It’s not often (especially these days) that a trade news item makes me laugh out loud. But, via an article in Inside U.S. Trade today, I saw a letter from United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk to Rep. Michael Michaud (D, ME) that did the trick.
Representative Michaud leads the House Trade Working Group, which is indeed working very diligently to stymie any hopes of meaningful trade liberalization. They wrote a letter in January to the USTR outlining their concerns about the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. (I, too have concerns, but not the same ones as the HTWG.) Ambassador Kirk wrote back a fairly anodyne response that did not commit the administration to much of anything, except to follow up on the comments they have received from the Federal Register Notice.
Towards the end, though, came the punchline:
We are conducting follow-up meetings with these groups, including the AFL-CIO, the United Steelworkers, the Sierra Club, Oxfam, and Global Trade Watch, among others, to ensure we are hearing a full range of views on these issues. (My emphasis)