Action Alert — October 30, 2007

NAFTA Expansion Vote Next Week: Citibank Vs. Social Security

The Peru NAFTA expansion is coming up for a vote next week. The deal could allow Citibank to demand millions in compensation from impoverished Peru if the country reverses its failed social security privatization. This is immoral, outrageous - and a dangerous precedent. We need to keep social security out of "free trade" deals. Sign the petition here.

Dear Fair Trade Supporter,

There may be a vote on the Peru NAFTA Expansion as early as November 5th – next week!

The proposed Bush expansion of NAFTA to Peru contains frightening provisions that could lock Peru into a privatized social security system similar to the Bush proposal that Democrats successfully fought last Congress. The main beneficiary of the provision seems to be Citibank, the largest shareholder in ProFuturo AFP, a company authorized to compete against Peru's national social security system.

If a lot of members of Congress vote for the Peru "free trade agreement" (FTA) containing this outrage, it could set a dangerous precedent for Social Security policies here at home. Congress needs to hear that Social Security has no business in a trade agreement.

That's why we need to demand that our representatives and senators oppose the Peru FTA. To do this, we need to get a quick 5,000 signatures on the following petition to the U.S. Congress.

Please sign the petition on social security and trade - and forward it to your friends!

Petition Statement

Dear Congress:

As if any agreement expanding NAFTA is not offensive enough, it's absolutely outrageous that the proposed U.S.-Peru "free trade agreement" contains provisions that could make it difficult for Peru to reverse its failed social security privatization. Americans overwhelmingly rejected the Bush administration's proposal to privatize our social security system here in the United States. It would be hypocritical — and a very bad precedent — to lock in Peru's failed social security privatization by allowing such provisions to remain in the proposed Peru FTA. No trade agreement should ever have rules that affect government policy on social security.

Sign the petition here:

How does this work? If the widely unpopular Peruvian social security privatization were reversed, the investment chapter in the Peru FTA could empower foreign investors that provide private retirement accounts in Peru - like Citibank - to demand compensation from the Peruvian government in UN and World Bank tribunals for "nationalizing" their investment.

Last week, Public Citizen joined dozens of Social Security advocacy organizations and sent a letter (PDF) to the U.S. Congress urging the defeat of the Peru FTA because of the dangerous precedent it sets by elevating the profits of Citibank above the survival of the poor and elderly in Peru. The Miami Herald covered this important story, and concern is rising in the U.S. Congress.

We are gaining momentum, but with only a week left before the vote, we have to make sure that every member of Congress – and most especially the Democrats who defended social security here in the U.S. – get an avalanche of emails and calls.

Sign the petition here:

And then forward this email to your friends!

Thank you for taking action!

Lori Wallach
Global Trade Watch

p.s. Want more information about the Social Security provisions in the Peru FTA? Read the complete report (PDF) by Public Citizen, Americans for Democratic Action, and USAction.

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