Trade News — October 2005


Public Citizen Launches CAFTA Damage Report

Dear Fair Trade Activist,

How did it happen that the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) — an anti-worker, anti-environment pact that your impressive citizen activism had beaten to an 18-month standstill — suddenly passed the House of Representatives 217-215 on July 27th, 2005?

Despite the corporations' and Bush administration's extreme efforts, one vote cast differently would have sunk CAFTA. Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch is investigating how the public was betrayed, and what the costs will be for all of us, with our new CAFTA DAMAGE REPORT series. Take action: contact your congressperson with your disappointment over CAFTA's passage.

In our new series, we're finding the dirt on the 28 congresspeople whose "yes" votes on CAFTA were especially inexplicable.

For example, senior White House advisor Karl Rove headlined a $2,500-a-plate fundraiser for CAFTA fence-sitter Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) just days before he voted for CAFTA. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), after giving a ripping anti-CAFTA speech, flip-flopped at the last minute to vote for CAFTA. Coincidentally, Towns has received $17,500 in the current election cycle from rabidly pro-CAFTA pharmaceutical corporations. Did these representatives sell their votes? What about your representative?

Visit the CAFTA DAMAGE REPORT and contact your congressperson with your concern about the negative impacts of bad trade deals like the CAFTA NAFTA expansion.

Please join us in working to make sure the dirty-tricks passage of CAFTA is not forgotten and the voices of those affected are heard.

In solidarity,

The Global Trade Watch Accountability Squad

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch has studied over 90 deals taken by members of Congress for trade votes during the period 1992-2004, and found that over 80 percent of promises on such deals were not kept or were reversed by subsequent events. We divided these deals into pure pork barrel promises, of which 70 percent were broken; and ameliorative policy fix promises, of which 90 percent were broken. See our full report online: "Trade Wars – Revenge of the Myth: Deals for Trade Votes Gone Bad"

Activist Spotlight

Global Trade Watch salutes North Carolina Fair Trade Coalition's Dannette Sharpley, who stood up to Microsoft and the Farm Bureau in NC. Send congratulations to Dannette along with a story of trade heroism in your neighborhood.


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