Democratic Gains Raise Roadblocks To Free-Trade Push (GREG HITT and NEIL KING , JR., November 11, 2006, Wall Street Journal)
The Democrats’ sweep of Congress is set to deliver a blow to President Bush’s free-trade ambitions and could hamper impending trade deals both big and small.
Democrats’ stances against free trade helped build the party’s success at the polls and could tip the balance on trade matters. The new dynamic could put a definitive end to the already troubled effort to reach a global agreement to reduce tariffs and open markets, known as the Doha round. It also could put in jeopardy smaller deals such as those the U.S. has crafted with Peru and Colombia, intended to boost two-way trade by lowering tariffs and increasing intellectual-property protections.
Two dozen tightly contested races turned partly on Democrats’ protectionist platforms, according to Public Citizen, a liberal advocacy group. All told, 16 incoming “trade skeptics” are set to replace “trade friendly” Republicans in the House, according to a study by the Swiss Institute for International Economics at the University of St. Gallen. Five new Senate Democrats are viewed as more critical on trade than were their opponents.
Kind of sad how far backwards they’ve gone since Al Gore smooted Ross Perot upside the head.