Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 4: A national call-in to Congress may be our last chance to make our voices heard on FTAs

Right after we sent this out to our email list, we learned that all three FTAs have been sent to Congress. It's time to call now!

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. Call 1-800-718-1008 today!

• 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!

In Alliance,
Nancy Price, David e. Delk, Ruth Caplan and Barbara Clancy

Need contact info?
See this page for Senate contact information, and this page for House members. A phone call carries much more weight than an on-line comment, so we ask you to please take a few minutes on Tuesday, October 4 – National Call-In Day and contact these offices directly. Let us know what response you receive! Email afd@thealliancefordemocracy, or call 781-894-1179.

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