The Democratic Party leadership is stabbing its base in the back with secret "free trade" deals made behind closed doors with the White House. Now congressional Democrats may be on the verge of a significant split. While Democratic leaders and President Bush do the hard sell on bipartisan immigration reform, they are now pushing secret, anti-worker, anti-environment trade agreements that will only exacerbate US immigration problems.
The contentious agreements are bilateral trade deals between the U.S. and Peru, Panama, Colombia and South Korea. The deals were announced in a bipartisan press conference May 10, with principal credit going to Rep Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee (long dubbed by some as the "Ways to be Mean" Committee). According to Inside US Trade, as noted by blogger David Sirota, House Democrats admit that the White House is drafting the legal language of the trade deals.
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