Tags: Barack Obama | elizabeth warren | obama | feud | trade | deal | Democrats

Elizabeth Warren Escalates Feud With Obama Over Pacific Trade Deal

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 10:34 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren stepped up her fight with President Barack Obama another notch on Monday with a new report warning that White House claims on behalf of a pending free-trade deal have been made, and betrayed, multiple times over two decades' worth of similar agreements dating to NAFTA.

The report, entitled "Broken Promises" and prepared by the Massachusetts Democrat's staff, is the latest punch thrown in an intra-party brawl between the White House and the anti-Wall Street left, led by Warren, over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

With the Senate poised to give the president expanded powers to finish negotiating TPP, the Warren report argues that promises of strong worker protections in the sweeping 12-nation deal are an echo of sales pitches for old trade deals including the NAFTA treaty championed by President Bill Clinton.

But history shows "the rhetoric has not matched the reality," the report states.

The U.S. government has failed to enforce promised labor provisions, according to the heavily footnoted 15-page report, leaving American workers at a disadvantage to trading partners who ignore fair-wage standards and worker protections — or worse.

The report says that "case studies of several countries that have signed U.S. free trade agreements reveal continuing horrific labor abuses," including use of child labor and violence against workplace organizers.

"Guatemala [in 2011] was named 'the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists' five years after entering a trade agreement with the U.S.," according to the report'

And "in Colombia, despite the existence of a special Labor Action Plan put in place to address long-standing problems, 105 union activists have been murdered and 1,337 death threats have been issued since the U.S. Free Trade Agreement was finalized [in 2012]."

The Obama-Warren feud has been notable for its intensity, with the president belittling the senator as "a politician like everybody else," and Warren firing back with calls for transparency on a deal she says is being negotiated in "secret."

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren stepped up her fight with President Barack Obama another notch on Monday with a new report warning that White House claims on behalf of a pending free-trade deal have been made, and betrayed, multiple times over two decades' worth of similar agreements...
elizabeth warren, obama, feud, trade, deal, Democrats, intra-party
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Monday, 18 May 2015 10:34 PM
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