Despite overwhelming opposition by a wide range of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith and human rights organizations in the United States and abroad, Congress passed the Korea, Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements on October 12 — and the pacts were quietly signed by President Obama on October 21.
These NAFTA-style pacts will have significant repercussions on the economy, environment and democracy itself for years to come. The Colombia Free Trade Agreement will also likely exacerbate the ongoing human rights catastrophe in that country. Passage of these old-model trade deals is perhaps the clearest indication this year that the majority in Congress still hasn’t figured out that Americans are through with policies that benefit corporate elites at the expense of the majority.
The one silver lining to this dismal cloud is that over two-thirds of House Democrats voted against the pacts. In fact, more Democrats voted against the Korea and Colombia Free Trade Agreements than have ever opposed a Democratic President on trade — as well as more than have ever opposed President Obama on anything. While cold comfort to those whose livelihoods will be destroyed by these agreements, it is a clear sign that the Democratic Caucus continues to shift away from business-as-usual trade deals. These agreements passed in Congress only with the large support of “Tea Party” Republicans.
Find out how your Members of Congress voted here, and call them through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to either thank them or express your deep displeasure.