One Small Step for Free Trade in the New World…


…one even smaller step for free trade around the world?

Prez Bush has signed the Central American Free Trade Agreement into law. The deal, subject to all the sickening compromises that shower money on heavily protected industries, barely squeaked by despite Bush's hard sell, an indication that support for freer trade or for Bush as a second termer–or both–is on the ropes.

From the SF Chron:

The close votes give rise to questions about whether a hobbled administration will have the political clout to implement its sweeping free- trade agenda. The administration is talking with Thailand, several southern African nations and Andes mountain nations about creating separate free-trade agreements with them….

Bush is also pushing the Doha Development Agenda, which would lower global agricultural subsidies and tariffs, at the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting in December. And the administration is committed to creating a Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would include every nation in the Western Hemisphere except Fidel Castro's Cuba.

Whole thing here.