Earlier this month, 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, New Hampshire has been working hard to provide alternatives to the failed Fast Track system by stopping the erosion of state level democracy in U.S. trade policy. SCR 3 will be voted on by your state representatives in the House on Thursday, May 31. The time to act is now - this resolution will send a strong message to Congress we're paying attention to trade - call your state legislator now and demand they vote to support SCR 3!
TAKE ACTION: Call your state representative and let them know how you feel.
Don't know who your state representative is? Click here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/?lvl=L
"I am calling to express my support for SCR 3 which is awaiting a vote in the State House. States have experienced first-hand the devastating results of our broken trade policy, and I hope our state legislators will do all they can to communicate to Congress that more Fast Track is unacceptable for working families and businesses in New Hampshire.
Will you commit to urge Congress to change our disastrous course on trade by passing this resolution?"
Use some of the talking points below:
- The current model of globalization is a train wreck. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are delivery mechanisms for a model of globalization that has meant millions of good U.S. jobs off-shored, declining living standards for the middle-class, key environmental, health laws weakened, food safety gutted and more poverty in developing nations.
- Today's international trade agreements cover much more than trade, and are no longer simply a federal matter. These trade deals preempt and chill state and local policies as "barriers to trade," including prevailing wage laws, buy-local policies or recycled content laws. Unbelievably, they give foreign corporations the right to challenge state and local zoning, environmental, health and other laws behind closed doors in international tribunals under the secret dispute resolution system.
- The "Fast Track" trade negotiating process is how we got into this mess. Fast Track is an outdated, outrageous law that Richard Nixon initially cooked up to take away Congress' constitutional authority over U.S. trade policy. Under Fast Track, the White House is empowered to pick countries, decide what's in trade deals and then sign agreements before Congress even has a vote! Fast Track lets the Bush administration expand the failed NAFTA-WTO model to further limit your state's regulation of services - from health care and public education to land use and energy distribution.
- Fast Track and the trade agreements that it has enabled - NAFTA and the WTO - have been a major cause of the current economic mess now slamming millions of American families. U.S. wages have stagnated. Fast Tracked trade deals promote job off-shoring to low wage venues and a flood of return imports. This race-to-the-bottom competition means the average U.S. worker now makes only a nickel more per hour than in 1973 (before Fast Track), even as workers' productivity jumped 85%!
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.