MPR’s Gary Eichten interviews Walter Mondale, former U.S. ambassador to Japan and former vice-president, on congressional bill that would allow China permit normal trade status. Following Mondale interview, David Foster, director of the NW quadrant of states for the United Steelworkers of America, shares his view on the bill and its impact. Program begins with news from MPR’s Greta Cunningham.
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With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm going to Cunningham the Hennepin County Attorney's Office alleges that the forty-three-year-old Minneapolis man involved in the car crash that killed Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik, Sealy had a blood alcohol level of almost twice. The legal limit officials have charged him with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide test results show that to sign when then sane had a blood alcohol concentration of .19% nearly double Minnesota's legal limit of .10% The man was hospitalized after the accident and is scheduled to make his first court appearance tomorrow morning. I thought he said he was driving his pickup truck the wrong way, but he crashed into silly sport utility vehicle on a highway in a Minneapolis suburb last Saturday.In a Blow to Northeastern Minnesota Iron Range LTV steel announce today is closing. Its Hoyt Lakes plant and eliminating about 1400 jobs. Minnesota public radio's marks. It act like reports and making the shutdown announcement lpv official say they're Hoyt Lakes plant is outdated and that it would take a nearly three quarter of a billion dollar investment to make needed Improvement. The company says that would be an unjustified expenditure because of poor quality Iron Ore reserves in the area the FL state senator, Jerry Janovich who represents part of the Iron Range has already begun talks with Governor Ventura staff in hopes of finding a way to keep the plants in the jobs. We can't fill a hole like that. I mean 1,400 employees is a lot of employees. We have a year roughly a year to convince them that it's not a good idea. If I think that there's some things here that there's you always have to believe the glass is half-full and there's something you can do is it says LTV will begin laying off workers this fall and plans are complete shutdown.Next summer. This is Mark's attacked Lake Minnesota Public Radio news update on education reporting on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by Hamline University graduate school of public administration and management dedicated to developing leaders in the private public and nonprofit sectors. Good afternoon, and welcome back to mid-day on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary Knighton us house. As you heard is moving toward what promises to be in historic vote on us China trade relations house is scheduled about later this afternoon or whether to drop its annual review of China's trade and human rights policies and instead extend China permanent normal trade relations the same status all but a handful of Nations currently, enjoy supporters. Say that granting permanent status would give u s companies access to the huge Chinese market and strengthen the forces of democracy in China about and say the annual review is the best leverage the US has to influence China's policies. They also say that giving China per minute normal trade status could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of u.s. Jobs about this afternoon is expected to be close but supporters and opponents and I'll expect the bill will pass and a China will be granted. Normal trade status. Well today as the house debate wraps up and we get ready for this afternoon's bullet got to talk with to folks who are last boys would be political allies on this issue, but who find themselves on opposite sides later? It's our we'll be talking with David Foster the steelworkers union, but to begin this hour we've been joined by former vice president former, Minnesota senator and former US ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale who supports extending permanent normal trade status to China if you have a question for mr. Mondale, give us a call here. 651-227-6006 51227 6000. I'll try the Twin Cities. 1-800. +242-282-865-1227. 6001. 800-242-2828 Our Guest former vice president Walter Mondale afternoon. Mr. Mondale. Good afternoon. Thank you so much for joining us glad to do it. This has been described as one of the most important votes that Congress has taken in years. Is that pipe or is that real? No, I think I think it's a very very important folder with a lot of fundamental implications for our economy for progress in stability and peace and human rights in the region and it has a bearing on America's stature as a leader in that massive asian-pacific region, and I strongly support its adoption having said that I didn't realize it David Foster is following me today. I hope you will say hello to him cuz you told friend of mine. I certainly will do that. Well that raises the issue. Of course, the organized labor is really led the charge against granting permanent to trade status to China. Are they away off base on this? Well, I just disagree with that position. One of the ablest investors we ever sent to China was the former International present the Auto Workers Leonard Wood cock and I don't think anybody can doubt his commitment to workers into unions and in a recent article. He said that he believes that America labor has a tremendous interest in China's trading on a ferret unfair terms and that the agreement that we signed it marks the largest single step ever taken toward achieving that goal. And he believes it will do better by far under this agreement then out of under the alternative and I do too if you just if you look at Minnesota, we have a state that I think makes the case. We have a Honeywell Minnesota Mining medtronic's St. Jude Medical Northwest Airlines. We have a huge agricultural Farm steak and in expanded trade in that region and we will do better under this agreement than without it. The other point that I made that I feel very strongly about having served over there a Zara. Master do Japan is that this region? That is that Asian region has been historically very unstable as people My Generation know because our country road to war there twice this how China developed where it goes whether it's a positive a force for stability in that region is one of the most important questions confronting our nation and our children's future with this agreement. I think we have a better chance of Encouraging changes to develop along those positive lines if we turn down this agreement after having negotiated it twice having built this up as it is into one of the great issues of this Congress and one of the great issues between United States and China. I'm afraid of the repercussions if this is turned out that we have to do this is a democracy we have to do what we're going to do, but I would feel much more secure if this agreement were adopted and we could use the the the strength of this agreement to open markets to invest more fully there to eat to strengthen the forces of the moderates in Chinese Politics the hardliners there are against this agreement and it would strengthen them if it's defeated and and I think we have to be Very mindful of this issue not only in economic terms and in other terms, but in terms of America's posture and stature as a leader in the asian-pacific region, it's very very important every country over there wants this agreement approved and wants the United States and China to have improved relations isn't it important that the US stand for something in the world sense of morality democracy status. And since we're giving up the last bit of Leverage we might have to try to try to get the Chinese in line and rights to make this a fundamental policy of American foreign policy than any other Administration all across the world. We pressed human rights. I think we should continue to press But our Administration normalized relations with China, I think history has been Decatur this and that and I think we can make more progress by bring them in the tent and working with him then by trying to slap them in the face that is just going to strengthen the hardliners and make it more difficult vice president Walter Mondale has joined us during this first half hour of our midday program to do I talk about the big boat that's coming up in the US House of Representatives later this afternoon. The house is now expected to approve the legislation granting China permanent normal trade relations the status that the most Nations enjoy up until now though. We've been reviewing China's trade and human rights policies on an annual basis. If you have a question for mr. Mondale, give us a call here 651-227-6006 51227 6000 outside the Twin Cities one 800-242-2828 Ollie's on the line from St.Paul the question go ahead place in the US House and you know, 20 30 50 years from today people will look back and say the Congress of the United States have done a great job by actually committing Jenna Philly to US market. I remember China for with with that come with the country of 1.3 billion people reach out reach out all those which I becoming very high tech country in the world. I'm demanding a lot of the price of the United States can visit with you. It's just going to be an enormous and if they think you know Politically Incorrect for organizing labor to do I understand and respect for their position that American jobs will be lost but no independent Commission of your butt have been appointed. To figure out if that claimed by the organized labor is alright. So my question to miss 5% if if this claim a legitimate that American jobs would be lost even by the hundreds of thousands in the u.s. Is that point being a certified Butternut Independence Mission? No. No, I don't agree with that. Let's remember. This is a very hot debate and there's probably charge is flying around on both sides that need to be carefully analyzed if but if you look at the terms of this agreement yet does a lot of things that are very valuable. It reduces the average tariff from 24% to 9% It eliminates import quotas licenses. It opens up retail markets by allowing us to set up our wholly-owned district distribution and sales subsidiaries and can't do that now it allows Minority foreign ownership of telecom companies and security houses. It would stop discrimination against Are banks and we don't have to give up anything in this agreement to get get what I've just described. That's why I think almost everybody in international Commerce and American farmers and the rest have a stake in this in the IBEW know I believe workers due to its American and Minnesota workers that work for Northwest Airlines. It's the largest employer in Minnesota. These are good jobs that are union jobs. It's growing and one of the big reasons is because Northwest is growing and its presence in China and elsewhere and Asia medtronic's big employer in the United States in Minnesota these these These are these we're getting the best jobs are producing products that that are the best in the world and these Good paying jobs right here in Minnesota ditto for many many other companies America Minnesota agriculture. We are the most productive agricultural area that are farmers are in the world and whether it's corn or soybeans or wheat or pork or beef. They're all going to gain from opening up these market. So I think that the that the argument here is heavily on the side of opening up that market and now I want to be frank about it. This is not going to be simple. It's not going to be without problems. There will be frustrations. There will be difficulties. I'm sure that is true, but I would much rather try to work out those problems in the context of this agreement which tells us where it's supposed to go then in the end up in another environment without such an agreement. I heard an interesting Siri on I believe it's in the marketplace program this morning an economist. I think I think was an economist. He expected that the day the the paperwork is signed China will immediately begin violating this agreement you many many forms and that if we press them too hard, once they get into the World Trade Organization, they get their backup one thing leads to another and actually we could end up with the whole world trading system or at least the World Trade Organization collapsing did that but it's bunk. We I did a lot of negotiating for our country with Japan and it's far from perfect there, but we do have agreements and those agreements were very helpful to me and trying to press for admitted for American access into those markets and while there's still a lot of problems with made a lot of problems may be made How to progress and there's a lot of Minnesota's doing better. There's no question that if that if our two Nations have agreed on what we're going to do that is going to be much easier to get it done then if we turn them down now and as I said before I'm worried that if we turn them down there as good as we're going to strengthen the hardliners in China that will make it even more difficult to to make progress David your question for Miss Mundo. I understand that this will open up a lot of new trade from China to the US but one concern is that there are no safeguards to make sure that the benefits from that trade go to workers and not just to the producers of the from the corporation's here in the US because and that's one of those concerns that organized labor has I think you would said that Leonard Wood caulk was someone who that who organized labor could trust but he is served on the trilateral commission for corporations to try to get free trade without safeguards to make sure that the wealth income to workers also and I'm just concerned that. There's no way that we can stop the corporate corporations from taking all the benefits. We've been through eight or nine of the best years in economics American history. We now have 3.9% unemployment while it is true that at the at the at the lower economic range workers are not doing that. Well in terms of income and we need to deal with that problem. None of that will be made better by turning down this opportunity to have expanded markets in China. This will produce jobs for American workers improve income for American workers and for businesses. It will be very positive. And remember that we are also people that the with families and with children. We need a safe world one of the things that worries me about turning this down is that it will I think Trey's risks to not only our economic future but to the stability of a region that has been very dangerous in the past and I think we've got a tremendous take and doing the right thing here now, it's is one thing I L side. How to address Leonard Wood cock record of supporting working Americans and having risen to the Pinnacle of the United Auto Workers as its president. No one could doubt his profound commitment to the best interests of American workers. There is a watchdog commission is understand if that's supposed to be set up which would monitor alongside the basic car trade agreement would monitor Chinese trading practices human rights in the rest has a key to getting the the basic bill passed is that ugly for it looks at for real. There are concerns hear the there are human rights violations in a China. The the government is authoritarianism to be sure and we have an interest a strong interest in trying to encourage the Chinese leadership to move toward a more open democratic system that are free system Which Wich Shops abusing their rights are there people I think and that's one of the reasons they established this monitoring commission to review the progress of this objective and to try to find ways to continue to pressure China to go in the right direction. I think that's positive but I think that the bigger hope is that the more open Chinese market with the greater involvement of American and other investors will and we will have more pressure influence on the direction of Chinese life, but both are important, but I think the fundamental impact of a more open trading system should would time have a very good and positive impact Abigail your question. Hello, I appreciate being able to speak with you. I've watched you years and years and years and I've always admired you tremendously and I certainly still do. I am very curious how How on a personal level you? consider this a wise thing to do in terms of knowing that the benefit will be primarily for the United States and we there are certainly people here who need help very definitely but this is designed for the corporate world and they help the corporate world here. people in China it will not help them and I don't think it will have to bring them or makes to to bring changes to them that our country seems to want to make I'm just on a personal level. How do you how can you how can you reconcile that because you do know where the Prophet will be coming? Let me let me just say that I went to China. I think it was a 1979 as vice president knighted states to broaden u.s. Chinese agreements to open up their economy. And give us greater access. It's that the progress since then has been incredible while it's still a very very poor country. In the last since the time of that agreement there is about 85 or 90 million Chinese now that are living at middle-class level. There was I bet there weren't two million at that level when we opened up this agreement this Growing economic Vitality joining the world's market will be of great help to the people of China. It will offer them better. Hope for jobs. It will offer them chances to get in with with the economy the whole world economy and just as other nations that have joined the world economy of done better. So will China and the other part of it is as we all do better. This is not a win-lose situation zero-sum situation where ever economies of opened up the whole world is done better in China such an enormous nation was such a huge population that I think this will be very very obvious. This agreement is adopted out of a big picture question for mr. Monday before we wrap up with a talking with Roy grow yesterday was over in China in Shanghai and Carleton college professor China expert. He was saying that Interesting lay enough there seems to be the same level of concern almost oil anxiety in the rest among the the average Chinese worker as there is in this country about globalization. If you will, why do you suppose people are so worried about if you live in a closed economy large parts of the economy have been protected from competition. It is just natural that there's anxiety about changing. The only thing you can say is that those countries that have changed that have opened up start doing a lot better than those that don't they have many huge state-owned inefficient factories in China many of those will probably have to close down their inefficient. They don't produce anything that's competitive in the world market. And show people that work there are anxious but I think that they will all do better in a world economy, but they will have to change two more efficient more competitive operations. That's that is part of a the it mean. I wish I had an easier answer. I wish I could say well we can protect these jobs or well we can send him a big check so they don't have to go through this transition, but I don't have an answer for that and no one does but what I'm sure of is that protectionism is a worse answer then what we're proposing a question before we quit here are the organized labor folks going to back Democrats this fall or the ones who have ended up supporting this Trey radel. It's really seems like to have been a well. It's a it's a it's a big issue with organized labor and there a big big part of any Democratic coalition. It's my hope that they will I think that's the end of the AFL-CIO is endorsed vice president Gore many many of their best friends in the and the Congress will be voting for this proposal and I have enough confidence in their leadership that they look at the broader picture. This might be even supported me. Thanks so much for joining us a former vice president Walter Mondale Mondale served as US senators for many many years and that he was also a US ambassador to Japan joining us during this first half hour of our noon hour here to share his perspective on the Big bullet that's coming up in the US House of Representatives later this afternoon. The house is now expected to vote to Grant China permanent normal trade status ending the yearly review that Congress has is engaged in supporters say that the by granting permanent status o u s companies will that much greater access to Chinese markets and also they say that it will strengthen significantly the forces of democracy in China opponents have a different View and right after news headlines. We're going to hear from one of the opponents to destroy build a wood stop Foster of the steelworkers Union right now, though. Let's catch up on some news headlines. Here's got a kind of the justice department says it will closely review the merger of United Airlines and US Airways both company say their boards have approved the deal 11.6 billion dollar deal will give United already the world's largest airline a total of more than 6,500 flights a day will also If United a dominant presence on both coasts. Midday how supporters of a permanent normal trade relations with China appear headed for victory the house voted by a better than two-to-one margin to stop an effort by opponents to keep the measure from coming to a final vote later today. The measure would end 20 years of annual Congressional reviews of China's trade status with the US Republican sources say the GOP will have 150 vote in support of the bill Democratic opponents say that they expect at least sixty nine Democrats to vote with the supporters. The bill needs 218 votes to pass in Regional news. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office alleges that forty-three-year-old Minneapolis man involved in a car crash that killed Minnesota Timberwolves play at Malik Sealy had a blood alcohol level of almost twice. The legal limit officials have charged him with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide test results showed that to SAS can thank sen had a blood alcohol concentration of .19% nearly doubled Minnesota's legal limit of point one. Percent I've already said he was driving his pickup truck the wrong way when he crashed into Celia sport utility vehicle on Highway 7 in Minneapolis last Saturday. The man is scheduled to make his first court appearance tomorrow the forecast for Minnesota calls for a wind advisory for Northwestern Minnesota today. It will be windy Statewide with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the north partly cloudy skies in the south high temperatures near 68th in the north to 78 in the Southeast at this hour. Mostly sunny skies reported throughout the region Rochester Airport sunshine and 70°. It's sunny in Duluth and 58th. And in the Twin Cities Sunshine a temperature of 68° Gary. That's a look at the latest news. 27 minutes before 1 midday coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio and today on the day. We're focusing on the big boat that's coming up later this afternoon in the US House of Representatives after months and months of intense lobbying on both sides. It now looks like the house will probably buy a fairly narrow. Margin Grant permanent normal trade status to China supporters as we noted say the change will help open. China's Market to u.s. Good service a boon to the US economy and help Democratic forces in China opponents have argued that the bill gives China essentially a blank check that the u.s. Is giving up the only real leverage. It has over China's trade human rights policies and that long-term this permanent trade status will lead to the elimination of hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs organized labor has been leading the opposition and joining us now is David Foster the director of steelworkers Union district 11, which basically covers Minnesota and the rest of the Northwestern quarter of the United States. How are you Gary? Just fine. Thanks so much for joining us before we get to get into the discussion of the China trade bill. I do need to ask you about the news out of the Iron Range today that LTV is closing down the tech nine Planet Hoyt Lakes 1400 jobs. The company says it's simply too expensive to try to modernize what's going to happen to those people. Well, obviously, we're in discussions with both LTV and the company Cleveland Cliffs that provide some Management Services for LTD over the future of the operation and there has been some indication that cleveland-cliffs is interested in exploring the possibility of doing copper-nickel mining on that facility in using some of the processing operation in that regard. But unfortunately that that decision will be at least a couple of years down the road. I do want to say right off the bat that this closure announcement. It says sad, but very poignant and telling backdrop for the TNT are both taking place today because There is a direct connection between the loss of those 1,200 Jobs 1200 union jobs on the Iron Range and the aggressively hostel trading system that has recently become so popular with our government and particularly with the Clinton Administration. The iron ore source of iron ore for American steel companies is opening up two South American countries in particular Brazil and to the importation of a great deal of semi finished steel product particularly from SM of the Eastern European a former Soviet invasion companies, and the collapse of LTD steel mining is directly related to the flood of in many cases. You legally price steel Imports coming into this country over the last 2 and 1/2 years since the start of the Asian crisis. So the fact that the PNC our vote is taking place today drives home to me the fact that more and more industrial jobs in this country in places that once seemed as unlikely as Minnesota Iron Range are directly at risk if we continue down the path of having a trade agreements that do not take into account enforceable labor environmental and health and safety standards from your perspective. What's the problem with these trading agreements is it is it that we are not after insisting on adequate enforcement to protect to make sure that the the trade is fair is that the issue on labor standards environmental or health and safety standards in the case where those issues are mentioned in the enforcement mechanisms as in the case of the north North American Free Trade Agreement Utterly Toothless and can provide no no relief whatsoever. When those issues become the driving reasons why companies relocate and choose to move their operations into low-wage a poor environmental portions of the end of the world. Now, it's part of the package of legislation that looks like it's going to pass today. The China trade Bill there is this site agreement of which would set up a watchdog Commission of sorts to keep keep an eye on Chinese trade policies are policies in the rest. Is that going to adequately address your concerns? Listen to the fact that the Chinese government has repudiated any cooperation with those kinds of enforcement mechanisms. It seems that are really pretty laughable in a fig leaf. Being offered this political cover for some people in Congress who choose not to look at the real underlying issue, which is that we have moved into a global economy in which the social standards of our country are being put at risk and driven down to the lowest common denominator. And that's the real issue an offer instant our Union as part of the American labor movement as far far away from being against trade and against globalization. We realize that those are part of life that's come to stay but what we believe very strongly in fighting for our Global standards to protect working people where they live in the United States or living Indonesia and what we find intolerable about this current situation. Is that without ever Debating or discussing the issue of whether or not our minimum wage laws are health and safety laws are Environmental Protection laws. I should be put at risk by integrating our economic production system with that of countries that show a no particular concern for those issues. We never voted on or discuss those kinds of issues, but we believe very strongly that a worker's life and indonesi. I have to be protected and I have to have and be given the same value as a worker's life here in the United States are we do not agree that IT workers life here in the United States have to be driven down to the same level into the same degradation of the life of a worker in indonesi Sharna what many people would consider to be intolerably high trade tariffs given the fact that there is such a huge disparity between worker conditions in this country and in many other parts of the world, What you do about that? Well, we need a trade system that is not run for the benefit of the global Fortune 500 80% of the trade that is conducted by the W T. All according to a study conducted by dr. Brent Blackwelder the head of American Friends of the earth 80% of the trade that's affected by the WTO. It involves a very small group of five hundred large multinational corporations. We do not need to run our trade agreements in order to maximize the profits of those corporations. We do need to run our Trade Agreement in a way that maximizes the increase in living standards and social safety nets and social responsibility for the peoples of our world. We can have trade relations. We can have integration of economies in ways that bolsters societies instead of tearing them down. That raises living standards raises environmental standards increases health and safety Protections in other condition in other countries instead of using those as the WTO rules allow for the Striking down at those very protections. When a given Society chooses to put them in place to protect their citizens argument goes on the other side. Mr. Foster that free trade to open trade has done more to eliminate poverty around the world and anything that that huge numbers of people who have lived in poverty are no longer living in poverty because of the benefits of trade that while it is disruptive in you know country acts long-term. That's the that's really the answer to lifting living standards in those countries. Actually. I think that the argument is a great meth and we can take a couple Quick examples to examine that number one the net effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Mexico since that was past seven years ago. It was shown a very direct and demonstrable decline in the living standard of the Mexican people during that. Of time a diminishment and Trade union rights in a variety of other demonstrable measures that show that the Mexican people aren't have not been lifted out of poverty by the North American Free Trade Agreement in fact Several hundred thousand jobs in manufacturing jobs have fled the United States for Mexico at the same time. And so you have this disconnect in terms of which jobs are leaving the United States impoverishing American workers and yet there's no increase in living standards to be shown for a fact that the client and living standard in Mexico. Secondly. I noticed it being pointed out. I thought very poignantly again given the PMT our vote today. If you look back over the decreasing poverty rates in the world over the last 30 years the overwhelming number of people who are brought out of poverty during that period of time I were brought out of poverty in China and obviously they were not brought out of poverty on the basis of free trade since that didn't exist with China and the limited extent the trade is existed between the Western World in the Chinese government. Snapped in the primary reason why agricultural successes in China resulted in eliminating something like two-thirds of the people who are living below the poverty level 30 years ago. So, I think the free Traders have concocted a myth that just doesn't bear up to scrutiny David Foster is with us director of steelworkers Union district 11 talking about joining us today to talk about the big guy about coming up in the US House later this afternoon on whether to Grant permanent the normal trade relations status to China and at last report it look like they were enough votes to pass that legislation and Grandpa Chinese permanent fair trade status would like to join our conversation. Give us a call here. 651-227-6006 51227 6000 outside the Twin Cities one. 802-422-8028 Stephanie. Go ahead place. I want to thank mr. Foster for coming on are so much has been on the media promoting this yes vote. I want listeners to realize not that many farmers really believe this is going to help us out here. I'm right. I'm a Farmers Union member and the headlines in my newspaper. Say Minnesota Farmers laborers Catholic Church United against normal trade relations for China and what bothers me most in the last few days was this trumped-up side agreement that my husband was home sick one day and and he met me at the door at supper time. He said all they solve the problem and now they can vote yea and that was a fake. There were no keys in it according to a radio interview. I heard later then Just ask him to speak to Dad. Well, I think you're absolutely right that there are there are just no teeth in either the World Trade Organization. The organization that is supposed to deal with questions of trade barriers and trade relations between countries the particular agreement that's been talked about it here as it relates to pnt are pushed by Congressman sander Levin from Michigan likewise has no enforceable teeth and no mechanism under which issues of American job lies or the resultant degradation of environmental safety and health standards can be addressed. Would you have been posted to this agreement had there been more of an effort overtime to help American workers who are in fact dislocated by these trade agreements fair amount of talk. About this has occurred over the years. But if there had been more action would that have changed your position at all? Well, it's a good question as to whether or not in a changing world and and and in a changing economy, if we as a society devoted enough resources to job retraining job relocation good one actually manage that change in a way that was worker-friendly or socially Friendly Inn in a utopian sounds I'd like to believe the people and we as a society could actually under take those kinds of Endeavors as a fact we seem to be living during an air of such untrammeled greed that all we pay attention to as a society has ways of increasing Share value in maximizing the prophets of the global Fortune 500. And in terms of where we spend our educational and retraining dollars, we spend more on incarcerating minority youth in this country than we do on re-educating 40 or 50 year old dislocated workers. I will spend twenty or thirty thousand dollars locking up people without jobs killed a year and spend the pittance of 500 to $1,000 and providing a resume writing course II a dislocated worker in Aurora, Minnesota as we so clearly have our priorities upside down in this debate and so aligned with trying to create classes of Haves and Have Nots in which the Have Nots are becoming larger and larger than the haves are becoming gotta lie wealthy at a time. Of globalization that it seems to me that I care just can't address it as an academic exercise and obviously get very upset about it and in light of what's going on in Aurora Minnesota today Jesse your question. Please have enough time to ask. Mr. Mundial who's on the board officers with his company why he would think that money would find its way down to workers after all NAFTA was passed a few years ago and there are union groups still hear such as mechanics in the flight attendants who still haven't realized any benefit from that agreement and while top management is still walked away with huge guaranteed salaries ever since and it's no wonder Union people are suspicious of still another Free Trade Agreement or seems all it's only benefit those who least need it and I'd asked it to mr. Foster. Please comment about this. Well, I think one of the one of the saddest commentaries and American social life of the of the last 20 years has been the degree to which CEO compensation has increased something like 536% over a. Of time when the minimum wage has fallen farther and farther behind inflation. So once again we seem to and in a way that no other industrialized Society seems to want to venture to reward agree and reward of the division of our society into those who have really unbelievable and unfathomable wealth versus those who at the lower end of the social Spectrum in a relative sense are getting poorer and poorer and certainly with the bottom 25% of our society. Are much worse off today than they were 20 to 25 years ago Foster. Do you see this China trade Bill specifically as being a bad thing, is that what you're most upset about or is it this longer list of problems that you see the Vela ping that at this bill has kind of come to symbolize. So it's it's both it's clearly a symbol of a much larger problem that we have in trying to integrate conflicting social systems in a global economy, but there are some very specific bad outcomes that we expect to see from pntr for instance of the Clinton administration at self-produced to study that came out about 10 days ago that they very quickly suppress that show that one of the expected outcomes of PNP are in Chinese. Admission into the WTO would be the Lost within the next 5 years of nine hundred thousand American manufacturing jobs to China. But in a in addition to that, I think we need to all Focus very clearly and the fact that it is American corporations in many cases multinational corporations based in other countries to be sure that are profiting off of this exploitation of Chinese labor Walmart the largest retailer and today the largest employer in the United States directly operates a thousand factories in China today without e n t r a thousand factories that are producing the goods and commodities that are being sold in Walmarts across the United States and Canada at Walmart is the organization that is profiting from this exploit. Nation of Labor in the reduction of American manufacturing jobs that would want to produce those various Goods. It's Nike that is profiting by exploiting that low-wage labor and producing at Penney's in our shoes that sell for $100 a hundred and fifty dollars and shoe stores in the United States. It's it's a damned if that people are being lifted out of poverty by these kinds of jobs and this kind of exploitation or that the American swimmers are necessarily getting anything to to take home to themselves and turns with more competitive prices high. He is been back and forth from China many many times. You been over the last couple months. He was saying all that The workers who are working in these multinational company factories in China are routinely paid much much more than the average Chinese worker. And in fact the net effect as far as he can tell is that it's driven up wages for all workers in China is not a good thing. Well, I don't know that those things are the are the case at all. We've obviously had to in conjunction with our work with organizations like the students against sweatshops and other monitoring organizations have had our folks that come back with anecdotal stories about their trips. Not just to American. Produced sweatshops in China and other Asian countries come back with stories that are our hair tangling to say the least about the level of exploitation and to talk about somebody being paid $0.04 an hour versus a normative wage in a given Society of $0.03 an hour seems to me to be trying to paint a very Bleak picture with Rose Colored Glasses. Actually, he was talking about a thousand or 2,000 per year vs. A couple of hundred but at any rate Robert your question. Oh, yeah, if you know what Al Gore has been a supporter of pntr and the United president of the United Auto Workers came out yesterday and said he was seriously considering endorsing Ralph Nader for president as opposed to Al Gore and I was wondering if the steel workers are considering doing the same what we had a van executive board meeting of the United steelworkers yesterday at which President jokic has the UAW statement was red. And it obviously I received some clothes and careful consideration from us and they're clearly has a level of significance support for the position that the Auto Workers have taken within our organization. We did indoors Al Gore's candidacy some months back after the shortly after the Nash. AFL-CIO convention believing the words that Canada Gore told us at that time that if he were to negotiate TNT are under his administration, it would include enforceable labor environmental health and safety standards. I will say that his recent statements have deeply disappointed our organization. We're going to be examining our relationship to the Democratic party based on the outcome of today's vote how that shakes down. I think at this point is anybody's guess but we certainly are very concerned about the direction of our country. We're concerned obviously about what would happen with an anti Labour candidate such as Governor Bush a Texas be elected. So we regard this is an extremely serious situation, but one in which are long-term strategic interests. In terms of promoting fair trade systems in the world are very very important time for at least one more call to hear Christopher quick question place on a book on Tibet. I'm also a member of 3 labor unions and I really appreciate mr. Foster's opposition to permanent normal trade relations. I did want to point out here in the Twin Cities is the second largest community of Tibetan Americans in the country behind New York. We never seem to hear about them in this debate. We never seem to hear about the stories of people who've escaped from Tibet many of whom of had family members imprisoned and tortured and that word should be included in this debate that understanding of what it means that these people to give China equal trade relations really should be brought up. Well, I'm very interested in the colors comments because it's become clear to me over the last decade as I've gotten more more deeply involved in the trade issues that there Tremendous overlap between the question of Labor rights and human rights and that in far too many of the countries where our nation has chosen to Grant most favored nation status there a terrible human rights abuses and the virtual absolute suppression of Trade union rates. And certainly I one of the clearest measures of the society's freedoms is the degree to which it allows trade unions the function and allows the citizenry of its country to engage in economic activity to try to improve their living standard. So I applied that all the human rights groups that have stood up and spoken out against these kinds of trade agreements and believe is our Union. Does that the protection of human Freedom should be directly linked to the kind of economic relations and economic support that we as a society give other countries. Any next stop for the for organized labor on mr. Foster assuming you folks solos today as well. What's your next Target of you being for today in the in the war for democracy and and fair trade them for the rights of working people throughout the globe. We've had that I think of Seminole year in the last 12 months in terms of bringing to the attention of the people of this country and throughout the world the importance of how we describe the global economy from the massive and exciting demonstrations that took place in Seattle to the recent the protest in Washington over the Affairs of the World Bank and IMF, I think more and more Americans and more and more people in the industrialized world are becoming aware that we need to have. A serious reform a serious and scrutiny of the WTO and of trade relations. Generally, I think you'll hear our voices in front of the national political conventions in Philadelphia and I believe it's Los Angeles or San Diego later this year. You'll see us trying to put our trade agenda on our agenda for a global economic reform on the front of the American political agenda in November and every way we possibly can and every Congressional race and in the streets, frankly, we expect our our our voices to be heard and heard loudly and if we're out of time, but thank you so much for joining us Virginia district 11 joining us talk about the big guy trying to trade both coming up in the US House later this afternoon. And of course, we'll keep you updated as the day goes along here on Minnesota Public Radio. That's it for midday today. Gary I can hear thanks for tuning in Dumber Ventura is on the air tomorrow public affairs programming on NPR is supported by the Minneapolis office of shandwick international a public relations firm dedicated to helping clients. Tell their stories through local National and international services. On the next all things considered a profile of Elizabeth close one of the first women architect in the state and a pioneer of modern architecture. It's all things considered weekdays at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio. You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. We have a sunny Sky 68° at Kennedy FM 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul partly cloudy fairly Breezy through the rest of the afternoon with a high approaching 75° cloudy partly cloudy tonight with a low in the mid to Upper forties tomorrow sunny with a high temperature in the mid-70s.