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3 Free Trade Agreements pushed to Congress | Act Now!
Submitted by DavidDelk on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 22:40
President Obama introduced three NAFTA-style "Free Trade Agreements" into Congress today. These are with Panama, Colombia and So. Korea. These agreements had been negotiated by Pres. Bush, and now, like Pres Clinton did with NAFTA, our Democratic party President is moving these Republican negotiated agreement ahead.
These agreements must be defeated. Each agreement signed using the NAFTA template is another nail in the coffin of democracy. "Free Trade Agreements" allow corporations to sue in secret international trade tribunals when they think that future profits will be threatened. Recently the WTO in two cases ruled against laws passed by the US Congress and signed by the US President . A third decision is pending. The two laws (1) allowed a Dolphin Safe label on canned tuna and (2) restricted the import of clove flavored cigarettes. The cigarette restriction was enacted as clove cigarettes are regarded as an entry-level cigarette to hook young people on smoking.
Such rulings on the part of the WTO undermine our democractic processes; they steal our sovereignty. We cannot pass more of these agreements and still call ourselves a self-governing people.
You are called to do three actions:
1. Call your US Rep. and Senators using this toll free number 1-800-718-1008 and tell them to vote No on all three of these agreements. Tuesday is a national call-in day but the number will be good after Tuesday. Thanks to the AFL-CIO for providing the number.
2. Please attend this rally at Rep. Blumenauer's office next Monday.
Portland Rally to Oppose the Pending Free Trade Agreements
Monday, October 10 * 12:00 noon
Outside Congressman Blumenauer's Office
729 NE Oregon Street * Portland, Ore.
3. Write a letter to the editor of any newspaper in the area. Email your letter to the Oregonian: firstname.lastname@example.org; The Columbian in Vancouver: http://www.columbian.com/lettertotheeditor/; The PortlandTribune http://www.portlandtribune.com/forms/letters_form.php
Some of you live in what was Rep. Wu's district and will vote for one of three Democratic party candidates to replace him. Remember this when you vote: Brad Avakian, and Brad Witt have both stated their opposition to the US Korea agreement but Susan Bonamici said "I'll have a decision on that at some point." Avakian and Witt also said they would oppose the agreements with Panama and Colombia. (Read the Oregonian article on this here).
David e. Delk, President | Alliance for Democracy | 112 NE 45th Ave, Portland OR 97213 | 503.232.5495 | www.afd-pdx.org |
Alliance for Democracy e-Alert
October 3, 2011 • Please forward widely
Tuesday, October 4: National Call-in Day to Congress:
Call 1-800-718-1008: Last chance to make your voice heard on pending Free Trade Agreements!
Tell your representative and senators that you’ve had enough of "free trade" deals. Now is the time to say “NO” to the Colombia, Panama and South Korea FTAs
• Don’t give corporations more power to attack US federal and state labor, health and environmental laws. Technical Barriers to Trade clauses are undemocratic and favor corporate profits over people and nature. All three FTAs contain investor protection clauses that allow corporations to sue to overturn democratically-enacted laws.
• With 25 million Americans searching for full-time jobs, we can’t afford trade agreements that off-shore jobs, out-source services and manufacturing, and hurt workers and working families. We need jobs here at home.
There's a lot wrong with these FTAs:
• The South Korea FTA is the biggest deal since NAFTA and will displace an estimated 159,000 jobs. In every state, manufacturing, high tech, and green sector jobs will be at risk. The South Korea FTA allows goods to be protected as "Made in South Korea,” even if most of the manufacturing takes place in other countries, for instance, sweatshops in Burma or North Korea—countries notorious for their human rights abuses.
• Colombia is the trade unionist murder capitol of the world, including 55 murdered in 2010. In 2011, 22 have been killed to date, despite promises from the Colombian government to stop these killings.
• Panama has become a haven for foreign tax evaders and money-laundering, but the Panama FTA would make it tougher for the US government to investigate and prosecute those who hide their money there. Don't we need these lost tax dollars to support job creation and to rebuild our failing infrastructure?
Don't believe the hype coming from big business lobbyists like the US Chamber of Commerce, or from Congress members ready to vote for the corporations who fund their campaigns rather than the people of their districts or states.
These agreements won't create jobs or rebuild the economy—but they will benefit the well-off and well-connected few at the expense of communities, democracy and working people here and overseas.
We need fair trade policies that promote workplace rights and safety and build sustainable local economies. The first step toward those goals is to stop these bad deals now. Make the calls and speak out. And thanks for all you do for democracy!
Nancy Price, David e. Delk, Ruth Caplan and Barbara Clancy