[biztech-discussion] Trade Bits/Jontz

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 09:44:40 -0700




An update on work by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and our allies to
nominate and elect a President in 2004 who supports pro-worker, environment,
family farm, and human rights trade policies.

JOB LOSS IS VOTER ISSUE: 85% of the respondents to a poll conducted last
weekend by USA TODAY say that "keeping American jobs from going overseas"
will be very or fairly important in their decision about voting for
President next fall, the paper said today. A CNN exit poll from Tuesday's
primaries in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi showed 61% of voters
believe that NAFTA "takes away jobs," Lou Dobbs reported Wednesday evening.
And according to the New York Times, an exit poll from the Ohio presidential
primary on March 2nd found that 70% of voters there said "free trade was
hurting their economy."

BUSH, KERRY, BUSH: George Bush defended his record on trade in Cleveland
yesterday in a speech that "hit hard at Mr. Kerry as a gloomy protectionist
who would isolate the nation from the rest of the world," the New York Times
says. In Chicago, Kerry said that "George Bush thinks exporting our jobs is
good economic policy," while his campaign revealed that a Nebraska business
executive who Bush is planning to appoint as an assistant Secretary of
Commerce for manufacturing is building a factory in China. A record monthly
trade deficit of $43.1 billion for January was announced yesterday by the
Commerce Department.

UNION POWER: "We can win on this issue," Rep. Dick Gephardt told the AFL-CIO
Executive Committee yesterday, calling for trade to be a major focus of the
Democrats' 2004 Presidential campaign. Sen. John Kerry addressed the group
by video, repeating his support for international labor and environmental
protections in new trade agreements and endorsing provisions in new trade
deals to "raise standards around the planet." The AFL-CIO Executive
Committee approved resolutions opposing the US-Thailand Free Trade Agreement
as a threat to the US automotive industry, urging negotiations for an
international minimum wage, condemning the "outsourcing of America" under
the Bush administration, and calling for the repudiation of the "Miami
model" of repressing peaceful trade protesters through force.

TOUGH TRADE TALK: With trade "looming as an important issue in the
presidential campaign," a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee last
Tuesday "became a political forum" with Democrats on the attack and
Republican Senators asked the US Trade Representative for "ammunition for
their side," the New York Times says. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) noted
"strong comments" made by Sen. John Kerry about offshoring of jobs and
observed that "I don't have a single town meeting where something isn't
brought up about outsourcing," the Times says. Trade Representative Robert
Zoellick "ducked the question" and suggested that retraining programs and
better education would help in "dealing with families and anxiety."

REGIME CHANGE, PHASE II: Trade unionists and community activists who were
confronted by hostile police at the Miami FTAA meetings last November were
recognized at an open house yesterday evening held at the AFL-CIO Executive
Committee at their winter meeting in Florida. The reception also honored the
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) "Regime Change 2004" project to raise
the issue of trade in the 2004 Presidential nomination debate. "Phase II" of
Regime Change, targeting at educating voters about the Bush trade agenda in
key battleground states in this fall's Presidential election, was announced
at the event.

GREEN CONCERN: Ten environmental groups including the Sierra Club, the U.S.
PIRG, and the League of Conservation Voters say that the proposed Central
American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) would allow foreign  investors "to
challenge hard-won environmental laws," and fails to insure
thatenvironmental protection "is improved in a meaningful way." The groups
note that CAFTA "does not clearly require any country to maintain and
effectively enforce a set of basic environmental laws," and urges Congress
to turn down the agreement.

CORPORATIONS READY?: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce began last October to
assemble a coalition of more than 200 companies to "fight trade
restrictions," the Portland Oregonian reports. Bruce Josten of the Chamber
says that with eight full time staffers working on trade, "we are very well
prepared to fight this battle." The article notes that the National
Foundation for American Policy has identified 11 bills introduced in
Congress, and 30 bills filed in state legislatures to restrict offshore job

For more information on Regime Change 2004, contact:

Jim Jontz
President Emeritus
Americans for Democratic Action


or visit www.fairtradenow.org

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