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December 03, 2007

NAFTA Expansion Sneak Attack Tuesday: Tell your Senators to VOTE NO

Last month, a majority of House Democrats stood up to big corporate lobbyists, the Bush Administration and even some of its own Democratic leaders to send a clear message that further NAFTA expansions were unacceptable. Despite this opposition to the "Peru Free Trade Agreement," the Senate is expected to consider Bush's Peru NAFTA expansion starting today, with a vote expected Tuesday.

With your help, the House vote sounded a death knell for President Bush's expansion of NAFTA as the basis for future trade agreements. However, the Senate hasn't gotten the message. The vote was not supposed to occur so soon, yet now is expected tomorrow! The Senate needs to listen to what you helped a majority of House Democrats declare with their votes: We can't afford any more NAFTAs.


1) Call the U.S. Capitol at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator
(or just tell them what state you live in and they will connect you).

2) Ask for the staffer in charge of trade.

3) Tell the staffer you urge your Senator to OPPOSE the Peru NAFTA Expansion. Use a personal story or the talking points below for emphasis.

After you've called, please, tell us what they said by clicking this link:
This is critical to our ability to hold Congress accountable.

Then spread the word! Please URGENTLY forward this email to your friends, family and fellow activists!

Talking Points: Threats Posed by Bush's Peru NAFTA Expansion

We can't afford any more NAFTA. With the highest U.S. trade deficit ever, and more than 3 million high-paying manufacturing jobs lost during the NAFTA era, we can't afford any more NAFTA-like trade deals. If Congress allows the Peru or Panama FTAs, big corporations will use these deals to ship more U.S. jobs away and push down the wages of jobs staying here. More family farmers and small businesses will go bankrupt.

The Peru NAFTA expansion will fuel the drug war. Decades of U.S. efforts to get poor Peruvian farmers to grow food crops instead of coca could be undone as tons of imported U.S. food crops flood into Peru. The Peru NAFTA expansion will undermine years (and billions of tax dollars worth) of our drug-eradication efforts by forcing the same NAFTA-style farm and food rules onto Peruvian farmers that resulted in 1.3 million Mexican campesinos losing their livelihoods. It is not only a moral outrage to so threaten so many of Peru's poorest citizens - the results will boomerang back on the Unites States with more coca production and more desperate people making the dangerous attempt to migrate here when their livelihoods at home are destroyed.

The Peru NAFTA expansion gives corporations too much power over Social Security. The Peru NAFTA expansion could allow Citibank or other U.S. investors providing "private retirement accounts" to sue Peruvian taxpayers in foreign tribunals demanding million in compensation if Peru tries to reverse its failed Social Security privatization. Americans don't want our own Social Security system privatized, so how can we use trade agreements to go around locking in other countries privatized systems that have resulted in the very damage we sought to avoid for ourselves? That is a terrible precedent.

The Peru NAFTA expansion will tie Congress' hands when it comes to food safety. The Peru NAFTA expansion agreement would replicate the NAFTA-WTO limits on Congress' ability to protect our food safety -- while increasing the amount of unsafe food imports. Some of the very policies Congress is now considering to tackle the imported food safety crisis would be threatened to challenge as 'illegal trade barriers.' We need to enhance our food safety system, not continue to weaken it!

The Peru NAFTA expansion threatens the upper Amazon basin, the most biodiverse area on earth. The current Peruvian president is opening up new, extremely sensitive tracts of pristine Amazon jungle to oil and gas exploration by the same multinationals that have caused mass environmental devastation in the region in the past. The trade deal's investment rules would lock in the rights to rip up the Amazon, even if future Peruvian governments reversed this terrible policy - allowing foreign investors to challenge desperately needed environmental laws and chilling future efforts to protect the environment.

via Global Trade Watch

Posted by cat at 01:57 PM