Hear the one about CAFTA and labor standards?

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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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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