Action Alert — October 8, 2007

Bush intervenes in Costa Rica's historic referendum on NAFTA expansion

Tell Congress that voters want a different course on trade — write your representative now!

Dear Fair Trade Supporter,

Costa Rica just held the world's first ever popular referendum on a NAFTA expansion. The result: nearly half the country ignored the fear-mongering tactics of Bush and big corporations and voted against CAFTA and for fair trade.

As today's Washington Post reported, the vote "followed a contentious campaign marked by a scandal that toppled one of the country's vice presidents and a last-minute push for votes by the White House."

This "push" included the Bush administration invoking misleading threats just hours before the polls opened that Costa Rica would suffer economic reprisals for voting "no." Tell Congress this kind of irresponsible bullying can't happen again!

Despite this last-minute intervention, nearly half of the voters in Latin America's oldest democracy voted down the NAFTA expansion, based on the clear negative impact of this policy on Mexico and other countries. You can read our analysis here at Eyes On Trade.

This outcome should make clear that the process of repairing U.S. relations with Latin America needs to start with staying out of their elections, and not pushing more destructive NAFTA-style trade deals.

Unfortunately, Bush doesn't seem to think so. In the coming weeks, Congress will vote on whether to help Bush expand NAFTA to Peru – despite the opposition of that country's religious, labor, retiree, and indigenous groups and others.

You can help stop Bush's NAFTA expansion to Peru – a deal that has all the same job-offshoring, people-displacing, corporation-enriching provisions that half of Costa Rica braved Bush's threats to oppose. Please tell your members of Congress that you want a new path on trade in America, both North and South.

Thank you for your help in the fight for fair trade!

Global Trade Watch

p.s. For more information and key documents on the Peru NAFTA expansion deal, and updates on Costa Rica and CAFTA, see GTW's website or our blog, Eyes On Trade.

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