Unbelievable! First, the Korea Free Trade Agreement was put on the table. Now we’re faced with potential votes on the Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements. This insanity has to stop.
We need your help derailing this dangerous, NAFTA-based trade package, before it’s too late. If we don’t act soon, here’s the trifecta we’re facing:
- The Colombia Free Trade Agreement threatens to greatly exacerbate the ongoing human rights catastrophe in Colombia. In recent years, more labor leaders were killed in Colombia than in the rest of the world combined. The country also recently surpassed the Sudan as home to the most internally-displaced people in the world. Not only is there no binding language in the FTA to adequately address the labor assassinations and other human rights concerns, but the agricultural dumping anticipated should the Colombia FTA be enacted would cause massive additional displacement in many of Colombia’s most conflict-ridden regions. This deal is an affront to anyone who cares about basic rights and human dignity.
- The Panama Free Trade Agreement not only repeats most of the problems found in NAFTA and CAFTA, but it does so with a notorious tax haven. Panama has long been a key target of both the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G7’s “Financial Action Task Force” for its resistance to international norms in combating tax evasion and money laundering, and its new Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the United States contains gaping loopholes. With 400,000 registered corporations, Panama is second only to Hong Kong as a home for multinational firms’ subsidiaries — many created with the sole purpose of evading taxes. This deal would give Wall Street and other moneyed interests further power to dodge their tax obligations.
- The Korea Free Trade Agreement is the largest trade deal of its type since NAFTA — far larger in terms of volume of trade than anything President Bush was able to pass during his eight years in office. If enacted, the Korean imports are projected to displace a net 159,000 American jobs within just seven years, with good-paying industries among those that would be the hardest hit. The FTA has also faced massive resistance in South Korea, where it is rightly viewed as an assault on worker and consumer rights. This deal would hurt working people in both countries at a time when we can least afford it.
This trade package is devastating to working families, farmers and the environment at home and abroad. We need you to take action now. Please send a letter online or call your Member of Congress today through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to oppose the pending trade package with Korea, Panama and Colombia.
Unfortunately, this heinous trade package is just the beginning. If we don’t speak out now, a new regional FTA for the Pacific Rim — the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership — will soon be upon us.