Things I Don't Understand

Choe Sang-Hun reports for The New York Times of the US-Korea trade deal that "The agreement marks a significant victory for the Bush administration, which needed a prominent deal with clear benefits for American producers to shore up support for bilateral trade pacts with Panama, Peru and Colombia, which have thus far received a cool reception from a skeptical Congress." Why would a deal with clear benefits for American producers shore up support for other trade pacts? Either the producers think those other pacts will benefit them, in which case they'll be supported, or else they won't, in which case they won't be. At least that's what I would do. Who cares whether or not the South Korea deal benefitted me -- I should assess my position on each deal on its own terms?

I also have to remark that Bush seems to me to have pursued a rather idiosyncratic version of trade policy that represents interest-group brokerage at its worst with little in the way of an underlying rationale or principle other than whichever set of companies happens to have been lobbying the loudest.