Hear the one about CAFTA and labor standards?

Nathan Newman, citing BNA Daily Labor Report makes a good point:

The joke of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is that its labor rights standards only require governments to enforce their labor laws as they exist, however pathetic those standards may be.

But to add insult to this ridiculous standard, the Bush administration proposed this year to slash $80.8 million from the $93.2 million currently spent by the US Bureau of International Labor Affairs to investigate labor law enforcement by foreign governments.

So a toothless set of labor standards will have equally toothless enforcement. And the House Appropriations Committee approved this cut in the Labor Department on June 16th. “It’s a strange way to search for votes for CAFTA,” Ranking Democratic David Obey noted.

Well, it is a strange way to search for votes, but it’s also perfectly consistent with the Bush administration’s labor policy in general.


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