US Trade policy

It seems that the White House has managed to agree with some key Congressional Democrats (presumably the speaker and the Ways and Means committee) on a trade policy framework, allowing them to move forward on a number of deals. See reporting from:

It seems to include items on labour standards, environmental protection (or possibly just require the enforcement of already-agreed-to environmental standards), allowing developing countries slightly easier access to some generic medications, a guarantee that US ports will continue to be owned and operated by US companies, and increased funding for training US workers affected adversely by trade.

I’m not sure how I feel about these things. I would need to see some more specific details than the tantalising hints that the journalists drop throughout their pieces. At a rough guess without seeing the details, and reserving the right to change my opinion, I support the environmental protections, partially support the labour support requirements (I’d support the right of workers to unionise, for example, but not US-imposed minimum wages or working conditions [*]), support easing access to generic drugs and absolutely oppose restricting the operation of US ports to US companies.

[*] I do generally support minimum work condition requirements and – absent a proper tax system that can provide appropriate subsidies to the poor – a minimum wage, but I do not support the US imposing any particular work conditions or minimum wages on other countries. It should be up to the people of those countries to make up their own minds.

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