Wednesday, June 29, 2011


 Some malware cut down both of our computers earlier in the week, requiring us to use an old and slow laptop and a notebook to put out the daily issues.  We are waiting for the Geeks to get through with the first pc and then for the second.  Waiting is killing us.  It sort of thwarts everything we have planned on doing.

 The same is happening in US trade policy.

 Finally, Congressional supporters of advancing US trade in general are waiting for the Senate Finance Committee to finally schedule a “mock” markup of the three long-pending free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.  They also are waiting to set a markup probably tomorrow afternoon on the lapsed US Generalized System of Preferences Program and the Andean Trade Preferences Program. 

The committee also is expected to take up extension of the politically controversial 2009 additional trade adjustment assistance program for Americans who have lost their jobs directly related to trade.

 The pending free trade agreements have been pending for upwards of five years.

 Trade supporters also are waiting for the Obama Administration to finish its over-a-year review of a model Bilateral Investment Treaty.  That program is instrumental to providing assurances for companies – both American and foreign – that their investments will not be taken away or curtailed, which officials freely agree is true.

 Like with us, the waiting dampens enthusiasm for future initiatives – including the Administration’s highly-touted TransPacific Partnership negotiations – and erodes support for trade, rather than builds it.

 WTD, along with many of our subscribers, are getting impatient.  Understandably, some of our readers are asking why they are paying for a daily newsletter only to read the same story every day – why nothing is happening.  And they are cancelling for the first time in 20 years of publication.

 Its killing to have to wait and not exactly know what for.

 Jim Berger

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