Good news — Congress finally passed the free trade pacts with Colombia, South Korea and Panama. Bad news is — how the New York Times summed up the politics of it:
The approval of the deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama is a victory for President Obama and proponents of the view that foreign trade can drive America’s economic growth in the face of rising protectionist sentiment in both political parties. They are the first trade agreements to pass Congress since Democrats broke a decade of Republican control in 2007.
President Bush couldn’t get the deals through his own State Department brokered, because Democrat Nancy Pelosi held the House. President Obama could have gotten the deals through any time since January, but chose to sit on them, instead — because his union pals were unhappy. Obama changed his mind only as a talking point against the “do-nothing” Congress. He was still sitting on the pacts until this week, even as he harangued Congress for not passing them.