Action Alert — October 20, 2005

Act Now: Don't Let NAFTA Expansion Fuel the Drug War!

Stop NAFTA expansion from fueling the drug war. Contact your congressperson today, because the same folks who just shoved CAFTA NAFTA expansion through Congress are trying to sneak through something even worse.

Dear Fair Trade Activist,

There are many reasons why individuals like you have worked so hard to stop the Bush administration from expanding the NAFTA model of race-to-the-bottom foreign trade. Why? Because the race-to-the-bottom threatens our jobs, our children’s future, our communities’ environment, and social justice.

And now, thanks to AFTA – an Andean country expansion of NAFTA – you can add national security threats and the danger of expanded trade in illegal drugs to that list.

Bush administration trade negotiators have their counterparts from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru holed up right now in Washington in an attempt to lock down AFTA. But, experts on drug policy say that if the NAFTA-style farm and food rules are forced down Colombia’s throat, a decade of U.S. efforts to get poor farmers there to grow food crops instead of coca will be undone.[1] Sounds like lunacy – pushing a trade deal that undoes the drug policy we have pushed at a cost of billions. But that is what will happen if you don’t take action now.

Act now to Stop the President Bush from Recklessly Expanding NAFTA

The administration and Republican congressional leaders are ignoring pleas from the Andean countries to allow them to protect the local markets for corn, rice, and beans their small farmers depend on.[2] Deprived of other outlets to make a living, many farmers will see no other choice but to grow coca or opium poppies, work for narco-traffickers, or in the case of Colombia, join clashing guerrilla and paramilitary armies.[3]

We need to act now to make sure that these concerns are heard by the Bush administration BEFORE this agreement is signed.

Tell your Congressperson that you don’t want to have to oppose another trade agreement, but unless this one dramatically changed – it will be CAFTA all over again!

Let them know that jeopardizing U.S. anti-drug and counter-terrorism efforts to make a couple extra dollars for big agro-chemical companies is asking for trouble.

Thank you for all that you do!


Global Trade Watch

p.s.  We’re still compiling information for our CAFTA DAMAGE REPORTS on Representatives who might have sold their votes on CAFTA. If you have information on a Representative who sold his or her CAFTA vote, contact GTW.

[1] Washington Office on Latin America, “Agriculture and the Andean Free Trade Agreement: What’s At Stake in ColombiaRights and Development Monitor, October, 2004.
[2] “House Delegation Warns Andean Countries to Improve FTA Offers,” Inside US Trade, 9/23/05.
[3] Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, “Colombian Agriculture Before the Free Trade Agreement with the United States,” July 2004, p. 180.

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