Progress, of a sort
Coupling trade with worker aid
Jun 30th 2011 | WASHINGTON, DC | from the print edition
BARACK OBAMA is a late and reluctant convert to free trade. As a senator he opposed many trade agreements negotiated by George Bush—among them deals with Korea, Colombia and, for a time, Panama. As president he has given his backing to those deals, provided Korea did more to admit American cars, Colombia made greater efforts to prevent the murder of union activists, and Panama tried harder to crack down on tax cheats. Satisfied on those fronts, he then insisted that Congress should also reauthorise Trade Adjustment Assistance, or TAA, which provides American workers who lose their jobs to foreign competition with training, income support and subsidised health insurance.
巴拉克•奥巴马（BARACK OBAMA）对于自由贸易态度的转变显得姗姗来迟，而且还颇为勉强。在其还是参议员的时候，他对许多由乔治•布什（George Bush）进行谈判的贸易协定投了反对票。其中包括与韩国，哥伦比亚，还有曾经一段时期内与巴拿马签署的贸易协定。成为总统之后，他对这些贸易协定表示了支持但是条件是韩国必须允许更多的美国汽车进入其市场，哥伦比亚需要花更大的力气来保护工会的骨干分子免遭谋杀。而巴拿马应加强对骗税行为的惩处力度。在这些条件得到满足之后，奥巴马又坚决要求国会重新批准贸易适应援助（Trade Adjustment Assistannce）简称TAA，从而能为因国外竞争导致失业的美国工人提供培训和收入方面的帮助，以及对其医疗保险提供补贴。
He appears to have won that as well. On June 28th the White House said it had a deal with Max Baucus and Dave Camp, the Democratic and Republican chairmen of the trade committees in the Senate and House respectively, to bundle reauthorisation of TAA in with the Korean deal. Mr Obama would then submit all three pacts to Congress for ratification, along with renewal of preferential tariffs for poor countries.
奥巴马的这个提议似乎也能获得批准。在6月28号，白宫宣布其已经分别与民主党与共和党在参众两院的贸易委员会主席Max Baucus 以及Dave Camp达成了协议。准备将重新批准的贸易适应援助（TAA）加入到美国与韩国的贸易协定中去。之后，奥巴马将向国会提请获批所有这3项贸易协议，另外还附加关于延长给予穷国优惠关税待遇。
The deal is a fragile one. Republicans have been clamouring to ratify the trade pacts, but not necessarily with TAA attached. Serious fraying has occurred of the consensus that trade liberalisation’s benefits for the many should be coupled with aid for the few. John Kennedy signed TAA into law in 1962 as part of the inauguration of global trade negotiations so that “those injured by that competition should not be required to bear the full brunt of the impact.”
但这项协议的基础却不够牢靠，共和党人已经在大声疾呼要求在通过这几项贸易协定同时不应强行附带贸易适应援助（TAA）。在实行自由贸易给广大民众带来益处的同时对少数人给予补贴曾经是两党的共识，但是这一次却在这个问题上产生了严重了分歧。约翰•肯尼迪（John Kennedy）在1962年将贸易适应援助（TAA）写入了法律，成为拉开全球贸易谈判序幕的一部分 ，目的在于“保证在引入竞争之后，不能要求一些人首当其冲承受由于竞争导致的利益受损。”
Eligibility for TAA has been expanded several times; by 2010 it went to 234,949 people. Howard Rosen, a proponent of TAA and a scholar at the Peterson Institute, notes that key Republicans, including Mr Camp, supported its last expansion in 2009. (That expansion has expired, and the latest deal would restore it.) Mr Camp still supports TAA, but many of his fellow Republicans consider it just a waste of money.
符合贸易适应援助（TAA）的人数范围已经被扩大了几次，截止2010年，已经有23.4949万人有资格享受到该援助。作为贸易适应援助(TAA)的拥护者，Howard Rosen这位皮特森学院（Peterson Institue）的学者指出，共和党的重要成员包括Camp先生在内都支持该援助在2009年实行的最后一次扩编行为（这次扩编已经被中止了，而在最近的这项协议中决定恢复该项政策）Camp先生仍旧支持实行贸易适应援助，但是他的许多共和党同僚则认为该援助是在浪费金钱。
If Republicans strip TAA from the deal, Mr Obama may abandon the trade deals altogether. That might destroy the prospect of any trade liberalisation during his presidency. But many Americans won’t care. Pew, a pollster, finds that 44% of them, a plurality, think trade agreements are bad for America, the highest percentage in 13 years.