Call Your State Legislator Now: Replace Fast Track
Last week, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans in charge of trade to announce a "deal." The deal would facilitate passage of at least Bush's NAFTA expansions for Peru and Panama. The deal involves adding stronger labor and environmental standards, but falls way short of de-NAFTA-fying those two trade agreements. The deal does nothing to remove the bans on anti-off-shoring and Buy America policies, or the outrageous foreign investor rights that facilitate off-shoring and attacks on our health and environmental laws.
This is a scenario where some frosting has been spread over a deeply rotten cake. And, if members of Congress are tricked into biting on this "deal" - applauded by corporate lobbyists and President Bush, but not supported by a single labor, environmental or small business group - it could pave the way for, heaven forbid, giving President Bush new Fast Track trade authority.
Luckily, Minnesota has been working hard to replace the failed Fast Track system and stop the erosion of state and local democracy - by demanding that Congress replace Fast Track with a process that includes states. HF 1543 is just waiting for a vote in the Minnesota state legislature - call your state legislator now and demand they vote to replace Fast Track!
Don't know who your state legislator is? Click here to find out: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/?lvl=L
Will you commit to urge Congress to change our disastrous course on trade by passing this resolution?"
Use some of the talking points below:
*Today's Fast-Tracked trade agreements are a backdoor form of preemption to state and local laws. Under NAFTA, corporations can launch trade suits against state policies in closed-door trade tribunals. Procurement rules in trade deals dictate how our state can spend its taxpayer dollars, prohibiting Buy Local policies and recycled content or renewable energy requirements.
*More WTO-NAFTA-style trade agreements are bad for our economy. The U.S. is facing its highest trade deficit ever, American workers haven't seen their wages increase by more than a nickel since Fast Track has been passed and deeper commitments under trade deals at the WTO are promising to offshore our service sector jobs next!
*Fast Track can't be fixed. It must be rejected. Not only is it problematic that states are not consulted before their sovereignty is bargained away, it's ridiculous that Congress is barred from deciding the contents of trade pacts and kept from voting on something as important as NAFTA or WTO only until after the agreement is signed. Under Fast Track, Congress gives away their constitutional authority over trade policy to President Bush. Who would consider trusting Bush with any more authority?
After you've called, tell us what the staff-person said! Use the form below to let us know that you made a call about the "trade deal." If you are told anything interesting, let us know.