By Martin Vaughan
February 28, 2007
"Meanwhile, business and labor sources were struck by the disparaging tone taken by Baucus at a hearing with Schwab this month. "Right now, Congress has no leverage except to say no," Baucus grumbled at the Feb. 15 hearing.
A long-time supporter of opening markets, Baucus has continued to stress his hope that trade negotiating authority will be renewed. But he has also laid down a host of conditions.
Baucus is up for re-election in Montana in 2008, and progressive activists are turning up the heat on him to prove his fair trade credentials. The Montana Senate Tuesday voted 45-5 on a resolution calling fast-track "not necessary for negotiating trade agreements" and urging that Congress replace it with a different mechanism.
The vote is part of a nationwide effort by the Progressive States Network, AFL-CIO and Public Citizen to get anti-fast-track resolutions before state legislatures, including efforts in Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee and elsewhere, according to Joel Barkin of Progressive States Network."