[biztech-discussion] trade updates

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 16:12:34 -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.
SNOWSTORM:  Comments by Treasury Secretary John Snow supporting the movement
of jobs offshore suggest that the Bush Administration has become "less
apologetic about their support for free trade," the New York Times wrote
3/31/04.  Snow told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday that trade plays a
"modest role at best" in the nation's weak job growth, and that moving
American jobs to low-cost countries "is part of trade."  The Times adds that
the Federal Reserve board has sided with the Administration in the jobs
debate.  "Quantitatively, outsourcing abroad simply cannot account for much
of the recent weakness in the U.S. labor market,"  board member Ben Bernanke
told an audience at Duke University.

LESS PAPER NOW!: George Bush outlined his jobs platform in Phoenix AZ last
Friday calling for tax cuts and "reduction in government regulations and
paperwork," the New York Times reported 3/27/04.  "If you want to keep jobs
here in America, we need less paperwork," Bush said.  The same day in
Detroit, Sen. John Kerry repeated his commitment to modify trade agreements
to require worker and environmental protections as a part of his "first
major policy address" of the general election.  Billed as part of a "spring
offensive" called "Jobs First," Kerry's comments focused mainly on tax
changes to eliminate incentives for companies that move jobs out of the
county.  "I am not a protectionist, but a competitor," Kerry said in
response to Bush's claims the Democrats are "economic isolationists."

NO TO CAFTA:  An analysis of the Central America Free Trade Agreement
(CAFTA) by the Alliance for Responsible Trade says that deal would cause
dumping of agricultural products, include only "cosmetic" environmental
provisions, and prohibit Central American governments from setting rules to
ensure foreign investment serves local development goals.  Costa Rican
analysts Ariane Grau and Omar Salazar explain why CAFTA's labor chapter is
little more than an "agreement of good intentions," and Elizabeth Drake of
the AFL-CIO describes how CAFTA's procurement rules would remove
governments' ability to condition public contracts on social goals, such as
requiring contractors to pay a living wage. See "Why We Say No to CAFTA:
Analysis of the Official Text" at http://art-us.org/docs/cafta304.pdf

US/THAI DEAL?:  US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Thai Commerce
Minister Watana Muangsook inaugurated the US Thailand Free Trade Agreement
Business Coalition on Capitol Hill last week, "expressing confidence that
the pact would be sealed soon," the Agence France-Presse reported 4/25/04.
Unocal, General Motors, and Nike are among the 100 companies seeking to be
the "private sector's voice" through the Coalition in negotiations.  Watana
said talks were expected to begin in June with the agreement signed next

DEMOCRACY DEFICIT?: An article in journal Public Management summarizes the
concerns of local officials about the threat of "free trade" to local
decision making.   "Some elected officials are concerned that the free trade
agreements, as currently drafted, fail to adequately protect our democratic
traditions," say authors Mildred Warner and Jennifer Gerbasi of Cornell
University.  "Is There a Democratic Deficit in the Free Trade Agreements?:
What Local Governments Should Know" appears in the Journal's March issue.

MORE SNOW:  Rep. Dennis Kucinich says that statements made by Bush Treasury
Secretary John Snow that outsourcing is good for the American economy are
"obscene" and "outrageous."  Snow told the Cincinnati Enquirer that "you can
outsource a lot of activities and get them done just as well, or better, at
a lower cost."  Kucinich raised trade while campaigning in Oregon this week:
"As soon as the voters unemploy Secretary Snow and the Bush team," Kucinich
said, "maybe then we can begin to put the rest of Americans back to work."

APPALLING:  A decision by the WTO in favor of a challenge by the nation of
Antigua and Barbuda to US law restricting internet gambling is "appalling,"
says Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).  "It cannot be allowed to stand that another
nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue,"
Goodlatte told the New York Times.  The Times says that several members of
Congress say they would rather "withdraw from future rounds of the WTO than
have American social policy dictateed from abroad."

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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