[biztech-discussion] trade issues/offshoring

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 10:45:36 -0700

Below is the most recent copy of NWU member Jim Jontz's newsletter. Jim is a
former congressional representative from Indiana that is out on the road
during the Democratic primaries raising awareness about how our trade
agreements impact American workers. I gave a talk in Albuquerque recently
about offshoring and union workers for his group Americans for Democratic
Action. His group is not only raising awareness, but would like to make the
next President held accountable. Electing a Democrat doesn't do much, if
like Clinton, they continue to sign free trade agreements.

Jim is willing to participate in helping to shape an offshoring campaign. I
don't know if he has the time to be on the actual committee. But he can
bring a political/legislative perspective to the discussion. Since he was
willing to lobby congress on behalf of Conyers, we might be able to get him
to lobby about offshoring, should this become part of our agenda.

At-Large Organizing Chair




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.

TRADE DISPUTE:  Trade was the source of the "sharpest policy clashes" at the
candidates New York debate on Sunday before today's Super Tuesday primaries,
the New York Times reports.  "We know what's wrong with these trade
agreements," Sen. John Edwards said about Sen. John Kerry's proposal for a
120 day review of all trade deals.  "They need to be changed."  Kerry said
the reviews of current trade policy by "smart, thoughtful people" would
determine "what's working and what isn't working," and repeated his
commitment "that we should have no trade agreement that doesn't also have
labor and environmental standards contained within it."   Rep. Dennis
Kucinich and Rev. Al Sharpton continued their call for repealing NAFTA and
the WTO: "it's kind of like crying crocodile tears for workers, after
millions of jobs have been lost, to say, 'Well, we're going to fix it,'"
Kucinich noted.

NAFTA ELECTION?:  The strength of opposition to NAFTA in Midwestern states
that are critical to the outcome of the Presidential race may make 2004 a
"NAFTA election" in the U.S., reports the Toronto Globe and Mail.  A 2/21
article in the paper recalls the 1988 Canadian elections, which "turned on
free trade" in a debate over the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement.  As I-69,
the "NAFTA highway," passes through the Midwest "all anyone wants to talk
about is the 10-year-old trade agreement that has given this highway its
name and destination."  Opinion against free trade in towns like Bloomington
IN runs strong as a result of local factory closings.  However, where the
highway passes through the deep South on its way to Mexico, there is more
support for NAFTA, the Globe and Mail reports.

GROWING DIVIDE: A new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO)
says that the "uneven benefits of globalization are creating a growing
divide between rich and poor countries, as well as within countries," the
New York Times says.  The ILO report, entitled "A Fair Globalization," notes
that new trade agreements have failed to speed the growth of global GNP,
corporate tax rates are lower as a result of globalization, and that women
have been hurt more by globalization than men.  The report calls for
rethinking globalization, "echoing sentiments heard during the current
Democratic campaign for president," according to the Times, including
"enforcement of core international labor standards" such as the right for
workers to organize and bargain collectively.

FAIR TRADE FOR OHIO:  On the eve of the Ohio Presidential primary, two dozen
Ohio groups have written to the 2004 Presidential candidates urging them
reject the proposed FTAA, CAFTA, and expansion of the WTO.  The letter was
signed the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network, Columbus
Jobs with Justice, the Northeast Ohio Group of the Sierra Club, and other
labor, peace, environmental, student, and faith organizations.  "I agree!"
Sen. John Edwards told Maria Wilkinson of the Ohio Conference on Fair Trade
when she delivered the letter in person to Edwards Saturday night at the Mt.
Sinai Baptist Church in Cleveland.

SERVICES AGENDA:  Letters from the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition and the MN
AFL-CIO to Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich
encourage the three to speak out against the inclusion of services in trade
agreements as proposed by the Bush administration in the FTAA and GATS.
"These trade rules would represent an end run around our citizens and our
democratic process by corporate interests," the letters say.  The new rules
would "sharply circumscribe the ability of state and local governments to
regulate services in the public interest," including zoning, government
procurement, protection of natural resources, and state and federal
prevailing wage laws, the letter explains.

TRADE IN KERRY PLANS:  Creating jobs through a "fairer playing field for
trade relationships" and rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are
the correct ways to address the nation's budget deficit, not cutting Social
Security, Sen. John Kerry said in Toledo OH following Alan Greenspan's
Congressional testimony last week.  Kerry also announced plans to require
companies to give employees three months advance notice of job outsourcing,
and direct the Labor Department to track offshored jobs.  Sen. John Edwards
also campaigned on trade in Ohio, Georgia, and California last week.  At the
Los Angeles candidates debate last Thursday, Edwards said that the FTAA
should be used renegotiate NAFTA to include enforceable labor and
environmental standards in its text.

GLOBAL STEALTH:  A public forum Sunday in Austin TX on "Global Stealth,
Wealth, and your Health" heard local activists explain how the Bush trade
agenda affects Texas citizens.  "These trade agreements are linking the
local and the global," Bruce Banner of the Austin teachers union told the
group.  Banner said that trade deals like the FTAA will facilitate "turning
education into a profit center for corporations."  Other speakers included
Susana Almanza of the social justice group PODER;  Richard Troxell of the
Universal Living Wage Campaign; and Susan Moffat, an anti-Wal Mart activist.
The 2004 Presidential election was also discussed at the event, which was
sponsored by the Gray Panthers and the Texas Fair Trade Coalition.  Texas
holds a Presidential primary next Tuesday, along with Florida, Mississippi,
and Louisiana.

US-AUSTRALIA TRADE:  A "flood" of milk protein concentrates and casein from
offshore "will devastate Wisconsin's dairy farm families," the Wisconsin
Farmers Union warns.  "If we continue to pursue bilateral trade agreements,
collectively the amount of dairy imports would be enormous," says Sue
Beitlich, WFU President.  Both Sen. John Edwards and Rep. Dennis Kucinich
spoke against the U.S.-Australia agreement when campaigning in Wisconsin.
The March issue of the Western Organizing Review, available online at
www.worc.org, features an article outlining how the US-Australia deal
threatens family farmers and ranchers.

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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