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September 10, 2007

President Bush and Corporate America demand Congress pass four new NAFTA expansion deals

With the presidential primary season kicking into high gear, both Democrats and Republicans are increasingly nervous about taking unpopular positions. And what could be more unpopular than supporting NAFTA expansion deals that will offshore more good U.S. jobs, trash the environment, jack up medicine prices, threaten food safety and impoverish millions of small farmers in Latin America - driving new waves of desperate immigration?

But politicians in both parties also are eager to hoover up donations from multinational corporations and the other special interests who benefit at our expense from NAFTA style deals. So, the Senate Finance Committee has quietly decided to test the waters on NAFTA expansion by holding a hearing tomorrow to kick off the process towards passing the Peru NAFTA expansion - formally called the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

We need your help to make sure the water is too hot. Click the link below to take action! http://action.citizen.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=12561

All four of the pending NAFTA expansions to Peru, Panama, Colombia and South Korea were sunk - thanks to your activism - until a backroom deal on May 10th by some Democratic trade leaders. The deal added improved labor standards to the Bush-negotiated NAFTA expansions. Yet, the deal did not remove any of the core NAFTA provisions that are the main cause of job loss and wage drops here, cause the displacement of small farmers in our trade partner countries, and empower foreign investors to attack our basic health and environmental laws in foreign tribunals.

Outrageously, in the midst of the imported food safety crisis, NAFTA-expansions like those to Peru and Panama will worsen imported food and product safety problems. Read our report and find out what you can do to protect yourself.

And, unbelievably, the U.S.-Peru FTA would lock in Social Security privatization in Peru, even as Democratic presidential candidates compete to see who can make stronger promises to protect against privatization here at home. Read more here.

Not surprisingly, not a single union in the U.S. supports the deal or the resulting NAFTA expansions. Also opposing is Oxfam and an array of environmental, faith, consumer and family farm groups. And, the two major labor federations in Peru have just sent a letter to Democrats in the U.S. Congress, urging them to reject the agreement. You can read their letter in English and Spanish (PDFs).

In their own letter to Congress (PDF), prominent U.S. Latino groups have called on Congress to stop Bush's NAFTA expansion - expressing concerns that the U.S.-Peru FTA will reduce rural incomes in Peru and increase the pressure on impoverished Peruvians to migrate - legally or illegally - to the United States.

What an outrage!

Bush administration officials are hoping that if the U.S-Peru deal can be passed quietly, then they will be able to shove NAFTA expansion with Panama, Colombia and South Korea through Congress - all before voters really start paying attention. So, we need you to act now - making it clear to Congress that we are on to this scam. This is the only way to stop Congress from heading down this slippery slope.

Can you take a moment today to contact your Representative and Senators and tell them loud and clear that you oppose the U.S-Peru FTA and any more NAFTAs? Go here to take action: http://action.citizen.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=12561

Thank you for your help in the fight for fair trade!


Global Trade Watch

Posted by cat at 06:13 PM