“Another negative political note is the declining support among Democrats for open trade. The White House had to deliver 202 House Republicans to pass Cafta, 217-215, because only 15 Democrats bucked their party leadership to vote yes. Not a single Democrat from California or Oregon voted aye, and only one (Norm Dicks) from Washington — all states that benefit enormously from exports.
Cafta represents a new trade low for House Democrats, who delivered 102 votes for Nafta as recently as 1993, and 112 votes for most-favored-nation treatment for China in 1997.
…trade politics since the 1930s has tended to be more regional than partisan. The economic isolationism that used to reside on the political right has now migrated to the left. This Democratic turn against trade is dangerous because it means that one of our major political parties is rejecting America’s leadership role in the global economy. Bill Clinton’s New Democratic Party, R.I.P.” –The Wall Street Journal