Apparently, Blumenauer had been meeting behind closed doors with Democratic House leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel, the White House, other House Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce to hammer out a deal extending NAFTA-like trade agreements with Panama and Peru.
These politicians claim that the deal has unprecedented labor and environmental provisions included, but there is no guarantee that these provisions will make it into the text of the legislation itself.
Speaking outside Blumenauers office, before the mock "visit" by George Bush, Dan Denvir of Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, stated that "comments by the U.S. trade representatives and the Chamber of Commerce, have indicated the reason they are supporting it is because they believe the labor standards will be unenforceable .
Also, this so called deal on Panama and Peru free trade agreements does nothing to address serious agricultural problems with the agricultural provisions."
Denvir state that, "in Mexico, after NAFTA over 1.3 million Campesino farmers have been displaced becasue their markets wre flooded with U.S. subsidized agricultural goods, and the same is going to be true for the Panama and Peru Free Trade agreements. In addition it says nothing about the Chapter 11 provisions, which allows Corporations to sue states for having health protections, for having labor standards, for having environmental standards. This so called deal....does nothing to address these problems."
"It does nothing to address the outsourcing of good paying American jobs; it does nothing for workers on either side of the border or for the environment."
"W" visits Blumenauer's office and thanks a much embarrassed Blumenauer for his labors, for "stabbing his constituents in the back." He admits to being worried when the House and Senate went to the Democrats in 2006, but is much relieved by the actions of Blumenauer and some of his colleagues.Speaking both inside the office and again outside at the demonstration "Earl" tries to move away from "W", wishing that this type of acknowledgment should be taking place in Washington, away from the eyes of his Oregon constituents.
This is a 14 minute video of the event, finishing off with a commentary by Laurie King of Portland Jobs With Justice, whose organization staged the event.
Out the Earl Video, RealPlayer