First Test Passed (Probably): Leading House Democrat Calls Vietnam WTO Deal “Uncontroversial”

by Julian Ku

Rep. Charles Rangel of NY, slated to become the new Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has called congressional legislation granting permanent normal trading status to Vietnam “uncontroversial” and probably pass in the lame duck Congress next week. Rangel is not exactly a free trader, but he is not reflexively against all free trade deals. He says, however, that the deal with Peru is pretty much dead and I wouldn’t be holding my breath in Russia for a WTO deal either.

The newly-elected Democratic Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown, however, really is reflexively against all free trade deals, new or existing. His book, The Myths of Free Trade, pretty much parrots the Pat Buchanan view on free trade as the source of most of the ills suffered by American workers. Brown immediately becomes the most clearly anti-free trade Senator in the Senate and may represent a new protectionist trend in Congress.

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