Democrats are holding up the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and both sides are tying the CFTA to trade adjustment assistance, which is welfare, purportedly for those who lose their jobs thanks to offshoring of jobs. But Democrats in the House are pushing for an expansion of TAA, as they did with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP): turning a narrow welfare program into a broad welfare program. Putting more Americans on the government teat is a priority for some.
So, my question is: How much is free trade with Colombia worth? Bush and congressional Republicans were willing to endure Democratic and media abuse to block the expanded SCHIP, will they be willing to let a free trade agreement sink to block expanded TAA? Or are some things just too important?