November 6, 2008

Fair Trade Gets an Upgrade in Election '08

At least 31 new fair-traders replaced supporters of status quo trade policies on Tuesday. Tell your member of Congress to replace the NAFTA/ WTO model and sponsor the TRADE Act.

Dear Fair Trade Supporter,

Tuesday's election delivered a major shift in the U.S. political landscape away from the disastrous trade and globalization policies of the past. Across the country Americans voted against those who support the NAFTA-CAFTA-WTO model and for those that say they will replace it.

At least 31 vocal fair-traders just captured seats previously held by supporters of the failed status quo. This builds on the transformation begun in 2006, when 37 fair-traders replaced members of Congress who had systematically supported race-to-the-bottom globalization policies. Only you can ensure this political shift translates into real change.

Please write your representative and senators and urge them to cosponsor the TRADE Act today.

In June, two congressional fair trade champions Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) introduced the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, landmark legislation that sets forth in concrete, detailed terms a progressive vision for good trade agreements in the future and criteria to renegotiate existing failed pacts like NAFTA and the WTO. Eighty House and Senate members cosponsored the TRADE Act.

The TRADE Act provides a roadmap for President-elect Obama and Congress to move forward together towards a new globalization model that can deliver good jobs and import safety at home, a clean environment, and poverty reduction worldwide.

The change in Congress' views on trade and globalization provides a great opportunity. We documented the decisive role trade played in competitive races across the country in our new report, Fair Trade Gets an Upgrade.

Check out Fair Trade Gets an Upgrade and learn more on trade in the 2008 elections here.

More than 100 paid television ads calling for new trade policies and attacking supporters of trade pacts such as NAFTA and CAFTA were used by House and Senate candidates in 2008. This compares to roughly 25 ads in congressional races in 2006, when criticism of status-quo globalization and trade policy showed an exponential jump from all past election cycles. President-elect Barack Obama ran 12 trade ads, including 11 during the general election.

However, the fight to replace our current trade model has just begun. Now it's time to translate electoral messaging into policy change.

Please write your representative and senators and urge them to cosponsor the TRADE Act today.

With global financial, food-price and climate crises dominating the news and bringing the downsides of this globalization model into everyone's homes, U.S. candidates calling for new approaches found a ready audience this election, and now they must deliver.

Thank you for all you do,
Bill Holland, Deputy Director
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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