Barack Obama’s chief of staff will be Congressman Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel’s only votes against trade agreements seem reasonable. He opposed the US-Australia deal because it was “tainted by provisions designed to protect a captive market for the prescription drug industry.” He opposed CAFTA due to its lack of labor and environmental standards. I wasn’t very excited about CAFTA either, though for different reasons.
Emanuel has said: “I am a free trader. I supported NAFTA. I supported GATT. I voted in favor of the Singapore agreement. I voted in favor of the Chile agreement. I believe in free trade.” He’s also called out the Bush administration on its silly Cuban embargo.
How much say does the chief of staff have on trade policy? I have no idea.