The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign’s
Toolkit for Fighting the Korea Free Trade Agreement
President Obama recently announced plans to push ahead with the Korea Free Trade Agreement immediately after the November elections. This Bush-negotiated pact is the biggest free trade agreement since NAFTA itself. If passed, it will accelerate the offshoring of Oregon jobs, expose the state’s environmental laws to new types of attacks and prohibit the type of banking regulations needed to head off the next financial crisis.
We need to stop the Korea FTA from moving forward now, before it’s too late. The best way to do that in Oregon is to put pressure on Senator Ron Wyden. Senator Wyden is chairman of the Senate Trade Subcommittee, and will play a key role in determining whether the Korea FTA moves ahead as written or gets sent back to the drawing board.
Here are suggestions on how you can help sound the alarm about the Korea proposal and help put the hear on Trade Subcommittee Chair:
Take Action Online Now:
Write to Senator Wyden and other Members of Congress now using this online action alert.
Watch the Videos from Our Teach-in:
Financial Services (featuring Barbara Dudley, Portland State University)
High-Tech Offshoring (featuring Mitch Besser, ORFTC)
Investment Issues (featuring David Delk, Alliance for Democracy – Portland)
Make a Short Presentation at an Upcoming Meeting:
Ask for five minutes on the agenda of the next meeting of your union local, environmental organization or faith group. Use our talking points to tell people why they should care about the Korea FTA and how they can help stop it. Circulate our petition to Senator Wyden while you’re speaking, pass out our half-page leaflets and urge people to take a minute to call and leave a message for the Senator before leaving.
Question the Candidates:
Candidates running for the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate will be holding frequent public events between now and the election. Help nail down their opposition to the Korea FTA by asking them about it in front of an audience they’re trying to win over. Use our sample questions for candidates to help craft your question, and please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any responses you hear.
Pass Out Leaflets:
If you can’t get time to officially speak during an upcoming meeting or public events, you can still hand out leaflets to people as they come in or exit. You should also use these leaflets at any upcoming tabling opportunities, such as conferences, fairs or farmers’ markets. (If tabling, be sure to also take along a few copies of our petition.) Our leaflets are designed so that, if printed double-sided, they can be cut down the middle to help save paper. The following leaflets are all identical, with the exception that they list different local phone numbers for Senator Wyden’s offices across the state:
Eugene La Grande
Publish an Article:
If your organization, place of worship or union has a newsletter or website, or if you have your own blog, please publish a short article about the Korea FTA. You can write an article yourself or use one of our templates. You’re welcome to edit our template articles however you like, and can use them with or without attribution. We currently have two basic articles available:
The Korea FTA Would Worsen Oregon’s Unemployment
The Korea FTA Could Undercut Oregon’s Environmental Laws
Send Out an Email Alert:
If you’re part of an organization, please ask that it send out an email action alert about the Korea FTA to its members. You can also forward our template action alert to any listserves and friends you think would be interested.
Help Circulate a Petition:
Please print out a few copies of our petition about the Korea FTA and look for opportunities to gather signatures over the coming months. Completed petitions should be returned periodically to the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign at 310 SW 4th Ave #436 in Portland, OR 97204. We will continue collecting petitions until this struggle has ended, submitting our first batch to Senator Wyden and other Congressional targets once a critical mass has been reached, and from there on out, on a rolling basis.
Follow the Campaign on Facebook:
The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign has an active Facebok page at www.facebook.com/oregonfairtrade. Please join it by clicking the “like” button on the page. You can then share any updates and alerts about the Korea FTA we post there with your Facebook friends and others.
Use Our Factsheets:
You can use the factsheets below to help educate yourself, to spread the word at meetings, to offer more background while tabling and to help craft a Letter to the Editor:
The Korea FTA and Oregon Job Loss
The Korea FTA and Oregon’s Environment
The Korea FTA and Financial Deregulation
The Korea FTA and Oregon’s Sovereignty
Participate in an Organizing Meeting:
Trade activists are currently meeting monthly in Portland and Eugene to plan additional ways to stop the Korea FTA — with phonebanks, lobby visits, presswork, rallies and more. To get involved, call (503) 736-9777 in Portland or (541) 543-1253 in Eugene.