A protester against “free trade” in El Paso, Texas. (Photo credit: Flickr user BorderExplorer)

One of the key planks of the Democratic Party’s attack on Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s record has been his ties to the outsourcing of American jobs. Here’s a TV ad the Obama campaign has run against Romney. It attacks Romney for his former company Bain’s outsourcing practices:

But if that’s true, then why is the official 2012 Democratic Party platform boasting of the party’s support for “free trade” agreements? Here’s the relevant section:

We have also sought to promote free and fair trade. Because of the economicA�dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region, which is already home to more than half the global economy,A�expanding trade with that region is critical to creating jobs and opportunities for the American people.A�Building on the free trade agreement with South Korea that President Obama signed, we are workingA�with our partners in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum to create a seamless regionalA�economy, promote green growth, and coordinate regulatory reform. Alongside Australia, BruneiA�Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, we are on track to finalize theA�Trans-Pacific Partnership, a historic high-standard agreement that will address new and emerging tradeA�issues, lower barriers to the free flow of trade and investment, increase exports, and create moreA�American jobs.

Exploring opportunities to shape the multilateral trading system to reflect the role andA�responsibility of major emerging markets in the global economy is a critical part of the Presidenta��s tradeA�agenda. A�We will work to expand free and fair trade in the Americas as well. We already export more than threeA�times as much to Latin America as we do to China, and we will pursue additional opportunities toA�expand commerce and promote shared prosperity. Last year the President signed free trade agreementsA�with Panama and Colombia a�� agreements that will significantly boost U.S. exports and supportA�thousands of jobs here at home a�� while protecting labor rights, the environment, and intellectualA�property. Because the Caribbean is an important region to our country, we will continue to supportA�robust trade and economic relationships with our partners there.

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the three trade deals with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea will cost America over 200,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the tentative Pacific agreement being touted in the platform — the Trans-Pacific Partnership — is being called the “NAFTA A�Of The Pacific” will likely lead to even more job losses, in addition to the expansion of draconian copyright measures.

What’s most interesting about the platform is that the three already-signed trade agreements being boasted about faced fierce opposition from many Democrats in Congress. In fact, a majority of House Democrats voted against all three of them. All of these agreements had far more support from Republicans than Democrats. So why are they in the Democratic platform? Perhaps because corporations — and in this case, President Obama who heeded their lobbying — sometimes have a lot more influence over the Democratic Party than most of its own elected officials.