IMPORTS & EXPORTS

Obama Cracks Down on Trade

The Obama administration is preparing to take a tougher stance with America’s trading partners. The United States will seek new benchmarks in its negotiations with Colombia and South Korea, and will uphold tougher environmental and labor standards when negotiating trade deals. This comes at a time when many Americans are blaming job losses on cheap foreign imports, and the government has instated a “Buy American” provision in the stimulus bill. At his hearing yesterday, Ron Kirk, President Obama's nominee as U.S. trade representative, said: "I believe in trade and will work to expand it, but I also know that not all Americans are winning from it and that our trading partners are not always playing by the rules."