为什么民主党国会议员不支持自由贸易协定？最常见的原因是历史上民主党人一直是工作的一方。由于传统观点认为贸易会摧毁美国的就业机会，民主党人不得不反对。与此相关的解释是，工会是党的事实上的延伸，如果他们反对贸易，那么党的当选代表必须在这个问题上跟随他们的领导。由于工会向他们支持的候选人捐款，赞成贸易意味着告别这些捐款和他们所代表的选票。当然，它比这更复杂。有一个支持商业的民主党人。而且有很多人在国会任职。也有成员可能对商业不了解，但认为贸易很好，而且越多越好。但是，当涉及到公开声明或投票支持贸易时，这些成员不能指望。这就是为什么最后一次对贸易立法进行投票的原因 – 例如CAFTA贸易协定和贸易促进局赋予总统谈判贸易协议的权力 – 国会批准或拒绝该协议 – 由一两个决定投票，只有因为足够的民主党投票支持立法才能赢得胜利才能成为可能。当流氓自民党加入亲贸易共和党人的选票时，他们通常会受到工会和其他反贸易组织的嘲笑。虽然民主党的选票很少见，但由于亲贸易投票而失去职位的民主党成员甚至更为罕见。如果是这样的话，为什么没有更多的Dems交叉以促进交易呢？嗯，首先，在目前的环境下，立法永远不会到场投票，因为特朗普总统不会允许。更重要的是，没有足够的Dems愿意贬低核心选区。与贸易对手相比，反贸易力量的组织和资金要好得多。反对派可以围绕一个特定问题组织工会，环保组织和其他特殊利益集团，例如反对自由贸易协定，认为它们与总统所说的一样糟糕。这种罕见的亲贸易鸟在任何地方都参加竞选活动，有兴趣在那里抗议。成员们不愿意通过他们对贸易的支持来界定，因为他们想要记住的优先事项清单很少。与此同时，支持贸易的企业一直不愿介入并帮助那些不敢与工会和其他反贸易派别对抗的不寻常的民主党人。例如，工会和环保主义者不同，他们有多个问题，他们正在工作，他们的能量得到分散。是的，有些人会要求他们的员工联系他们当选的代表，甚至提供谈话要点。但是不能保证等级和档案实际上会做任何事情。此外，当亲贸易部队在投票完成时围绕自由贸易协定进行动员时也是如此。与此相反，反贸易联盟从一个选举周期调动到另一个选举周期。尽管贸易对美国经济和美国工人的重要性，你可以预期人们将继续投票并反对自己的利益 – 为了保持一个真正不存在的经济结构而斗争。
Why don’t Democratic members of Congress support free trade agreements? The reason most often given is that historically Democrats have been the party of the working person. And since the conventional wisdom holds that trade destroys jobs in the U.S., Democrats have to oppose it. Related to this explanation is that labor unions are de facto extensions of the party and if they oppose trade then the party’s elected representatives must follow their lead on this issue. Since unions donate money to candidates they support, to favor trade means saying goodbye to these contributions and the votes they represent. Of course, it’s more complicated than this. There is such a thing as a pro-business Democrat. And there are plenty of them serving in Congress. There are also members who may be agnostic about business but think trade is just fine and the more of it the better. But when it comes to making public statements or voting in support of trade, these members can’t be counted on. That’s a big reason why the last votes on trade legislation—such as the CAFTA trade agreement and Trade Promotion Authority, which gives the president the power to negotiate trade deals—with Congress either approving or rejecting the deal—have been decided by one or two votes, made possible only because enough Dems voted for the legislation to allow a win to be eked out. When rogue Dems join pro-trade Republicans in a winning vote, they are usually pilloried by the unions and other anti-trade groups. And although Dem votes are rare, a Dem member losing office because of a pro-trade vote is even rarer. If that’s the case, why don’t more Dems cross over in order to boost trade? Well, for one thing, in the current environment, legislation will never get to the floor for a vote because President Trump won’t allow it. More consequential is that not enough Dems are willing to buck core constituencies. Anti-trade forces are much better organized and funded than their pro trade counterparts. The opposition can marshal trade unions, environmental groups and other special interests organized around a specific issue, such as opposing free trade agreements by arguing that they are as bad as the president says. Everywhere the rare pro-trade bird goes to campaign, the interests are there to protest. Members would prefer not to be defined by their support for trade, as it is seldom high on their list of priorities they want to be remembered for. Meanwhile, pro-trade businesses have been unwilling to step in and help the unusual Democrat that dares to stand up to the unions and other anti-trade factions. Unlike, for example, the unions and environmentalists, they have multiple issues that they are working and their energies get diffused. Yes, some do ask their employees to contact their elected representatives and even provide talking points. But there’s no guarantee that the rank and file will actually do anything. Also, when pro-trade forces do mobilize around a free trade agreement when the vote is done so is the effort. Contrast this with the anti-trade coalitions that stay mobilized from one election cycle to another. Despite the importance of trade to the U.S. economy and U.S. workers, you can expect that people will continue to vote and to work against their own interests—fighting to preserve an economic structure that really doesn’t exist anymore.
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