Action Alert — November 9, 2007

Majority of House Democrats Vote Against Peru NAFTA Expansion

Please take a moment to write a letter to the editor for your local newspaper thanking or criticizing your member of Congress for how she or he voted.

Dear Fair Trade Supporter,

Thanks to all your efforts, yesterday a majority of Democrats stood up against the Bush Trade Agenda and voted against expanding NAFTA to Peru. These Democrats stood up to a massive corporate and White House lobby effort, incredible pressure from some of their own Democratic leaders, and various goodies being offered for yes votes.

Although the House of Representatives passed the Peru NAFTA expansion legislation due to near unanimous Republican support, the opposition from 116 Democrats - including nearly three-fourths of Democratic freshmen and a healthy majority of the party's committee chairs - shows that Congress has a lot work to do to create a framework for trade agreements that can earn public support nationwide and thus bipartisan support in Congress. Yesterday's vote proves the Peru FTA is an unacceptable framework for future trade deals.

Read our statement and see links to other statements at our Eyes On Trade blog.

But don't just take our word for it. What others are saying:

  • In Time magazine's "The Dems Get Stuck On Trade," the conclusion is that "This will not be a free-trade-friendly Congress."
  • William Greider wrote in The Nation, "The big-money sectors are anxious to squelch the new critics of globalization in Democratic ranks before they can gain momentum in Congress."

ACTION: Using the link below, find out how your member of Congress voted, then write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper thanking or criticizing your representative for the vote: http://action.citizen.org/content.jsp?content_KEY=3475

The political action committees of the top corporations backing the Peru FTA – including Citigroup, Wal-Mart and Chevron – showered members of Congress with campaign contributions over the last 11 months.

But despite all this – and thanks to you – a majority of Democrats opposed the Peru NAFTA expansion, putting the final nails in the coffins of any further Bush administration expansions of NAFTA to Panama, Colombia or South Korea this year. Your work has made it clear that any more deals that include the same NAFTA provisions granting new rights to multinational corporations should be discarded with the rest of Bush's damaging agenda.

No trade deal should limit inspections of imported food, undermine the implementation of stronger environmental protections, or have anything to do with critical public services like Social Security.

Thank you for your help!

The whole Global Trade Watch team

p.s. The Peru deal now moves on to the Senate, where it will face a lot of opposition from freshmen Democrats and others who campaigned on fair trade. Take a moment to write an email to your senators asking them where they stand.

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