Washington reality constantly astounds even the most cynical.
The U.S. trade deficit with China has reached new heights (depths?). This deficit with one country – historically unprecedented – now approaches $1 billion a day, and is about 45 percent of our entire trade deficit.
Sen. Max Baucus, the chair of the Finance Committee and tireless champion of the ruinous trade policies that have built that deficit, is now planning to introduce another “fast track” trade bill next week, hoping to push it to a vote in the Senate by the end of the month. (Fast track trade authority forces the Congress to vote up or down on a trade accord without amendments and without delay. It greases the skids for the trade accords that are negotiated in backrooms with U.S. multinationals at the table.)
What’s the rush? Baucus wants the bill completed before he heads off to – wait for it – be U.S. ambassador to China. President Obama formally forwarded his nomination today.
Terrific. Having championed China’s cause in America all these years, Baucus will now champion America’s cause in China.
Or more accurately, having carried the water for the multinationals in the Senate, Baucus will now carry their water in Beijing. Enjoy the air, Max.