trade issue.  It's key.

The Populist Caucus could be the base for a new Democratic Party that fights for workers instead of Wall Street.  


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