[biztech-discussion] Trade Bits

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 07:10:59 -0600

e 27, 2004


PLATFORM INPUT:  Democrats should support "freezing all trade deals" until
the nation's trade deficit is addressed, Bob Baugh of the AFL-CIO's
Industrial Union Council told the committee drafting the 2004 Democratic
platform at a hearing in Santa Fe NM last week.  John Stencil, President of
the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, said that trade agreements should promote
"profitability" for family farmers, rather than promise benefits from
exports that "never seem to materialize."  Natasha Humphries, an unemployed
worker from California, noted that many people "weren't concerned with job
losses [from trade] until they affected white collar workers too."  A final
Democratic platform hearing will be held July 1 in Cleveland OH; the
platform will be drafted July 8-9 in Miami FL.
VALLEY VOTES:  Major white collar job cuts haven't hit Pennsylvania's Lehigh
Valley, but the spread of outsourcing "plays on the psyche of a region with
a long history of employment upheaval," says the Allentown Morning Call
(6/20).  Interviews with area voters suggest that white-collar outsourcing
"could have an outsized impact" on the presidential race in the region
because of the "bitter memories" of job losses from Bethlehem Steel, Agere
Systems, and others. "Now some of the jobs that victims of those earlier
traumas retrained for - computer programming, tax preparation, telephone
call-centers - may be moving overseas," the article says.  The paper says
that "about half" the voters they interviewed said the candidates' positions
on the issue "could sway their votes."  Among those voters, "none endorsed
Bush's handling of or position on outsourcing," but nearly half said they
agreed with Kerry's "anti-outsourcing" stand "We're selling ourselves out,"
said Ron Cleaver of Coplay, a former textile worker.  "It's only padding the
companies' pockets."

JOBS AND DEMOCRACY:  Corporate and government policy "have converged to send
millions of jobs overseas," President Edwin Hill of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) told the annual convention of
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) this weekend in Washington D.C.  Beth
Shulman, author of "The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million
Americans and Their Families," explained that "the decisions made every day"
by government and business leaders are determining "whether or not America
is going to have the kind of jobs that are family sustaining."  ADA National
Director Amy Isaacs reported that Regime Change 2004 is shifting its focus
"from educating the candidates to educating the voters" in the battleground
states "which have suffered the most" from Bush policies.  "People are
waking up and feeling that they can make a difference," Joe Trippi told the
ADA delegates.  "The issue that's at the crux of this election is our
democracy itself."

SECURITY HAZARD:  The greatest risks from offshoring "may be the loss of
intellectual property . . . which can wipe out any other savings and erode
vital security," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports 6/25.  The
Star-Telegram article cites the example of an Indian engineer fired by an
outsourcer debugging software for a Boston company who is charged with
walking away with a source code worth at least $60 million. "Some American
companies have stumbled when they've outsourced, even when they deal with
India's most respected service providers or when they set up their own
operations overseas," the article says.  In March, the Virginia-based credit
card company Capital One terminated telemarketing services with Wipro
Spectramind, one of India's largest call centers, when employees were
discovered making offers "not in line with our company's standards and
practices," the company said.

HOFFA OUT:  International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Jim Hoffa has
resigned from a Presidential trade advisory committee, noting that the Bush
administration "has clearly decided to wage a full-fledge attack on workers'
rights, social justice, and economic common sense."  In a letter to George
Bush, Hoffa said that the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and
Negotiations is a "sham process" in which the views of labor and "other
important U.S. constituencies are not respected."  The U.S. "desperately
needs leaders who will include enforceable labor and environmental standards
in all future trade deals, combat off-shoring, and strengthen our Buy
America laws," Hoffa said.

BUSH AGAINST: The Bush Administration is opposing a provision in legislation
to fund the federal Homeland Security Department that bars companies based
overseas such as Tyco International from competing for contracts with the
agency, says the Bloomberg News Service.  A statement from the White House
Budget office said that the measure "could violate WTO rules" and have
"unintended negative consequences," Bloomberg reports.  "If these companies
are going to share in the American pie, then they ought to help bake it,"
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) argued in support of the amendment.

MARKET FAILURE:  The growing economic gap "between the haves and have nots"
is fueling political strife throughout Latin America, the New York Times
reports 6/24.  The Times says that growth in the region "has not been widely
shared, but concentrated in isolated pockets, usually attached to
multinational corporations that employ few people."  According to a United
Nations report, the per capita income in Latin America has been stagnant
"even though analysts had predicted that growth would pick up as governments
flung open the doors to free-market changes prescribed by Washington and the
International Monetary Fund."

NOTE: Permission is granted to reprint or distribute this material.

For more information on Regime Change 2004, contact:
Jim Jontz
President Emeritus
Americans for Democratic Action
or visit www.fairtradenow.org <<<<<<<<http://www.fairtradenow.org>>>>>>>>

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