New Standards Set for U.S. Trade Partners

The Bush administration and Hill Democrats agree on new guidelines for trade policy. U.S. trade partners must guarantee workers the right to organize, demand a ban on child labor and prohibit forced labor. The deal comes as the U.S. trade deficit hits a new high.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

In NPR's business news, demanding new standards for free trade. This took months, but late last night the White House and Democrats finally agreed on new trade policy guidelines. From now on the United States will try to make its trade partners guarantee workers the right to organize and ban child labor, and prohibit forced labor and protect the environment. Legislators hope this new policy will help the Bush administration's push for free trade, an effort that's been complicated by the U.S. rising trade deficit.

Yesterday, the Commerce Department said that deficit surged to a new high, partly because of a jump in oil imports.

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