Monday, December 22, 2008

Foreign Policy Will Remain Largely Unchanged, Claims Rice

By Ben Trott

The FT ran a short article yesterday quoting the outgoing Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, as saying that Obama's foreign policy - on Israel-Palestine and North Korea, as well as Iran's nuclear programme - would be similar to that of the Bush administration's. She is quoted as saying,
'The reason why there might be some elements of continuity is that what we’ve tried to do is to arrange or organise international groupings that can first manage and then resolve these very difficult problems in a multilateral way.'
Meanwhile, John Nichols at the Nation today criticised the nomination of 'free-trade absolutist' Ron Kirk as US Trade Representative over Xavier Becerra. Becerra is described as 'one of the most consistently progressive members of the House.'

Nichols argues that Becerra,
'had backed some trade deals in the past, but in recent years he had emerged as a savvy critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the "Fast-Track" model for negotiating new trade deals. In particular, he had been outspoken with regard to the need to include guarantees of protection for union organizers in new agreements with countries such as Colombia.

'Becerra's commitment to human rights and labor rights troubled business interests, and they made their concerns known to the Obama camp.'

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